09/2019 -  Peer Support Certification Training Curriculum Pause after 10/2019. Please read the full bulletin here. 

The North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist (NCCPSS) Program outlines the processes for submitting, reviewing, and approving a curriculum for training in North Carolina. Individuals or organizations interested in owning a course for peer support specialist training in NC must follow this process to submit their course for review and approval by the Program before training in NC. The course must provide content and teaching methods for core concepts under nine (9) domains identified by the NCCPSS Program. The domains are as follows:

  • Commitment to Personal Recovery
  • Relationship Building
  • Peer Support Interaction
  • Systems Competencies
  • Ethics and Boundaries
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Trauma-Informed Practice
  • Support of Service Members and Families
  • Cultural Competencies and Awareness

The course must span fifty (50) training hours; at least 40 hours must be completed through face-to-face instruction, and the remaining ten (10) must be completed through pre-work to be considered for review by the NCCPSS Program. The NCCPSS Program Course Approval Process informs interested individuals or organizations about the steps involved, from submitting the curriculum to the final decision.

New Course Submission Period

Course Approval Process:
The Course Owner may review the course approval tab for the typical process, and submit electronically the following required documentation or materials for review. The electronic copies must be in the following formats: MS Word, PowerPoint, PDF, or compatible file types. Please do not submit documents through Google Documents.

  • Course Submission and Evaluation Guidelines (CSEG) Tool
  • Course Instructor Manual
  • Course Participant Manual
  • Course Daily Agenda (must add up to 50 hours)
  • Training of Trainer (TOT) Manual
  • Other Training Materials (PowerPoint Slides, Handouts, Pre-work, Homework, etc.)
  • Course Submission Fee ($1,200)

Please click on the download tab for all required documentation templates.


The Process (click each title below to expand the topic)

This step in the process begins the course approval process. The following must be completed to proceed to the next step.

  • Behavioral Health Springboard receives an electronic copy of the course from the Course Owner
  • The Course Owner is responsible for ensuring that all required documents are submitted as requested
  • The course will be moved to the next step in the review process, i.e., desk review

The decision to review or return a course is made based on the desk review.

The course review process is done in two phases: desk review and team review.

Desk Review

UNC-CH BHS staff will complete a preliminary desk review of the course before the team review. The significance of the desk review is to ensure that:

  • All required documents are submitted (Instructor manual, handouts, etc.)
  • The CO used the proper documentation, i.e., the Course Submission Evaluation Guidelines (CSEG) tool, to organize and present information in the format established by the Program
  • The CO cited the correct content for three selected core concepts and cited (specified) teaching methods for these core concepts 

The submitted materials must pass the desk review to move on to the team review. If the course passes the desk review, the Program staff will forward the materials to the reviewers for their independent evaluations. If the course does not pass the desk review, the Program staff will email the CO about the status of the course. The CO may resubmit the course during the next submission year.

Team Review

The team review will be conducted by three people (one BHS staff, an NC DMH/DD/SAS staff, and a BHS Contractor who is a Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS).

  • First, each team member will complete an independent review of the course.
  • After the team reviews the course individually, they will convene to discuss and harmonize their findings. The team will ensure that the content cited addresses each domain and core concept(s) established by BHS and that the teaching methods are adequate to teach the core concept(s).
  • The review team will send a review report to the CO within 60-90 business days from receipt of the course. The review report will specify approved and unapproved core concepts and the rationale for the decision and indicate whether the course is approved. This email will also extend an offer to the CO to receive technical assistance from the review team to provide additional feedback and guidance to the CO. This email will include the due date for the modifications or corrections. UNC BHS staff will email the CO if the review team cannot complete the first assessment within the stated timeframe

The course review step will result in corrections or modifications, or approval. 

  • The course owner will be notified by email informing them their course has met standards established by the NC DMH/DD/SAS. This notification will include the review tool.
  • The Course owner will send two hard copies (bounded) of the final Instructor's Manual, one hard copy of the Participant's Manual, and an electronic copy of the final version of the course to the NCCPSS program.
  • A course owner packet is mailed to the Course Owner (Certificate, information on submission graduate list after training, technical assistance reviews, etc.) 
  • The Course Owner will submit the following information to the NCCPSS program to add the course to the list of approved 40-hour courses on the website (original documents):
    • Brief course description (electronic word document)
    • Trainers Registry form (each trainer)
    • Signed Code of Ethics form (each trainer)
    • Brief bio for each trainer (electronic word document)
  • The approved course is posted on NCCPSS website at https://pss.unc.edu/courses 
  • All approved courses are subject to observation by the staff of The North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services and contracted employees of UNC BHS for technical assistance.

The CO has two modifications or corrections within a course submission cycle, and most courses have at least one change or correction before approval. After the team review, the CO must

  • Make revisions and corrections identified in the report.
  • Resubmit the corrections or responses to deficiencies stated in the review report to UNC BHS using the same protocol as the initial submission.
  • After the individual assessment, the team will discuss the modifications to ensure the CO addresses the review report's issues.
  • The review team will send a report to the CO to indicate if all core concepts and teaching methods are approved. if not the report will show the outstanding issues if the team cannot endorse the course because more corrections need to be made.

The CO has another opportunity to address the concerns raised in the review report. The course owner may request technical assistance to resolve these corrections. Depending on the work needed to complete the process, the review team may make some accommodations for the CO to complete the process. For courses not approved after one submission and two corrections or modifications, the Course Owner will be required to submit at a future date as a new course and pay the required fees ($1200).

The NCCPSS Program will post information on the Approved Course on the PSS website after the Program has received the bounded copy of the instructor and participant manuals. To post on the website, the CO must submit the following:

  • A brief description of the course (one paragraph to one page in Word) and the CO's contact information
  • After certifying trainers for the course
    • A list of Certified Trainers 
    • Brief bio for each Certified Trainer (MS Word document)

The Approved Course will be posted on the NCCPSS Program website at https://pss.unc.edu/courses

if a Course Owner is unsatisfied with the above process, they may file an appeal regarding a report of course review. All appeals should be submitted in writing to:

Dr. Sarah Reives-Houston, Director - Behavioral Health Springboard
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - School of Social Work
325 Pittsboro Street, CB 3550
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3550
Email: sreives@unc.edu 

Course Submission and Evaluation Guide:

NCCPSS courses undergo an evaluation process to help ensure quality and appropriate training materials, incorporating nine domains. Please download and complete the Course Submission and Evaluation Guide below.

Download the Course Submission and Evaluation Guide

Training of Trainers:

All courses submitted for approval as NCCPSS courses will require a Training of the Trainers (TOT) process. Course developers must include their TOT manual and materials when approving a course. Please download and complete the NC CPSS Training of Trainers Guide below.

Download NC CPSS Training of Trainers Guide

After the Course is Approved: Trainer Documents

Course Trainers:

NCCPSS course owners must certify their trainers with the North Carolina Certified Peer Support Program.

Download the Trainer Registry Form

Trainer Code Of Conduct:

NCCPSS Trainers are asked to sign the Trainer Code of Conduct:

Download the Trainer Code of Conduct

  • Remember to email an electronic copy of the documents to the address below. The electronic copies must be in the following formats: MS Word, PowerPoint, PDF, or compatible file types. Please do not submit documents through Google Documents.
  • Remember to mail your course submission payment: $1,200.00 money order made payable to "PSS-BHS" or pay online.

Please download and view the Core Concepts document below to better understand all the core concepts demonstrated in the approved courses.

 Training Core Concepts Download