New information 05/2024

In July of 2023, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)  issued the National Model Standards for Peer Support Certification. This guiding document identified some areas in which our North Carolina Peer Support Program could be strengthened, including our current training and certification process. To allow time to further examine these standards and determine how to best incorporate them, the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Use Services (DMH/DD/SUS) is temporarily pausing the review and approval of new peer support training courses. This pause affects only new courses. Peer Support certification remains accessible state-wide and there will be no impact on the current availability of Peer Support services.



The NCCPSS Program Approved Courses are curricula reviewed and approved by the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Use Services (DMH/DD/SUS) for peer support training in NC. An Approved Course consists of at least 50 hours (a minimum of 40 hours of face-to-face instruction and 10 hours of pre-work or homework) of curriculum reviewed and approved by the Program. The Program is transitioning all Approved Courses to 50 hours. The Program accepts only training certificates from Approved Courses towards the required training hours for certification. Completing an Approved Course equips Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPSS) with the basic knowledge and skills to provide peer support services in NC. Persons interested in becoming a CPSS must meet the eligibility requirements (18 years or older, have lived experiences in significant mental health or substance use disorder, have been in recovery for at least one year, and have a high school diploma or equivalent) first before completing the training. Below is the list of domains that constitute the content of an Approved Course:

  • 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


Completing an Approved Course does not mean an individual is certified; the individual has to apply for certification by mail or online.

The table below shows all of the currently approved NC Certified Peer Support courses and their developers. To learn more about each, click on the course title.