The NCCPSS Workgroup Description: The North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist (NCCPSS) Workgroup is composed of representatives of Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPSS), staff of Behavioral Health Springboard (BHS) and the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Use Services (DMH/DD/SUS). Membership in the Workgroup reflects a broad geographic representation of the State, reflective of the State's demographics regarding gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, category of lived experience, military/veteran designation, etc. The Workgroup meets quarterly in Chapel Hill for one or two days, depending on the agenda. These meetings may be in-person, virtual, or hybrid. In addition to the quarterly meetings, the Workgroup may call special sessions to address matters that need immediate attention. Participation in the Workgroup is voluntary. The NCCPSS Workgroup adds new members based on the availability of vacancies.
Role of the NCCPSS Workgroup: The role of the Workgroup is to provide input on policies for the NCCPSS Program to enhance the certification, training, and accountability of CPSS in NC. The workgroup works with the Behavioral Health Springboard (BHS) and the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Use Services (DMH/DD/SUS) staff to identify strategies to achieve the above goal.
History of the NCCPSS Workgroup: In June 2006, DMH/DD/SUS announced the peer support credentialing process and established the Peer Support Specialist (PSS) Advisory Committee as part of the memorandum. The PSS Advisory Committee assisted with "the Role Delineation Study for the Peer Support Specialist Credential to determine the North Carolina specific core competencies and evaluation measurement processes appropriate for an effective Peer Support Specialists Credentialing Program." Per the communication, the role of the PSS Advisory Committee will be to meet regularly to provide input to the PSS certification process. As the North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist (NCCPSS) Program expanded, the Program leadership needed to revisit policies around training and other Program issues. DMH/DD/SUS reconvened the PSS Advisory Committee in 2015 to develop recommendations for the State to move forward. These recommendations resulted in the following Program changes:
- Added a new course development protocol and new relevant content. The Program expected course developers to integrate the updated materials into their curricula and resubmit for approval.
- Added a CPSS to the curriculum review team
- Descriptions of approved courses were posted on the PSS website and included a list of the approved trainers for each curriculum
- New trainer qualifications were established, including participation in the trainer registry, a signed trainer code of conduct, and PSS certification documentation
- The NCCPSS Program staff reworked aspects of the PSS website to provide more information for course developers, trainers, and individuals interested in peer support certification
- CPSS and the Community Engagement and Empowerment Team (CEET) implemented training observations for technical assistance
After addressing the Program's training needs, it became evident that the Program and the State needed the expertise of the CPSS to make recommendations for programming. After these accomplishments, the CPSS Advisory Committee evolved into the NCCPSS Workgroup. The Workgroup achieved the following:
- Revised the Course Submission, Evaluation, and Guidelines (CSEG) Tool and added new core concepts to address new areas identified during the NCCPSS focus groups and feedback from other stakeholders.
- Developed a process to recertify all the NCCPSS approved courses
- Worked with the NCCPSS Expert Commission to develop House Bill 732 as leading recommendations for a Peer Support Specialist Certification Oversight Board in NC
- An approach to investigate complaints received by the Program staff
- Provided guidelines for remote training of approved courses during COVID 19
- Provided guidelines for the creation of online applications for certification and recertification
The NCCPSS Workgroup continues to work on issues identified in House Bill 732 that are critical to enhancing the Programs policies and procedures, training, certification, and accountability.