Peer support specialists provide hope and support to those seeking recovery from a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder. NCPS’ have the lived experience as a person in recovery to engage and encourage others to build the skills necessary to achieve and maintain wellness.

NCPS certification is a professional, advanced-level peer support credential for people providing peer specialist services in behavioral, physical, and related healthcare settings. The NCPS credential requires a minimum of a high school diploma or general equivalency degree, as well as prior education, training, and work experiences that reflect the NCPS performance domains and core competencies specified by the Board. The NCPS performance domains are:

  • Foundations of Peer Support
  • Foundations of Health Care Systems
  • Mentoring, Shared Learning, and Relationship Building
  • Activation and Self-Management
  • Advocacy
  • Professional and Ethical Responsibilities

The NCPS is not designed to replace state-level peer support/peer specialist programs. It is designed to recognize peers with advanced, current experience who can meet NCPS certification requirements.

The FCB, through its wholly owned subsidiary, the National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals (NCBBHP), is pleased to offer the National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) credential. As such and until further notice, NCPS applications and exams will be processed using the FCB’s credentialing and examination systems, while the NCPS wall certificate will be issued by the NCBBHP.

NCPS Certification Requirements

Please carefully review the NCPS Certification Requirements BEFORE applying for certification.

Qualified applicants must:

  1. Currently hold a state-level peer support specialist credential that required a minimum of 40 hours of training or have previously completed an equivalent 40-hour training program,
  2. Have 3,000 hours of peer support specialist work experience in the six (6) years prior to application for certification, and
  3. Obtain three (3) professional letters of recommendation.

Applicants who can provide documentation of these qualifications will be approved to sit for the NCPS exam, and will be awarded the NCPS credential after earning a passing score on the NCPS exam.


Fee TypeFee AmountNotes
Application Fee$150One-time fee
If NCPS credential is not earned within 12 months of application, a 12-month extension can be obtained with an extension fee
Exam Fee$125Fee is due with each exam attempt
Proctoring Fee$35Fee is due with each exam attempt
Biennial Renewal Fee$200Fee is due every 24 months, on or before the NCPS expiration date
Application Extension Fee$150Fee is assessed for each 12-month application extension request

NCPS Application Process and Documents

Earning the NCPS credential is a multi-step process.  Applicants have a maximum of 12 months from the date that their application and certification fee is received to earn the NCPS credential. Within this time, their application must be approved and the exam must be passed. Applicants who do not pass the exam may re-take it within this same 12-month period. After that, a 12-month extension can be obtained by paying a fee equal to the original application fee.

The applicant creates an electronic application, pays fees, submits documentation, and provides Board forms to former or current employers and to persons providing recommendations for certification to complete and return directly to the Board.  Work experience and recommendations submitted by the applicant are not eligible for certification purposes.

The Board initiates the exam pre-registration and registration activities after the NCPS application and supporting documentation is approved.  All exam activities occur online, including taking the exam. The Board administers the exam using remote proctoring. Details will be provided when the NCPS application is approved. The NCPS credential is awarded when a passing score is earned on the exam. Individuals who do not pass may retest every 30 days.

NCPS Application Forms

Download the NCPS forms, provide them to the appropriate people to complete and submit directly to the Board on your behalf.

NCPS How to Apply

  1. If you don’t already have one, create an online account.
  2. Create an electronic application for certification (from your online account).
    • Complete all required fields of information.
    • Upload required documents.
    • Pay the certification fee.
  3. Provide mandatory forms to eligible people to complete and submit to FCB on your behalf.

NCPS Exam Information

The NCPS exam is a 125 item, multiple choice exam of peer specialist knowledge and skills. The exam is administered using remote proctoring protocols.  Additional information will be provided to applicants who are approved to sit for the NCPS exam.