Introduction to the MHA-NCPS Credential

Peer support specialists are in high demand within behavioral health fields across the nation. In an effort to meet this growing demand, Mental Health America (MHA), in collaboration with the Florida Certification Board (FCB), announce the first national, advanced peer specialist certification.

What is it?

Created and developed by peers, the MHA-NCPS credential recognizes peers who have the experiences necessary to work alongside healthcare teams. These experiences include:

  • Lived-experience (all peers have lived through and experienced recovery from substance or mental health conditions.)
  • Training (have taken and/or participated in all the required training experiences). Click here for a list of approved trainings for the MHA-NCPS credential.
  • On the job (has had actual on the job experience by working within the peer-to-peer recovery support community.)

What do MHA-NCPS’s do with their credential?

A MHA-NCPS works in both public and private settings to help others achieve progress through recovery and achieve self-management of goals. True to the peer support spirit, the MHA-NCPS credential does not mean a peer is a clinician. The MHA-NCPS credential emphasizes the principles, guidelines, and core values of peer support. It is not designed to replace current peer trainings but to build upon and enhance current peer-to-peer programs. This means adding additional competencies that ensure peers are able to meet the demands of a changing workforce and increasing opportunities.

Becoming an MHA National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) demonstrates that an individual is at the top of their field. It requires a higher level of skills, knowledge and experience than any other certification. Click the following link for an overview of the MHA-NCPS credential requirements.

How to Apply

Before beginning the application process for the MHA-NCPS credential, please download and carefully review the current version of the MHA-NCPS Candidate Guide 8-1-17.

To apply for the MHA-NCPS credential, please complete all the following forms:

Test Preparation

Currently, the FCB does not provide a study guide for the MHA-NCPS exam.  However, we have created the MHA-NCPS Training and Test Self-Assessment to provide you with study and test-taking tips which cover the exam blueprint and core competencies to help guide your self-study efforts.

Testing Locations

Test locations are being established across the country for MHA-NCPS applicants. These locations are for the MHA-NCPS credential only.

Please do not contact or travel to the location without having received prior confirmation from the FCB. If you are located in Florida, you have the option of taking the test with either a MHA-NCPS test vendor or one of the FCB standard vendors.

If you do not see a test vendor for your location, please contact Carla Lohi at

For additional information from the Mental Health America website, please click here to access MHA’s Center for Peer Support page.