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Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Program

Tennessee’s Certified Peer Recovery Specialist program provides State certification for individuals who provide direct peer-to-peer support services to others who have mental illness, substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders.


A Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) is a person who has lived experience of a mental illness, substance use disorder or co-occurring disorder, who has made the journey from illness to wellness, and who now wishes to help others. Certified Peer Recovery Specialists can draw from their own journey of recovery to inspire hope and provide support to others who are facing similar situations. 

The first step toward becoming a CPRS is to complete the required training. After the Part One application is approved, applicants can be enrolled in the 40-hour training, which is held in various cities throughout Tennessee. Topics covered in the training include recovery, communication, values, ethics, motivation, co-occurring disorders, trauma-informed care, and wellness.

After the training, there are a few more steps to complete before you become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. Complete Part Two of the application and you are on your way to becoming certified. 

To renew your certification you must provide at least 25 hours of direct peer to peer recovery services each year and complete ten hours of continuing education trainings. 

The CPRS Conference brings together current Certified Peer Recovery Specialists, peers who want to become CPRS’s and also behavioral health providers for a day of workshops, awards, and networking.

When an applicant is denied certification, denied re-certification, or questions the results of the application review, the applicant may file a grievance.

Peers currently certified in other states can become certified in Tennessee through the state to state process.

The CPRS Handbook defines the role and the responsibilities of the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist in Tennessee. It has details on how to become certified as well as all of the information you need to understand the program and its policies.