How do I get recovery coaching certification?

20150609_223702 (2)One of the most frequent questions I receive is “How do I get my recovery coaching certification?” The second most frequent question is “How do I get my peer recovery support-specialist certification?”

A recovery coach and a peer recovery support-specialist (focusing in addiction recovery) execute the same job, the positions simply have a different title. Just like a certified drug and alcohol counselor (CADC) has the same job description as a certified addiction counselor (CAC).

Peer recovery support-specialists can also be certified to assist individuals in mental health recovery; slowly but surely, states are requiring different certification training for these two different peer classifications.

The most important considerations in obtaining your recovery coaching credentials are:

  1. Receive your training from an organization that is recognized by your state certification board to give the training (Google the Certification Board in your state, and go to the end of this post for a link).
  2. In the event your state does not offer certification for recovery coaches or peer recovery support-specialists, look up the IC&RC, the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium, ( ). Read about the Internationally Certified Peer Recovery (ICPR) certification tests from the IC&RC. This IC&RC certification is a credential that is recognized by almost every employer.
  3. Every state has different fees (the IC&RC has fees as well). Expect the following fees: To register for the test: $150-$250. To order study materials: $80-$100. To renew your certification: $100-$150. Renewal is necessary every two-five years. Remember, every state is different in their fee or renewal structure; this is only a guide.
  4. After taking the test, and receiving a passing grade, you are required to complete a certain amount of “practice” or internship hours. These hours vary from state to state. New Jersey requires 500 practice hours. The hours can be completed as a volunteer recovery coach at a social services agency, or as a paid recovery coach at an agency, or with private clients.
  5. These practice hours must be under the supervision of a licensed clinical supervisor (LCS) or certified, recovery coaching supervisor. A licensed clinical supervisor is a licensed counselor, psychologist or social worker that has completed training to oversee the management of other practitioners. Usually one hour of supervision is required for every 40 hours of client contact a coach may have. Documentation of these supervisory sessions are required and will be submitted to the certification board with your certification application.
  6. Once your practice hours and documentation of the supervision are completed, you submit the paperwork to your state’s certification board. When the certification is approved, you are issued the certificate.
  7. It is important you retain this certificate, because every job you apply for will ask for a copy of this document.
  8. Throughout the next few years, you must regularly take continuing education courses for the renewal of your certificate. Every certification board outlines the courses and number of continuing education credits you are required to complete.

If you want to know where you can take the training courses to be a recovery coach, please go to my web site and look for approved training organizations in your state. Here is a link to this list:

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