Peer Recovery Specialists Certification

The Peer Recovery Specialist’s role falls between the position of recovery support individuals or sponsors and substance abuse or mental health counselors on a continuum of services. It has arisen from a need to connect substance abuse and mental health treatment to the wider continuum of recovery management. The Peer Recovery Specialist acts as a mentor, role model, advocate, and motivator, rather than a sponsor or therapist.

Three Young People Sitting In The Grass

General Requirements for Peer Recovery Specialist Certification

Generally, individuals seeking to become a Peer Recovery Specialist may need to complete a minimum number of training hours from an approved Recovery Community Organization (RCO), university, or college. Additionally, the applicant must reside in the state for at least 51% of the time, fill out an application form, adhere to a Peer ethical code of conduct agreement, pay an examination fee, and pass the Peer recovery examination to obtain certification in their state. 

Local Eligibility - Peer Recovery Specialist

Candidates applying for the Peer Recovery Specialist certification may choose to complete the Minnesota state-based Peer recovery exam which takes about two hours to complete and has approximately seventy-five questions. The Minnesota state-based Peer recovery exam has more state focused content.

National Eligibility - International Certifications & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC)

The IC&RC Peer recovery exam is an international exam and may transfer out of state or country. The standardized test is used nationwide and is valid in all member countries, states, and other certifying bodies of the IC&RC.

If you move and hold a credential that you would like to transfer, the first step is to contact the state member board you wish to transfer to, and check if they accept the certification. An application to transfer to another state is then started in the state you currently reside through an application process.

Certification & Credentialing Resource Websites

There are several options for certification, depending on what is right for you. Several organizations provide certification including the MCB, NAADAC, and UMICAD. To learn more about certification options in Minnesota additional information can be viewed at the websites provided below.

There are multiple pathways to becoming a Peer Recovery Specialist, and it is recommended to visit certification or credentialing websites for detailed information and application requirements.

Training, Continuing Education & Conferences Key Terms

There are many types of training, education and conferences to help you grow in your role. We will define some key terms to help you navigate your learning needs. Some of the key terms and definitions are listed below to learn more.

Evidence Based Practices (EBP) are occupational practices that are based on scientific evidence and aid in making decisions or acting in a standard way.

Professional development is the practice of gaining new skills through continuing education or training after entering the workforce. It can be by attending a training or educational classes, seminars, conferences, workshops, or earning a certificate to expand your knowledge and skills and grow in your area of work.

Continuing education is required for some licenses, registrations, and certification to show ongoing learning in a field of work before they can be renewed. Educational offerings are often called continuing education units or credits (CE or CEU’s). All education eligible for use as continuing education (CE)  credit must be in the approved peer domains and meet educational requirements. Individuals who complete a course or training for CE can use the certificate towards  renewal of  their credential or certification.

Peer Recovery Training Resources

The following organizations have been approved as providers of the 46 hours if initial training required. Their curriculum has been reviewed to ensure compliance with the IC&RC Peer recovery domain and relevant policies, providing a high-quality training experience. The approved providers are listed alphabetically by their organization name.

Are You Looking for Upcoming Training or Educational Events?

Check out the community calendar to find upcoming training, conferences and continuing education events.

Amethyst Recovery Solutions

Name of Curriculum: Amethyst Recovery Academy

Contact: Alex Doying


Name of Curriculum: Peer Recovery Specialist Academy

Contact: Brandy Brink


Phone: 507-779-7091

Location: 314 Chestnut St., Mankato, MN 56001


Phone: (651) 491-9786

Location: MN


Bold North Recovery and Consulting

Name of Curriculum: Recovery Coach Academy and Ethical Considerations

Contact: Randy Anderson


Phone: (763) 200-1180


Damascus Way

Name of Curriculum: School of Peer Recovery – Trauma-Informed Perspectives Authored by Intrinsic LLC 

Contact: Jacob Lusk


Phone: 651-356-8857


The Damascus Way Peer Recovery Specialist Training Program serves male reentry and recovey, and the BIPOC community.

Doc’s Recovery House

Name of Curriculum:  Recovery Coach Academy and Ethical Considerations

Contact: Derek Krueger


Phone: (507) 216-3353


Everythirdsaturday (ETS)

Name of Curriculum: Warrior’s Path Empowerment Training

Contact: Jon Engfer


Phone: (952) 356 – 5116


Please note that this training is specifically for military veterans.

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

Name of Curriculum:  CDEP 1001 – Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist

Contact: Donald Jarvinen


Phone: 218-879-0836


The training is offered as a 3 credit course. It is eligible for financial aid through the college and through JET. It is offered Friday 12 -4pm and Saturday 9 -1pm for 6 weeks Fall and Spring semesters. The eligibility requirements for this training are a high school degree or equivalent and be in recovery with a minimum of one year of being drug free.

MN Prevention & Recovery Alliance

Name of Curriculum: CCAR Recovery Coach Academy and Ethical Considerations

Contact: Tracee Anderson


Location: 1619 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Minnesota Recovery Connection

Name of Curriculum: Recovery Coach Academy

Contacts: Wendy Jones, Caddy Frink


Phone: (612) 584 – 4158 ext. 116

Location: 800 Transfer Rd., Suite #31, Saint Paul, MN 55114


Pathways to True Freedom

Refocus Recovery

Name of Curriculum: Connecting Positive Recovery to Peer Support 

Contact: Tim Balow, SUD Program Generalist


Phone: 312-388-3233 (cell)


The Refocus Recovery Peer Recovery Specialist Training Program can be tailored to serve populations of many ethnicities and cultures. 

Resources Justice & Management

Name of Curriculum: Resources Justice & Management

Contact: Gwendolyn Barber


Phone: 612-407-0776

Location: 501 Dale St. N. St. Paul, MN 55104


Rise Up Recovery

Name of Curriculum: Recovery Coach Academy and Ethical Considerations (CCAR)

Contacts: Tiffany Neuharth, Misty Broady

Email: or

Phone: (651) 319-0122


Twin Cities Recovery Progect, Inc.

Name of Curriculum: Peer – to – Peer Development Academy

Contact: Christopher Burks, Program Director

Phone: (612) 442-3001

Location: 3400 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55406


Notes: Culturally specific – African American (everyone is welcome).


Name of Curriculum: Peer Recovery Specialist Academy

Contact: Brandy Brink


Phone: 507-779-7091

Location: 314 Chestnut St., Mankato, MN 56001