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Peer Certification

MHA Peer Support Certification

Peer support specialists are in demand across systems and sectors. To meet this demand, Mental Health America has created the first national advanced peer specialist certification. This certification demonstrates a peer is at the top of the field.

The MHA National Certified Peer Specialist (MHA NCPS) certification recognizes peers with the lived experience, training, and job experience to work alongside healthcare teams. The certification is designed to exceed the standards used in public behavioral health around the country. A major purpose of the certification is to meet the needs of private health insurers and private practitioners.

Expansion of peer support into the private sector will open new career paths and opportunities, which have been previously unexplored, for thousands of peer supporters.


The MHA NCPS requires a minimum of a high school diploma or general equivalency degree and applicants have demonstrated competency through training and experience in the performance domains of:

  • Foundations of Peer Support
  • Foundations of Health Care Systems
  • Mentoring, Shared Learning and Relationship Building Mental Health America National Certified Peer Specialist Candidate Guide 4 Version 1.1
  • Activation and Self-Management
  • Advocacy
  • Professional and Ethical Responsibilities

To Apply

The test is a multi-stage process. To qualify for the exam, interested candidates must first review the MHA NCPS Candidate Guide and complete preliminary forms. The forms and more information are available here.

MHAPA is proud to serve as an official testing site for the MHA NCPS Credential. Learn more and start your application at!

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