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Do I need to be certified to work as a Peer Specialist? (RSPS/MHPS)

This article is to answer the question if you need to be certified before working as a peer.

You do not need to be certified to start working in a peer role. You can start applying and get hired into a peer position right away. However, there is some information you should be aware of if you are to start working before obtaining a certification. 


Most organizations will require that you meet the minimum qualifications for Peer Specialist Certification in order to get hired into a peer role:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • have lived experience with a mental health condition, substance use issue, or both
  • have a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma
  • be willing to appropriately share your recovery story
  • be able to demonstrate current self-directed recovery, and
  • pass criminal history and registry checks (link when live)

Texas Administrative Code (TAC) RULE §354.3051 Minimum Qualifications.


If you are hired without a certification, it is likely that your organization will require you get certified within a certain timeframe from your hire date. Usually employers require peers to be certified within 90 days, 6 months, or 1 year. 


You can find peer jobs through PeerForce's employment job board or other job search sites.