This is an overview of the certification process for Texas Peer Specialists, which includes both Mental Health Peer Specialists and Recovery Support Peer Specialists.
BEFORE YOU START: It is important to be aware that you will be required to pass a background check as part of the certification process. To learn about this process and the specific requirements, we recommend reviewing this article before starting the steps below.
1. Complete the Texas Peer Specialist Orientation and Self-Attestation on the HHSC Website
Completing the online orientation is the first step to becoming a certified Peer Specialist in Texas. This orientation will provide you with an overview of the career field, help you gauge your readiness, and ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements needed to obtain your certification.
The orientation information is located here.
Save Your Letter of Completion
Once you read through the self-assessment questions and orientation resources, you will need to download and sign the attestation of completion located at the bottom of the HHSC webpage. You will need a copy of this to register for training.
2. Register for Training with a Certified Training Entity
Peer Training in Texas is provided by independent Certified Training Entity organizations. You can register for Peer Specialist training opportunities through these organizations directly. PeerForce provides a consolidated calendar of various training dates offered in Texas. You can view this calendar to find upcoming training. Training opportunities are offered in both in-person and virtual formats. The training entity you register with will provide all the information you need to attend the course.
Complete the Core Training Course
This core training is a 19.5-hour, in-person or online workshop that will give you a comprehensive overview of what peer support is, and what peer specialists do, and familiarize you with the role and functions of a Peer Specialist.
Complete the Supplemental Training Course
This training is a 40 to 46-hour, in-person or online training workshop that helps peers learn and practice the essential skills for a Peer Support Specialist. In order to move forward with your state application, you must also pass a knowledge assessment at the end of the course.
For more information about the Core and Supplemental training requirements, check out our Training FAQs.
3. Apply for Certification with the Texas Certification Board
After you complete Core and Supplemental training, you will begin your application process with the Texas Certification Board (TCB).
TCB uses a digital application portal called Certemy. You will be uploading information into your Certemy application for the duration of your internship and supervision period.
Typically, the training entity you complete your training with will help you set up your Certemy account and start your initial application.
You must complete the initial application to be able to move to the full certification phase. The full certification phase will be the second part of the application, where you will be required to complete your 250 hours of work experience to become fully certified (2-year certification). However, if you are unsure about how to do this, or are having trouble, check out the video below.
4. Complete 250 Supervised Work Experience Hours
In order to acquire an MHPS or RSPS full certification, you will need to complete 250 hours of work experience, also referred to as an internship. When completing your hours, you will be required to work with a Texas Certified Peer Specialist Supervisor (PSS), either in-person or online. These internship hours can be done on the job or in a volunteer position, as long as they are signed off on by a Peer Specialist Supervisor and logged in your Certemy application. Certemy will walk you through how to give PSS access to your application to log your work experience hours. You cannot start your hours unless you have received your initial 6-month Peer Specialist certification.
💡If you are needing help finding a supervisor or a place to complete your work experience hours, check out our Work Experience and Supervision FAQs.
5. Submit Your Final Application
After completing the necessary 250 work experience hours, your Peer Specialist Supervisor will input your hours and any information required by TCB to get credit for completing them. You will receive a Letter of Recommendation from your PSS that you will upload to this part of the application process and complete your last step of the full certification process. TCB will then review your application for approval. It may take up to 30 days for TCB to process and notify you of the status of your peer certification. Once they approve your application, you will be required to renew every 2 years. See our FAQ on renewal requirements.