The legislative session is officially coming to an end. Recovery advocates had worked on a policy for the past six years which would require peer recovery support specialists in Nevada to obtain certification. In past sessions, several other policies had been proposed without the input of the peer recovery support specialist workforce or the people who utilize these services. This session, advocates had worked to craft a sensible policy to establish a mandatory certification process for peer recovery support specialists and those who supervise peer recovery support specialists. People in recovery, families, and other advocates worked with their legislators this session to pass SB69. They wrote letters, submitted comments to committee members, made phone calls, and organized their community around this issue.
SB69 has passed through the Senate and the Assembly. The bill is now on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
Currently in Nevada, we have a voluntary certification process for Peer Recovery Support Specialists. Anyone may use the title of Peer Recovery Support Specialist without obtaining certification, completing training, or with guarantee that they’re receiving supervision to maintain the fidelity of the services.
What does this mean for Peer Recovery Support Specialists and Supervisor?
Peer recovery support specialists and those who supervise peer recovery support specialists will need to obtain state certification through the Nevada Certification Board by meeting the requirements for certification. The Nevada Certification Board is a member board of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium.
The requirement for state certification only applies to adults who are providing peer recovery support services as a regular part of their job duties and who are being compensated.
Certification will not be required for volunteer peer recovery support specialists or youth providing peer support to other youth.
The provisions in SB69 on Peer Support Specialist certification does not create any substantial barriers for Peer Support Specialists, but helps our state standardize the Peer Recovery Support workforce. Some benefits include:
- Standards for employers
- Baselines for initial training and continuing education requirements
- Standards in ethics & practice
- Standards in language and titles (e.g. peer recovery support specialist, certified peer recovery support specialist, recovery coach, etc.)
- Elevates a workforce of people in recovery
- Allows for better workforce analysis & labor statistics
- Overall, protects the individual, peer, and public.
I’m currently providing peer support, when do I need to finish my certification?
If signed into law by the Governor, individuals who have been providing peer recovery support services on or before January 1, 2022 may continue to provide peer recovery support without certification until July 31, 2023.
What are Peer Recovery Support Specialists?
The workforce of Peer Recovery Support Specialists is well established across the country and rapidly emerging here in Nevada. Peer Recovery Support Specialists use their lived experience and training to connect people with resources, act as a mentor and model recovery behavior, build relationships, help participants set goals and build recovery plans, advocate for the rights, wellbeing, and recovery of their participants, and encourage resilience and any transitions back to the community.