Frequently Asked Questions about PSS Training
No. While we train and prepare individuals for employment as Peer Support Specialists, we do not employ/pay applicants during training, nor do we employ them upon graduation. We do email graduates when we are notified of opportunities but securing a job after graduation is up to you.
We do not have scholarships available at this time, however we can make payment arrangements. If you need a payment arrangement, please reach out to our Recovery Education Manager to discuss options.
No, we cannot guarantee anyone a job upon completion of our training. This training provides the baseline of information you need to begin work. It covers all the core competencies for PSS defined by Colorado and SAMHSA, as well as the IC&RC Domains and Indicators. You will be in a good position to find a job, but that will be up to you. If you qualify for Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) services, they may be able to help as well.
We are looking for applicants who are passionate in providing support to others in their recovery and whose main career goal is to become a Peer Support Specialist. They must be someone with lived experience with mental health conditions, substance use conditions, and/or trauma. They must also have had enough recovery/wellness time that they feel they are prepared to focus on assisting others. Please refer to our application requirements online to make sure you meet the additional requirements listed. Applicants must also be able to attend all sessions of the training and must have basic computer skills to complete assignments outside of class.
No. Acceptance to our training has become competitive due to a limited number of slots available and increased interest. We will interview applicants and carefully look at applications and references in order to select those who seem like the best fit.
We will update you on your application status shortly after your interview. If you are not accepted, your application may be considered for the next available training we offer.
No, we do not accept any applications after the cut-off date for that specific training. If you miss the cut-off for one training, you are welcome to apply for the next available training.
No. You must be accepted first. Once accepted, we will ask for a non-refundable deposit to hold your spot.
We are looking for someone who can attest to your interactions with others as well as your professional conduct. Reference writers should be able to speak to traits like empathy, responsibility, interpersonal skills, communication skills, etc. If a previous employer, coworker, volunteer supervisor, or other individual in your life (other than a service provider or family member) can speak to those abilities, then they could serve as your reference.
This depends on the organization you would like to work for and the nature of your criminal record. We recommend that you reach out to the employer you would like to work for and ask them what their policy is on hiring those with a record.
No. Our training fulfills the training requirements to sit for the IC&RC credentialing exam, however there are other steps to obtaining the credential like completing work hours and supervision hours. (Note: Many employers in Colorado do not require the credential.)
What is the difference between taking the CMWN Peer Support Specialist training and getting the IC&RC credential?
The CMWN PSS training is an educational program focused on core competencies for new Peer Support Specialists. This includes ethics, role integrity, trauma-informed care, self-care, and communication skills. Our training prepares you to begin work, whether you decide to apply for the IC&RC credential or not. The IC&RC credential certifies a certain level of skill as a PSS. Applicants for the credential must have completed training, a certain number of hours of employment or volunteer time, and a certain number of supervised time. They must also pass the credentialing exam. The credential is not awarded through CMWN. If you’d like to learn more about the credential, click here.
No. Many employers do not require the credential and those that do will usually ask you to get it after you’ve been working for a period of time. It’s not possible to take the credentialing exam until you have worked a certain number of hours. If you have a specific organization in mind for employment, we suggest you reach out and ask if they require the credential. (Note: Most employers in Colorado do not require the credential.)
We strongly recommend that anyone working as a Peer Support Specialist receive training, whether it is with CMWN or another organization. While there are organizations that will hire people without any training, we don’t recommend that as the best course of action.
I was trained and credentialed as a Peer Support Specialist (or its equivalent) in another state. Do I need this training in order to work in Colorado?
If you have already been trained as a Peer Support Specialist, you do not need to take our training in order to find employment. If you are interested in reciprocity, you will need to contact the Colorado Providers Association (COPA) who currently is the only organization offering a credential in Colorado. However, if for whatever reason you have not met the training requirements needed in order to get your credential, please reach out to our Program Coordinator or our Recovery Education Manager to see if you need this training.
What is the difference between a peer specialist, a recovery coach, a peer advocate, and a peer recovery support specialist?
Depending on the organization you work for and the state you are credentialed in, Peer Support Specialists can be referred to by some of the names listed above. Specific job duties may vary between organizations but if the Peer Specialist ethical guidelines are followed, the roles are very similar.
Yes, if you have a service animal you may bring it to class with you.
We do not offer this course online. While some of our course work is done online as homework, there are many elements of the training that must be completed face to face and cannot be replicated through online courses.