Peer Support Core Curriculum Minimum Standards

Consumer Advocacy
Behavioral Health

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Minimum Training Standards, effective 1/1/2019

A total of 60 hours and include the following 13 domains and competencies as listed below: 

Domain 1: Engagement

  1. Understand the importance and value of positive interpersonal skills
  2. Understand and identify examples of effective coaching techniques, including promotion of developing choice-based health behaviors
  3. Understand the value of person-centered care
  4. Identify relationship building through mutual respect and trust, and shared experience
  5. Understand positive recovery-oriented care and attitudes
  6. Identify ways to establish healthy peer relationships while modeling personal responsibility
  7. Understand and practice the importance of establishing and maintaining a peer relationship rather than a hierarchical relationship

Domain 2: Support

  1. Ability to assist individuals in identifying their basic needs, support systems, and strengths and resiliencies
  1. Ability to assist individuals with identifying and setting personal peer-driven goals to capitalize on said strengths and resiliencies
  2. Identify the stages of change
  3. Consistently demonstrate support for individuals in ordinary and extraordinary circumstances
  4. Understand the difference between mental health, substance use and co-occurring disorders
  5. Understand relapse as a part of recovery
  6. Understand the basic components of Medication Assisted Treatment and other treatment options in the community
  7. Recognize, understand, and effectively navigate the impact of trauma on recovery with trauma-informed care principles
  8. Understand HIV and the treatment
  1. Understand Opiate Use Disorders and the use of Narcan in an emergency

Domain 3: Lived Experience

  1. Understand ways to use your voice and lived experience to be a change agent for person-centered care and system advancements
  2. Understand mutuality and the benefits
  3. Model personal recovery and self-care
  4. Educate family members to understand and practice supporting the person in power of choice and self-advocacy
  5. Develop strategies to combat compassion fatigue with peer self-care and awareness

Domain 4: Personalizes Peer Support

  1. Understands what Peer Support is and the history of it.
  2. Understands the scope of practice of a Certified Peer Support Specialist and the different roles including peer to peer and parent to parent support services.
  3. Understand multiple pathway approach to recovery
  4. Understand and practice empowering person-centered recovery with power to choose
  5. Understand how personal values and culture may contribute to biases, judgments and beliefs
  6. Understand the importance of respect including as it relates to cultural and spiritual beliefs and practices of peers and their families
  7. Masterfully incorporate self-disclosure and active listening to facilitate the usage of lived experience to recovery
  8. Understand the value of social learning through shared experiences and self-disclosure

Domain 5: Recovery Planning

  1. Understand the components of a person-centered Wellness and Recovery Service Plan (WRSP) based on the individual's identified goals
  2. Understand the service documentation requirements
  3. Understand how the CPSS's personal wellness and recovery impacts the ability to support peers
  4. Understand the reasons for and methods used to self-monitor wellness

Domain 6: Resources, Services & Supports

  1. Understand the Behavioral Health Community and online resources available to support recovery
  2. Collaborate with peers to identify and coordinate community services to align with person choice and goals
  3. Maintain and use available and current resources to continue peer-support education to advocate and endorse wellness and recovery

Domain 7: Health, Wellness & Recovery Skills

  1. Apply coaching, modeling, and education skills to all domains of recovery
  2. Use goal setting, self-determination, and informed decision making as strategies to promote wellness
  3. Collaborate with individuals to identify and establish positive relationships
  4. Understand ways to promote holistic Health and Wellness including utilizing healthy recreation and relationships; enacting self-awareness

Domain 8: Crisis Management

  1. Understand the importance of recognizing, assessing and responding to risks and challenges for continued safety and well-being under distress
  2. Understand the process of evaluating the peers safety and how to facilitate connecting the peer with other professionals as needed
  3. Understand the impact of being confronted with another person's trauma on their own personal wellness
  4. Understand the importance of facilitating safety in seeking wellness and recovery
  5. Recognize various crisis and emergency situations and how to use organizational/departmental chain of command to address or resolve issues
  6. Understand Opiate Use Disorders including signs of Opiate overdose and Narcan administration
  7. Understand triggers, distress, and early indicators of crisis

Domain 9: Communication

  1. Understand the value and types of listening skills including empathetic and active listening
  2. Practice respectful verbal and written communication with professionals and other peers
  3. Use person-centered language
  4. Maintain documentation and collect data as required
  5. Understand how to model and educate on conflict resolution
  6. Understand effective coaching techniques such as Motivational Interviewing
  7. Define and understand the importance of person-first recovery language at all times to support personal recovery and empowerment
  8. Understand conflict resolution and problem solving skills
  9. Identify group facilitation skills to promote support and self-efficacy

Domain 10: Collaboration & Teamwork

  1. Be familiar with resources and requirements of clinical supervision
  2. Contribute to care team while maintaining professional relations
  3. Establish organization and interpersonal skills to facilitate recovery
  4. Understand collaborative advocacy and partnership
  5. Know the State of Nebraska's mandated reporting laws and inform clients of said duty to report
  6. Identify ways to inform clients of the CPS role related to Mandated Reporting

Domain 11: Leadership & Advocacy

  1. Develop strategies for teaching clients about self-advocacy, informed choice, rights and responsibilities to clients
  2. Identify the multiple pathways to recovery and recovery resource advocacy
  3. Identify tools for effective outreach and continuity of care

Domain 12: Professional Growth & Development

  1. Identify and understand the CPSS scope of practice and adhering to this scope through setting             professional boundaries
  2. Understand the ways to increase CPSS success and satisfaction with their scope of practice and career advancement
  3. Utilize one's own strengths and limitations
  4. Adhere to Nebraska Code of Ethics requirements on confidentiality and decision making
  5. Identify stress management strategies for professionals
  6. Understand confidentiality in addiction treatment CR42

Domain 13:  Ethics (Minimum 10 hours)

  1. Discuss and identify Boundaries in a peer relationship
  2. Confidentiality and role of the Peer Specialist
  3. Role of Mandatory reporting with emphasis on ethics
  4. Review of the Nebraska Peer Support Code of Ethics
  5. Review of  Nebraska Peer Support Service Definition       

If you have any questions regarding the process, please email your questions to, or call the OCA at (402) 471-7736.