National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals to Administer National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) Professional Credentialing Program

The National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals (NCBBHP) announced that going forward Mental Health America's (MHA) National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) program will be consolidated and managed by NCBBHP.

National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals

Peer-to-peer support is recognized as one of the most effective strategies in helping people with mental health conditions, substance use disorders or both achieve and maintain recovery and wellness. In support of national standards for peer services, the National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals (NCBBHP) announced that it will consolidate and manage Mental Health America's (MHA) National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS). The National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals is pleased to serve as the professional home to current and future National Certified Peer Specialists. The NCBBHP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Florida Certification Board, which is the entity MHA originally contracted with to develop and administer the credential on their behalf. The FCB has professionally credentialed peer specialists since 2006, offering a multi-level peer specialist credentialing portfolio that includes provisional certification, full certification, and, with the acquisition of the NCPS, advanced certification.

"It was a logical next step for the FCB to establish the National Certification Board of Behavioral Health Professionals to house the National Certified Peer Specialist credential. Our goal is to build upon the growth and success this fantastic national credential has recognized over the last three years," said Neal McGarry, CEO of FCB, and CEO of the newly formed NCBBHP.

In 2022, Mental Health America decided to remove itself from professional credentialing. Through discussion with both organizations' leadership, the decision was made to transition the current program to the National Certification Board of Behavioral Health Professionals. In partnership with MHA, the NCBBHP will lead this transition effort with the shared goal of honoring the value and intent of the current NCPS program and providing a professional home for current and future nationally certified peer specialists. "MHA has long been committed to the inclusion of lived experience and peers at all levels of mental health support - there is no change to this fundamental philosophy and commitment," said MHA CEO Schroeder Stribling. "MHA will continue our advocacy to advance the field of peer support, including through our policy advocacy and affiliate network."

About National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals (NCBBHP). The National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals is a newly formed, national organization that provides professional credentialing opportunities to state agencies, state organizations, and other stakeholder groups in support of their professional certification and regulation needs. The Board is a full-service, national third-party credentialing organization, providing high-quality, psychometrically sound, and legally defensible professional credentialing services, including Role Delineation Studies; Exam Blueprints; Item Banks; Exam Instruments; Standards Setting; Application Processing; Exam Administration; Continuing Education; Ethics and Discipline; and related Credential Maintenance services. We currently provide services in Florida, Oregon, Vermont, Michigan, and Illinois. The NCPS is a national program, currently supporting over 275 nationally certified peers and is available to any eligible applicant across the country. Our goal is to promote national standards and reciprocity for the credentialed professionals who provide behavioral health services to those seeking and maintaining recovery from mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

About the NCPS Credential. The National Certified Peer Specialist credential is awarded to those who have demonstrated advanced competency in mental health, and peer-to-peer services. The credential was conceived in 2015 by national peer leaders, developed by nationally recognized peer specialist subject matter experts, and validated by peers in the workforce. It is designed to build upon existing state-level peer specialist credentials and award advanced competency recognition to those who have at least three (3) years of current, full-time peer specialist experience, training, and the knowledge base to pass a 125 multiple-choice exam of advanced peer specialist competency.

Effective Date. Current certified professionals and applicants will be contacted individually with information on transitioning to the national board in early June 2022. We have over 35 years of experience in the development and management of certification programs and currently manage certification projects in six (6) different states and in Canada, working with more than 35,000 certified individuals. We are confident that our experience will result in a seamless transition to the new operation.

Call to Action. We are seeking advice and direction from as many peer-focused organizations as possible, with the goal of inclusivity. Anyone interested in serving on the National Certification Board of Behavioral Health Professionals Advisory Council to promote, support and guide our national credentialing efforts is encouraged to contact Amy Farrington, Director of Certification, at afarrington@flcertificationboard.org for an application.

Source: National Certification Board for Behavioral Health Professionals

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Categories: Psychiatry and Psychology

Tags: behavioral health professional, florida certification board, Mental Health America, peer specialist, Peer-to-peer support


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