Create an Account       Log In       Become a Member

About CPSP Certification

You are here

Certification is a voluntary process for reviewing and approving an individual's credentials based upon clearly identified competencies, criteria, and standards. The primary purpose of certification is to ensure that people doing the work (whether paid or voluntary) meet consistent and high standards of performance.

The PSP Certification process began in late 2011. Currently, we are in the process of accepting applications for testing, with qualified applicants being asked to take an objective test at designated centers around the country.

How Do I Start the Process to Getting Certified as a Parent Support Provider?

Read the Core Competencies for Parent Support Providers to Get Knowledgeable About What Is Needed for Peer to Peer Support

First off, you'll want to view the core competencies below and read the full brief here. The core competencies described in this brief were derived from job descriptions of individuals currently working in the United States providing parent-to-parent support and advocacy for the families who have a child or youth with emotional, developmental, behavioral, substance use, or mental health challenges. Collection and analysis of these job descriptions began in 2007. The direct consensus method established the competencies needed in the field in December 2010. A DACUM job task analysis was completed in June 2011 and a national survey of knowledge, tasks, and abilities in September 2011. The knowledge and skills necessary to carry out these tasks have been incorporated in the development of the national examination for Parent Support Providers.

  • Ethics
  • Confidentiality
  • Effecting change
  • Currency on children’s behavioral  health  treatment and prevention information
  • Educational and IDEA information
  • Communication
  • Parenting for resiliency
  • Advocacy in and across systems
  • Empowerment
  • Wellness and natural support
  • Local Resource Information

If you have any questions, please contact Lynda Gargan, Senior Managing Director, 240-403-1901 or

Read the Candidate Handbook and Code of Ethics, and Review the Application to See What Needs to Be Provided and Abided by for PSP Certification

The Candidate Handbook has all the information you'll need to understand the PSP Certification process in its entirety -- it will be your guide as you fill out the application and provide peer to peer support in the field. The Code of Ethics will be your guide into sound and ethical practices while doing peer to peer support and outlines disciplinary actions if these are not followed. The application has all the information that you'll need to follow in order to submit a complete application and be considered for testing.

All of these materials can be found on our APPLY for PSP Certification page. This link is also found in the navigation bar above.

Make a Payment and Receive Instructions for Testing

Once you submit your application, you'll need to pay a non-refundable application fee. Scholarships are available on the APPLY page for assistance. If you application is accepted, you'll be given instructions on how to apply for a testing location and will be asked to pay the examination fee. More information on all of this will be given at the time of acceptance of application.

Find Resources to Keep You Current or Find a Local CPSP in Your Area

If you pass the test, you'll be awarded your certification status. We keep a running list in our files, as well as provide a search engine on this website for you to check your status and find CPSPs near you, in any specified state. As certification status requires recertification and continuing education, we have provided resources for you to utilize. We also offer info about upcoming trainings, conferences, and job openings to help you stay current in the field.

Don't Forget to Check Out the FAQs

They have answers to the most frequently asked questions about certification, recertification, etc. We'll be updating it as new questions arise.

Get Added to the Listserv

Regardless if you apply or not, it may be helpful to join the Certification Listserv, as it is the quickest and most up-to-date way (aside from the website) to get information on the latest happenings in certification, both at the Commission and in the field. You'll also be able to participate in surveys or comment on items as they become available. Email with the subject line "Add to Listserv".


If you have questions, please contact Lynda Gargan, Senior Managing Director, at 240-403-1901 or