Transformation Center


Voicing lived experience...Generating mental health wellness through community, policy, training and peer support

Certified Peer Specialist Training (CPS)


The next CPS Training Class will be held Boston in the Spring of 2018. (Location to be announced.) We will post more information here on the website as soon as it becomes available.

For questions regarding the CPS training program, please e-mail:

What is Peer Support?

When people who have had experiences with emotional distress or trauma and give each other encouragement, hope, assistance, understanding and to share resources to aid in recovery, it is called peer support. One of the most helpful things one person can say to (or hear from) another is “I’ve been there.”

Certified Peer Specialists (CPS) & Code of Ethics

CPSs have been trained to share their experiences in the mental health system and in recovery to effectively carry the message that “Recovery is Real!” and commit to the Massachusetts CPS Code of Ethics.  We share our experience, strength and hope with people using services, mental health professionals, policy makers and others in our lives.  A CPS can impact peoples’ beliefs about their own capacity to recover and challenge assumptions about the capacity of others to recover.

Do I need to become a CPS to give Peer Support?

No! There are many more people offering valuable peer support than there are paid roles for Certified Peer Specialists. Certification is expected in many paid peer specialists roles and yet many other peer support roles do not require certification.

Peer supporters may attend various other trainings and may receive certificates for different educational experiences, but are not Certified Peer Specialists.  Some peer supporters may lead groups or function in roles to assist others with warm lines, employment, computer training, art, to name just a few.

The Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) Training

CPSLogoA rigorous training for people preparing for the Certified Peer Specialist role in the mental health system.  CPS is not an entry- level position and the training is not geared to people just beginning to learn about peer support work.

The CPS program includes classes that covers 24+ modules including small group activities and homework.     After completing the class,    students are eligible to take a written examination for the CPS Certificate.  Students demonstrate a host of abilities that are necessary in the Certified Peer Specialist’s role, including:

Fundamentals of Peer Support
Cross-Cultural Partnering
Moving Through Fear
Human Experience Language


Upcoming CPS Training Classes


More information on the Spring 2018 class will be posted as soon as it becomes available. If you would like to view the application from the Winter 2018 class as a reference then you can click on the applications below.

CPS-App-Winter-2018  (PDF Version)

CPS-App-Winter-2018 (Word Version)

Preparing for CPS Training

Tools to help you focus and assess your skills in one-to-one peer support, sharing your story to inspire hope and being an agent for change (click on the links below):


CPS Code of Ethics

Frequently Asked Questions

Introductory Video

CPS Prep Videos and Manual

CPS Supervisor Training Videos & Resources



If you wish to schedule individual tutoring to re-take the CPS exam please email


The next opportunities to take the CPS exam will be in September 2017.

If you wish to re-take the exam please email

Recent Classes:

  • Fall 2017 – KIVA Center, Central Mass RLC, Worcester – ongoing
  • Spring 2017-VINFEN Training Center, Somerville  -completed Jun 2, 2017
  • Winter 2017-Cape Point Hotel, W. Yarmouth, MA  – completed Feb 17, 2017
  • Fall 2016-Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA  – complete Nov 16, 2016     
  • Spring 2016-Easton, MA  – completed May, 2016
  • Winter 2016-Lexington, MA   – completed Jun, 2016
  • Fall 2015-KIVA Center, Worcester, MA   – complete Nov 16, 2015  

Policy Manual

All the policies related to the CPS class, including the application process, acceptance process, class design and testing, are described in the manual.

CPS Program Policy Manual  (approved May 2017)

Oversight Committee

The CPS Oversight Committee advises the CPS Training Program Coordinator regarding all aspects of the program, including curriculum, training and testing processes, policy and procedures, program evaluation, and meeting the needs of the community.

Membership is made up of people with expertise in education, research, testing, hiring and integrating Certified Peer Specialists into the public mental health system, CPS practitioners and persons with lived experience who are not CPS.

Oversight Committee Members June 2017


May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

Feb 2017

Jan 2017




Certified Peer Specialist Training Team at

The Transformation Center ~ 98 Magazine Street ~ Roxbury, MA 02118

Phone 617-442-4111 ~ Toll Free 1-877-769-7693 ~ Fax 617-442-4005