Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification

Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification Program Certification Renewal and Continuing Education (CE)

Overview 

Certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists (CMPSS) provide recovery-oriented, culturally appropriate services that promote engagement, socialization, self-sufficiency, self-advocacy, natural support, and are trauma aware. To maintain certification, renewal every two years is required.  A certification that is not renewed by its expiration date is deemed expired. State standards require applicants to satisfy renewal standards, including completing twenty (20) hours of continuing education, inclusive of six (6) hours of law and ethics training, prior to submitting a renewal application. and paying associated fees. Applications for renewal may be submitted no more than 90 days prior to expiration. Applications submitted after the certification has expired are subject to additional fees and may cause delays in renewal.  

State Standards for Renewal of Certification
  • Certification renewal is required every 2 years to maintain certification. 
  • Certification is considered expired if not renewed by its expiration date. 
  • Applicants must complete 20 hours of continued education prior to submitting the renewal application. 
  • Applicants must read and re-sign agreements to adhere to the Code of Ethics for Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists in California. 
  • Fees must be paid at the time of submitting the application. 
Application Process
  • Application must be submitted online through the certification website. 
  • Applications may be submitted up to 90 days prior to the expiration. 
  • Certification must be in good standing. 
  • Applicant attests to having met the 20 hours of continuing education requirement, inclusive of the six 6 hours of Law and Ethics. 
  • Applicant shall maintain records of continued education hours for two 2 years from the date of request for renewal. 
 

Reminder: Applicants are NOT required to submit proof of continuing education hours at the time of submitting a renewal application. However, the certifying entity performs random records review. If selected, applicants will be notified, and proof of continuing education hours will be required to be submitted. Applicants must retain your continuing education certificates for at least two years from the date of certification renewal. Failure to comply with continuing education requirements may result in a disciplinary action against your certification  

Notification of Renewal 

As a courtesy, CalMHSA will send a notification of renewal via email to eligible individuals 90 days prior to date of expiration. CalMHSA will use the email address on file. Expired, suspended, and revoked certifications are not considered in good standing and therefore not eligible for renewal.  

Continuing Education Hours 

To maintain certification, a certified MPSS must complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years from the date of the initial certification and thereafter for renewal. Six hours of law and ethics t are required during each two-year cycle. Eligible continuing education courses promote professional development, aimed at enhancing the quality of care provided. Applicants are responsible for taking courses within their scope of practice.  

To satisfy the renewal requirements, courses must be non-repetitive (i.e., the same CE course cannot be claimed more than one time during each certification period, even if the course was taken annually). Courses may be taken in various ways, including asynchronous, in-person, and online and through a variety of trainers.  

The following are topic areas related to Law and Ethics:  

  • Law and ethics relevant to California; treatment of minors; state and federal confidentiality laws; record keeping; crisis support; client access to records; dual relationships; child abuse; elder and dependent adult abuse; telehealth services; insurance reimbursement; civil liability; disciplinary actions and unprofessional conduct; ethics complaints and ethical standards; standards of care; relevant family law; disclosures to clients; and the application of legal and ethical standards in different types of work settings. 
Acceptable Training, Education, Coursework 

Acceptable training, education, coursework may include:  

  • Courses fundamental to the understanding or practice of peer support; 
  • Courses of the discipline of peer support in which significant recent developments have occurred; 
  • Courses of other disciplines that enhance the understanding of the practice of peer support specialists; and 
  • Courses related to the treatment of the client population being served (e.g., theoretical frameworks of recovery and wellness; intervention techniques with individuals, families, and systems of care). 
  • Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist certification training and training in areas of specialization (CalMHSA-approved training providers). 
  • Courses that cover pragmatic aspects of clinical practice (e.g., legal or ethical issues, consultation, recordkeeping, supervision training). 
Calculating Continued Education Hours

One (1) hour of direct educational training instruction is equal to one (1) hour of continuing education (CE), excluding breaks.  

For undergraduate or graduate course work, three (3) units of coursework are equal to twelve (12) hours of continuing education units. Breaks are excluded from direct training instructional requirements and must not be counted towards the 1-hour direct educational training requirement. 

For training where certificates of attendance are not available (i.e., conferences) a copy of the conference agenda with detailed information on the session shall be maintained as a record by the applicant. For courses through accredited schools, transcripts shall be maintained as a record. Breaks are excluded from direct training instructional requirements and must not be counted towards the 1-hour direct educational training requirement.   

Continuing Education Sources

For continuing education (CE) hours towards renewal of certification, CalMHSA will accept CE hours for the following:

Maintenance of Records

Certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists are responsible for maintaining a record of continuing education hours for the purpose of certification renewal. Records should be retained for a minimum of two (2) years from the date of certification renewal application. The certifying entity performs random records review. If selected, applicants will be notified, and proof of continuing education hours will be required to be submitted. Failure to comply with continuing education requirements may result in a disciplinary action against your certification. Evidence of participation in courses must include, but not limited to, the following:   

  • Your legal name 
  • Title of course, training, and/or event  
  • Date(s) of participation and/or course completion 
  • Event sponsor and/or training provider name (i.e., SAMHSA) 
  • Number of direct instruction hours  

 

Hint: If the training event title does not clearly identify the instructional content, maintain a copy of information from the training event, such as an agenda or syllabus. In the absence of complete documentation, contact the training provider directly. Keep the updated information as a record. For coursework through an accredited school, maintain a copy of your transcripts (unofficial will be accepted).  

Quality Assurance  

CalMHSA will conduct a random review of continuing education records. Individuals who are selected in the sampling will be notified via email and must submit electronic proof of CE documentation to the certifying entity within ten (10) days of request for review and approval.  

Please note that failure to meet CE requirements may result in disciplinary action. See Code of Ethics and Violations Guidelines for more information.