Steps Toward Certification         

SCAPPA Certification Commission

To view the flow chart, please click here.

Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS)
Certified Senior Prevention Specialist (CSPS)

The SCAPPA’s Prevention Specialists Certifications (CPS and CSPS) are based on the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium/AODA, Inc. (IC&RC) competency based approach to prevention credentialing.  The SCAPPA Certification Board provides the opportunity for prevention specialists in the substance abuse and behavioral health field to qualify for and receive the credential for achieving a standard of professional education and experience necessary to provide quality substance abuse prevention services.  The demonstration of competency in prevention service delivery, through testing for certification and, then, through continuing education required to maintain certification, provides assurances to the public that prevention services are offered in an ethical and technically sound manner. Public confidence and funds-accountability are enhanced when programs have competent and knowledgeable staff who are skilled in the use of the latest and most ethical approaches to community-based prevention service delivery.


Broadly speaking, the candidate for certification must…        

  • Submit the completed application
  • Provide proof that he/she has met minimum standards with respect to training and experience
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the six core areas through written and oral examinations.

Specifically, the STEPS to accomplish your certification are as follows. A candidate for certification should…

  1. Request (in writing) the Application Package and send the appropriate payment. You will receive notification that you are formally “in process” and your certification file is opened.
  2. Review all the materials in your Application Package carefully.
  3. Recruit mentor(s) and request approval of your selected mentor(s).
  4. Complete and document on the appropriate forms all the education and training hours for each Core Area as required.
  5. As needed, submit “Applications for Prevention Certification Hours” to the Certification Training Review Committee for any education and training that you will list in your application.  However….  
  6. If a course or training event already has approval for prevention certification hours (if it appears on the list of SCAPPA-Approved Trainings), one does not need to send in another request for that event to be approved for hours.
  7. Request that transcripts be sent directly to the SCAPPA Certification Commission for inclusion in your file.
  8. While you are completing step 4, continue to work on accumulating hours with your approved mentor(s).
  9. Submit the completed Application Form, documenting all the required experience and education/training. 
  10. The Mentor sends in the “Documentation of Mentoring” form along with the signed, completed log of mentored hours.
  11. Once completed and submitted the application form and the mentoring documentation will be reviewed and approved by the Certification Peer Review Committee.
  12. The written exam may be taken at any point in the process. It is, however, recommended that it be done after completing and submitting the application package.(Payment of written exam fee is required)
  13. After successful completion of the written exam, the applicant will be invited to complete the oral interview. (Payment of an oral interview fee is required.)
  14. Candidates who do not successfully complete the written exam are required to wait 60 days before retaking the exam. (Payment of written exam fee is required)
  15. Upon successful completion of all requirements, certification is awarded.

For more detailed information about the SCAPPA Certification processes and requirements, see the SCAPPA Prevention Certification Manual and the Mentoring Handbook.

To view the flow chart, please click here.


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