Certified Prevention Specialist Requirements

CPS (Certified Prevention Specialist) – Important Changes! The Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification (MBSACC), the organization responsible for granting certification for prevention specialists (CPS), has a new website: http://www.mbsacc.com/. Information about the certification process can now be found on this site (under General Information, scroll down to the link for CPS).

MassTAPP would like to share a few of the significant changes to the requirements and process:

• In 2017, MBSACC will be transitioning from written exams to computer-based testing.

• For initial certification, distance learning (online) courses and trainings may now be counted for up to 30% of the total number of education hours required. Distance Learning accrued prior to January 1, 2017 is not admissible. (See p.3 of the “CPS Information and Requirements” document on the website)

• For initial certification, the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) and Prevention, Practice, and Theory (PPT) CEU Education requirements of 30 hours each: applicants are no longer required to have 5 hours in each of the sub-categories such as opioids, alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, addictions 101, and prescription drugs for ATOD. The sub-categories are examples of the types of trainings that would count for the 30 hours needed in the ATOD category. For example, you could have 20 hours in alcohol and 10 in opioids or all 30 hours in prescription drugs. The same goes for the PPT category – the sub-categories are examples of trainings that would count and applicants are no longer required to get 5 hours in each sub-category. A breakdown of the categories of education hours required for certification can be found on p. 6 of the same document

• For recertification, 20 of the 40 education hours may be taken online. (See the “Prevention Recertification Policy” document)

As you plan to apply for certification or recertification, you may find the following documents helpful: