Readiness Guide

Peer support specialists have a mental health diagnosis and at least one year of ongoing recovery.
With this experience and proper training, they are able to support others who are seeking recovery.

Recovery is defined as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. Peer support specialists offer hope and encouragement by sharing their experiences and knowledge. They offer support for individuals seeking recovery through change to live a life that they desire while identifying and focusing on their strengths.

If you are already certified as a peer support specialist in another state, you may be able to apply
for an Idaho peer support specialist certificate by reciprocity through the BPA form here:

Training eligibility requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Obtained GED, high school diploma, or higher education
  • Have a mental health diagnosis (or mental health + substance use disorder)
    and at least one year of ongoing recovery.

What to expect during the class:

  • Group discussions
  • Sharing your recovery story
  • Interactive training that will require occasional participation in breakout groups
  • Role playing scenarios that may include content that can be hard or re-traumatizing
  • Emotional support and guidance from instructors
  • Meeting and interacting with classmates who could become possible future co-workers
  • Stress relief activities and frequent breaks
  • Information on the certification process and various aspects of performing this job in Idaho
  • Helpful information on how to share your recovery story
  • Experienced information and guidance to help you and your future career

Course Application Process

Things due 30 days before class: March 5th, 2024

  • Complete and submit the training application HERE or use our contact form to request an application to be sent to you.
  • One Essay: Submit a Lived Experience Essay relating your own personal challenges, triumphs, problem solving methods, personal support system, and strategies for living with stressors.
  • Two letters: Submit both a professional letter of recommendation and a personal letter of recommendation.

Letters and Essay due no later than 30 days prior to first day of class.
Letters to be emailed to

If you are not accepted, you will receive an email with suggested areas of growth.

If your application is accepted, you will be contacted to schedule a Zoom interview, which takes about an hour.

After successful completion of your Zoom interview, you will receive an acceptance letter via email if you have been selected for the training and receive an invoice for the course fee. We require a response to this letter within 3 business days accepting or declining the invitation.

Self-funded payments must be received by Case Managers of Idaho no later than 10 business days before the class starts. Payments will be accepted in the form of card, check, cash, or money order. Payments must cover the $599 tuition and $50 for class materials. If you need to have your class materials shipped to you, you will need to include an additional $25 for shipping and handling.

All communication with Case Managers of Idaho for this course will be to or from a email address. Please check your spam folder if you have not seen an email you expected from us, and let us know if any of our communications end up in your spam folder!

Please note that, while being unable to pass an enhanced background check will not bar you from taking the course or even becoming certified in the state of Idaho, that condition could be a barrier to employment, even with a background check waiver. Check with any potential employer for more information on their policy of hiring individuals unable to pass a background check.

Personal preparation:

  • You will need to be in attendance for the full time each class day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time.
  • If you choose to attend in person in our Boise office, we will ask that you attend in person throughout the entire class, barring emergencies or other exceptions worked out with the class facilitators.
  • If you choose to attend via Zoom, you will need to have a non-mobile device (laptop or desktop computer) with a working webcam, microphone, keyboard, and a stable internet connection, in a space where you can expect privacy and no regular interruptions, to reduce distractions for yourself and other attendees.
  • Some of the stories shared may be sensitive. Please understand that none of the stories shared in class should be shared outside of class.
  • If you are attending via Zoom, it is recommended that you have as comfortable an area as possible, including a good chair, decent lighting, water or beverage of choice, and small items to help with any anxiety that may arise, as needed.
  • If you are attending in person, you may bring snacks or small items to help you feel comfortable.
  • If you are attending in person and have not received a COVID-19 vaccination, we ask that you wear a mask while in the classroom.
  • You will be given physical training materials after payment is received. You will be expected to have that manual accessible throughout the class, barring special circumstances (which must be discussed with class facilitators).
  • We ask that phones be silenced and put away during active class times and other distractions be minimized.
  • You will be expected to be alert, engaged, and as focused as possible during the class time. This will be part of your final score.
  • You will be required to have your video on during all active class times. If this is a hardship for you, please reach out to the class facilitators.
  • It’s a good idea to make sure you get plenty of sleep, take all appropriate medications, eat well, and practice good self-care during the week.
  • Review the following list (and any others) to address any challenges which may arise during training: Child care, pet care, self-care, time management and prioritization, technical and online resources, current job, medical or medication needs, financial challenges.

Cancellation Policy

  • If you have been accepted into, but have not yet paid for, the course, you may contact the facilitators or CMI before the payment due date to release your class seat or reschedule to a later class date.
  • If you have already paid and the class has not yet started and you wish to withdraw from the course, then you may contact the facilitators or CMI no later than 1 day before the class starts and have the following options:
    • If you wish to attend at a later date, you may change your registration to the later date without penalty, or
    • If you no longer wish to attend the course at all, you may contact CMI before the first class begins and a refund of the course fee, minus a $75 administrative fee. No refund will be given for the course materials.
  • If you have started the class, but decide you cannot complete the enrolled current course dates, then within the first day of the class you may talk to a facilitator about changing your enrollment to the next scheduled class time for a $200 class change fee.
  • If you decide after the class has started that you are no longer interested or capable of completing the course at all, no refund will be offered.
  • Exceptions may be made for personal emergencies. Reach out to a facilitator if you are having struggles completing the course!

Potential screening questions:

What is your understanding of what a peer support specialist is?

What does recovery mean to you?

Why are you interested in becoming a certified peer support specialist?

How has your recovery journey influenced you in wanting to be a peer support specialist?

What skills have you gained that help you know you are maintaining recovery?

How will you manage stressors or triggers that may arise as you participate in this training?

What three things do you do for self-care?

What is your definition of healthy boundaries?

Why is setting boundaries important?

What do you think about mental health care and the individuals who receive mental health care?

Do you know what a billable hour is?

What life-changing thing have you learned or un-learned in your journey to recovery?

What supports and resources do you have that help you maintain your recovery?