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Peer Certification Update

Peer Certification Update | CAMHPRO

It has been two years since the passing of Senate Bill 803, and more than a year since CAMHPRO started the Peer Empowerment Partnership (PEP) to assist in peer involvement in the rollout of California’s first certification program for Peer Support Specialists.

As we head into 2023, we expect to see the first Peer Support Specialists certified. We will also soon see the opening up of training for areas of specialization. Our PEP team and CAMHPRO leaders have been at the table, giving input from the peer community every step of the way alongside advocates from other statewide peer organizations, such as CalVoices and Disability Rights California.

We want to continue to hear from you as we turn the page into the next chapter of peer certification in California. Your voice ALWAYS matters!

Here are several opportunities to get involved:

SB803 101: Please join the discussion at our monthly SB803 101 Webinar, the first Thursday of each month at noon. We will be reviewing the facts and providing updates as they roll out. We also will be documenting your input to give back to the state agencies responsible for implementing the certification process.

Substance Use Peer Advisory Group: We are also revamping our Substance Use Peer Advisory Group! We will be posting updates with NEW date and time, as well as a new focus toward inclusion and incorporation into the peer certification process.

Surveys: Results from our recent survey about the pre-exam experience will be available on our website soon. We will be starting another follow-up survey in January.

Ongoing Training and Support: The PEP trainers are continuing to support peers with the certification process, hosting exam-preparation and study support groups in each region, as well as providing personalized training and support for anyone seeking information on peer certification. See our CAMHPRO Event Calendar for times, dates, and links.

Community Collaboration: CAMHPRO will continue to advocate for peer involvement in the rollout of peer certification as part of the new Legislative Subcommittee of the CAMHPRO Public Policy Committee. Also, we will continue working with our coalition partners in Peers Advocating for Rights and Recovery (PARR) and will be helping with an upcoming Town Hall event on the topic of peer certification.

As much as ever, we uphold the values and work of our founder Sally Zinman and the statement of the Peer Movement, “Nothing About Us Without Us.” Peer Certification was started by the peer community and we need to continue to be the leading voice in every step of its implementation.


I have not been successful in finding a 6hour Law & Ethics class before Jan 2023 without paying a fee. My company has several Peers wanting to apply for grandfathering scholarships which are to be submitted prior to Dec 31, 2022 but need to complete a Law & Ethics class. Does anyone know of one?
- Hughes Marlene (Dec 01, 2022 06:20 PM)

Hello! I'd love to join the SB 803 monthly discussions but I am not sure how to do so... any suggestions? Thanks!
- Wallis Adams (Dec 02, 2022 09:43 PM)

I have been out of touch for a time and I would like to get reconnected and involved. Please add me to your e-mailings YMiranda.NAMI@gmail.com
- Yvonne Miranda (Dec 05, 2022 09:18 PM)

Hello!! I passed the exam and am now a California Certified Peer Support Specialist! Phewww. In reply to your call to get involved: The area of Ongoing Training and Support interests me a lot. I have led many NAMI group & classes, computer software trainings, and have had my WRAP facilitator certification. Are there any PEP trainer positions available? Looking forward to hearing from you about where I can "plug in". Cynthia "CC" Cantwell
- CC Cantwell (Dec 06, 2022 03:53 PM)

I’m interested in Peer Support Specialist certification and substance use advisory group.
- Earl Knox (Dec 16, 2022 12:19 AM)

I'm interested in updates of events
- Robert Angell (Jan 01, 2023 11:15 PM)

We are a peer run organization with staff that were amongst the first to take the exam last week. It was an extremely discouraging and demoralizing experience for some. There were entire sections of the exam that were heavily clinical when this exam is supposed to be an opportunity to be more inclusive of peer expertise. This exam needs more input from on the ground Peer Support Specialist that have lived experience. I am advocating for members of my staff to be more heavily involved.
- Ophelia Williams (Jan 03, 2023 04:26 PM)

Hello, I’m not sure if you can help but I want to let you know. I took the peer certification exam last week and passed, however, I have some feedback. Taking the exam was the worst testing experience I’ve ever experienced. Peers should not be expected to go through what it took to be able to take the test! I checked my computer system many times and the morning of my test and everything was fine. When I tried to check in for the test, it wasn't. I had to call our IT guy to help. Thank goodness he answered the phone! Also, it didn't specify ANYWHERE that Chrome doesn't work to take the test but works to test your system until I tried to check in for the exam. I decided to try Edge and it worked. It should be stated somewhere clearly before that the test doesn't work on Chrome! I am very tech savvy. I have even studied computer science and if it was difficult for me, how can you expect people who aren't tech savvy to be able to set up for the test??? Also, a proctor who has no experience in peer support should not be the proctor for this test. People who are taking this test have mental health challenges and may often have very bad test anxiety. There was no empathy or understanding from the proctor. We are not clinicians and it was cold and clinical. I understand better when I can read questions out loud. I was also unable to do so. I couldn't even step away for 2 seconds to turn off my air conditioner. Instead I had to sit at my desk and take the test extremely cold and uncomfortable. Also, my cats were meowing the entire time because they were hungry. I asked the proctor if I could step away and feed them and he said no. If we are expected to take the test from home, a little understanding when things come up from that would be great. Overall, I can say the experience was horrible! I passed, but not without undue stress and I even cried out of frustration during the test.
- Jennifer Carter (Feb 04, 2023 11:38 PM)

Hello, I am looking for a study group to prepare for the Peer Certification Exam. Sincerely, Joanne Westpoint
- Joanne Westpoint (Feb 09, 2023 05:35 PM)

Miss Sally she was and she is always will be missed we meet her and she is a wonderful humanitarian woman out of this world RIP
- Ana Enamorado (Feb 15, 2023 06:30 PM)

Are Organizations allowed to become members.
- Alloy Offu (Feb 22, 2023 08:30 AM)

I am new to your movement but very interested in its forward activities. God willing I will be participating in your Peer Certification training.
- Bernita Walker (Feb 24, 2023 11:42 AM)

I love Sally since the minute i meet she wake on me that fire to help people more i like to get a Peer Certification lets do it
- Ana Enamorado (Mar 10, 2023 11:32 AM)

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Natalie Conrad

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