Many individuals and organizations have received communication from either the Illinois Certification Board (aka, IAODAPCA) or the Department of Human Services/Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA) regarding the development of Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) in Illinois.

This memo serves to offer clarification and guidance regarding the role and purpose of the CPRS and the CRSS (Certified Recovery Support Specialist) credential.

Similarities between CPRS and CRSS:

  • Intended for individuals with lived experience (see chart below for further clarification)
  • Professional credentials offered through the Illinois Certification Board (ICB, aka IAODAPCA)
  • Built upon the Illinois Model for CRSS (the Illinois Model for CRSS was the foundation upon which the national CPRS credential was written)

Differences between CPRS and CRSS:

CPRS  CRSS
For individuals who share the experience of recovering from a substance use or mental health disorder, either directly or as family members or significant others.  For individuals who share the direct experience of recovering from a mental health disorder or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
National credential  Illinois credential
Reciprocity between states No reciprocity between states

What if I already have the CRSS credential?

  • Individuals who currently have the CRSS credential will automatically be granted equivalency to the CPRS. Letters of explanation will be sent by ICB, with a new certificate enclosed, indicating a certification period beginning 10/1/17 through the person's current expiration date.
  • No action need be taken by the person with the CRSS. The process will be completed on your behalf by the Certification Board.
  • The new certificate will have the IC&RC seal on it, which is what identifies it as a national credential.

What if I'm going for the CRSS right now? Should I change course and go for the CPRS instead?

  • There is very little difference between the CRSS and the CPRS. Therefore, this may be a decision of personal choice.
  • However, the decision should be made after discussion between employee and employer. The Medicaid State Plan currently identifies CRSS as a required credential for certain services and some personnel classifications identify the CRSS as required for employment. The Medicaid State Plan is the basis for all Rule 132 Medicaid Services. The CPRS is not currently included in the Medicaid State Plan.
  • Some people may choose to obtain the CRSS, and then later go after the CPRS to ensure they have state-to-state reciprocity.

If you have additional questions, please contact Nanette Larson, DMH Deputy Director/Ambassador for Wellness & Recovery Services, at Nanette.Larson@illinois.gov , or by phone at 309-346-2094, x407.