Important Changes to the National Certified Recovery Specialist (NCRS) Credential

Important Changes to the National Certified Recovery Specialist (NCRS) Credential

The Illinois Department of Human Services/Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) would like to announce changes to the National Certified Recovery Specialist (NCRS) credential, including a change in the administrator of the NCRS and the granting of equivalency for the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) credential. Effective February 1, 2023, the Illinois Association of Extended Care (IAEC) partnered with the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) to provide the application and certification process of the NCRS credential for Illinois.

The NCRS was developed in 1976 to provide affirmation, encouragement and peer recognition of staff that work in or volunteer at Halfway Houses, Recovery Homes, Sober Rooming Houses, Neighborhood Recovery Centers and other Social Model Programs and Centers. The NCRS is in accordance with the Illinois Standards, Code of Ethics and in compliance with the Illinois Administrative Code - Title 77 - Section 2060.509 for Recovery Homes.

All current, new, and expired NCRS credential holders may begin the process to obtain this new NAADAC-administered credential beginning February 1, 2023. The first step will be to complete the Information Transfer Form through NAADAC.

Current and recently lapsed NCRS credential holders have the one-time opportunity to transfer their current training, education, work experience, and supervision hours directly to NAADAC and become appropriately credentialed without additional testing requirements. This offer is available for six months. At the end of the transfer window, the only path to obtain the NCRS credential is to undergo the full application and testing process. Questions about this process can be sent to Kyle Brewer, BS, PRPS, NAADAC Peer Specialist Program Manager, at

In addition, beginning March 1, 2023, the Illinois Certification Board (ICB), in conjunction with the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (ICRC) will offer the opportunity for those with the NCRS credential to apply for the granting of equivalency for the CPRS.

The CPRS credential is an ICRC reciprocal credential. Some current NCRS holders took the CPRS exam when the credential was formally administered by the ICB. ICB will be able to verify this for some members, but not all.

To obtain equivalency, an individual with the NCRS must show the following:

  • Proof of having passed the CPRS (ICRC Peer Recovery) exam
  • Completion of forty (40) peer recovery support-specific continuing education units (CEUs); and,
  • Documentation of six (6) months of paid, qualified work experience and,
  • The applicant must have a high school diploma or a GED.

To apply for this granting of equivalency, applicants must meet the above criteria, pay a $65 application fee, an initial certification fee of $60, and thereafter a like amount annually. The application will be available on ICB's website beginning March 1, 2023.

This offering period will end on August 29, 2023, and it is important to note that after this date, no applications may be accepted for the granting of the equivalency process. Applications must be postmarked on or before August 29, 2023. For further information, please contact Dianne Williams at

As a reminder, per Rule 2060, Recovery Homes must employee at least one full-time Recovery Home Operator and at least one Recovery Home Manager, though the Operator may also function as the Manager if the requirements for both positions are met.

The NCRS and CPRS credentials are both options for these positions. Contact Kim Sriner, Statewide Coordinator of Residential Recovery Services at if you have Recovery Homes staff credential questions.