CRSS & CPRS Application To-Do List

Certified Recovery Support Specialist & Certified Peer Recovery Specialist

Application To Do List

Please note: This list is meant to provide an example of how to navigate the application process, but the process may vary from person to person. For that reason, please keep in mind that the order and suggested timelines may need to be adjusted based on individual circumstances.

Before You Start

  1. Decide which credential is a better fit for you: Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) or Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS).
  2. Read the Model and Application documents for your chosen credential.
  3. Call or email the Illinois Certification Board (ICB) to ask any questions you might have about the application process. (Phone: 1-800-272-2632)
  4. Sign up for the Wellness & Recovery Services team email distribution list to stay informed about any upcoming CRSS/CPRS trainings and events.

First Steps (about 9-12 months before applying)

  1. Create file for training documentation (electronic and/or paper)
    1. Include chart/spreadsheet to log hours of training and CEUs received
    2. In this file, save all available documentation of training attended (certificates, agendas, session descriptions, trainer bios/contact info, etc.) in order for ICB to make a determination of the eligible category.
  2. Request transcripts from previous college (if any)
  3. If you are currently working/volunteering:
    1. Give Work Experience and Supervised Practical Experience forms (pages 4 and 7 of the Application) to supervisor and discuss.
    2. Refer them to ICB if they have questions. You may also refer them to a member of the WRS team.
    3. Request your current job description (from supervisor or human resources department).
    4. Review the job description to ensure that 51% or more of the duties are in recovery support. If not, request revision to accurately reflect current job duties.
  4. For any previous volunteer/employment position that was primarily recovery support (within past 4 years):
    1. Send Work Experience and Supervised Practical Experience forms to former supervisor(s) and request a copy of your former job description.
  5. Attend any trainings that pertain to CRSS/CPRS.

Next Steps (about 6-9 months before applying)

  1. Begin filling out the application. Print neatly, or type onto the electronic form.
  2. Identify a local Notary Public who can witness your signature on the Personal Statement of agreement with the Code of Ethics. Be sure to ask about their schedule availability and fee.
  3. Continue to watch for emails from the DMH Wellness & Recovery Services team with announcements for relevant training courses and other opportunities.

Preparing & Submitting the Application

  1. Complete and mail the CRSS Application to ICB.
    1. Include everything on the checklist on the final page of the application (page 15 for CRSS, page 14 for CPRS).
    2. For every page you send, keep original copies for your own files.

Preparing for the Exam

  1. Since exam questions are all based on competency in the four domains of recovery support, it is recommended that you become very familiar with those domains and how they are applied in recovery support work. For more detail on the domains, and for other resources to help prepare for the CRSS or CPRS exams, including Study Guides, please see our CRSS & CPRS FAQ page on the DHS website. Please note the exam questions are confidential, so the available Study Guides do not provide answers to exam questions.
  2. Consider joining or forming a study group with other CRSS/CPRS applicants.

Being Approved to Schedule the Exam

  1. Wait for ICB to email you with the results of your application:
    1. If not approved, follow ICB's instructions on how to submit any missing documentation. ICB will allow your application to be on file for up to one year to allow time to submit everything required.
    2. If approved, follow ICB's instructions on how to pay for and schedule your exam at one of their approved testing sites.

After Taking the Exam

  1. You will receive your score immediately upon finishing the exam.
    1. If you do not pass the exam (passing score = 68) on your first attempt:
      1. Contact ICB to schedule another attempt.
      2. Consider seeking assistance from the Wellness & Recovery Services team with preparing for your next attempt.
    2. If you passed the exam, congratulations!
      1. To maintain your certification, you must obtain CEUs every two years (40 for CRSS, 30 for CPRS) and pay an annual fee of $70.
      2. Continue to watch for emails from the Wellness & Recovery Services team with announcements for relevant training courses that will count towards your recertification.