Region: Region 9 - Mountain Plains

Title: Certified Prevention Specialists (CPS)

Examination: Applicants must receive a passing score on the IC&RC Prevention Specialist Exam.

Education: High school education or equivalence and attain the age of eighteen (18). Certified Prevention Specialist Candidates must have a total of 120 hours of documented education and training. A minimum of 60 hours of the 120 hours must be ATOD prevention. The remaining hours may be in other related prevention education and/or training.

Of the 60 hours of specific ATOD prevention education/training the following courses are required:

  • 31 hours must be obtained through the “Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training” (SAPST). An applicant may substitute 31 hours of the 3-week (96 hours) Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Coalition Academy training for SAPST, as long as they have attended all three weeks of training. Applicants may also identify 31 hours of similar SAPST material and present it to the certifying board for approval.
  • 6 hours of Ethics in Prevention (Ethics in Prevention Training must have been completed within 2 years before application submission).
  • 8 hours of Sustainability or another ATOD prevention course as it relates to sustainability.
  • Of the remaining hours needed to meet the 120 hours of education/training requirement general prevention education/training must include the following:
    • 4 hours of Public Health 101
    • 6 hours of Health Equity (known as Cultural Competency)
    • 2 hours of Suicide Prevention
    • 3 hours of Mental Health Education

For more information regarding what counts as education and training see the full certification details here

Prevention Experience: Certified Prevention Specialist candidates must have 2,000 documented hours (one year) of prevention-related experience in the Prevention Performance Domains. Of the 2,000 documented hours, a minimum of 120 hours of supervision** is required, with at least 10 hours in each domain. A minimum of 500 (25%) of the required 2,000 hours must be specific to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) prevention. Experience may come from internships/practicums and paid or voluntary work hours. Applicants must have gained experience and received supervision from a position in which the job description included prevention.

Supervised Prevention Experience: Of the 2,000 documented hours, a minimum of 120 hours of supervision** is required, with at least 10 hours in each domain.

Code of Ethics: To become a Certified Prevention Specialist, an applicant must sign an agreement to abide by the Code of Ethical Conduct.

Additional Requirements & Documentation: You must live or work at least 51% of the time in Montana when the application for Certification is submitted. Please follow the full detailed certification guidelines found at the Montana Prevention Certification Board. 

Fee Structure:

Initial Application $75
Initial 2-year Certification $150
IC&RC Exam $175
TOTAL $400

Recertification Requirements: 40 hours of continuing education in prevention-specific trainings/workshops, etc. are required every two years. Hours should correspond to the IC&RC Domains. A maximum number of 12 hours for each domain will be accepted, except for the Professional Development domain. Professional Growth and Responsibility – only 4 hours will qualify in this category. This includes general, non-prevention-specific behavioral and public health trainings and/or conferences. Of the required 40 hours of continuing education, 6 hours of ethics training is required.

$175 Renewal Fee

Lapsed Certifications: All certified professionals should review the recertification application well in advance of the expiration date. A Reinstatement Fee of $150 is due after the 90-day grace period. After 12 months, recertification is not possible, and an applicant will have to reapply for the certification, meeting all current requirements.  

Certification & Licensing Board:  Montana Prevention Certification Board:



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