top of page
Application Guidelines

The following is key information you should review prior to applying for national certification as a Family Peer Specialist.

Before you begin the application process, we encourage you to review our Candidate Handbook and the CFPS Code of Ethics, which you will be asked to sign and pledge to follow as part of the application process. These are the guiding principles of CFPS work that ensure the provision of high-quality family peer support for children, youth, parents, and families and the integrity of the CFPS credential. On the page linked above you will be able to print a copy of the Code of Ethics for your reference and records.

Next we recommend that you prepare the materials that will need to be uploaded to complete your CFPS application. These include:

1. Your resume.

2. When completing your application, you will need to document at least five hundred (500) hours of work delivering peer level support to other similarly situated family members (paid or volunteer) in the past five (5) years. Paid or volunteer activity done on behalf of your own immediate family cannot be counted. You will also need to write a brief lived experience narrative explaining your role as a primary caregiver to a child of any age who has experienced a mental health and/or substance use challenge. Please see this page for exemplar lived experience narratives.

3. Our required Training Documentation Form. (Click to download.)

On the training documentation form you will be asked to list courses, workshops, seminars, etc. taken within the last 5 years that are relevant to 5 national CFPS Core Competencies. You will be asked to include the title, date(s), number of hours, and a brief description for each training. Documentation of 88 hours is required for CFPS Certification. Training documentation must be submitted using the form linked above.

The National Federation of Families does not endorse any specific trainings; however, an example of an exemplary Training Documentation Form can be found here and a list of potential sources for training can be found here.

4. The Supervision Verification Form, which should be sent to your supervisor to complete and submit on your behalf. A minimum of 20 hours of supervision is required for certification eligibility. Note: This form must be submitted in order to process your application.

The cost to apply is $350 which includes a $50 non-refundable application fee and a $300 certification exam fee. When you submit your application, you (or your organization) may choose to pay only the $50 non-refundable application fee, making the additional $300 payment once your application is approved. Or, you can pay the full $350 fee at that time. If an applicant does not meet eligibility requirements, the $300 certification fee will be refunded.

Once you have prepared the required materials, your can begin the CFPS application. You will be able to save your work and return to the application, however, uploaded documents cannot be saved and will need to be attached when you are ready to complete and submit the form. Note: Only electronic submissions using our online application will be accepted.

After you submit your application, it will be reviewed to ensure you have met the eligibility criteria of lived experience, training, work experience (500 hours), and agreement of adherence to the Code of Ethics. Once approved, you will be notified that you are eligible to take the CFPS Certification Exam.

Passing the national exam is required for certification. The test is available all year long at sites throughout the United States and its territories, Canada, and internationally through Following approval, you will receive an email from Pearson with instructions on how to schedule your exam date and time.

Special accommodations are provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you qualify for and would like to request testing accommodations, please email us at and attach the appropriate documentation from your healthcare provider.

A brief practice test is available to applicants here.

Have additional questions?

Please contact us at:


Tel: (240) 403-1901

The Value of National FPS Certification PNG.png
bottom of page