Welcome to the Virginia Peer Recovery Support Specialists Website

The purpose of this site is to inform individuals throughout Virginia of the requirements for certification as a Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist.

This website is not intended to provide legal advice.  It is merely a guide, and reflects information about the certification process for Peer Recovery Specialists in Virginia.  If a specific employment qualification or position is being considered it can be beneficial to consult with the human resource department of that organization regarding the position or qualification.

The intention of the Virginia Peer Recovery Specialists Website is to enable, equip and encourage all perspective candidates to have the greatest competitive advantage to full and successful achievement of their goal to become a Certified Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist.

Beginning April 17, 2015 information about the certification process can be found at
Virginia Certification Board
Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental services

What is Peer Support?

“Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain. When people find affiliation with others they feel are ‘like’ them, they feel a connection. This connection, or affiliation, is a deep, holistic understanding based on mutual experience where people are able to ‘be’ with each other without the constraints of traditional (expert/patient) relationships.” (Mead, 2001)