Certified Recovery/Family Recovery Specialists


The Recovery Specialist is an individual with personal, lived experience of their own recovery(minimum of 18 months of recovery in a continuous manner to apply). By offering insight into the recovery process, Recovery Specialists are able to share a unique perspective with those with similar life experiences. Recovery Specialists accept and agree that their experience as a person in recovery from a substance use disorder will be known by their colleagues, individuals served, and others with whom they may share that they have achieved this credential. TheRecovery Specialist is a role model, mentor, advocate, and motivator. Recovery Specialists advocate for the individual, the recovery system, recovery-oriented services and assist to identify and reduce stigma. Recovery Specialists advocate to eliminate barriers, increase natural supports and build community. Services provided by the Recovery Specialist substantially improve an individual’s and family’s ability to sustain recovery and wellness (PA Certification Board, 2021).


This training is for professionals who are interested in applying for the Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) and/or the Certified Family Recovery Specialist (CFRS) through the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PA Certification Board, 2021). Upon completion of this training, attendees will be able to apply for BOTH CRS and CFRS credentials (specific requirements must be met for each credential).

PaPSC is a fully approved trainer of the Recovery Specialist Curriculum by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB).  Here is an outline of what Certified Recovery Specialists are as defined by the PCB as well as the expectations and requirements for the training. (Pennsylvania Certification Board, 2021).  Their entire candidate guide can be viewed here.


1. 78 instructional hours; including 66 in class hours and 12 hours of homework. Introductions, ice-breakers, breaks, etc. do not count towards the 78 hours.
2. Learners are provided a Learner Manual prior to the training. Approved trainers will coordinate this process.
3. This training is designed to prepare Recovery Specialists for work in the behavioral health field.


1. Be comfortable with computers, computer application and other technology.
2. Ability to complete online homework (12 hours).
3. Laptop or desktop device. Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones cannot be used.


1. Attend all scheduled training days.
2. Learners must coordinate make-up classes and homework with the trainer.
3. All requirements must be completed in order to receive a certificate of completion for education hours.
4. Be EARLY.
5. Respect confidentiality.
6. Avoid judgement and respect individual differences.
7. Respect all pathways to recovery.
8. Understand that this is a learning environment and not a support group or therapy.
9. Listen carefully.
10. Stay focused.


There are numerous ways CRS trainings can be funded and paid for.  Individual, contract, and sponsored rates are available.  For more information on this please email our CRS trainer Keith Elders.


Currently scheduled CRS/CFRS trainings by PaPSC (and all other PCB approved trainers) can be viewed here.