Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 35. Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
9/30/2020

Chapter 250. Peer Recovery Specialists

12VAC35-250-10. Definitions.

"Certifying body" means an organization approved by DBHDS that has as one of its purposes the certification of peer recovery specialists.

"DBHDS" means the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

"DBHDS peer recovery specialist training" means the curriculum developed and approved by DBHDS for the training of persons seeking to meet the Virginia qualifications to be a peer recovery specialist.

"Individual" means a person who is receiving peer recovery support services. This term includes the terms "consumer," "patient," "resident," "recipient," and "client."

"Peer recovery specialist" means a person who by education and experience is professionally qualified to provide collaborative services to assist individuals in achieving sustained recovery from the effects of mental illness, addiction, or both.

"Peer recovery support services" means collaborative nonclinical, peer-to-peer services that engage, educate, and support an individual's self-help efforts to improve his health, recovery, resiliency, and wellness to assist individuals in achieving sustained recovery from the effects of mental illness, addiction, or both.

"Recovery, resiliency, and wellness plan" means a set of goals, strategies, and actions an individual creates to guide him and his health care team to move the individual toward the maximum achievable independence and autonomy in the community.

"Registered peer recovery specialist" means a peer recovery specialist who is registered by the Virginia Board of Counseling.

Statutory Authority

§§ 37.2-203 and 37.2-304  of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 12, eff. March 6, 2019.

12VAC35-250-20. Peer recovery specialist.

A. Any person seeking to be a peer recovery specialist under this chapter shall (i) meet the qualifications, education, and experience requirements established in this chapter and (ii) hold a certification as a peer recovery specialist from a certifying body approved by DBHDS.

B. If the conditions in clauses (i) and (ii) of subsection A of this section are met, a person who is one of the following may act as a peer recovery specialist:

1. A parent of a minor or adult child with a mental illness or substance use disorder or co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder similar to the individual receiving peer recovery services; or

2. An adult with personal experience with a family member with a mental illness or substance use disorder or co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder similar to the individual receiving peer recovery services.

C. A registered peer recovery specialist shall provide such services as an employee or independent contractor of DBHDS, a provider licensed by DBHDS, a practitioner licensed by or holding a permit issued from the Department of Health Professions, or a facility licensed by the Department of Health.

D. Any person meeting the qualifications for a peer recovery specialist set forth in this chapter shall be eligible for registration by the Virginia Board of Counseling.

Statutory Authority

§§ 37.2-203 and 37.2-304  of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 12, eff. March 6, 2019.

12VAC35-250-30. Qualifications.

A. Any person seeking to be a peer recovery specialist under this chapter shall:

1. Have a high school diploma or equivalent.

2. Sign and abide by the Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Code of Ethics, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, effective April 4, 2017.

3. Complete the DBHDS peer recovery specialist training.

4. Show current certification in good standing by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or one of the following certifying bodies:

a. National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC);

b. A member board of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC); or

c. Any other certifying body approved by DBHDS.

B. Individuals certified through the Virginia member board of the IC&RC between April 16, 2015, through December 31, 2016, shall be exempt from completing the DBHDS peer recovery specialist training.

Statutory Authority

§§ 37.2-203 and 37.2-304  of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 12, eff. March 6, 2019.

12VAC35-250-40. Minimum standards for certifying bodies.

DBHDS may approve a certification obtained from a certifying body that requires its certificate holders to:

1. Adhere to a code of ethics that is substantially comparable to the Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Code of Ethics, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, effective April 4, 2017.

2. Have at least one year of recovery for persons having lived experience with mental illness or substance use disorder conditions, or lived experience as a family member of someone with mental illness or substance use disorder conditions.

3. Complete at least 46 hours of training from the list of curriculum subjects in 12VAC35-250-50.

4. Obtain a passing score on an examination offered by the certifying body testing knowledge of the curriculum subjects identified in 12VAC35-250-50.

5. Obtain and document at least 500 hours of supervised paid or volunteer experience providing peer recovery support services in the three years prior to applying for certification. The experience hours shall have been in nonclinical, peer-to-peer recovery-oriented support activities designed to address an individual's recovery and wellness goals.

Statutory Authority

§§ 37.2-203 and 37.2-304  of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 12, eff. March 6, 2019.

12VAC35-250-50. Curriculum requirements.

A. Unless the exception in 12VAC35-250-30 B is met, any person seeking to be a peer recovery specialist under this chapter shall complete the DBHDS peer recovery specialist training.

B. The curriculum of the peer recovery specialist training shall include training on the following topics:

1. The current body of mental health and substance abuse knowledge;

2. The recovery process;

3. Promoting services, supports, and strategies for recovery;

4. Peer-to-peer services;

5. Crisis intervention;

6. The value of the role of a peer recovery specialist;

7. Basic principles related to health and wellness;

8. Recovery, resiliency, and wellness plans;

9. Stage-appropriate pathways in recovery support;

10. Ethics and ethical boundaries;

11. Cultural sensitivity and practice;

12. Trauma and its impact on recovery;

13. Community resources; and

14. Delivering peer services within agencies and organizations.

Statutory Authority

§§ 37.2-203 and 37.2-304  of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 12, eff. March 6, 2019.

Documents Incorporated by Reference (12VAC35-250)

The Virginia Peer Recovery Support Specialist Code of Ethics, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (eff. 4/2017)



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