Determine Your Eligibility Pathway

The Certification Commission offers two certification programs; one for practitioners who work with adults and transition age youth (age 16 and above), the CPRP, and one for practitioners serving children and youth (under age 18) and their families, the CFRP. The information below will guide you as you seek PRA certification.

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Individuals of all backgrounds can achieve a PRA Credential!

A PRA credential verifies that you have met rigorous standards demonstrating your competence and dedication to the field, and to the promise of recovery!  For those primarily serving Adults and/or Transition Age Youth (over age 16), PRA offers the Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) credential.  For those primarily serving Children and Youth (under age 18), PRA offers the Child and Family Resiliency Practitioner (CFRP) credential.  Current CPRPs and CFRPs vary from MDs, PhDs to GEDs, occupational therapists to peer specialists, social workers to caseworkers – all sharing a commitment to the fundamental principle that recovery from serious mental illness is possible.

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Age Requirements 

Candidates must be 18 years or older to sit for the CPRP and CFRP exams. 

Eligibility Pathways   

Before beginning an exam application, candidates must select the eligibility pathway through which they will pursue certification.   

Note: The work experience requirement may be met before or after taking the exam. Candidates will become certified after passing the exam and meeting all eligibility requirements.  

All pathways include eligibility requirements in three categories:  

  1. Education    2. Training    3. Work Experience  

1. Education

Your education level/type will determine the amount of training and work experience that will be required to sit for the CPRP or CFRP exams.  Please refer to the chart on page 11 to review the education categories. 

If your education pathway is as a Certified Peer Specialist, please note the following. A Qualifying Peer Specialist Credential (CPS) is defined as a certificate or certification program containing 45 or more hours of training directly related to the practice domains outlined in the corresponding exam blueprint.  If the CPS program includes less than 45 applicable training hours, additional training is required to reach 45 total hours of eligible training.  Candidates are required to submit a copy of the course/program syllabus/outline along with a certificate of completion from the granting body/organization to demonstrate qualifying training.  

2. Training 

For those pathways requiring training beyond the education requirement, please note that 

  • Training must be completed within the 36 months preceding your application submission. 

  • Training must include 22.5 hours from a PRA Approved Provider 

  • Training must be directly applicable to the practice domains for the corresponding credential and address the treatment and/or rehabilitation of individuals with serious mental illness for the appropriate population.  

3. Work Experience 

Work Experience may be earned through full-time, part-time, volunteer, internship or placement in a psychiatric rehabilitation program.  

  • Part-time work can be pro-rated as Full Time Equivalents (6 months = 1000 hours; 12 months = 2000 hours).  

  • Volunteer or unpaid work, internships, or placements may account for up to 50% of the required experience.  

  • A Qualifying Internship includes a minimum of 400 supervised hours in a psychiatric rehabilitation environment where the supervisor holds a current PRA Credential corresponding with the desired credential.  

Work Experience must be in a psychiatric rehabilitation/recovery-oriented environment serving individuals with serious and/or persistent mental illness in the population corresponding with the desired credential.   

Candidates must provide an Employment Verification form signed by their supervisor for all qualifying work experience. 


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Acceptable Training FORMATS and ACTIVITES 

  • Training that addresses the rehabilitation and/or treatment of persons (within the appropriate age group for the credential you are seeking) with serious mental illness 
  • Courses in psychiatric rehabilitation or mental health offered by an established university or college. 
  • Institutes and workshops at PRA conferences 
  • PRA chapter conference sessions on relevant topics 
  • Activities sponsored by PRA-Approved Providers of Continuing Education (contact provider about PRA Approved Provider status) 
  • Training in any of the various models of rehabilitation (clubhouse, lodge, case management, etc.) 
  • Workshops in related mental health disciplines, which address the rehabilitation and/or treatment of persons with serious mental illnesses 
  • In-service training on relevant topics, provided within your agency on rehabilitation or treatment of persons with serious mental illness 
  • Training sponsored by a state or provincial mental health authority in rehabilitation or treatment of persons with serious mental illness 
  • Training or workshops addressing related components of services such as vocational rehabilitation, supported education, housing, etc. 
  • Independent study or distance-learning courses (on-line, audio-conferences, etc.) offered on relevant topics by accredited academic institutions or approved by the Commission 
  • Approved participation in Item Writing and/or Test Assembly meetings 
  • Presenting training to an audience of psychiatric rehabilitation practitioners with content that meets the requirements for exam applicants. (See page 25 for more information) 
  • Articles on any topic within the CPRP Practice Domains, published in peer-reviewed journals; books and book chapters (self-published volumes are not accepted - See page 25 for more information) 

Acceptable Training TOPICS 

All training must address the treatment and/or rehabilitation of serious mental illness within the appropriate population (CPRP: adults/transition-age youth over age 16; CFRP: children and youth under age 18), and be relevant to the practice domains as outlined on the corresponding Exam Blueprint ( CPRP Exam Blueprint and/or CFRP Exam Blueprint).

Acceptable Training Topics Include but are not limited to:

  • Direct Care 
  • Life Skills Training 
  • Vocational Rehabilitation 
  • Supported Housing Education 
  • Intervention 
  • Treatment Modalities 
  • Medications 

*unless specific to co-occurring disorder 

Related topics such as infection control, dealing with medical complications, etc., may also be acceptable if presented in the context of psychiatric rehabilitation practice. 

Unacceptable Training TOPICS and ACTIVITIES

  • CPR/first aid 
  • Fire safety 
  • Disaster training 
  • Materials handling/MSDS 
  • Driver education (for transport vans) 
  • Training on computer software 
  • Agency specific training 
  • Topics specific to children 
  • Autism spectrum disorders 
  • Human development 
  • Human sexuality 
  • Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia/Aging 
  • Domestic violence/abuse*  
  • Drug Use/Abuse*  
  • Death and dying 
  • Anger Management 
  • Infection/bloodborne pathogens 
  • Internships 
  • Courses taken towards a completing a degree  
  • Staff meetings or retreats 
  • HIPAA training 
  • Routine coaching, training or supervising staff 
  • Topics contrary to the principles of psych rehab (including but not limited to involuntary commitment, use of restraints, forced medication, etc.) 

*unless specific to co-occurring disorder 


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