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Credentialed Prevention Professional/Prevention Specialist (CPP/CPS) Requirements

Minimum Qualifications

To become a CPP or CPS, you must: 

  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • reside or work in New York State at least 51 percent of the time; and
  • meet the following educational requirements:
    • CPS applicants must have earned at least a High School Diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED); and
    • CPP applicants must have earned a Bachelor's Degree.

In addition, your must satisfy the requirements listed below.

Evaluation of Competency and Ethical Conduct  

You must sign an affidavit agreeing to abide by the Canon of Ethical Principles .  Please also see OASAS' Policy on Credentialing/Recredentialing Applications which are determined to contain falsified documentation

You must arrange to have three individuals complete an Evaluation of Competency and Ethical Conduct on your behalf to be submitted as part of your application. All evaluators must have direct knowledge of your prevention-related work experience for a minimum of six months and must meet the following qualifications:

One evaluator must be your current Qualified Prevention Supervisor. In the absence of a current Qualified Prevention Supervisor, the evaluator may be your most recent Qualified Prevention Supervisor.

A Qualified Prevention Supervisor means an individual who is:

  • a CPP;
  • non-credentialed but meets the CPP work experience and education requirements; or
  • a CASAC supervising a program providing prevention services.

If you are not engaged in the provision of prevention services in the alcohol and substance abuse prevention field at the time of application, one additional evaluation must be submitted by your current, or most recent, supervisor.

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Work Experience

The CPP and CPS are intended for individuals who provide prevention services (i.e., planning and evaluation; education and skill development; community organization; public and organizational policy; and professional growth and responsibility).

OASAS defines "Prevention" as a proactive, science-based process that focuses on increasing "protective factors" and decreasing "risk factors" predictive of alcohol and substance use, in individuals, families and communities. The framework that guides this approach requires partnerships at the community level to use science-based tools that mobilize and engage community members; establish a shared vision and collaborative planning process; determine priorities based on assessed community needs; define clear and measurable outcomes; select programs and strategies that have demonstrated effectiveness; and verify progress toward outcomes.

OASAS' Standards for Prevention Services

  1. To prevent the use of alcohol in individuals under the age of 21.
  2. To prevent the use of illegal substances and the abuse of legal substances throughout an individual's life span.
  3. To assist individuals to deal constructively with life stress by the use of science-based prevention technology.
  4. To keep healthy people healthy by integrating chemical dependence prevention services within the community.
  5. To strengthen protective factors and reduce risk factors in individuals, families and communities by delivery of universal, selected or indicated prevention strategies, in the proper settings, at the appropriate intensity.

CPP

You must document a minimum of 4,000 hours of supervised experience in an approved work setting as a provider or supervisor of prevention services.

A Master's (or higher) Degree in an approved Human Services field from an accredited college or institution may be substituted for 2,000 hours of the 4,000 hour work experience requirement.

CPS

You must document a minimum of 2,000 hours of supervised work experience in an approved work setting as a provider or supervisor of prevention services.

CPP and CPS

All CPP and CPS work experience claimed must:

  • include a minimum of 1,000 hours obtained during the five years prior to submission of the required documentation; and
  • include a minimum of 120 hours of Supervised Practical Training.  Each of the five Performance Domains (areas of professional expertise) must have been performed for a minimum of 10 hours.  Of the 120 hours, a minimum of 12 must have been face-to-face with a Qualified Prevention Supervisor.

To be considered approved, a work setting must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  • It must be operated by the Office.
  • It must have a valid Operating Certificate or Certificate of Approval issued by the Office, or a similar license or other approval from any other state's alcoholism and/or substance abuse authority for the other state in which the agency, facility or program is located that authorizes the provision of alcoholism and substance abuse prevention services.
  • It must be a program that includes alcoholism and/or substance abuse prevention services consistent with OASAS’ standards for prevention programs and is licensed and/or operated by another New York State agency.
  • It must be organized and/or funded by the federal government, to include the Indian Health Service, as a program for the prevention of alcoholism and/or substance abuse which is consistent with OASAS’ standards.
  • It must be a non-certified setting that involves the legal provision of alcoholism and substance abuse prevention and/or problem gambling services and affords: (i) the opportunity to establish proficiency in one or more of the professional competencies associated with a credential administered by the Office; and (ii) on-site supervision by a qualified prevention supervisor meeting the supervisory standards established by the Office.

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Performance Domains (Areas of Professional Expertise)

All work experience claimed must be based on a comprehensive, multi-dimensional prevention services approach which includes the following five Performance Domains as identified in the 2007 Job Task Analysis.

  1. Planning and Evaluation -- Assessing community needs; collecting current local data via systematic assessment methods to provide data for planning; developing plans considering needs assessment findings to prioritize needs to guide program selection; applying prevention theory/practice; adapting/developing programs to meet the identified needs of target populations; identifying financial sources via networking, workshops and research to fund prevention projects; reviewing evaluation options via consultation and research to determine appropriate evaluation methods; conducting evaluation activities; using selected measurement tools to determine program effectiveness; documenting project activities and outcomes; using appropriate reporting systems to demonstrate accountability; refining the program; reviewing and incorporating findings of the evaluation to enhance program effectiveness.
  2. Education and Skill Development -- Tailoring education and skill development activities; gathering information about the knowledge and skill levels of the intended audience; connecting prevention theory/practice; using current research and program models; maintaining fidelity when replicating science-based prevention programs; implementing faithfully or making only adaptations that do not compromise program integrity to ensure program effectiveness; delivering culturally competent education and training; working with representatives of intended audience; identifying appropriate content, methods, resources, materials and evaluation tools; conducting activities employing appropriate training techniques to address needs of the audience; educating consumers; providing accurate, relevant, appropriate information about alcohol and substance abuse and related problems to encourage healthy lifestyles; disseminating appropriate information; identifying, adapting or creating materials to respond to requests for information; providing prevention information to professionals in related fields via appropriate means to increase understanding of prevention and alcohol and substance abuse problems.
  3. Community Organization -- Defining community; identifying demographic characteristics and core values to provide appropriate services; identifying key community members; using formal/informal processes to determine community readiness and ensure diverse participation; engaging and including community leaders in the planning process to foster participation and ownership in achieving goals; identifying community needs/resources; collecting relevant information as a foundation for a sound and culturally appropriate plan; developing a prevention plan based on appropriate prevention theory; collaborating with community members to achieve goals; providing technical assistance to support community plan to achieve goals; developing community capacity via ongoing mentoring and training to sustain positive changes resulting from the prevention project.
  4. Public and Organization Policy -- Identifying policymakers; using formal/informal processes to influence prevention policies, cultural and social norms; planning policy initiatives; working in collaboration with community groups/organizations to implement policy change; gaining support of decision makers, informing them of effective prevention practice to influence policy development; establishing working relations with media; serving as a credible resource to develop public support for effective prevention policy; promoting advocacy; conducting awareness campaigns to strengthen public/organizational policy/norms.
  5. Professional Growth and Responsibility -- Attaining knowledge of current science-based prevention theory/practice; participating in appropriate educational opportunities; reviewing current literature; modeling collaboration; networking with colleagues, professionals and community organizations; practicing ethical behavior; adhering to legal/professional standards; protecting consumers, promoting integrity of the profession; recognizing community norms via awareness of culture and lifestyles to ensure sensitivity to the uniqueness of the community; developing cultural competence via education/training/guided practice/life experience to ensure inclusion of diverse populations.

A formal internship or formal field placement may be claimed as CPP work experience OR education and training, but not both. You should calculate the need to claim a formal internship or formal field placement as either work experience OR education and training.

Work experience claimed may not include any experience gained as part of, or required under, participation as a patient in a formal problem gambling or formal alcoholism and/or substance abuse treatment/aftercare program and/or plan.

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Education and Training 

CPP and CPS applicants must demonstrate:

  • knowledge of universal, selected and indicated prevention strategies;

  • knowledge of the variety of models and theories of alcohol and/or substance use, abuse and dependence-related problems;

  • understanding of the value of a comprehensive systems approach to prevention;

  • knowledge of the social, political, economic and cultural context within which alcohol and/or substance use, abuse and/or dependence exists;

  • knowledge of the importance of family, social networks and community systems in the prevention, treatment and recovery process;

  • knowledge of the behavior, psychological, physical health and social effects of alcohol and/or substance use, abuse or dependence on individuals, families and communities;
  • fundamental knowledge of the philosophies, practices and outcomes of the most generally accepted models of prevention, including universal, selected and indicated;
  • fundamental knowledge of the potential for alcohol and/or substance use, abuse or dependence to mimic a variety of medical and psychological disorders and the potential for medical and psychological disorders to co-exist with alcohol and/or substance use, abuse or dependence;
  • ability to incorporate the special needs of diverse racial and ethnic cultures and special populations in prevention practice, including their distinct patterns of communication; and
  • knowledge of the obligation to adhere to generally accepted ethical and behavioral standards of conduct in the professional relationship.

In addition, CPP applicants must also demonstrate fundamental knowledge of:

  • the philosophies, practices, policies and outcomes of the most generally accepted models of treatment, recovery, relapse prevention and continuing care for alcohol and/or substance use, abuse or dependence-related problems;

  • the established diagnostic criteria for alcohol and/or substance use, abuse and dependence and understanding of the variety of prevention services, treatment options and placement criteria within the continuum of care; and

  • the various counseling strategies for alcohol and/or substance use, abuse and dependence.

CPP

You must document completion of education and training consisting of a minimum of 250 clock hours in the field of alcohol and substance abuse prevention.  

Minimum requirements are as follows: 
  • 85 clock hours related to Knowledge of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse at all Age Levels and Among People of Diverse Backgrounds and Cultures (must include a minimum of 4 clock hours related to tobacco use and nicotine dependence and 15 clock hours specific to cultural competence);
  • 60 prevention specific clock hours related to the Performance Domains (Areas of Professional Expertise);
  • 45 clock hours related to Professional Development and Ethical Responsibilities (15 clock hours must be specific to Ethics for Prevention Professionals and 2 clock hours of Child Abuse and Maltreatment: Mandated Reporting training); and
  • 60 clock hours related to Prevention Principles and the Services Continuum.

CPS

You must document completion of education and training consisting of a minimum of 100 clock hours in the field of alcohol and substance abuse prevention.

  • 50 clock hours related to Knowledge of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse at all Age Levels and Among People of Diverse Backgrounds and Cultures (must include a minimum of 4 clock hours related to tobacco use and nicotine dependence and 15 clock hours specific to cultural competence);
  • 38 prevention specific clock hours related to the Performance Domains (Areas of Professional Expertise); and
  • 12 clock hours related to Ethical Responsibilities (10 clock hours must be specific to Ethics for Prevention Professionals and 2 clock hours of Child Abuse and Maltreatment: Mandated Reporting training).

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CPP and CPS

OASAS will consider education and training obtained through accredited colleges or universities; governmental agencies; professional organizations; training institutes; or in-service training programs. CPP applicants may claim a maximum of 30 clock hours for documented participation in conferences by professional organizations. CPS applicants may claim a maximum of 12 clock hours for documented participation in conferences by professional organizations.

There is no limit on the number of clock hours completed through distance learning. However, OASAS will only consider distance learning course work completed through the following entities:

  • accredited colleges or universities;
  • National Addiction Technology Transfer Center-approved distance education sponsors (www.nattc.org/); and
  • OASAS-certified education and training providers.

A formal internship or formal field placement may be claimed as education and training based on the academic credit associated with completion, not the number of hours served in the field.

A formal internship or formal field placement may be claimed as work experience OR education and training, but not both. You should calculate the need to claim a formal internship or formal field placement as either work experience OR education and training.

All education and training must be claimed in clock hours, determined as follows:

  • Clock Hours equals the actual number of hours documented for the education and training received (Example: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. = 2.5 clock hours).
  • Credit Hours equals the credits awarded after successful completion of an academic course. One college credit (graduate or undergraduate) equals 15 clock hours (Example: 3 credits = 45 clock hours).
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) equals the credits awarded after successful completion of a Continuing Education course. One CEU equals 10 clock hours (Example: .7 CEUs = 7 clock hours).
  • You must maintain documentation to support all education and training claimed in the form of an academic transcript, certificate or letter of completion which includes your name, the name of the educational institution or provider, title of the course/training, date of completion, and number of clock hours associated with completion of the course/training.

ATTENTION CPP/CPS Applicants:

If you hold an Associate's, Bachelor's or Master's Degree, or you are a student pursuing any of these degrees, some of the course work associated with your degree may be claimed toward satisfying some or all of the CPP or CPS education and training requirements.  In order to determine what coursework may be applicable, your college transcript(s) should be submitted with your application.