Peer Certification

Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification 

 

Table of Contents 

  1. I. What is the Medi-Cal Peer Certification Program? 

  1. II. Senate Bill 803 Definitions 

  1. III. Updates 

  1. IV.17 Core Competencies 

  1. V. Medi-Cal Peer Certification Stakeholder Advisory Council Members and Meeting Dates 

 

  1. I. What is the Medi-Cal Peer Certification Program? 

Who are Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists? 

A Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist uses their lived experience of recovery to engage and promote recovery and hope in others.

 

They provide assistance to improve outcomes and quality of life of individuals with mental health and substance use difficulties. 

 

Today, peer support services are offered in a variety of settings and provide a wide range of services including “peer mentoring or coaching, connecting to recovery resources facilitating and leading recovery groups, and building community” (SAMHSA).   

 

What is Senate Bill 803 (Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification Act)? 

Senate Bill 803 (SB 803), authored by California State Senator Jim Beall is the Mental Health Services: Peer Support Specialist Certification Program Act of 2020.

 

SB 803 recognizes the benefit that peer support provides to individuals and families with mental health and substance use difficulties and the increased diversity and effectiveness peers bring to the health workforce.  

 

In alignment with SB 803, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) established statewide requirements for the development of a program that will certify peer support specialists under the Medi-Cal program, creating a new Medi-Cal provider type and service type.

 

A county that has chosen to opt into a peer certification program (either one developed by them or through representation by an entity) may seek reimbursement under this new benefit for services, as this service now meets the Medi-Cal reimbursement requirements. 

 

The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) was identified by the County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA) to submit an implementation plan on behalf of interested counties opting into the peer certification program.

 

  1. II. Senate Bill 803 Definitions: 

Senate Bill 803: Peer Support Specialist Definition 

 

Individual who is 18 years of age or older, who has self-identified as having lived experience with the process of recovery from mental illness, substance use disorder, or both, either as a consumer of these services or as the parent or family member of the consumer, and who has been granted certification under a county peer support specialist certification program.”  

 

Senate Bill 803: Peer Support Specialist Services Definition 

 

Culturally competent services that promote engagement, socialization, recovery, self-sufficiency, self-advocacy, development of natural supports, and identification of strengths. Peer support specialist services include, but are not limited to, prevention services, support, coaching, facilitation, or education that is individualized and is conducted by a certified peer support specialist.”  

 

  1. III. Updates for the CalMHSA Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification Process 

 

1. CalMHSA is comparing Peer Certification Trainings across the United States to ensure that each of the Core Competencies are thoroughly addressed by California training programs.  

CalMHSA is working hard to create policies to ensure that every element of Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification reflects our community’s input, values, goals, and priorities for addressing the Core Competencies.  

CalMHSA takes stakeholder concerns seriously and is integrating community feedback at every level of Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification implementation.  

CalMHSA is particularly focused on Equity and Accessibility in every step of the process.  


The following policies are being identified per stakeholder input:

  • Accommodations Requests Policy & Procedures

  • Grandparenting Policy & Procedures

  • County Reciprocity Policy & Procedures

  • Out-of-State Reciprocity Policy & Procedures

  • Complaints and Corrective Actions policies

  • Supervisory Standards Policy & Procedures

 

2. A digital Certificant Registry is being created 

3. A Code of Ethics is included in the Behavioral Health Information Notice (BHIN)

4. CalMHSA has released Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) to choose vendor(s) to train Peers in the 17 Core Competencies and a different one to choose vendor(s) to provide trainings for Peer Supervisors.  

5. CalMHSA has also released an RFP to select vendor(s) to create a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification exam and administer it.  

6. CalMHSA is exploring how to sponsor Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist trainings for Peers and how to sponsor Peers to pay examination costs. Various funding streams are being evaluated but no concrete funding sources have been identified yet.  

7. The prospective start for individuals to begin the application process to become a Certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist is May 2022. 

  1.  

 

  1. 17 Core Competencies: 

 

These 17 Core Competencies are the requirements of the Medi-Cal Peer Certification Program training.  

  1. 1) Concept of Hope, Recovery and Wellness 

  1. 2) Roles of Advocacy 

  1. 3) Roles of Consumers and Family Members 

  1. 4) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Skills and Service Delivery and Addiction Recovery Principles, including Defined Practices. 

  1. 5) Cultural and Structural Competence Trainings 

  1. 6) Trauma-Informed Care 

  1. 7) Group Facilitation Skills 

  1. 8) Self-Awareness and Self-Care 

  1. 9) Co-occurring Disorders of Mental Health and Substance Use 

  1. 10) Conflict Resolution 

  1. 11) Professional Boundaries and Ethics 

  1. 12) Preparation for Employment Opportunities, including Study and Test-Taking Skills, Application and Resume Preparation, Interviewing, and Other Potential Requirements for Employment 

  1. 13) Safety and Crisis Planning 

  1. 14) Navigation of, and referral to, other services 

  1. 15) Documentation Skills and Standards 

  1. 16) Confidentiality 

  1. 17) Digital Literacy 

 

 

 

  1. V. Updates on the Medi-Cal Peer Certification Program: 

The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) greatly values the feedback we receive from stakeholders and community members across California.  

 

Past Informational Meetings

To review past informational meetings

on the Senate Bill 803 Medi-Cal Peer Certification Program, click any of the
links below:

•          CalMHSA Peer Certification Informational Session

•          CalMHSA Sesion de Informacion de Programa de Certificacion de Companeros

 

CalMHSA SB803 Community Input Sessions

Thank you to all who attended the CalMHSA SB803 Community Input Sessions. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s participation and input. See the summary of the recommendations and input below, along with a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). We also wanted to extend a special thank you to Keris Myrick for her expertise and support. 

See Summary of Community Input Sessions Feedback Here: Complete Input Summary Report October 2021 

Please See General FAQ Here: FAQ

Peer Certification Input Sessions Slides:

•          Specializations PowerPoint

•          Grandparenting PowerPoint

•          Training Exam PowerPoint

 

To get added to our distribution list, click here. 

Contact us via email at PeerCertification@calmhsa.org 

 

IV. Medi-Cal Peer Certification Stakeholder  

Advisory Council Members and Meeting Dates 

 

We are pleased to announce the following individuals were selected to the Medi-Cal Peer Certification Stakeholder Advisory Council (or “Peer Advisory Council”) at the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA).  

 

This was a competitive process and we had close to 200 applications for 20 positions. 

 

Starting in December, meetings will be held via Zoom Webinar and made open to the public. There will be a period for Public Comment at the end of each meeting.  

 

Please find dates for upcoming meetings below: 

 

(Additionally, Peer Advisory Council members are listed by region below. Please use the survey link to provide feedback directly to the Peer Advisory Council Members of your region.) 


Council MemberOrganizationCountyRegionRepresented CountiesProvide Feedback
Kimberly MurphyA Better WayAlamedaBay AreaAlameda, City of Berkeley, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, SonomaBay Area Region Feedback
Roberto RomanContra Costa Behavioral HealthContra Costa
Iris Allen-WillisCommunity Action MarinMarin
Patricia BarrettSan Joaquin CountySan JoaquinCentralAlpine, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter-Yuba, Tulare, Tuolumne, YoloCentral Region Feedback
Susan LongSelf-Help EnterprisesKings
Angela BrandCenter for Applied Research SolutionsPlacer
David BainNAMI SacramentoSacramento
Clarene WhiteCook N Up Excellence Collective, LLCFresno
Rayshell ChambersPainted BrainLos AngelesLos AngelesLos Angeles, Tri-CityLos Angeles Region Feedback
Camille DennisSelf-Help and Recovery ExcchangeLos Angeles
Martha ContrerasSycamoresLos Angeles
Jason RobisonSelf-Help and Recovery ExchangeLos Angeles
Ashely O'BryanParents AnonymousImperialSouthernImperial, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, VenturaSouthern Region Feedback
Min SuhOrange CountyOrange
Kristen MungcalClubhouse Expansion ProgramSan Bernardino
Karin LettauCAMHPROSan Diego
Maria ArteagaSanta Barbara CountySanta Barbara
Kevin FreitasButte County Behavioral HealthButteSuperiorButte, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity Superior Region Feedback
Carrie ManningLake County Behavioral HealthLake
Adelaida MooreSunrays of HopeModoc

V. Medi-Cal Peer Certification Stakeholder Advisory Council Meeting Dates

Upcoming Meeting DatesTimeWebinar LinksDial-In InformationAgendas/Notes
Friday, December 3, 20211:00-4:00PMZoomDial-In 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
Agenda/Notes
Friday, December 10, 20211:00-4:00PMZoomDial-In 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
Agenda/Notes
Friday, January 14, 20221:00-4:00PMZoomDial-In 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
Agenda
Friday, January 28, 20221:00-4:00PMZoomDial-in 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
Agenda

Friday, February 11, 20221:00-4:00PMZoomDial-in 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
TBA
Friday, February 25, 20221:00-4:00PMZoomDial-in 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
TBA
Friday, March 11, 20221:00-4:00PMZoomDial-in 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
TBA
Friday, March 25, 20221:00-4:00PMZoomDial-in 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
TBA
Friday, April 8, 20221:00-4:00PMZoomDial-in 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
TBA
Friday, April 22, 20221:00-4:00PMZoomDial-in 1-699-900-9128
Webinar ID: 843 6141 4645
TBA

Ways to Stay Informed

Current information on the implementation requirements of SB 803 can be found on the Department of Health Care Services website: https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/Pages/Peer-Support-Services.aspx. The following document outlines the different roles and responsibilities for DHCS, Counties, and the Certifying entities. Roles and Responsibilities 9.9.21.pdf (ca.gov)

 

Questions or comments can be sent to PeerCertification@calmhsa.org

Request for Proposal: Peer Supervisor Training Curriculum for CalMHSA Learning Management System

The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), serves California Counties and Cities as an independent administrative and fiscal intergovernmental structure for jointly developing, funding, and implementing mental health services and educational programs at the state, regional, and local levels (See Gov. Code §6500 et seq.).

In August 2021, CalMHSA released a Request for Statement of Qualifications (RFSQ) for information on interested vendors for Peer Support Specialist Certification Training. The varied results of the proposals received prompted CalMHSA to develop a thorough Request for Proposal (RFP) allowing interested applicants to submit proposals. This Request for Proposal is issued for the purpose of soliciting responses for interested entities with the experience and capacity for creating a low barrier/highly accessible Peer Support Specialist Certification virtual training program to be hosted on the CalMHSA Learning Management System as a remote, web-based option for individuals interested in becoming certified Peer Support Specialists in their county. This request does not commit CalMHSA to contract for any supply or service whatsoever. In addition, responders are advised that CalMHSA will not pay for any information or administrative costs incurred in response to this RFP; all costs associated with responding to this RFP will be solely at the interested party’s expense. Not responding to this RFP does not preclude participation in any future RFP submissions, if any is issued.The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is representing counties in the implementation of a Peer Support Specialist Certification (PSSC) program. Counties range in size from small/rural to large counties located throughout California. The RFP’s reference to Peer Support Specialist Certification (PSSC) is in alignment with the Peer Support Specialist Certification Program Act of 2020 which is intended to increase the number of Medi-Cal providers who are certified Peer Support Specialists. The training curricula must include all competencies required for the certification of Peer Support Specialist, and separately for individuals seeking training for. Peer Supervision. Both trainings should focus on mental health, substance use disorder, and/or both (Behavioral Health). The Peer Support Specialist training curriculum and core competencies are distinct from the Peer Supervisor training as noted later in the RFP. For your convenience, please see the following attachments:

For your convenience, please see the following attachments:

  1. Q&A
  2. Peer Support Specialist and Peer Supervisor Training Curriculum for CalMHSA Learning Management System – Addendum #1
  3. CalMHSA LMS-Peer Support Certification Training Program RFP
  4. LMS Peer Support Training Supervisor Questionnaire Guide
  5. LMS Peer Support Training Specialist Questionnaire Guide
  6. CalMHSA-Conflict of Interest Document

This RFP Addendum is intended to update Minimum Requirement language on pg. 8 of the RFP and solicit interested parties with the ability and capacity to perform the services requested.

Request for Proposal Peer Support Specialist Certification Program Peer Support Specialist and Peer Support Specialist Supervision Training Curriculum

CalMHSA is pleased to announce a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Peer Support Specialist Certification Program Peer Support Specialist and Peer Support Specialist Supervision Training Curriculum. Proposal supporting documentation must be submitted to the CalMHSA e-procurement portal located here:

Bonfire Portal

This Request for Proposal is issued for the purpose of soliciting responses for interested entities with the experience and capacity for conducting Peer Support Specialist Certification Program and Peer Support Specialist Supervision Training Curriculum, under the Peer Support Specialist Certification program administered by CalMHSA. This request does not commit CalMHSA to contract for any supply or service whatsoever. In addition, responders are advised that CalMHSA will not pay for any information or administrative costs incurred in response to this RFP; all costs associated with responding to this RFP will be solely at the interested party’s expense. Not responding to this RFP does not preclude participation in any future RFP submissions, if any is issued. This RFP is intended to solicit interested parties with the ability and capacity to perform the services requested.

For your convenience, please see the following attachments:
1. Program Peer Support Specialist and Peer Support Specialist Supervision Training
Curriculum – Addendum #1
2. Q&A
3. Peer Support Specialist Certification – Peer Support Specialist Training Vendor RFP
4. Peer Support Training Supervisor Questionnaire Guide
5. Peer Support Training Specialist Questionnaire Guide
6. CalMHSA-Conflict of Interest Document

This RFP is intended to solicit interested
parties with the ability and capacity to perform the services requested.

Request for Proposal (RFP) for Peer Support Specialist Certification – A Landscape Analysis for Specializations for Peer Work – CANCELLED

CalMHSA has concluded that the approach contained in RFP no longer reflects the organization’s current needs. Thank you for those who expressed interest in this opportunity.

CalMHSA is pleased to announce a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Peer Support Specialist Certification – A Landscape Analysis for Specializations for Peer Work.

This Request for Proposal is issued for the purpose of soliciting responses for interested entities with the experience and capacity for conducting a landscape analysis of Peer Support specializations under the Peer Support Specialist Certification program administered by CalMHSA. This request does not commit CalMHSA to contract for any supply or service whatsoever. In addition, responders are advised that CalMHSA will not pay for any information or administrative costs incurred in response to this RFP; all costs associated with responding to this RFP will be solely at the interested party’s expense. Not responding to this RFP does not preclude participation in any future RFP submissions, if any is issued.

This RFP is intended to solicit interested parties with the ability and capacity to perform the services requested.

For your convenience, please see the following attachments:
1.Request for Proposal (RFP) for Peer Support Specialist Certification – A Landscape Analysis for Specializations for Peer Work Addendum #2
2. Request for Proposal(RFP) – A Landscape Analysis for Specializations for Peer Work Addendum
3. Q&A
4. Peer Support Specialist Certification- A Landscape Analysis for Specializations for Peer Work RFP
5. Conflict of Interest

This RFP Addendum is intended to update the previously posted Due Date and solicit interested parties with the ability and capacity to perform the services requested.

Due to the open procurement, Cal MHSA staff is unable to answer any questions regarding the RFP. Any questions may be submitted using the Bonfire e-procurement portal, noted above.

Request for Proposals (RFP) for Examination Development

CalMHSA is pleased to announce a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Examination Development. Proposal supporting documentation must be submitted to the CalMHSA e-procurement portal located here: https://calmhsa.bonfirehub.com/opportunities/54266

This Request for Proposal is issued for the purpose soliciting responses for interested entities with the experience and capacity for using innovative strategies/ideas to provide the development of exams to be used to certify individuals seeking certification through the Peer Support Specialist Certification (PSSC) program. This request does not commit CalMHSA to contract for any supply or service whatsoever.  In addition, responders are advised that CalMHSA will not pay for any information or administrative costs incurred in response to this RFI/RFP; all costs associated with responding to this RFI/RFP will be solely at the interested party’s expense.  Not responding to this RFI/RFP does not preclude participation in any future RFP, if any is issued.

This RFP is intended to solicit interested parties with the ability and capacity to perform the services requested.

For your convenience, please see the following attachments:

  1. Peer Support Specialist Certification- Exam Development RFP Addendum 2
  2. Peer Support Specialist Certification – Exam Development Q&A
  3. Peer Support Specialist Certification- Exam Development RFP Addendum
  4. Peer Support Specialist Certification- Exam Development RFP
  5. Conflict of Interest

This RFP Addendum is intended to update the previously posted Due Date and solicit interested parties with the ability and capacity to perform the services requested.

Due to the open procurement, Cal MHSA staff is unable to answer any questions regarding the RFP. Any questions may be submitted using the Bonfire e-procurement portal, noted above.

Please follow the link here to view the awardee.