The Certified Prevention Specialist credential is a beginning-level certification. Any advanced certifications adopted by the NH Prevention Certification Board in the future will require candidates to possess a CPS. Those seeking certification but who do not have extensive experience in the field of ATOD prevention should aspire to fulfill the requirements of the Certified Prevention Specialist.

The purpose of prevention certification is to recognize and ensure that substance abuse prevention practitioners meet competency standards established by the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) and the New Hampshire Prevention Certification Board.

The Prevention Certification Manual contains the requirements, procedures and forms for the Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS). The manual & application forms for Certified Prevention Specialist are currently available for download in a Microsoft Word format on their website at

All experience and education is based on the five IC&RC Prevention Performance Domains. They are:

  • Planning and Evaluation
  • Education and Skill Development
  • Community Organization
  • Public and Organizational Policy
  • Professional Growth and Responsibility

The job tasks for each Performance Domain are detailed in the IC&RC section of the manual.

The Educational Disciplines Required of a Prevention Specialist are described below:

The history, uses, trends and pharmacology of stimulants, depressants, psychotherapeutic drugs, alcohol, tobacco and various other substances as well as the psychological, biological and social aspects of substance abuse. Appropriate intervention for prevention and treating substance abuse in special populations is also acceptable.

Cultural Competency:
May focus on the aspects of culture that include not just the recognition of diversity among racial and ethnic groups and language differences, but also recognizing the importance of gender, age, socio-economic, sexual orientation, religious, geographic and political difference across the state.

Prevention Practice and Theory:
Can include, but is not limited to, workshops on sustainability, planning, development, community engagement, collaboration, implementation of evidence based programs, practices and strategies, assessment, capacity building, grant writing and evaluation.

Must be specific to Prevention Ethics and based on the Code of Ethical Standards for the initial certification. Recertification ethics trainings can include any ATOD related ethics workshops.

Must provide participants with basic and updated information about HIV and AIDS. This includes risk factors, modes of transmission, signs and symptoms, prevention, the relationship between HIV and AIDS. Updated information on mother-to-child transmission and prevention and an overview of the epidemic.

Recertification for the Prevention Specialist is every two years and requires an additional forty (40) hours of continuing education in the area of ATOD prevention.

For more information, please see the NH Prevention Certification website at or contact