CRS Update

The survey will remain open until October 14, 2019. 
We appreciate your feedback and thank you in advance for your participation. Link to the survey is a the bottom of the Survey Instructions to the right.

The Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB), in conjunction with 16 Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), revised and updated the Content Outline for the CRS credential in August 2019. During this focus group meeting, domains (overarching categories), knowledge, tasks, and competencies were discussed, added, revised, and delineated.


Prior to this focus group meeting, PCB compiled the following information for the SMEs to review and take into consideration:


  1. Current CRS Job Analysis/Content Outline
  2. Current research in substance use peer recovery
  3. Content review of similar certifications in Pennsylvania
  4. Content review of similar certifications in other states
  5. Feedback from current CRSs
  6. Feedback from providers
  7. Feedback from trainers
  8. Lessons learned from PCB staff

PCB staff provided feedback regarding the need for clarity around domains and competencies. One of the main concerns we hear all the time is that applicants and trainers didn’t always understand what we meant by “Recovery Management” or “Education and Advocacy”. While facilitating the meeting, we challenged the SMEs to consider the language they used and what was necessary to be a competent CRS.


While many of the competencies remain the same, there are changes including: format, task reassignment, additional competencies/domains. The SMEs felt very strongly that since the primary purpose of certification is for public protection, the Content Outline needed to expand. They wanted to be sure that future CRSs were provided the best base of knowledge and training possible to begin working with others in this capacity.  This expansion and update does mean the requirements for the CRS will be adjusted. They are still under review, and PCB will notify all stakeholders when they are finalized. Ample time will be given for those who are in the process of applying for the CRS and trainers, etc. to make any necessary adjustments. This isn’t a process that will occur quickly. We want to ensure we have an implementation timeline that is reasonable, fair, and allows for a high-quality update to the CRS credential.


The focus group meeting was the first of many steps in the process of updating the CRS. The next step involves all certified CRSs, supervisors of CRSs and other stakeholders providing us with feedback on the proposed Content Outline by completing the survey linked to to the right.

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