Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS)

The CPS is an individual that helps communities and individuals prevent issues in public health using various domains. Prevention specialists proactively intervene to prevent, delay the onset of, or reduce the severity of many common public health concerns and other societal issues. CPSs may focus their practice in a variety of areas including substance abuse, behavioral health, violence, bullying, crime, and illness. They have supervised work experience providing substance abuse prevention services and have been engaged in working directly in the field of prevention. Child welfare, mental health, behavioral health, infectious diseases, or substance abuse are examples of acceptable areas.

Learn More about the Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) Requirements

Applicant must live or work 51% of the time within the state of New Mexico.

Work Experience
12 months/2000 hours of prevention experience across the prevention domains. Five (5) years; all prevention specific trainings/workshops/education must be completed within 5 years of application submission

A high school diploma or equivalent is required and verification must be submitted. 120 contact hours of prevention-specific training across all IC&RC domains

Twenty-four (24) of this education must be Alcohol tobacco and Other Drug ATOD specific

Six (6) hours must be in Prevention Ethics.  Remaining hours must be additional/other prevention training.

College/university credits from an applicable ATOD prevention-related course may be applied for a maximum 45 hours.

  • One semester hour of relevant college course – 15 contact hours
  • Three semester credits are equivalent to 45 clock hours. 
  • One quarter credit is equivalent to 10 clock hours. 
  • An official transcript from the college/university is required.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure their training aligns with the certification requirements and IC&RC Domains as well as which specific domains are applicable to their training.

Supervised Practical Experience
Verification of 120 hours of supervision specific to the prevention domains (a minimum of 10) hours in each of the six IC&RC domains. 

CPS Domains:

  • Planning and Evaluation
  • Education and Skill Development
  • Communications
  • Community Organization
  • Public Policy and Environmental Change
  • Professional Growth and Responsibility

Applicant must provide three (3) letters of recommendation from a supervisor, peer, or an outside agency.  These letters must be sent with the application. The letter should document the character, professionalism, and competency of the applicant.

Applicants will demonstrate knowledge and skills based on the domains and core function of prevention by passing the IC&RC written exam.  

Application Review Fee: $55
Examination Fee $160
Retest Fee $160