Senior Certified Prevention Specialist (SCPS)

The Senior Certified Prevention Specialist meets all of the requirements of the CPS, with the basis of their work ensuring that programs and their funders are delivering on their mission of ensuring public safety and well-being. The SCPS credential requires Prevention Specialists to demonstrate competency through experience, education, supervision, and the passing of a rigorous examination. Competence includes a synthesis of education and experience combined with an understanding of the cultures within which prevention application occurs. The maintenance of competence requires continual learning and professional improvement throughout one’s career.

Who are Senior Prevention Specialists? SCPSs have documented experience providing supervision, administrative, leadership, or management work experience in the field of Substance Abuse Prevention. Senior Prevention Specialists have demonstrated a thorough understanding of prevention and using the latest evidence-based practices for treatment. SCPSs have mastered their prevention specialty’s body of knowledge and skill competencies, strive continually to improve personal proficiency and quality of service delivery, and discharge professional responsibility to the best of their ability.

Senior Certified Prevention Specialist (SCPS) Requirements

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

Applicant must hold and maintain in good standing the CPS credential at the IC&RC reciprocal level.  There is no exam required for this credential. 

Five (5) years/10,000 hours of prevention experience across the prevention domains.  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 education.
  • Fifty (50) hours of this education must be Alcohol Tobacco & Other Drugs (ATOD) specific
  • Six (6) hours must be in Prevention Ethics. 
  • Remaining hours must be additional/other prevention trainings

College/University credits from an applicable ATOD prevention-related course may be applied for a maximum of 45 hours​

  • ​One semester credit of relevant college course is equivalent to 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.

Supervised Practical Experience
Verification of 144 hours of supervision specific to the prevention domains (a minimum of 10 hours in each of the six IC&RC domains) 

Domains are as follows:

  • 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.

Certification Fee: $140.00

Senior Certified Prevention Specialist (SCPS):
Twenty-eight (28) hours must be in ATOD Prevention or General Prevention hours
Six (6) hours must be in Prevention Ethics and Responsibilities
Six (6) hours must be Leadership, Management, or Supervisor Skills related to the Behavioral Health Field