National Standards — Informational Meeting
Friday, October 12, 2012
National Association of Peer Specialists (NAPS) held an informational / listening session at Alternatives 2012 in Portland, Oregon about National Standards for Peer Specialists.
Thanks to OptumHealth for their generous contribution of a toll-free phone line for people across the country to call in and listen to the meeting. Comments offered during the meeting are provided in the notes submitted by attendees and also listed in the Comment fields below.
Steve Harrington’s Call for Collaboration to establish National Standards for Peer Specialists (for all peer support providers) is an opportunity for the entire c/s/x peer and substance use communities to unite in the common purpose of defining the value of lived experience and the strength of strategic sharing in supporting others.
At the Pillars of Peer Support, the National Association of Peer Specialists (NAPS) was charged with bringing together representatives from many different peer groups to discuss and build consensus toward a core set of standards to guide the practice and supervision of the peer support provider professions.
The purpose of the meeting at the Alternatives Conference in Portland, Oregon was to plan for the development of a core set of national standards.
Common themes included: standards protect those who receive services, standards help to ensure quality services, standards are a tool to help advocate for recovery, standards help prevent co-optation, important to integrate substance use peer support, nothing about us without us, need a united voice to be heard.
Now is the time to define the peer specialist profession — before others do it for us.
Click the following link to download a one-page summary and example of a practice standard by Steve Harrington, Executive Director of the National Association of Peer Specialists.
With some initial answers. Important: The following terms, definitions, and requirements are subject to change based on input from the advisory groups and work groups that are soon to be established.
(1) Why are we talking about National Standards for Peer Specialists?
— Well defined standards lend credibility and accountability to the profession.
(2) What are Practice Standards?
— Practice standards are guidelines that define acceptable (and unacceptable) practices. They include values, ethics, and standards of good practice. For a DRAFT example of a potential practice standard, review the following document:
Note: This was a first attempt — created for people to give thoughts and reactions.
Please feel free to leave comments about this draft below (on this web page) or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(3) What’s the difference between National Certification and National Standards?
— Certification refers to the amount and type of training (including on-the-job, supervised training) that qualifies someone for a particular job. Currently, for peer specialists, these qualifications vary widely from state to state, and in many cases from setting to setting within a particular state. Add to the complexity the variety of titles and services offered by peer support providers. There are a wide variety of training requirements to perform these more specific jobs, which may not apply to a more generic peer specialist training.
— Practice standards are statements that describe the values and ethics and provide guidelines for the core (essential) practices for a profession.
— Practice standards may recommend a specific amount or type of training. However, the actual training requirements would depend on the more specific job title, core competencies necessary to perform the job, and the needs of those who are receiving services in the organization that is hiring for the position.
(4) Is the goal to develop a National Peer Specialist credential?
— The current goal is to establish National Standards that offer a “minimum set” of guidelines for practice and inform the supervision of that practice. The intent is to develop a clear set of statements that reflect agreed upon values of peer support providers, which in turn lead to better job descriptions/more appropriate tasks that make best use of the lived experience of the peers who are providing services and provide more consistent services for the people who are receiving services.
(5) What is the value of establishing National Practice Standards?
— More credibility as a profession, better recognition of the value and validity of peer support as a healing art, increased quality assurance, tools that help peers advocate for recovery focused practices and supervisors to evaluate job performance.
(6) What will happen if we don’t establish National Practice Standards?
— Continued lack of recognition of peer support as a valid profession (lacking equal status and pay to other practitioners of healing arts) and continued confusion over the role of peers in mental and behavioral health care.
WHAT QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS DO YOU HAVE?
Post them below or submit them to: email@example.com
Notes from the meeting (taken by participants):
For additional comments captured during the meeting, view the comments below.
We are striving to establish a collaborative and inclusive coalition to determine
National Standards for Peer Specialists. Toward that goal, we are now working on:
- An intentional and inclusive process for inviting members to join the proposed work groups
- Inviting the national technical assistance centers and national organizations to share the invitation to join this effort with their members
- Consensus building throughout the process
- Inclusion of all c/s/x peers (not just peer specialists) in the review
- Inclusion of substance use / dual recovery communities for comment
To learn more about the Call for Collaboration and recent discussion, visit the National Standards page on the NAPS website: http://na4ps.wordpress.com/national-standards
Like us on Facebook and give informal feedback at https://www.facebook.com/NA4PS.
If you know others who would like to be involved in this effort – ask them to send email with JOIN LIST in the subject to firstname.lastname@example.org
To Sign Up for a specific work group complete this survey (which gives us more information about your specific skills and interests and availability): https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MQW769H