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  • What is a Certified Prevention Professional (CPP)?
    A Certified Prevention Professional (CPP) is a credential for professionals working in the substance misuse prevention field in Washington.
  • What is the scope of prevention that this credential covers?
    The CPP and APP credentials focus on substance misuse prevention.
  • How can I learn more about the process of becoming a CPP?
    The process of becoming a CPP is thoroughly explained on the PSCBW website: This chart helps simplify the steps to gain a CPP. It can be downloaded too.
  • Does an individual have to be working in the field of substance misuse prevention before applying for a CPP or APP credential?
    Individuals seeking to apply for a CPP or APP credential must submit documentation of prevention experience and education in the substance misuse prevention field.
  • Is a Bachelor’s degree a minimum requirement to become a Certified Prevention Professional?
    A Bachelor's degree is not required to achieve a Certified Prevention Professional or Associate Prevention Professional credential. A high school diploma or GED is the minimum requirement.
  • What is the difference between an application renewal and recertification?
    Renewal Application: Current CPPs applying to renew their credential for an additional 2-year certification period. Subsequent expiration dates fall on an applicant’s birth date (Month & Day). Recertification Application: A CPP whose certification has lapsed and are applying to regain their CPP credential.
  • Can I continue to call myself a CPP if I don't routinely renew my certification?
    You can no longer identify yourself as a CPP if your certification has expired.
  • What happens with my CPP credential if I move to a different state?
    As a Member Board of the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), we follow their requirements in regard to reciprocity when a current CPP credential holder in good standing is planning on moving to another state. More information on this process can be found on website Reciprocity page:
  • Does the 2000 hours of prevention experience need to be continuous or within a certain number of years?
    The 2000 hours do not have to be earned in continuous service. Document where and when you have accumulated these hours. You will be filling this information in the required Supervised Experiential Learning Form with your application.
  • Does a supervisor need to be a CPP to be able to sign off on the Supervised Experiential Learning form?
    Supervisors are not required to hold a CPP credential to sign off on the Supervised Experiential Learning form.
  • Do I need to submit a Supervised Experiential Learning Form for each place I have worked and/or currently employed?
    It is highly recommended that you submit a signed Supervised Experiential Learning Form for each place you have worked or are currently employed even if you have reached the 2000 hours minimum.
  • If an applicant is an Executive Director of an organization, who can sign off on the Supervised Experiential Learning form?
    The president or a designated agency/board representative can sign off on the Supervised Experiential Learning Form.
  • How do I submit my application?
    An Intent to Apply for Certification form located on our website must have been completed and submitted. Upon receipt of the Intent, a personal folder is created on the Board’s secure Google Drive. This folder contains subfolders to upload required individual documents to corresponding subfolders. A direct link and QR Code to access the personal folder is sent to the applicant. Personal folders remain open for six (6) months. If uploading required documents isn’t completed within this timeframe, personal folders are moved to an Inactive Personal Folders spreadsheet. Once an applicant is placed there, they must submit another Intent to Apply for Certification noting that they are ready to upload all required documents.
  • Once I have submitted my application, how long will it remain active?
    Once an application is submitted, it remains active for 12 months. This allows time for the application to be reviewed by three (3) Board directors. If discrepancies are found, you must quickly address any request for clarification and/or submit additional documentation to be reviewed again. If these discrepancies are not corrected within the 12-months timeframe, you must re-initiate the application process by submitting another Intent to Apply for Certification.
  • How is my application processed?
    Once you have notified the Board that all your required documents have been uploaded to your personal folder, the review process begins. Once three (3) Board directors have completed their reviews and agreed that your application is complete, it is added to the Eligibility Report to be presented to the full Board at a subsequent meeting for final approval. If you applied for the Initial CPP certification, this Board approval is for you to register for the IC&RC Prevention Specialist (PS) Examination. Once you have passed the exam, you immediately become a certified PS. Once the IC&RC notifies the Board that you have passed, we will email your CPP Certificate and congratulatory letter to you within five (5) business days. If you fail the exam, you may retake the exam after a minimum of six (6) have passed. A retest fee is charged. The Board Testing Committee Chair will assist you in registering for the retest.
  • Where can I get my Criminal History Background Check (CHBC) that is accepted by the Board?
    An acceptable current Criminal History Background Check can be found on the Washington State Patrol website at A current Criminal History Background Check can also be obtained at local Sheriff’s Offices. The current CHBCs must have been completed within one year prior to the application submission date.
  • What if I have problems uploading the required documents into my personal folder?
    You can submit a Contact Us email to notify us of your need for technical assistance. You will be contacted by phone or email by the Board director providing technical support within three (3) business days.
  • What happens if I’m contacted that my application is incomplete or requires clarification?
    If it is determined that your application is incomplete and/or requires additional documentation, you will be contacted by the Board Eligibility Committee Chair with instructions of what needs to be submitted to resolve the discrepancy(ies). Once the application is found to be complete, the review process moves to the next step.
  • How long do I have to submit these additional documents?
    You must submit the additional documents no later than 60 days from the date you were notified. Not submitting this additional documentation within this timeframe will delay the further processing of your application. Your application will be moved to the bottom of the list of those applicants that are waiting for their applications to be reviewed.
  • What’s the status of my application?
    Typical processing time for applications is 60 to 90 days. Your application must go through three (3) independent reviews by current Board directors. Our directors are all-volunteer, and typically review 5 –15 applications per month outside of their regular professional and personal obligations. Each review can take as little as 20 minutes, or up to several hours. Please be patient as we do this important work. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you do not hear from us, this usually means that your application is still in line for review, where there may be a half dozen applications ahead of you. If you would like to request the specific status of your application, please join us at one of our monthly Office Hours meetings held on the 4th Monday of every month at 4:00 PM. You can register on the Home Page of our website, We can give you an answer as to where your application is in the review process, i.e., in its preliminary, 1st, 2nd or 3rd review, whether the review process is completed, and your application has been added to the Eligibility Report slated for our next Board meeting for approval. Please note that out of respect for privacy and confidentiality to all of our applicants, we can only give the details about your application in a private setting. Here are some areas in the review process that can contribute to delays: Possible Delay #1: The required documents you have uploaded are not named correctly (see the Instructions located in your personal folder). Documents that are normally in landscape mode are not rotated for easier viewing during our reviews. Individual documents aren’t uploaded to their corresponding subfolders. Documents requiring a signature that have not been signed. Possible Delay #2: Did you send us your notification that your application uploads are completed and ready to be reviewed? Our review process does not begin until we receive this notification that your documents are uploaded. Possible Delay #3: Upon receipt of your notification, the Eligibility Committee Chairperson conducts a preliminary review of all required documents you have submitted. If this preliminary review identifies that discrepancies are present, the following cycle begins and only ends until all requested documentation has been submitted. Possible Delay #4: If there are no discrepancies identified or all discrepancies in the preliminary review have been resolved, the Eligibility Committee Chairperson notifies three (3) Board directors to complete reviews of your application. Should any discrepancies be identified by any or all reviewers during this process, further discussion occurs to determine whether additional documentation or clarification is required. This process is similar to the diagram shown above. Possible Delay #5: Once the review process is completed, your application is added to the Eligibility Report to be presented at a subsequent monthly meeting of the full Board for approval. If you are an Initial CPP applicant, you will be notified by our Testing Committee Chairperson to register for the IC&RC PS Exam. If you are a CPP Renewal or Recertification applicant, you will receive your new CPP credential shortly after this meeting. Our goal is to thoroughly answer this question. Please notify us if there is any additional information that should be added.
  • What is the IC&RC Prevention Specialist (PS) Examination?
    It is a valid examination for the IC&RC credentialing process that tests the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for competent job performance of prevention specialists.
  • What’s the difference between a prevention specialist and prevention professional?
    Prevention specialist (PS) is a universal term that the IC&RC established and is widely used. The certified prevention professional (CPP) term is used in Washington. They are synonymous with each other.
  • Where do I take the IC&RC PS Exam?
    The IC&RC has approved testing sites throughout Washington. The cities that are approved in WA are located in Bellingham, Camas, Fife, Liberty Lake, Mountlake Terrace (Three sites), Olympia, Pasco, Seattle, Spokane and Yakima.
  • What kinds of questions are on the exam?
    All questions are in multiple choice format. Questions focus on the six (6) Prevention Core Competencies Domains.
  • How many questions are there?
    There are 150 questions on the IC&RC examination.
  • How much time do I have to complete the exam?
    The allotted time to complete the exam is three (3) hours.
  • How should I prepare to take for the exam?
    The IC&RC has a Candidate Guide for the PS Examination on their website. It is also available for download on our website. There is an additional book on preparing for this exam listed on the Certified Prevention Professional (CPP) webpage under CPP Exam: Test Prep. This book can be purchase through Amazon. Click on the book picture to directly link to the book.
  • What happens when I fail the exam?
    A retest is available. The PSCBW Testing Committee Chair will assist you in pre-registering for the retest. You are not eligible to take the PS exam retest until a minimum of six (6) months have passed since failing on your first attempt. There is a retest fee that must be paid prior to pre-registration. If you do not pass the examination you are provided with the percentages of correctly answered items in each content domain to better focus future study efforts. Remedial education in these areas must be completed prior to reapplying for a retest. You will submit a Record of CEHs Completion form for those remedial completed in the prior six (6) months to retesting.
  • I need accommodations to take the exam. How do I request accommodations?
    You may request accommodations for taking the PS examination. A Request for Accommodations form is available for download from our website Certified Prevention Professional page. The form link is located on the bottom right side of the page. It must be returned to the PSCBW Testing Chair at least 60 days in advance of the scheduled exam date.
  • What are acceptable trainings/education for Drug Pharmacology Education, ATOD Prevention Education, Prevention Ethics and General Prevention Education?
    A comprehensive list of approved training/education courses by categories can be found on our website, This spreadsheet is updated regularly. Suggestions for additional course(s) to be added are thoroughly considered for approval. Please send us an email via our Contact Us webpage:
  • Is there a limit to the timeframe in which training and education has been obtained?
    If you are an Initial CPP applicant, 50% of the required 120 hours (60 hours) must be earned within the last 10 years, with 40 of those 60 hours within the last two (2) years. If you are applying for CPP Renewal or CPP Recertification, the required 40 hours minimum CEHs must have been earned within the last two (2) years.
  • May I use college credit hours and how do I count them?
    You may use college course credit hours toward the continuing education requirements, but Board approval will be made on a case-by-case basis. You will need to submit the course transcript with number of credits and course content description for our Board to review prior to approval.
  • If I provide training, or teach a class, does that count toward accepted CEH hours?
    CEHs may be granted for providing prevention training or teaching a prevention-related class on a case-by-case basis. Attendance verification documents, course content outline, number of credit hours, and presenter(s) qualifications must be submitted and reviewed to gain Board approval. You may receive CEHs for this event only once during a two-year certification period.
  • Are webinars an acceptable form of training and education?
    Webinars are acceptable as long as they are Board-approved training/education events. Attendance verification documents, course content outline, number of hours completed, and presenter(s) qualifications must be submitted and reviewed to gain Board approval.
  • How do I match my training/education hours to the required categories on the Record of CEH s Completion form?
    Courses in drug pharmacology should be listed in the Drug Education category. Ethics courses completed must be prevention-specific in content. Courses that focus specifically on ATOD prevention should be listed in the ATOD Prevention Education category. Examples: Substance Use & Misuse: Prevention & Perceptions Guiding Good Choices, Project Alert, CADCA workshops with ATOD-specific content, and WA Prevention Summit workshops with ATOD-specific content, etc. Courses that would be placed in General Prevention Education category include examples of Suicide Prevention, Communities That Care (CTC), CADCA National Academy, Positive Cultural Framework, Strategic Planning Framework, coalition coordination/management, SAPST (Substance Abuse Prevention System Training), some evidence-based curricula, etc. Five (5) hours minimum in Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) must be completed and listed under General Prevention Education.
  • How do I know if a training/education event is approved for CEHs?
    You can find a comprehensive spreadsheet for download that lists approved training/education events on our website on the Education & Resources page. There are links to sources that provide CEHs listed below the downloadable document. For conferences, you will need to submit a conference schedule with workshop descriptions for those individual workshops you have attended circled or highlighted. This is what the Board must have to approve category assignments.
  • When do I use the Affidavit of Attendance Form?
    An Affidavit of Attendance is used to document any training/education event that has not provided a certificate or letter to verify your attendance. You must attach additional documentation that shows the event title, content description, hours, and the names of presenter(s). Affidavits are not used for attending conferences. Conference workshops are documented on a different form.
  • What does PSCBW do?
    As a professional trade board, the PSCBW conducts a peer review process for: (a) certification of. prevention professionals for the Certified Prevention Professional (CPP) and Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist (ICPS) credentials; (b) renewals of individuals who have obtained their CPP/ ICPS credentials; and (c) recertification for those who have had their CPP/ ICPS lapse but are interested in reapplying.
  • When was the Board created?
    The Prevention Specialist Certification Board of Washington (PSCBW) was established March 6, 2002, as a Washington State non-profit corporation and is a Member Board of the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).
  • Is the Board a for-profit or non-profit organization?
    PSCBW is an IRS and Washington State recognized non-profit 501(c)(6) organization.
  • Why do I have to pay fees to apply for certification?
    Certification, renewal and recertification fees are charged to cover application processing, IC&RC membership dues, IC&RC Prevention Specialist Examination fees, if applicable, and ongoing records and data management system expenses.
  • What are the requirements to become a director of the Board?
    If you are interested in becoming a Board director must have your current CPP for a minimum of six (6) months prior to application. If you know someone that might be interested in joining the Board, please forward their name and contact info to us on our Contact Us webpage.
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