Application Requirements


Educational requirements 

  • Prevention Specific trainings/workshops/education within the last 5 years- See continuing education for more information
  • 120 hours of prevention specific education across all domains — 24 hours of this education must be ATOD-specific
  • Six hours must be specific to Prevention Ethics
  • 31 hours must be new Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training (SAPST)- SAPST trainings as of October 2012
  • College/University credits from an applicable ATOD-prevention-related course may be applied for a maximum 45 hours. One college credit is equivalent to 15 clock hours. Three college credits are equivalent to 45 clock hours. An official transcript from the college/university is required.
  • 96 hours = other prevention trainings
  • Pass the IC&RC Examination for Prevention Specialists

Learn more about continuing education

  • An applicant must present proof of two years with a minimum of 2,000 hours of prevention experience across all six domains.
  • Applicants must present proof of experience gained in the seven years before submitting an application.
  • An applicant must be currently engaged (e.g. internship, volunteer, employee) in prevention services at the time he or she submits an application. Applicants also must live or work at least 51 percent of their time within the state of Colorado.
  • Verification of 120 hours of supervision specific to the prevention domains (a minimum of 10 hours in each of the domains) is required.

The Prevention Specialist examination will be administered via Computer Based Testing (CBT) only at a designated IQT testing center found throughout the state. A list of all IQT testing centers can be found at this website: or by calling IQT toll free at +1-866-773-1114. Cost of the inital exam is a part of the $295 application fee. If a candidate schedules a test and then must reschedule it is a $25 fee and they will be billed directly by the testing company.

Practice exams were developed to mimic IC&RC’s Computer Based Testing platform to enhance a candidate’s preparation experience. Candidates have 60 minutes to complete the 50 question practice exam. At the completion of each practice exam, candidates are provided with a score report detailing their performance based on the various content areas of the examination.

Practice exams are just one of the many resources available to candidates preparing for their IC&RC examination. For more information on practice exams and other preparation materials, please visit the Exam Preparation page of IC&RC’s website at


The examination will include the following six domains:

  1. Planning and Evaluation
  2. Prevention Education and Service Delivery
  3. Communication
  4. Community Organization
  5. Public Policy and Environmental Change
  6. Professional Growth and Responsibility

The examination broadens the scope of a Prevention Specialist from focusing strictly on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) to encompassing mental, emotional, and behavioral health. The examination will have 150 questions of which 25 will be non-weighted, pretest questions. For more information, please visit the IC&RC website.

Domain 1:  Planning and Evaluation (Weight on Exam:  30%)

Associated Tasks:

  • Determine the level of community readiness for change.
  • Identify appropriate methods to gather relevant data for prevention planning.
  • Identify existing resources available to address the community needs.
  • Identify gaps in resources based on the assessment of community conditions.
  • Identify the target audience.
  • Identify factors that place persons in the target audience at greater risk for the identified problem.
  • Identify factors that provide protection or resilience for the target audience.
  • Determine priorities based on comprehensive community assessment.
  • Develop a prevention plan based on research and theory that addresses community needs and desired outcomes.
  • Select prevention strategies, programs, and best practices to meet the identified needs of the community.
  • Implement a strategic planning process that results in the development and implementation of a quality strategic plan.
  • Identify appropriate prevention program evaluation strategies.
  • Administer surveys/pre/posttests at work plan activities.
  • Conduct evaluation activities to document program fidelity.
  • Collect evaluation documentation for process and outcome measures.
  • Evaluate activities and identify opportunities to improve outcomes.
  • Utilize evaluation to enhance sustainability of prevention activities.
  • Provide applicable workgroups with prevention information and other support to meet prevention outcomes.
  • Incorporate cultural responsiveness into all planning and evaluation activities.
  • Prepare and maintain reports, records, and documents pertaining to funding sources.

Domain 2:  Prevention Education and Service Delivery (Weight on Exam:  15%) Associated Tasks:

  • Coordinate prevention activities.
  • Implement prevention education and skill development activities appropriate for the target audience.
  • Provide prevention education and skill development programs that contain accurate, relevant, and timely content.
  • Maintain program fidelity when implementing evidence-based practices.
  • Serve as a resource to community members and organizations regarding prevention strategies and best practices.

Domain 3:  Communication (Weight on Exam:  13%) Associated Tasks:

  • Promote programs, services, activities, and maintain good public relations.
  • Participate in public awareness campaigns and projects relating to health promotion across the continuum of care.
  • Identify marketing techniques for prevention programs.
  • Apply principles of effective listening.
  • Apply principles of public speaking.
  • Employ effective facilitation skills.
  • Communicate effectively with various audiences.
  • Demonstrate interpersonal communication competency.

Domain 4:  Community Organization (Weight on Exam:  15%) Associated Tasks:

  • Identify the community demographics and norms.
  • Identify a diverse group of stakeholders to include in prevention programming activities.
  • Build community ownership of prevention programs by collaborating with stakeholders when planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention activities.
  • Offer guidance to stakeholders and community members in mobilizing for community change.
  • Participate in creating and sustaining community-based coalitions.
  • Develop or assist in developing content and materials for meetings and other related activities.
  • Develop strategic alliances with other service providers within the community.
  • Develop collaborative agreements with other service providers within the community.
  • Participate in behavioral health planning and activities.

Domain 5:  Public Policy and Environmental Change (Weight on Exam:  12%) Associated Tasks:

  • Provide resources, trainings, and consultations that promote environmental change.
  • Participate in enforcement initiatives to affect environmental change.
  • Participate in public policy development to affect environmental change.
  • Use media strategies to support policy change efforts in the community.
  • Collaborate with various community groups to develop and strengthen effective policy.
  • Advocate to bring about policy and/or environmental change.

Domain 6:  Professional Growth and Responsibility (Weight on Exam:  15%) Associated Tasks:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of current prevention theory and practice.
  • Adhere to all legal, professional, and ethical principles.
  • Demonstrate cultural responsiveness as a prevention professional.
  • Demonstrate self-care consistent with prevention messages.
  • Recognize importance of participation in professional associations locally, statewide, and nationally.
  • Demonstrate responsible and ethical use of public and private funds.
  • Advocate for health promotion across the life span.
  • Advocate for healthy and safe communities.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current issues of addiction.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current issues of mental, emotional, and behavioral health.
  • All fees are non-refundable.
  • $295 this cost covers initial exam. If a candidate schedules a test and then must reschedule it is a $25 fee and they will be billed directly by the testing company
  • Re-certification: $200
  • Re-test: $150
  • Exam cancellation: $150
  • Reinstatement fee for lapsed certification 1 year or less: $50
To maintain the high standards of this professional practice and to assure continuing awareness of new knowledge in the field, the Colorado Prevention Certification Board requires recertification every two years.

  • To be recertified as a CPS II, an individual must:
    • Hold a current and valid certificate issued by the Colorado Prevention Certification Board;
    • Acquire 40 hours of continuing education in prevention-specific trainings/workshops/etc., and 3 hours in professional ethics and responsibilities received within the two year recertification cycle; Please describe how the training’s apply specifically to primary prevention and the associated domain.
      • A maximum number of 12 hours for each domain for renewals will be accepted, with the exception of Professional Development which will be capped at 4 hours.
      • Only 3 hours of non-prevention professional ethics will count toward the 40-hour total
        • The only exception will be given to Prevention Ethics, in which case all hours of the training will be counted towards the 40-hour total since it is prevention specific
        • This means that a 6 hour Ethics in Treatment class will only be accepted for 3 hours
      • Training hours from general non-prevention specific behavioral and public health trainings and/or conferences will be viewed using the following guideline:
        • Hours will be capped at 4, and will fall under the Professional Development domain for non-primary prevention related trainings
      • Treatment related trainings that are related to primary prevention and applicable to this certification only those listed below, and can count for up to 14-hours towards recertification under the appropriate domain:
        • Motivational Interviewing & Advanced Motivational Interviewing
        • Pharmacology I & II
        • Trauma Informed Care for Diverse Populations
          • These 3 trainings (above) are also part of the CAC credentialing process
      • Secondary Prevention trainings, such as Relapse Prevention, are considered general non-prevention specific training as it not primary prevention focused
    • Verify that you have reviewed, read and will uphold by practice the CPCB Code of Prevention Ethical Conduct for professional behavior; and
    • Complete an application and pay the recertification fee of $200.
All certified professionals should review the re-certification application well in advance of the expiration date. A Reinstatement Fee of $50 is due if the re-certification is late between one day and 12 months. After 12 months, no re-certification is possible, and an applicant would have to reapply for the credential, meeting all current requirements. If the application is incomplete, the applicant will be notified.
The purpose of appeal is to determine if the Colorado Prevention Certification Board (CPCB) accurately, adequately and fairly reviewed an applicant’s file. A letter requesting an appeal must be made to the CPCB in writing within 30 days of the notification of the board’s action.

A person shall be considered notified three days after the relevant date of mailing. The written appeal will be sent to the CPCB, which, in turn, will thoroughly review the entire application and materials to determine whether the applicant should have been denied approval.

An applicant will be notified in writing about the findings of the Colorado Prevention Certification Board.

Other Requirements to Note:

  • The Code of Ethical Conduct must be signed and dated. The signed statement verifies that applicants have read, understand and will adhere to the CPCB’s code of ethics. Applicants will be required to sign and date the statement within the online application system.  You can download a copy of the Code of Ethics here.
  • Applicants must live or work 51% of their time in Colorado at the time they submit an application.
  • Applicants must be compliant with Colorado Prevention Board sanctions regarding disclosure of:

– Felony or misdemeanor convictions;
– Diagnosis of, or ever having been treated for, pedophilia, exhibitionism or voyeurism;
– Current engagement in the use of illegal substances OR the misuse or abuse of drugs or alcohol;
– Any and all rejection or censure by a professional association;
– Any and all settlements of legal action rendered against you in relation to the performance of your professional services in any profession;
– Any and all final judgments rendered against you in relation to performance of your professional services in any profession;
– Any and all pending legal actions against you, or to which you are a party, in relation to the performance of your professional services in any profession.

Are you’re ready to get started?

Learn more about the simple, three-step application process to become a Colorado Certified Prevention Specialist before heading off to the CCPS Application Center.

Individuals in the process of renewing their credential should contact for access to the Certemy system.