New Mexico  Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professionals, Inc. 

CPS - Certified Prevention Specialist requirements 

The CPS is an individual that helps communities and individuals prevent issues in public health using various domains

Applicants must live or work at 51% of the time with the state of New Mexico  

Minimum education required as a high school diploma or equivalent.  Verification must be submitted.

Work Experience:  12 months/2000 hours of prevention experience across the domains 

Five (5) years;  all prevention specific trainings/workshops/education must be completed within 5 years of application submission

Education:  120  contact hours of  prevention-specific training across all IC&RC domains

  • Twenty-fours (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 trainings  

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 trainings align with the certification requirements and IC&RC Domains as well as which specific domains are applicable to their trainings.

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.  The domains a re as follows:

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

References:  Three (3) letters of recommendation from supervisors, peer and an outside agency.  These letters must be sent with the application.  The letter should document the character, professionalism and competency of the applicant.

Code of Ethics:  The application must read and sign the NMCBBHP Code of Ethical Conduct included in the application packet

Testing :  Applicants will demonstrate knowledge and skills based on the domains and core function of prevention by pass the IC&RC written exam.  Computer based testing is available in the state of New Mexico.  

Fees:  $55 application review fee;   $160  Examination fee          $160  Re-test

  • Fees are non-refundable

Recertification:  Forty (40) hours of continuing education earned every two year, including 6 hours of training in prevention ethics

You can download the CPS application or apply online using Certemy.  

Practice exams were developed to mimic IC&RC Computer Base 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.  See practice exams here

IC&RC Candidate Guide for Prevention Specialists

Prevention professionals proactively intervene to prevent, delay the onset of, of or reduce the severity of many common public health concerns and other societal issues.  Prevention professionals may focus their practice in a variety of specialty areas including substance abuse, behavioral health, violence, bullying, crime and illness.  Prevention professionals work in a variety of setting including schools, workplaces, hospitals, faith base organization, community-based organization, and institutions of higher education.  Prevention professional assess the needs of the individuals and communities they serve in order to select, implement and evaluation evidence-based intervention that are appropriate and relevant.  Prevention professionals must be culturally competent and aware of the developmental factors.

The CPS is a reciprocal level credential offered through the NMCBBHP and provides reciprocity with all other IC&RC member boards who offer the reciprocal level prevention certification.

Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS)