International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium

Prevention Specialist (PS)

A Credential for Your Career & Your Community

Today’s communities face a myriad of challenges – violence, drug abuse, crime, illness – but those problems, and the long-term damage they can cause, can be prevented, with appropriate education and intervention. Prevention-based programs are taking that message to schools, workplaces, faith-based organizations, and community centers in the U.S. and 22 countries around the world. The success of these programs relies on a competent, well-trained, ethical and professional workforce of Prevention Specialists.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2010, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) “8 Strategic Initiatives,” and the 2011 National Drug Control Strategy have placed prevention in the forefront of health care reform efforts across the country. Local, state, and national organizations are struggling to keep up with the tremendous demand for new prevention professionals.

Credentialed prevention staff ensure that programs and their funders are delivering on their mission of ensuring public safety and well-being. A thorough understanding of prevention and the latest evidence-based practices for treatment is the hallmark of a qualified professional. The Prevention Specialist credential requires professionals to demonstrate competency through experience, education, supervision, and the passing of a rigorous examination.

Adopted in 1994, the Prevention Specialist (PS) is one of the fastest growing credentials in the field of addiction-related behavioral health care. There are now more than 50 U.S. states, territories, and countries that offer a reciprocal PS credential.

The certification is administered on a jurisdiction level by an IC&RC Member Board. Each IC&RC Member Board has unique procedures, requirements, and documents – so specific questions about pursuing a Prevention Specialist credential should be directed to your local board. You can find contact information for each IC&RC board, along with the IC&RC credentials offered, in our Member Board Directory.

Exam Preparation

IC&RC has developed a Candidate Guide for professionals preparing for the Prevention Specialist Examination. 

More information is available on the Exam Preparation page.

Prevention Code of Ethics

Codes of ethical conduct are crucial to any certification program. IC&RC Member Boards are required to develop and maintain credential specific codes of ethics. The Prevention Think Tank Code of Ethics can be a valuable resource to applicants and boards alike looking for resources on Prevention Ethics. 

Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC)

The PTTC works to improve implementation and delivery of effective substance abuse prevention interventions, and provide training and technical assistance services to the substance abuse prevention field. It does this by developing and disseminating tools and strategies needed to improve the quality of substance abuse prevention efforts; providing intensive technical assistance and learning resources to prevention professionals in order to improve their understanding of prevention science, epidemiological data, and implementation of evidence-based and promising practices; and, developing tools and resources to engage the next generation of prevention professionals.

For more information on the PTTC visit their website at

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