Earning a professional credential is a rewarding multi-step process. This section includes detail information about applying to become a Certified Prevention Specialist in Montana, as well as recertification information.
CPS Initial Certification Process
- To apply, applicants must live or work at least 51% of the time within the state of Montana. Applicants will attest to this and the Montana home address they must provide in the application will confirm their residency.
- Once the applicant pays the initial fee ($75), they complete the online Certemy application. The applicant also pays an additional ($325) to process the application and cover the cost of taking the prevention exam. If the applicant’s employer is paying these fees, an appropriate invoice will be provided to MPCB with all the necessary details.
- If the applicant is using the Legacy (grandfathering) process, the additional cost will be ($150) since the applicant will not be taking the prevention exam ($175). The Education/Eligibility Committee will review the application to ensure the Legacy requirements are all satisfied.
- The Certification Program Manager determines if the application is complete and sufficient for review.
- Once all the items have been submitted by the applicant and approved by the Certification Program Manager, the Education/Eligibility Committee conducts a final review to determine if the applicant is eligible to sit for the CPS exam.
- Upon application approval by the Education/Eligibility Committee, the Certification Manager will pre-register the applicant with IC&RC to sit for the exam.
- Candidates will receive an email from the testing company. This email outlines how the candidate can select a date, time, and location to sit for the examination. This location may be a remote proctored location or a physical testing site.
- IC&RC uses SMT/Prometric to administer examinations. They may also be referred to as IQT testing or Schroeder Measurement Technologies (SMT). These three companies merged into one larger testing company with three divisions. IC&RC utilizes computer-based testing.
- Once the applicant passes the exam and MPCB receives the official score, the applicant will be certified. Once certified, the certificate can be found in the certificate holder’s Digital Wallet within their Certemy account.
- If the applicant does not pass the exam or misses the scheduled test date, the applicant must work with the Certification Program Manager to re-schedule the exam and pay the fee for the additional exam. Per IC&RC: Candidates interested in retaking an exam must wait 90 days after the original test date.
Note: ALL sections of the application must be complete for the application to be considered ready for submission to the Education/Eligibility Committee. This includes the Fees section. An application cannot be submitted for review by the Committee until it is complete.
The primary purpose of certification is to ensure that professionals in any given field meet high standards of performance. Certified professionals have completed a rigorous process to demonstrate they possess the competency necessary to provide quality services. To earn an MPCB credential, all applicants must complete the Application Process. The Application Process ensures that each applicant provides verifiable documentation demonstrating they have met the necessary education, training, and experience standards.
The MPCB offers two main application routes: standard and legacy. The Standard process is for individuals who will meet all requirements and must pass the examination. Legacy is a temporarily offered sub-set of Standard, once known as Grandfathering, for those with at least 5 years of experience in Prevention. Legacy candidates don’t have to take the exam.
The MPCB Examination Process is for candidates who have met the minimum education, training, and experience standards set for the CPS credential. MPCB will not allow applicants to register for the exam until their Application for Certification and supporting documents have been approved. After the exam is passed the CPS credential is awarded.
Maintenance & Renewal
Once an applicant becomes a CPS, they enter the Maintenance & Renewal phase whereby they are required to complete a minimum number of annual continuing education (CE) and abide by the MPCB Code of Ethical Conduct in their daily practice. Timely payment of renewal fees and completion of CE documentation is required to prevent inactive status.
If you have questions, please contact the Certification Program Manager at Emily.Weiler@mso.umt.edu.