Certified Recovery Specialist Training

The Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) credential qualifies drug and alcohol peers who are in recovery to help others move into and through the recovery process. COCA’s CRS Trainings are held in 10-week cohorts that meet on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the RISE Center, located at 702 N. 8th St., Reading, PA. 



Class Info

The Summer/Fall 2024 CRS cohort takes place August 3rd to October 12th, 2024. No class on August 31st due to Labor Day Weekend.

Apply for summer cohort

Questions? Please contact the CRS Training Coordinator at crstraining@cocaberks.org.

About Certified Recovery Specialists

When are the classes?

The Spring 2024 CRS cohort takes place August 3rd to October 12th, 2024. No class on August 31st due to Labor Day Weekend.


What is a Certified Recovery Specialist?

The Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) is a credential offered by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB). It qualifies individuals who are in recovery from addiction to help their peers move into and through the recovery process.

Who is eligible for CRS Training?

It is specifically for individuals with personal, lived experience in their own recovery, who have been in recovery for a minimum of 18 months. Recovery services are an important component in recovery-oriented systems of care. By offering insight into the recovery process based on their own experience, recovery specialists are able to provide a unique perspective to those with similar life experiences. As a CRS, an individual accepts and agrees that their experience as a person in recovery from a substance use disorder will be known by their colleagues, persons served, and others with whom they may share that they have achieved this credential.

What is the role of a Certified Recovery Specialist?

The role of the CRS reflects a collaborative and strength-based approach, with the primary goal being to assist individuals in achieving sustained recovery. CRS’s serve in a support role within the community and/or treatment setting. They do not replace other professional service; they complement the existing array of support services. The CRS is not a sponsor, case manager or a therapist but rather a role model, mentor, advocate and motivator. Services provided by the CRS are a critical component of services that substantially improve an individual’s ability to sustain recovery and wellness.

What is involved in earning a CRS Certification?

Taking the CRS Training is the first step toward earning a CRS certification. Once you have completed the training, you must take and pass an exam offered by the Pennsylvania Certification Board, in order to earn your certification. The following information is from the Pennsylvania Certification Board website, which provides details on statewide requirements and expectations for CRS certification.

  1. 78 instructional hours; including 66 in class hours and 12 hours of homework. Introductions, ice-breakers, breaks, etc. do not count towards the 78 hours.
  2. Learners are provided a Learner Manual prior to the training. Approved trainers will coordinate this process.
  3. This training is designed to prepare Recovery Specialists for work in the behavioral health field.
  1. Be comfortable with computers, computer application and other technology
  2. Ability to complete online homework (12 hours)
  3. Laptop or desktop device. Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones cannot be used.
  1. Attend all scheduled training days.
  2. Learners must coordinate make-up classes and homework with the trainer.
  3. All requirements must be completed in order to receive a certificate of completion for education hours.
  4. Be EARLY.
  5. Respect confidentiality.
  6. Avoid judgement and respect individual differences.
  7. Respect all pathways to recovery.
  8. Understand that this is a learning environment and not a support group or therapy.
  9. Listen carefully.
  10. Stay focused.


More Details

Once you have completed the CRS Training you must take an examination for Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS) that tests knowledge and competency about the field of recovery. Click here for the CRS Candidate Guide from the Pennsylvania Certification Board

Click here for exam application (Please note: this is for information purposes only. You must first complete the CRS Training before applying for the exam.)


Apply Now!

Interested in participating in a CRS Training cohort? Fill out the application below

APPLICATION: Certified Recovery Specialist Training

This application is for Summer 2024. It is designed to prepare the individual for the Pennsylvania Certification Board’s (PCB) credential of Certified Recovery Specialist. It is important to understand that by obtaining this credential, you are disclosing to your community, co-workers, and potential clients that you are in long term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. There are no wrong answers so please complete the following questions honestly and thoughtfully. You can stop at any time and save this form to finish at a later time by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking on "Save and Continue Later"

    In order to be eligible for Certified Recovery Specialist credentials you must be in recovery for at least 18 months.