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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are just a few of the most common questions we frequently get asked. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact us—we’ll be happy to help!

Do the 2,000 hours (one year) for CPS I or 4,000 hours (two years) for CPS II, of work/volunteer experience providing prevention services have to be continuous?
No. Employment does not have to be continuous. Two thousand hours of cumulative employment—part-time, full-time or volunteer, will meet this requirement. All work/volunteer experience must be documented and no more six months (1,000 hours) may be volunteer experience.

Does a supervisor have to be a CPS to sign off on the supervision hours?
No. Supervisors do not have to have the CPS credential. Supervision is broadly defined. No further explanation or documentation of the type of supervision is required other than the signed Supervision page included in the application. Additional hours of supervision, over the minimum requirement, are not required.

If an applicant is an executive director of an organization, who should sign off on his or her supervision hours?
The president or representative from the board of directors can sign off on supervision. 

How strictly defined is the six hours of prevention-specific professional ethics requirement?
The Tennessee Certification Board (TCB) requires an approved 6-hour Prevention Ethics course to meet the initial requirement for CPS certification and each two year re-certification period. There are multiple approved sources offering this 6-hour course. Please contact the TCB for additional information. 

Will my participation in forums and conferences count toward my certification education hours?
Yes, forums and conferences which are prevention in nature and related to one or more of the six performance domains can count towards certification education hours. As with all continuing education, applicants must provide documentation verifying attendance, to include training source, date(s), subject content and hours completed. 

Is there a limit on the time frame in which training and education has been obtained?
For initial certification, there are no time restrictions on training and education. For re-certification, applicants have a two (2) year window to obtain the required 40 hours of continuing education, beginning on the date of renewal.

Are webinars an acceptable form of training?
Yes, webinars or online/web-based courses are an acceptable form of training and must be documented like any other source of continuing education. If certificates were not awarded, one should contact the organization who provided the training regarding participant documentation. If documentation from the web-based training provider cannot be obtained, a supervisor may provide documentation stating the applicant participated in the given training; however, please note that documentation must include the applicants name, training title, and number or hours of the webinar/training.

If one provides training, or teaches a class, does that count toward accepted training/education hours?
Yes, training/education hours may be considered if an applicant is a trainer in a given topic as long as appropriate documentation is provided (course title, hours, etc.) 

Do additional training/education hours benefit an applicant during the approval process?
Yes and no. Hours over the minimum requirement are not necessary and do not increase an applicant’s chance of getting his or her application approved. However, if an applicant provides additional hours and a documented training or class does not count toward the minimum required hours, the review board will consider the additional training/education documentation until the required hours are met. In this case, additional training/education documentation may avoid delays in the credentialing process. 

Is a bachelor’s degree a requirement to become a CPS?
No, a bachelor’s degree is not required for the CPS I; however, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. For applicant’s wishing to pursue the CPS II, a bachelor’s degree is required.

How long is the CPS credential valid?
To maintain the high standards of this professional practice and to ensure continued awareness of new knowledge in the field, re-certification is required every two years.

Can I provide my employer’s background check in lieu of the background check you require for certification?
To ensure the uniformity and consistency of the background checks and stay in line with the IC&RC standards we follow, TCB cannot accept outside background checks.

Can college coursework count toward my certification?
Yes. ​For both CPS I and CPS II applicants, relevant college/university courses may be approved toward 1/3 of total training hours (40 hours for CPS I/75 hours for CPS II), regardless of degree, so long as the course is directly related to the field of prevention and applies to one of more of the (6) performance domains. In addition to uploading documentation of completion (e.g. transcript) the applicant should provide a brief summary of the course relevance to the prevention field, which will approved by TCB. Based on the CPS manual, the following guidelines determine how much credit you can earn for college coursework.

  • One quarter hour of relevant college course = 10 contact hours
  • One semester hour of relevant college course = 15 contact hours

For additional information or questions, please consult the Certification Guides or contact us.