Guiding Principles for Certified Peer Specialists
Via Hope’s certification process for peer specialists in the State of Texas assures peers, families, employers, and the public that individuals certified by Via Hope as peer specialists have been deemed to be qualified and competent in a set of educational principles and experiences needed to perform the responsibilities of a Certified Peer Specialist.
Via Hope has adopted the Certified Peer Specialist Code of Ethics, Rules of Conduct, and the Certified Peer Specialist Core Values and Key Concepts in order that each peer specialist, certified or seeking certification, will conform their behavior to the highest standards of ethical practice.
Via Hope is the governing body that investigates and sanctions Certified Peer Specialists (CPSs) who breach this Code of Ethics. Certified Peer Specialists should thoroughly familiarize themselves with the Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct and guide their behavior accordingly. Anyone who has knowledge that a CPS has violated the Code of Ethics should notify Via Hope and file a complaint form. You can find the form on our Via Hope Complaint Form page.
Certified Peer Specialist Code of Ethics
The principles in the following Code of Ethics guide Texas Certified Peer Specialists in their roles, relationships and levels of responsibility in which they function professionally.
- The primary responsibility of Certified Peer Specialists is to help individuals achieve their own needs, wants, and goals. Certified Peer Specialists will be guided by the principle of self-determination for all.
- Certified Peer Specialists will maintain high standards of personal conduct. Certified Peer Specialists will also conduct themselves in a manner that fosters their own recovery.
- Certified Peer Specialists will openly share their recovery stories, and will likewise be able to identify and describe the supports that promote their recovery.
- Certified Peer Specialists will, at all times, respect the rights and dignity of those they serve.
- Certified Peer Specialists will never intimidate, threaten, harass, use undue influence, physical force or verbal abuse, or make unwarranted promises of benefits to the individuals they serve.
- Certified Peer Specialists will not practice, condone, facilitate or collaborate in any form of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, political belief, mental or physical disability, military status, or any other preference or personal characteristic, condition or state.
- Certified Peer Specialists will advocate for those they serve that they may make their own decisions in all matters when dealing with other professionals.
- Certified Peer Specialists will respect the privacy and confidentiality of those they serve.
- Certified Peer Specialists will advocate for the full integration of individuals into the communities of their choice and will promote the inherent value of these individuals to those communities. Certified Peer Specialists will be directed by the knowledge that all individuals have the right to live in the least restrictive and least intrusive environment.
- Certified Peer Specialists will not enter into dual relationships or commitments that conflict with the interests of those they support.
- Certified Peer Specialists will not engage in sexual/intimate activities with those to whom they are currently providing support, or have worked with in a professional role in the past two years.
- Certified Peer Specialists will not provide services to another when under the influence of alcohol or when impaired by any substance, whether or not it is prescribed.
- Certified Peers Specialists will keep current with emerging knowledge relevant to recovery, and openly share this knowledge with their colleagues.
- Certified Peer Specialists will not accept gifts of significant value from those they serve.
Last Updated: April 2017
Certified Peer Specialists are also bound by the CPS Rules of Conduct. You can find the CPS Rules of Conduct in the Certified Peer Specialist Policy & Procedure Manual.
Certified Peer Specialist Core Values & Key Concepts
In April 2017, the Certified Peer Specialist Advisory Council adopted the following core values that serve as the foundation for all Via Hope Certified Peer Specialists in Texas:
In addition, the Certified Peer Specialist Advisory Council also adopted the following key concepts that guide the individual and collective work of Certified Peer Specialists in Texas:
These core values and key principles serve as guiding principles for Texas CPSs when engaging in peer relationships; they are foundational components to the Via Hope Peer Specialist Certification Training and are woven throughout the Certified Peer Specialist Code of Ethics.