ASSEMBLY, No. 3975






Sponsored by:


District 20 (Union)


District 4 (Atlantic, Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblywoman SHAMA A. HAIDER

District 37 (Bergen)


Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Verrelli, Assemblywomen Hall and Reynolds-Jackson






Regulates peer recovery specialists.



As introduced.

An Act concerning the regulation of peer recovery specialists and supplementing P.L.1997, c.331 (C.45:2D-1 et seq.).


Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


1. This act shall be known as the Peer Recovery Specialist Committee Act.


2. As used in this act:

"Board" means the State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners.

"Committee" means the Peer Recovery Specialist Committee established pursuant to this act.

"Department" means the Department of Law and Public Safety.

"Director" means the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

Lived experience means experience with substance use disorder and residual side effects of the disorder that informs the care a peer recovery specialist provides to other individuals experiencing substance use disorder.

Peer recovery specialist means an individual certified by the committee who meets the qualifications as set forth in this act to provide services as a result of lived experience to other individuals struggling with substance use disorder or mental health problems.


3. There is established a committee of the board to be known as the Peer Recovery Specialist Committee. The committee shall consist of five members who are residents of the State, one of whom shall be a public member appointed pursuant to the provisions of subsection b. of section 2 of P.L.1971, c.60 (C.45:1-2.2). Of the four remaining members, all shall have been actively engaged in peer recovery for at least five years immediately preceding their appointment, have spent the major portion of time devoted to that activity, during the two years preceding appointment, in this State, and except for the members first appointed, shall be certified as a peer recovery specialist.


4. a. The Governor shall appoint each member of the committee for terms of three years, except that of the members first appointed, three shall serve for a term of three years and two shall serve for terms of two years. Any vacancy in the membership shall be filled for the unexpired term in the manner provided by the original appointment. No member of the committee may serve more than two successive terms in addition to any unexpired term to which the member has been appointed. The Governor may remove any member of the committee for cause.

The committee shall annually elect from its members a chairperson and a vice-chairperson.

Regular meetings of the committee shall be held at least once during each quarter of the year and special meetings may be held upon the call of the chairperson or the vice-chairperson in the chairperson's absence.

b. The first appointees to the committee shall meet the qualifications of section 3 of this act and shall become certified peer recovery specialists as soon as practical.


5. To qualify for certification as a peer recovery specialist, an individual shall:

a. demonstrate completion of high school or a General Educational Development program, or possession of a higher education diploma;

b. demonstrate completion of at least 500 hours of work or volunteer experience related to peer recovery in the two years prior to the submission of an application to the committee;

c. submit an attestation that the individual attended four self-help meetings relating to co-occurring disorders or substance use disorder;

d. demonstrate completion of 25 hours of pre-approved practicum hours in an approved or licensed agency related to services provided by a peer recovery specialist;

e. submit an ethical standards recognition statement for a certified peer recovery specialist, signed by a supervisor;

f. submit evidence of 46 hours of in-person training on the four domains of peer recovery: advocacy, mentoring and education, recovery and wellness support, and ethical responsibility;

g. in accordance with section 2 of P.L.2002, c.104 (C.45:1-29), pass a criminal history record background check; and

h. fulfill other qualifications as determined by the committee, including payment of an application fee.


6. The committee shall, in addition to any other powers and duties as it may possess by law or that may be delegated to the committee by the board:

a. administer the provisions of this act;

b. evaluate the qualifications and make a determination of the eligibility for certification of all applicants under this act, attesting to the applicant's professional qualification to provide services a certified peer recovery specialist;

c. investigate allegations of violations of this act;

d. conduct hearings pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), except that the director shall have the right to administer oaths to witnesses, and shall have the power to issue subpoenas for the compulsory attendance of witnesses and the production of pertinent books, papers and records;

e. recommend rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) as it may deem necessary to enable it to perform its duties under and to enforce the provisions of this act, including, but not limited to rules and regulations that set standards for certified peer recovery specialists involving:

(1) the development of a scope of practice for a certified peer recovery specialist, to include services a certified specialist can and cannot provide;

(2) supervision to be provided for a certified peer recovery specialist in the performance of services; and

(3) continuing education and training required for certification renewal;

f. maintain a list of the names and addresses of all peer recovery specialists who are certified under this act; and

g. set fees for initial certification and certification renewal, reactivation, and reinstatement.