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Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification (PSSC) Exam

The exam is administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority, (CalMHSA). CalMHSA is the certifying entity for Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists in California. Obtaining the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist credential demonstrates a commitment to the sharing of lived experience with the process of recovery to promote wellness, engagement, socialization, self-sufficiency and self-advocacy.

The PSSC Examination is a 2.5-hour, 120-item multiple-choice exam. A 10-minute scheduled break is included at approximately exam item 60. Candidates are allowed to retake the examination up to three (3) times in the 12-month approved timeframe. The exam is administered by CalMHSA and delivered in coordination with Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) and Pearson VUE. The exam assesses knowledge and skills based on 17 core competencies within the following eight (8) areas of focus:

  • Administrative Responsibilities
  • Behavioral Health Foundations
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Recovery Support
  • Advocacy
  • Community Inclusion
  • Resource Linkage
  • Crisis Management

Examination Application Process

Candidates that sit for the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification examination must follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Step 2: Submit an application and pay fees to CalMHSA. Upon approval, you will have 12-consecutive months in which you may take and pass the certification exam.
  • Step 3: Prepare for your examination.
  • Step 4: Register to take your exam at home using OnVUE online proctoring. Note: Appointments may be made up to one calendar day prior to the date a candidate wishes to test, subject to availability.

Examination Scheduling Information

Following review and approval of the application for examination, candidates are issued an authorization to test from CalMHSA via email. The letter will include a unique candidate ID that is required to register for the exam. The name on the letter must match the name on the candidate’s government-issued ID. CalMHSA must be notified immediately, by the applicant, to correct inaccurate spelling of a candidate’s name or incorrect personal information. For security reasons, the candidate will not be permitted to test if a candidate’s name does not match the name on the candidate’s government-issued ID and fees will be forfeited. The exam is available continuously throughout the year. Appointments may be made up to one calendar day prior to the day a candidate wishes to test, subject to availability.

Be prepared to show a current government-issued ID with photo on the day of exam.

Testing from Your Home or Office

Take your exam from home. Simply register and select the option to take your exam from home or work. It's that simple.

The exam is offered through live, online proctored testing through Pearson VUE’s online delivery system, OnVUE.

The examination can be delivered from almost any quiet location via OnVUE so long as the specific requirements for your workstation or testing space and your computer meet the specified requirements. A live, on-line proctor will monitor through the webcam on your computer to provide a secure exam experience.

To support a successful experience, be sure to take the following steps:

  • Watch the short video, OnVUE Online Proctoring: What to Expect For Your Online Exam, to see the convenience in live-online testing.
  • Review the detailed policies and procedures, ID requirements, exam rules, and FAQs.
  • Run the system test and exam simulation to ensure that your computer and operating system are compatible with the OnVUE requirements.

Once you’ have reviewed this information and decided OnVUE is right for you, sign into your Pearson VUE account to schedule a time to take the exam from a quiet location.

Study Resources – Exam Registrants


Contact CalMHSA

1610 Arden Way, Suite 175
Sacramento, CA 95815

(279) 234-0699
PeerCertification@CalMHSA.org

Last updated 2022-09-26