Prevention Certification


Reciprocity: Uniform minimum standards allow certified professionals to reciprocate their credentials between IC&RC Member Boards. Member Boards may offer reciprocity to certified or licensed professionals in other jurisdictions. While many addiction professionals have long sought the professionalism associated with licensing, the licensure process has complicated reciprocity through the implementation of more stringent standards and regulations in many IC&RC Member Board jurisdictions.

While IC&RC continues to be dedicated to offering reciprocity to its certified professionals through its Member Boards, it is vitally important that certified professionals investigate reciprocity in another jurisdiction prior to relocating because of the increase in mandatory licensure vs. voluntary certification in many jurisdictions. To make the process as smooth as possible, it is recommended that you reciprocate your credential at least three months prior its expiration.


  • Contact the board in the jurisdiction to which you are relocating and ask if there are other requirements that you must meet in order to reciprocate your credential.
  • Contact your current board and ask for an Application for Reciprocity.
  • Complete the one-page application and return it to your current board with the appropriate fee.
  • Your application will be verified and sent to the IC&RC Office, then sent to your requested board.
  • You will then be contacted by the requested board when the process is completed.


Can I reciprocate my credential to any IC&RC Member Board?

Your credential is reciprocal only with boards that offer that same credential. For example, if you hold a Prevention Specialist credential from Pennsylvania and you want to reciprocate that credential to Nebraska, you would be unable to do so because Nebraska, although a Member Board in IC&RC, does not offer the Prevention Specialist credential. Therefore, reciprocity works only if the new jurisdiction to which you are moving offers that credential.

When should I begin the reciprocity process – before I move into my new jurisdiction or after?

It is best to start the process prior to moving into your new jurisdiction. That way if there are any delays in processing your reciprocity application, it should be completed before you begin work in your new jurisdiction. Waiting until after you move could result in a delay in starting new employment.

Can I maintain my credential in more than one jurisdiction?

Yes, you are permitted to maintain your credential in your original jurisdiction while maintaining it as well in your new jurisdiction, if you choose to do so. Maintaining credentials in more than one jurisdiction will require that you renew/recertify your credential in each jurisdiction.

When I reciprocate to a new jurisdiction, will my current expiration date on my credential change?

No, your new jurisdiction is required to provide you with the same expiration date that appears on your current certificate.

Is there ever a time when I could be denied reciprocity into a new jurisdiction?

Each jurisdiction that offers credentialing to addiction professionals can require additional standards that must be met before accepting a credentialed professional from another jurisdiction. It is the right of that jurisdiction to require whatever it chooses in order to practice or become credentialed/licensed. Sometimes these additional standards are minimal and can be met by most without difficulty. Other times, additional standards are quite extensive and may take time and additional cost to accomplish. It is critical that you check with the credentialing/licensing board in the new jurisdiction to which you are relocating to determine what, if any, additional standards have to be met.

Typically, how long will it be until I hear about my reciprocity after I have sent the completed reciprocity application and fee to my current Member Board?

A Member Board will send your reciprocity materials to IC&RC 10-14 days after they are received. IC&RC will then approve the reciprocity and you will be notified via email directly from IC&RC. If you have not heard from IC&RC within four weeks, contact your current Member Board first to inquire about the status of your reciprocity application. Please allow two-three weeks for your requested board to contact you after you receive notification of approval from IC&RC.

If I hold a license rather than a certification from my jurisdiction and then reciprocate, will I receive a license from my new jurisdiction?

Not necessarily. If the new jurisdiction is one that has licensure rather than certification, you would receive a license. If the new jurisdiction is one that has certification rather than licensure, you would receive a certification.

What are the differences between certification and licensure?

While these terms are used interchangeably, there are differences between the two concepts.

  • Certification is a process by which a non-governmental organization grants recognition to an individual who has met predetermined qualifications and has demonstrated a level of knowledge and skill required in a profession specified by that organization. Certification is typically a voluntary process but can be a mandatory process in some jurisdictions.
  • Licensure is a governmental grant of legal authority, pursuant to that government’s power, to practice a profession within a particular scope of practice. Under a licensure system, a government will define by statute the tasks and function or scope of practice of a profession and that these tasks may be legally performed only by those holding that license.

Confusion between the terms certification and licensure arises because many jurisdictions call their licensure processes “certification,” particularly when they incorporate the standards and requirements of private certifying bodies in their licensing statutes and require that an individual be certified in order to have jurisdictional authorization to practice.

Neither term is right or wrong, good or bad, nor is one term better than the other. It simply is what a jurisdiction has determined to call the regulation of this profession in their particular jurisdiction and how and by whom the profession will be regulated.

If my credential has expired in my current jurisdiction, can I still reciprocate into a new jurisdiction?

No, your credential must be current and valid in order to reciprocate. If your credential has lapsed, you must successfully recertify prior to applying for reciprocity.