PSS Application Requirements

You must have a high school diploma or GED.

The training will provide you with in-depth knowledge and skills. However, in general the PSS role involves the ability to:
  • Model effective coping and self-help techniques
  • Work with individuals from diverse socio economic and cultural backgrounds
  • Attend workplace meetings and complete agency requirements
  • Assist people with finding community and natural supports and teaching them how to utilize these services
  • Advocate for someone‚Äôs needs and accompany them to meetings as needed
  • Work as a member of an interdisciplinary team focusing on each persons need for recovery
  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Adhere to confidentiality and understand protected health information
  • Maintain records and provide accurate documentation
  • Use computers ( i.e. Basic computer skills-email, web searches, word processing)

You must be 21 years of age to take the training.

  • To apply send an email request to:
  • You will receive an email response within 48 hours with a link to the online application.
  • Applications will be screened as they are received. Training spaces are limited, so apply early.
  • You will be asked to provide contact information for 2 references.
  • Once your application is received, you may be contacted with information regarding a phone interview.
  • After the screening interview, you will be notified about whether or not you will be accepted for training.

PSS Training FAQs

The trainings will be scheduled at various locations across Iowa. The Peer Support Specialist training is 40 hours long, delivered in one week (Monday-Friday).

Throughout training there will be lectures, discussions, role-plays, homework, and skills practice. The goal of training is to prepare you for employment in the workforce. We will strive to make training a supportive, interactive and thought provoking environment. The focus will be on knowledge acquisition and skills development. Successful completion of training will depend on your participation in training, completion of homework and a final exam. A test will be available within a week or two after the training ends.

The difference between a certificate of training completion and certification is often confusing. Certification generally includes completing training, an exam, work supervision and continuing education. When you have successfully completed the training, you will receive a Letter of Acknowledgement. Completing training is a requirement for certification. Please refer to the Certification section to learn more.

Topics covered in training relate to the core competencies required to perform the role of a Peer Support Specialist and cover areas such as:

Next PSS Training Session Info

June 11-15

You must commit to attending the entire 40 hour training. Training begins promptly at 8:30AM each day and ends at 5PM. Training will break each day around noon for lunch.

Lodging Information

The Days Inn Sioux City is holding a block of rooms for participants. You must reserve and pay for the room on your own. Contact the Days Inn, 712-258-8000, and mention Peer Support. You must make arrangements for your own lodging.


This training is FREE, however, trainees must pay for their own lodging, food and travel costs. If you are currently employed as a Peer Support Specialist, check with your employer about covering these expenses.


You must make arrangements for your own food.  You will have an hour for lunch and there are many food options near the training site. Most training locations do not allow outside food to be brought in.


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this training, please contact Diane Funk in advance at 319-467-5034.


If you are not currently employed as a PSS (and will not have your costs paid by your employer), you may be eligible for a stipend that would reimburse you for part of your training related expenses.  You would be required to pay the initial costs of you hotel, gas and meals and submit a form for reimbursement upon completion of the training. You must submit the stipend application 2 weeks before the first day of training. Stipends must be applied for, processed and approved BEFORE the training.  If you would like more information about applying for a stipend please email: