Registration for this course is closed. If you are not already registered, please add your name to the waitlist to get notified about future courses.

Certified Prevention Specialist Exam Prep

This four-session series is designed to prepare individuals for the IC&RC international examination to become Certified Prevention Specialists (CPS). Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the IC&RC Prevention Job Analysis, the exam development and application process, and the various domains covered in the certification exam. The series includes practical strategies for successful computer-based test taking, along with opportunities to review sample questions and practice determining the best responses. Participants will take a sample test before and after the sessions. Prior to attending, participants are encouraged to review the IC&RC Job Analysis and bring questions about the topic areas or the CPS application process.


States & American Samoa:

Dates: August 20, 22, 27, and 29, 2024

03:00 pm – 4:30 pm Pacific
12:00 pm – 01:30 pm Hawaii
11:00 am – 12:30 pm American Samoa

Pacific Jurisdictions:

Dates: August 21, 23, 28, and 30, 2024

10:00 am – 11:30 pm Republic of the Marshall Islands
09:00 am – 10:30 am Pohnpei and Kosrae
08:00 am – 09:30 am Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Chuuk, Yap
07:00 am – 08:30 am Republic of Palau

Read more about this course...


Sandra Puerini Del Sesto, M.Ed., ACPS, is a consultant and master trainer in behavioral health and strategic planning for non-profits. She was the founder and for 30 years the executive director of Initiatives for Human Development, a statewide, multi-service prevention program, and a founder of CODAC, RI’s largest non-profit treatment program. She was also the founding director of the Institute for Addiction Recovery at Rhode Island College. She is a member of the advisory boards of the Prevention Technology Transfer Center; National Coordinating Office (PTTC-NCO), the New England PTTC, and was a member of the former Latino PTTC. She is a consultant to the Strategic Prevention Technical Assistance Center (SPTAC).  For many years, Sandra served as the RI delegate to and the Prevention Committee Co-Chair of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), which certifies professionals working in behavioral health. Sandra is a co-author of SAMHA’s SPF Application for Prevention Success training (SAPST) and its basic and advanced Prevention Ethics courses as well as many other face-to-face and online courses in prevention. She has delivered multiple training courses about prevention certification throughout the US.


  1. Describe the steps in the prevention certification process
  2. Identify the main elements of each of the six domains in the Prevention Job Analysis upon which the exam is based
  3. List at list five strategies for successful standardized test taking.
  4. Describe steps in a plan to prepare for the exam itself.


  • Substance misuse prevention practitioners located in the Pacific Southwest (HHS Region 9) states and jurisdictions of American Samoa, Arizona, California, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Republic of Marshall Islands, and Republic of Palau.
  • Prevention practitioners who are ready to become a Certified Prevention Specialist.
  • Please note: This training is reserved for prevention professionals working in HHS Region 9.
  • Prevention professionals interested in this course but who work outside of HHS Region 9 are encouraged to contact their region’s PTTC to learn about similar courses available to them.

Participant Commitment and Expectations:

  • If your experience with Zoom is limited or you want to review key features of Zoom, please view the 20-minute Introduction to Zoom video prior to the first session on Tuesday, August 20, 2024 on how to use and maximize the platform.
  • Participate in 4 sessions of training, for 1.5 hours on scheduled series days/times.
  • Complete up to ONE hour of independent learning activities between each session.
  • Use a web-camera and have access to appropriate technology to join the online videoconferencing platform (i.e., internet connection, built-in or USB webcam, desktop/laptop computer, built-in/USB/Bluetooth speakers & microphone).
  • Actively engage and be on camera 90% of the time during each session, since this is not a webinar series and active participation is essential to gain/improve skills.

Please Note:

This EPLS is not a webinar series. Active participation in each session is essential to gain and improve skills. If you cannot attend these sessions, you will forfeit your attendance.

The Pacific Southwest PTTC is committed to the safety of all participants. Driving while participating in these sessions is strongly discouraged, as it is seen as a danger to the participant. If driving cannot be avoided during your scheduled session for any reason, please contact the PTTC staff at

In addition, it is expected that participants will have access to the appropriate technology by Tuesday, August 20, 2024 to fully participate and be on camera at least 90% of the time.

If you have questions regarding technology requirements or registration details contact


Participants who complete all 4 sessions will receive a certificate of attendance for 10 contact hours. No partial credit is given for this course. Participants will need to confirm with their certification board to determine if these certification hours are accepted towards their specific certification requirements.

To help make engagement more comfortable, we limit the number of people who can enroll in EPLS. If you cannot commit to joining the sessions or completing the prep-work packets, please defer this opportunity to others on our waiting list..

The Pacific Southwest PTTC is administered by CASAT at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Click to Register