Crisis Helpline Specialist Certification Application

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In an effort to provide a standardized tool for evaluating crisis helpline specialists, CONTACT USA now offers individual certification. Once certified, an individual can say that they have met national standards showing that they have been thoroughly trained in crisis intervention and supportive listening skills; and that they have shown dedication by working a minimum of 200 hours on a qualifying phone or chat service. Organizations may also use this certification exam as an evaluative tool for their helpline specialists and by funding an individual's certification, offer them a reward for their service. Certification is good for a period of five years.


Requirements for certification include:

  • Minimum age of 18;
  • Successful completion of a training course covering all areas included in the CONTACT USA core competencies;
  • A minimum of 200 hours of telephone or online crisis work at an agency accredited by either CONTACT USA or the American Association of Suicidology;
  • A letter of professional reference from a Supervisor at the organization where phone or chat work was completed. The letter should specifically address the applicant's knowledge and skills as a crisis worker as well as other professional strengths. 
  • Successful completion of the online exam with a passing grade of at least 85%.


Crisis Intervention and Helpline Experience

Reference Letter: Please indicate below the person from whom you have requested a sponsoring letter.  This letter must be received prior to sitting for the exam. It may be emailed to accreditation@contact-usa.org . 


Fees: Once this application is submitted, sponsorship letter received and application fee paid ($30 for CUSA members and $50 for non-members), you will be contacted via email with instructions on how to take the certification exam. Fees may be paid via our PayPal Account (add a note saying the money is for Crisis Hotline Specialist Certification) or a check can be mailed to: 

CONTACT USA-Treasurer
6339 Charlotte Pike #551
Nashville TN 37209