Supporting Communities through Third Party, Privately-funded Trainings

Privately-funded trainings are becoming more common than State of Wisconsin-funded Certified Peer Specialist and Certified Parent Peer Specialist training opportunities. Are you looking to purchase and host a CPS or CPPS training for your community or organization? We’ve designed this page to answer some common questions.


Due to increased privately-funded training requests this contract year, and the need to expand non-training employer technical assistance and workforce development offerings, as of March 2nd, 2022 we will not be considering new requests* for privately-funded CPS/CPPS trainings until October 1st, 2022.

*Some intended funders have already reached out to the WIPSEI regarding interest in privately-funded trainings, and we will continue to work with these entities on supporting their yet-to-be-scheduled privately-funded trainings. 


Who can privately fund a CPS/CPPS training in Wisconsin?

Individual counties, tribes, standalone organizations and employers, technical colleges, Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) consortiums, and other entities can use their funding to purchase a training. Some examples of entities that have funded CPS/CPPS trainings, include:

  • Milwaukee County
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Wisconsin Milkweed Alliance
  • Mental Health America of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Voices for Recovery
  • Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program
  • Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Marshfield Clinic

And more…

What are the benefits to privately-funding a CPS/CPPS training?

Flexibility in Serving Specific Communities

Privately-funded CPS/CPPS trainings can typically be organized and scheduled more quickly than state-funded trainings. There is also generally more flexibility to focus on serving specific regions, counties, communities, or demographics in terms of who is eligible to apply for a given training. Likewise, funders of such trainings get to determine the trainers selected to facilitate the training.

Strengthening Peer Support Services in Workplaces

For organizational or employer-sponsored trainings, there exists a higher chance that a funder’s staff or identified community will be able to participate in training. Additionally, through application eligibility specifications, a greater focus on applying the skills in specific employment settings can come from privately-funded trainings. For example, the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion CPS training cohort from a recent training is entirely made up of people who’ve gone through and will be working in drug court. This allows the training to have more of a focus on that employment setting than others.

Expanding the Peer Workforce and Systems Change

The ever-increasing number of privately-funded trainings also support the continued growth and expansion of the peer workforce and highly unique and crucial peer support services in Wisconsin. These services are a key component of the expansion of recovery-oriented services and implementing systemic changes informed by lived experience.

What special requests can be honored in a privately-funded training?

To some degree the geographic and demographic criteria for determining eligibility to apply or applicant selection prioritization for a training can be adjusted. An example of this would be a training that serves a specific tribe can prioritize tribal members in the applicant selection process or a training can dictate that applicants must work or volunteer with the funding organization.

Funders can also sponsor community-specific CPS or CPPS trainings focusing on selected communities and lived experiences outside of mental health/substance use. Trainers for community-specific trainings must identify as members of the selected community or hold the lived experience. Other than this specification, funders get to determine which trainers will facilitate these trainings.

There can also be more flexibility in scheduling training dates and times, so long as the training remains true to its 48-hour duration.

What aspects to the training process cannot be changed?

  • Application and interview questions
  • Standardized 8-week timeline prior to a CPS/CPPS training (4 weeks of applications, 2 weeks for application review, 2 weeks to prepare and sort out tech lending and other logistics).
  • Minimum number of applications  that can be accepted (14)
  • Maximum number of applications accepted (50)
  • Set number of selected participants (14-18 at the trainers’ discretion)
  • Offering tech lending for online trainings (handled either through the funder or the Initiative’s tech lending program)
  • Trainer payment amount
  • Total hours in the contracts with trainers and Independent Living Center (ILC)
  • Standardized contract language

Who handles setting up the training?

Once an organization or entity interested in privately funding a CPS or CPPS training reaches out to the Wisconsin Peer Specialist Employment Initiative, they will be linked up with one of the 8 ILCs in Wisconsin. The ILC serving the county in which the funder is located will work with the Initiative to plan and prep for this training in terms of many logistical pieces, and they receive a portion of the cost associated with a privately-funded training.

If an ILC is unavailable to fulfill this role for a training, the Initiative would work directly with the funder to support this planning and prep process. This would also be the case if a privately-funded training accepts applications from a geographical range or specific demographic that includes multiple ILCs service regions.

Want to set up your privately-funded CPS or CPPS training? Contact us!

The next step for those interested in purchasing a training or who have questions about doing so, including associated costs, is having a conversation with Marguerit Galindo, Peer Specialist Workforce Development Coordinator and interim point-of-contact for the Wisconsin Peer Specialist Employment Initiative. We are currently unable to actively plan more privately-funded trainings until after October 1st, 2022 due to the number of training requests this year and the need to expand our non-training employer technical assistance and workforce development projects.

You can reach Marguerit Galindo to express your interest in funding a CPS or CPPS training at or at (608) 716-7205.

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