Direct Service Work Experience

You must have worked 12 months full-time direct service in the behavorial health field in order to apply.

If interested, please see below for links to information about other possible roles and options to enter the field.

Resources to obtain the required work experience:

Maine Direct Service Worker Program

Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist I (MHRT I)

Mental Health Support Specialist

Alcohol and Drug Counseling Aide

Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Maine Career Center

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at

Additional Guidance:

If your two-year degree, or program area, is not listed in the drop down menu above, it probably means it is not considered a “related degree.” (See the Glossary of Terms to the right of this page.) Depending on what courses were completed, the correct pathway might be D. Please select the blue “No” box above to return to the starting page of pathways. If you have a question about whether or not a course satisfies the requirements, the Center for Learning would be pleased to review the official transcript.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at


One of the eight domains that encompasses the essential knowledge competencies and skills for Maine’s adult behavioral health workforce. Each competency domain is comprised of a set of unique competencies that are grounded in, and guided by, the fundamental components of recovery and reflect the values of consumer choice and empowerment, integrated care, respect, advocacy, responsibility, and hope.

The required training and professional development to renew full MHRT/C certification every two years.  Eighteen hours of continuing education related to the competency domains must be completed to satisfy the renewal requirement, including a minimum of four hours in Ethics. 

Supervised and documented work experience that demonstrates knowledge and skill in a particular domain. Must be written by a clinical supervisor (or administrative supervisor with supporting documentation), cover consecutive months of employment, and can be used to satisfy only one domain 

One earns Full MHRT/C certification by meeting all of the requirements. Valid for two years; renewable with 18 hours continuing education; four of the 18 hours must be in ethics

An approximately one-hour web-based training course that provides an overview of the history, resources, roles, and values of Maine’s mental health system; optional for certification applicants in Pathway A, mandatory for all other applicants.

Follow this link to take the course.

May include Certified Professional Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP), Certified Intentional Peer Support Specialist (CIPSS), MHRT 1, Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CADC), or other, reviewed on a case by case basisnt

Offered by many colleges and universities, a PLA can translate knowledge gained from experience into academic credit. Follow this link for a list of PLA offices in Maine.

Certain colleges and universities in Maine offer degree and certificate programs which are pre-approved by the CFL to qualify for full MHRT/C certification upon completion

Competency domains that must be completed to earn Provisional MHRT/C certification.  They include the first three domains: 1) Behavioral, Psychological, and Rehabilitation Intervention Models; 2) Community Integration and Inclusion; and 3) Ethics and Professional Conductt

Valid for two years; applicant must satisfy all competency gaps in order to earn full certification

Degrees in allied areas such as criminology, special education, health & human services, human development, mental health, nursing, occupational/physical therapy, psychology, rehabilitation, social work, sociology, other therapies, and more

Direct service experience in the behavioral health field working with adults or transition-age youth with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. Applicants may substitute the requirement for direct service experience as a case manager