Credential-building and free professional development opportunity.

Official problem gambling treatment certification of the MA Department of Public Health


The MA PGS certificate is funded by the MA Department of Public Heath, Office of Problem Gambling Services.


The Massachusetts Problem Gambling Specialist (MA PGS) Certificate recognizes professional experience, training, and understanding of gambling disorder, as informed by the DSM-V, among clinicians who work in the field of addictions.

The certification gives credentials to mental health providers to identify, screen, assess, and treat gambling disorder among their clients. Providers are encouraged to meet the minimum requirements to become a MA Problem Gambling Specialist.


MA PGS Certificate Courses

All trainings and courses offered through M-TAC and PBU are free and count toward the MA PGS certification! Becoming certified through M-TAC trainings, M-TAC online courses and Project Build Up (PBU) Learning Academies is preferred and recommended.

Additionally, a variety of CE credits approved by NASW, APA, NAADAC, and LADC is offered in various courses as an incentive to professionals with these licenses.


PLEASE BE ADVISED:

External courses and credits will only be accepted toward the fulfillment of certification requirements until June 30th, 2024.

If you are planning to submit CE credits from external trainings (not offered by M-TAC/PBU) to apply for the MA PGS certification, you can do so until June 30th, 2024.

  • Initial Certification: up to 6 CE credits from external trainings will be considered toward the initial certification. The remaining 24 CE credits must be earned from M-TAC/PBU trainings and/or online courses.
  • Renewal: up to 4.5 CE credits from external trainings will be considered toward the certification. The remaining 10.5 CE credits must be earned from M-TAC/PBU trainings and/or online courses.
  • Applicants cannot count repeated courses for credit.
  • CE credits should be earned within 2 years from the time of application. The field is changing rapidly, and it is important professionals have up to date information.

If you attended the 2024 Massachusetts Problem Gambling Conference on Friday, May 17 in Norwood, please note that the 5.5 CEs you will acquire for full-day conference session attendance can be applied toward the thirty (30) CEs needed for initial MA Problem Gambling Specialist certification, or the fifteen (15) CEs needed for renewal of your MA PGS certificate.


Eligibility

  • Clinical providers with master’s degree licensed in Massachusetts
  • A minimum of one year of addiction-related clinically supervised experience
  • Receive continued clinical supervision regarding problem gambling (details below)

MA PGS Certificate General Requirements

(Application completion, uploading of documents, and payment are completed online. Application link is available under “Instructions.”)

First-time Application

  • Resumé that meets specified education/work requirements: Master’s or doctoral degree with one year of addiction-related clinically supervised experience
  • 30 CE credits of gambling-specific education
  • Proof of continued clinical supervision regarding problem gambling (details below)
  • Completion of the online application form
  • $50 processing fee

Maintenance and Renewal

The certificate needs to be renewed every 2 years.

  • 15 CE credits of gambling-specific education
  • Proof of continued clinical supervision regarding problem gambling (details below)
  • Completion of the online application form
  • $25 processing fee

Additional detail about requirements:

Supervision Requirements

(Documentation will be requested during the completion of the online application form)

Requirement for both first-time applicants and renewals.

This requirement is not necessary if you currently work as a clinical supervisor or an independent practitioner in private practice. If this is your case, you need to provide a letter from your place of employment certifying your position or a copy of your independent license showing you are in good standing.

Proof of continued clinical supervision: provide a letter from your supervisor stating that you receive regular clinical supervision and that problem gambling issues will be discussed as they arise with clients. If you are not currently receiving clinical supervision on problem gambling treatment, you still need to submit a letter stating that you receive supervision on other addiction cases.

Please include:

  • A description of the applicant’s direct contact with supervision regarding gambling disorder and/or addiction cases.
    • Group or individual supervision is allowed, but time spent in staff meetings or administrative meetings is not.
  • A description of the supervised work position and work setting/program during the clinical supervision.
  • The supervisor’s signature and/or sign-off on the supervision.
  • The supervisor’s professional qualifications.

Ethical code of conduct and disciplinary history

Every clinician with an MA PGS certificate must affirm that they will adhere to the ethical code of conduct, outlined in the online application. Additionally, they must complete a disciplinary history form, which is also included in the application.


The MA PGS certificate is intended to increase problem gambling treatment capacity among master’s degree licensed clinicians, however, due to overwhelming demand, we are currently working on the development of a program that will provide certification for professionals working in the substance use, mental health and recovery fields who are also seeking this knowledge and training.

Before starting your certification process or submitting your application, please reach out to the Certification Manager, Donn Young, at dyoung@hria.org


What does the MA PGS Certificate do for you?

  • It is a free professional development opportunity for you to learn more about problem gambling treatment.
  • It gives you the credentials to support clients experiencing problem gambling and demonstrate professional experience and understanding of gambling disorder.
  • It gives you the opportunity to have your treatment agency or private practice to be referred as a problem gambling treatment provider through the Massachusetts Problem Gambling Helpline.
  • It gives you access to a community and discussion about gambling disorder treatment in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • It ensures that you get up-to-date information from M-TAC on research and resources, free upcoming learning opportunities, and other free professional development events.

Instructions

1. Confirm your eligibility to become a certified MA Problem Gambling Specialist.

2. Complete M-TAC/PBU live trainings and/or on-demand courses to earn the required CE credits.

3. When you are ready to (re)apply for your certification, gather the documentation needed for application (click here to see details).

4. Complete the online application form and attach required documents.

5. Complete fee payment (online payment options will be available in the last section of the application form).



List of fees

  • $50 – Initial Certification
  • $25 – Renewal
  • $75 – Lapsed Renewal

Get the word out.

Order free materials.

Support your clients and build awareness about problem gambling with free materials in many languages. From wallet cards to workbooks, these resources help people understand the risks, how to make changes, and how resources like the Helpline can support them.