Crisis Hotline Certification


If you’re like me, you value certification and being able to demonstrate that you have the knowledge to provide crisis intervention in a safe and responsible manner. For those who work in private practice or perform training or other consulting, having crisis intervention certifications can help those who want to hire you feel confident that you know your stuff.

What follows below are a number of crisis intervention and suicide certifications and trainings that you can use to build your knowledge, increase your skills and improve your portfolio.

AAS Crisis Worker Certification

Cost: $85


  • 21 years of age or older
  • 500 hours or 2 years full-time crisis intervention experience
  • Completion of an approved crisis intervention training program/course
  • Completion of the AAS exam

Description: The American Association of Suicidology offers this crisis intervention certification. The description from their website is below:

The training program AAS offers is designed to provide a standardized set of understandings and opportunities to practice both basic crisis worker skills and more advanced skills that, we believe, will help crisis workers be the best they can be.  With this training and reading the backup bibliographic resources, they should be well prepared to successfully pass the AA’s individual crisis worker certification exam.

Advanced Crisis; Intervention and Counselling

Cost: Approximately $385 x 6 courses = $2,310 for domestic students

Prerequisites: Degree or diploma in a health, human, or social services discipline, or reelvant work or volunteer experience

Description: Offered by Humber College in Toronto, Canada, the Crisis Intervention and Counselling certificate program is six courses that provide comprehensive training focusing “on the immediate support and intervention individuals often require in crisis situations.”

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Cost: Varies, typically $150-250

Prerequisites: None

Description: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day training in suicide intervention. Completion of ASIST shows that you recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, understand how to ask someone about suicide, perform a risk assessment and finally complete a suicide intervention or safety plan before referring individuals for more long-term help.

ASIST is another option for crisis intervention certification. If you want to further develop your training, LivingWorks also offers Suicide to Hope, an advanced training in suicide case management.

Certified Volunteer Helpline Worker

Cost: $0

Prerequisites: Volunteer at a Distress Centre

Description: If you volunteer for Distress Centre Durham (DCD) or a similar crisis line, they may offer a Certified Volunteer Helpline Worker option to you. At DCD, you’re required to complete and pass our 18 hour Basic Training, 16 hours of on-the-phone supervised shifts and a 3-hour Advanced Training session in order to be awarded the Certified Volunteer Helpline Worker title. Other crisis lines may have slightly different options for crisis intervention certification.

Online Counseling and Suicide Intervention Specialist (OCSIS)

Cost: $199 for volunteers/students, $399 for professionals

Prerequisites: None

Description: The OCSIS course trains individuals to perform crisis intervention and suicide prevention in an online environment. It also provides individuals with a QPR Gatekeeeper certification as well. In addition to the course itself there is the OCSIS Certificate of Competency which involves expert review of a case study in order to receive the QPR crisis intervention certification.

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