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Steps To Become A Certified Trainer
in Positive Discipline In The Classroom (PDC)

Step One: Become a Positive Discipline Trainer Candidate        

  • Take the two-day Positive Discipline in the Classroom (PDC) core workshop.
  • Read and practice - at home, at school, where ever you feel inspired and ready. Begin to use key ideas and activities in your own classroom and/or share with colleagues. (Refer to suggested reading list.)
  • Begin to internalize the key ideas and principles of Positive Discipline and Adlerian theory as you work with children.
  • Apply to become a Positive Discipline Trainer Candidate (PDTC). This requires your submitting an application (Letter of Intent) and your annual membership dues. (See links below.)

Step Two: Expand and Implement Your Knowledge Positive Discipline in a School and Classroom

  • Develop a solid understanding of the PDC curriculum by reading and utilizing the Positive Discipline in the School and Classroom Teachers Guide: Activities for Students.

• Working either with your own classroom OR two other teachers’ classrooms:

o  Ensure class has reasonable and developmentally appropriate level of skill from each area of Preparing the Ground (or actively teach and implement, as needed).

o  Facilitate at least one activity under each of the Eight Essential Skills of Class Meetings.

o  Most importantly, the intent is that you teach a skill and then monitor how well the students are able to utilize it, re-teaching as necessary. Ultimately, you want to ensure that class meetings, including all of the Eight Essential Skills, are solidly in place. 

o  Recommendation: It benefits you to do this in diverse settings and with diverse grade levels.

o  Refer to policy footnote for anticipated time frames and goals.

o  Ensure appropriate evaluation is completed and send with face sheet to the PDA office. (See links below to access evaluation forms, etc.)

  • If you are meeting the requirements by co-facilitating with a second PD Trainer or Trainer Candidate, please document that you have personally taught (or ensured developmentally appropriate skill levels) from “Preparing the Ground,” plus taught at least one activity twice or two different activities from each category of the  “Eight Essential Skills.” Ultimately, you want to ensure that class meetings, including all of the Eight Essential Skills, are solidly in place.
Step Three: Expand Your Knowledge of PD and the PDA
  • Be sure you have taken both core workshops: Positive Discipline in the Classroom (PDC) and Teaching Parenting the Positive Discipline Way (TP).
  • Attend our annual members’ conference, Think Tank (strongly recommended).
  • Participate in a PDA mentor group or in a mentoring relationship to provide feedback, support and direction (strongly recommended).

Step Four: Determine Readiness To Attend Advanced Candidate Training (ACT)

  • Read the ACT Eligibility Policy, which describes the goals and purpose of ACT.
  • Evaluate whether you have internalized PD principles; understand and are able to facilitate PD in the School and Classroom, including all Essential Skills; are able to facilitate basic PDC core activities effectively; understand and model PD and Adlerian values; and are confident with the PD experiential model. If so, then you are ready to apply to attend Advanced Candidate Training (ACT)!

Step Five: Apply To Attend Advanced Candidate Training (ACT)

  • Apply to attend Advanced Candidate Training, the culminating step towards certification as a Positive Discipline Trainer. To be accepted:
    • Prerequisite: PDA Trainer Level Membership of 6 months or more.
    • Prerequisite: Participation in both a Teaching Parenting (TP) and Positive Discipline in the Classroom (PDC) workshop.
    • Submit signed Letter of Understanding (LOU).
    • Submit all payments according to schedule – the $100 non-refundable application fee, a $200 deposit, and final balance of registration fee.
    • Submit your face sheet(s) and evaluation(s) from teaching Preparing the Ground and the Eight Essential Skills in your own OR two other teachers' classrooms.
    • Submit a 2-page paper summarizing 1 - 2 key principles from a book by Adler or Dreikurs, reflecting on their impact for you personally and as a PD facilitator.
    • Attend Think Tank at least once (strongly recommended).
    • Submit of a recommendation from your PDA mentor or from a CPDT or CPDLT in your PD mentor group/affiliate (strongly recommended).
  • Exceptions to these requirements will be considered when PDA members have had extensive experience in working with the PDC curriculum in alternative settings.
    • Pre-requisite: PDA membership of one year or more (three of more preferred).
    • Individuals must write a proposal and document an equivalent level of experience with the PDC curriculum and class meeting process, including experience with the Preparing the Ground and teaching at least one activity from each category of theEight Essential skills at least twice and implementing them for a sustained period of time.
    • This should be sent in to the PDA Office at least one month before the deadline for submitting documentation for a scheduled Advanced Candidate Training (ACT).
    • Note: Because of the depth of preparation and communication required of our ACT facilitators, exceptions will not be reviewed or approved within 6 weeks of the date for ACT.

Step Six: Attend Advanced Candidate Training and Be Recommended For Certification

  • ACT is an intensive experience, with participants expected to facilitate activities as they would during an actual PDC.
  • You will both give and receive extensive feedback designed to fine tune facilitation skills and to strengthen your knowledge of both the PD model and Adlerian practice.
  • Participate actively, with openness to learning and personal growth.

Step Seven: Be Recommended For Certification

  • The ACT facilitators determine whether an individual has met the goals and standards necessary for a recommendation for certification in Positive Discipline in the Classroom. Attending ACT does not guarantee that you will be recommended for certification.
  • The PDA Board of Directors reviews recommendations and approves/disapproves certification.

IMPORTANT: Please refer to the policy Eligibility to Attend ACT for more details and to understand the goals of ACT and the intent behind these guidelines. You are encouraged to contact our PDA Office (or assigned ACT facilitators) with any questions or concerns.

* We anticipate that it will take at least 16 sessions to lead the activities in each classroom. Estimated time is 3 times a week over a minimum period of 6 weeks (longer preferred) or once a week for 4 months. This may vary depending upon the grade of the students and the level of integration in the daily curriculum. As noted earlier, ultimately, you want to ensure that class meetings, including all of the Eight Essential Skills, are solidly in place.  


PDA Membership Information

Advanced Candidate Training (ACT)

Eligibility Standards For Attending ACT

Policy: Goals and Eligibility Criteria For Attending ACT

Letter of Understanding (LoA)

Membership Application and Letter of Intent to Become a Positive Discipline Trainer Candidate (PDTC)

PDA Contact Information


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