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Advanced Candidate Training (ACT)

Due to COVID-19, Online Interactive ACT's with Co-facilitation are scheduled for 2021.

Advanced Candidate Training (ACT) is a focused experiential training designed to validate and enhance a candidate’s proficiency in facilitating Positive Discipline. The primary goal of the Advanced Training is to explore, improve, and “fine tune” presentation of content and activities, as well as the process of experiential presentation.

All candidates are expected to have developed a strong knowledge of the Positive Discipline curriculum, theory, and facilitation skills prior to beginning Advanced Training, so the training can serve to further develop their skills and deepen their understanding. To strengthen and support this level of competence, the emphasis is on both giving and receiving extensive feedback. The intent is that each candidate develops a clear sense of how to facilitate a quality Positive Discipline workshop.

It is important that candidates understand that Advanced Training does not guarantee that an individual will be recommended for certification as a Trainer. Candidates who are not recommended for certification will receive feedback on areas where additional growth is needed, as well as recommendations on how best to attain this. 

If you are uncertain as to whether you are ready to take this important step toward certification, please contact the PDA at act@positivediscipline.org.

ACT Application and Required Materials:

4-Day Live ACT Training

A small group of Positive Discipline Trainer Candidates (PDTCs) come together with two or more Lead Trainers to strengthen facilitation skills and knowledge in Positive Discipline theory and practice.. 

The 4 day in person ACT follows the format of an actual Teaching Parenting or Positive Discipline in the Classroom workshop. Attendees serve in the role of facilitator, modeling best practices in Positive Discipline facilitation.  Each Trainer Candidate is responsible for leading one or more “core activities," as well as taking a turn in leading the Parent Helping Parent (or Teacher Helping Teacher) Problem Solving process. Trainer Candidates should be prepared to facilitate any of the core workshop activities.

Participants have numerous opportunities throughout the training for practice. Participants also give and receive feedback. The collaborative group learning experience provides a supportive environment for developing advanced Positive Discipline facilitation skills. 

Upon completion of the 4 day Advanced Training, facilitators make a recommendation to the Board of Directors for certification as a Trainer or work with an individual to develop a plan to strengthen depth of understanding and quality practice.


The fees for this Advanced Candidate 4 Day Training can be paid in two installments. PDTCs are responsible for their own transportation and accommodations. It is usually held at or near a hotel offering shuttle service to a local airport. 
Advanced Candidate Training is offered annually at a point where it appears that we have twelve Candidates ready and committed to attend. Historically, this has been in the fall of each calendar year.


You are encouraged to take the following steps as you approach this milestone in the certification process:

  • Notify the PDA at act@positivediscipline.org as soon as you begin considering this option.
  • Submit all required materials.
  • Your files will be reviewed to be sure all prerequisites have been completed and documentation received.
  • Work with local mentor group or join virtual mentoring groups on a regular basis to ensure that you fully understand all of the core activities and the experiential model. Think Tank attendance is strongly encouraged.
  • You will be notified as soon as the next Advanced Candidate Training is scheduled.
  • Payment plans can be arranged in advance where necessary. 

Please remember, you are welcome -- and encouraged -- to contact the PDA office or any of our Lead Trainers, to discuss any questions or concerns with us personally.

ACT Option 2 is available on a limited basis when it is identified in advance that it is the best training option for a Trainer Candidate. ACT Option 2 requires submission and approval of the full application for ACT Option 1 and then being pre-approved to co-facilitate a minimum of 2 core workshops with an approved Lead Trainer or Trainer. You may email Kelly Gfroerer, Executive Director, at act@positivediscipline.org, if you need more information to determine if this option applies to your training needs. Co-facilitation of core workshops should not occur without pre-approval as only PDA Certified Trainers are qualified to facilitate core workshops.

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