T4T Overview

Trainer Process
The Sources of Strength Provisional Train the Trainer program is intended to be a 1-2 year step-by-step process to become a certified trainer. The following are general guidelines for the application procedures, the training timeline, core skills required to be a certified Sources of Strength Provisional Trainer, general costs of the program, and dates for upcoming Train the Trainer Skills Sessions.

Sources of Strength is intentional in our approach to training certified trainers. Given the highly interactive and comprehensive nature of the Sources of Strength program, we take training those implementing our curriculum very seriously. As such we ask that if you are not a provisional trainer and have not attended the Sources of Strength skills session, that you consult with Sources of Strength about becoming a provisional trainer before using this curriculum.

Step-by-Step Process
The following details are intended to guide you through the step-by-step process of becoming a Sources of Strength Provisional Certified Trainer. Note that simply attending a Train the Trainer Skills Session does not automatically qualify an individual to be a certified trainer. The “Provisional Certified Trainer” must attend and complete all of the following elements prior to full certification:

  1. Observe at least 2 peer trainings presented by a fully certified trainer. It is recommended that observations be completed prior to Skills Session workshop.
  2. Complete the 3.5 day Train the Trainer: Skills Session.
  3. Provisional trainers are expected to train at least six groups in a 12 month period in order to gain experience and develop core skills – these can be a mix of groups from 1-4 hours in length with school, faith, and community-based settings, but at least one training must a full 3-4 hour peer training co-presented with supervision, or fully video-taped for feedback.
  4. Participate in ongoing Sources of Strength webinars and discussion groups structured by Sources of Strength. These discussion groups will relate to suicide prevention, peer leadership, training skills, social networking in public health, and other related topics.
  5. Provisional trainers should also participate as an “Adult Advisor” for a Peer Leader team that completes at least 3 of 5 action steps.
  6. Completion of Train the Trainer, Part II Skills Demonstration Process which will take place approximately 9-12 months after the initial Train the Trainer: Core Skills workshop. This Skills Demonstration Process will include providing a full 4 hour Sources of Strength training to a peer group under observation by an evaluator or by providing a full videotaped session with adequate video/sound quality followed by personal feedback from an evaluator.

Once a provisional trainer becomes fully certified they…

  1. Are certified for a specific geographic region (county, tribal area, school system, etc.) as previously agreed upon with Sources of Strength.
  2. Agree to submit brief on-line progress reports for each individual training.
  3. Commit to provide training with fidelity to Sources of Strength standards.
  4. Agree to use materials copyrighted and purchased through Sources of Strength.
  5. Will consult with the National Sources of Strength team regarding any adaptation of program implementation.
  6. Will remain certified and in good standing as a Sources of Strength certified trainer if they provide at least 6 trainings per year containing Sources of Strength modules and attend a recertification course through Sources of Strength.
  7. Will only offer Sources of Strength training outside of the agreed upon geographic region if granted permission by the Sources of Strength National team. Becoming a National Master Trainer is a more rigorous process that involves skills in starting, developing, and mentoring new regions.

Core Skills for Sources of Strength Trainers
Certification as a regional Sources of Strength Trainer is based on demonstration of competency and proficiency around core trainer skills essential to the Sources of Strength program. The following general and core skills are essential for Sources of Strength trainers.

General Training Skills
Technical Skills

  1. They understand the philosophy and methodology of the Sources of Strength training and display knowledge in the subject matter.
  2. They have a clear understanding of the training outcomes related to each Sources of Strength training module and activity.

Professional Skills

  1. They have clear communication and adaptability during the training environment and can set sensory-based indicators which tell them when their facilitation of a training is achieving the planned outcomes.
  2. They have the ability to deliver the training and be aware of their own performance, tracking the responses of Adults Advisors and Peer Leaders and can easily assess these responses in order to generate on the spot changes in their facilitation or sequencing, as well as how to make improvements to future training sessions.

Personal Skills

  1. They adopt a position of guide and facilitator with Peer Leaders and Adult Advisors and never engage in power games or position themselves as the fountain of all knowledge.
  2. They display a positive attitude, developed interpersonal skills, creativity, and are easily approachable, caring, and able to communicate and connect with 12-25 year olds.

Specific Skills for offering a Sources of Strength Training Connection

  1. Makes use of Peer Leaders names during training.
  2. Easily connects with Peer Leaders Before, during Breaks, and After the training.
  3. Acknowledges, answers, enhances, and thanks Peer Leader for their responses and participation.
  4. Engages the group early and often.


  1. Makes use of peer examples as teaching points.
  2. Shares personal experience of sources of strengths.
  3. Promotes strength and resiliency.
  4. Is culturally aware and able to adapt cultural nuances.

Facilitation and Management of the Training

  1. Avoids power struggles.
  2. Tolerates ‘teen engaged behavior.
  3. Maintains a positive attitude and reinforces the training with positive comments.
  4. Manages the physical setup and environment of the training room (proactive).
  5. Manages pacing well – keeps the training moving – moves physically and changes pace when needed.
  6. Regularly checks-in with students.
  7. Manages crisis well i.e., displays of grief/anger/self-harm – and gives adult advisor cues to respond.

Experiential Learning: Games/Activities

  1. Sequences games well – ensuring that they are safe to challenging.
  2. Offers clarity in giving directions.
  3. Facilitates debriefing well – teaching point matches training goal.
  4. matches games to group level.
  5. Can draw on at least a dozen games/activities at any given time.

Implementation Skills – Use of Curriculum

  1. Facilitation of the Four Phases of the training:
    • Engagement
    • Strengths
    • Risk Factors
    • Send Off
  2. Critical Curriculum Skill Areas:
    • Connection – Early Explanation of Training to Peers
    • Sources – 3x around the Wheel
    • Values Debate
    • Naming Trusted Adult Process
    • Planning for Action Steps and Send Off

Integrating Adult Advisors/Administration

  1. Communicating clear expectations and roles.
  2. Recruiting Adult Advisors with the right skills.
  3. Clear, open, and ongoing communication with Adult Advisors
  4. Supporting and resourcing Advisors and Administration

Sources of Strength Provisional Trainer Application Process and Costs
Each applicant desiring certification to be a regional Sources of Strength trainer is asked to:

  1. complete an online application form or print and email/mail a written copy of the application to Sources of Strength;
  2. submit a signed copy of the certification form;
  3. submit a copy of your current resume.

If you would like to be certified as a Sources of Strength Trainer, please fill out our online application.

Initial Sources of Strength Train the Trainer Fee:

  • $4,000 for first Trainer,
  • $2,500 for each Trainer if you send more than one trainer (i.e. $5,000 for two Trainers).

Sources of Strength recertification training is required every 36 months from last attendance at a Train the Trainer event: $1000 per trainer.

Upon acceptance into the selected Sources of Strength Provisional Trainer Process an invoice with billing details will be sent to each participant. (If you are part of a region with an existing Sources of Strength contract then the Train the Trainer fees may already be covered)

All submitted applications should include a resume and certification forms.