Certification in Incredible Years® Programs

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Incredible Years® Certification Road Map. Click here to download full map PDF.

The certification/accreditation process is considered to be of value for many reasons:

  • It maximizes the quality of group leader performance and program delivery fidelity. It is believed that certified leaders implementing the full program will achieve results similar to those in the published literature.
  • It is considered part of the training process as the leader will receive feedback from accredited coaches and mentors on his/her group leadership ability.
  • Group Leader certification grants listing as a Certified Group Leader with our center. Incredible Years® will promote Certified Group Leaders for potential employment as a leader of groups.
  • Certified leaders will be invited to Incredible Years® workshops that update our program materials and provide a forum for sharing ideas and developing a support network with other group leaders.
  • Certification grants eligibility for an invitation to continue training to become an Incredible Years® Certified Peer Coach and/or Mentor of group leaders in selected programs.

Incredible Years® Certification/Accreditation by Program

Background Qualifications

Group leaders come from many disciplines, including counseling, social work, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, and education. It is recommended that potential Group Leaders have prior training in child development, and cognitive social learning theory. They should have experience with young children (two years experience minimum), parenting skills, and family interactions. Group leaders should possess excellent interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and have had involvement with group activities and an awareness of group dynamics.

To achieve positive outcomes similar to those reported in the published studies, group leaders should attend an authorized training from one of our certified Incredible Years® mentors or trainers, as well as undergo the Incredible Years® certification process.

Trainings are offered regularly in Seattle. Our certified Incredible Years® trainers can provide on-site training in your community upon request. This is a small group training, no more than 25 participants, to give leaders a detailed introduction to the content and process of leading the groups, with role playing and troubleshooting difficult issues.

How to Begin Your Certification Process

Attending a workshop by an Incredible Years® certified mentor or trainer to become a group leader is the first step in becoming a certified group leader. See the Certification Road Map at the top of the page.

As a group leader, conduct at least two complete sets of the program and send in a DVD session for review by a certified Incredible Years® Trainer. Send the following items with your DVD:

  1. Application for Certification form.
  2. Letter describing your experience and reason for wanting to become certified.
  3. ONE self-evaluation corresponding to the session you are sending for review. (This counts as one of the four total peer/self evaluations you will send with your complete paperwork set.)
  4. Certification application fee.

Upon passing your DVD review, submit the following for two sets of different groups:

  1. Session checklists for complete program.
  2. Weekly and final participant evaluations of the sessions.
  3. Passing DVD review report of group session by an Incredible Years® certified mentor or trainer.
  4. Attendance lists for each of two groups.
  5. Peer-evaluation and self-evaluation forms.

*requirements vary for child prevention program – please see separate sections for details

Please Note…

To ensure your submitted materials reflect current work, we require you to finalize your certification/accreditation within two years. Please keep us informed about your plans. If we have not received any communication from you in two years we will assume you are not continuing to pursue certification/accreditation.

Maintaining Fidelity after Certification/Accreditation

Incredible Years® Certification Road Map. Click here to download full map PDF.
In order to assure that accredited group leaders continue to deliver the program with fidelity, we highly recommend the following:
-Accredited group leaders should lead at least one group every 18 months
-Accredited group leaders should participate in a fidelity check every 18 months: this could be a coaching session with an accredited Peer Coach, a video review of a group by a Mentor or Trainer from the Incredible Years office, an in-person consultation day, or Skype consultation calls with a certified Mentor.

Even expert group leaders benefit from on-going feedback and discussions about their work. Without fidelity checks, it is easy for group leaders to drift from the original model.  Fidelity checks are also a chance for group leaders to hear about new materials or innovations to the programs.

Already Certified as an Incredible Years® Group Leader?