Basic Parent Certification

“A Certified Group Leader is someone who has been certified/accredited after demonstrating competency in facilitating groups using the IY standard materials, methods, processes and protocols.”

Thank you for your interest in Incredible Years® Basic Parent Group Leader Certification! Please browse through the information on this page and contact us with your questions. We are happy to assist you through this process.

portfoliocoverDownload the Incredible Years Preschool Basic Certification Portfolio, here.

This portfolio includes all paperwork needed to apply for certification, in one spot! Please download the full PDF. You can print the portfolio and make photocopies of any necessary paperwork. Because this is a new item, we welcome your feedback! Let us know how this works for you and your colleagues:

View the Incredible Years® Certification Progression
+Important Information About Basic Parent Certification

Certification/Accreditation in Basic: Either the 18 session treatment checklists from the manual, or the 14-session prevention checklists need to be included (see leader’s manual or the Resources section of this website). These are the minimum numbers of sessions required for prevention or treatment model certification. Frequently, for high risk populations or when translators are needed, the number of sessions will be expanded (which is recommended).

In general, we expect that group leaders show and discuss an average of 6-8 vignettes per session.  Review and discussion of vignettes should be about an hour of each session’s content. Our research has shown that we get higher effect sizes in terms of outcomes when this is the case.  We recommend group leaders show a combination of older and newer vignettes, since the older vignettes briefly highlight one key parenting skill.  Please see our Hot Tips for Mediating Vignettes for ideas on incorporating the vignettes into the sessions.

+Basic Parenting Certification Steps and Application
Step 1: Send in your video for review and certification application fee with:  Application form (#1), your completed Collaborative Process Checklist for that session (see #9), a brief letter summarizing the session/topic covered and population served, the Session checklist (indicating vignettes shown) for the session you send for review (see #7), and ONE Self Evaluation (#8) that corresponds to the session you send for review.
Step 2: Once your video review passes, you will be asked to send in the remaining paperwork – see notations below.
  1. Application form.  (Send with video.)
    Basic Certification Application
  2. One-page letter discussing your interest in becoming certified, your goals plans and philosophy of effective parenting and your clinical experience. (Send after passing review.)
  3. Confidential background questionnaire about your professional experience. (Used to improve the quality of our trainings and materials.) (Send after passing review.)
    Background Questionnaire (Editable)
  4. Two letters of reference. (Send after passing review.)
  5. Weekly and final evaluations by parents (see manual for forms) for two full groups. (Send after passing review.)
  6. Attendance list for each of two groups (50% of parents must finish groups, min of 6). (Send after passing review.)
  7. Leader checklists (indicating vignettes shown at each session) for two full groups. 18-20 sessions for treatment groups; 14 sessions for prevention groups (see manual for leader checklists). (Send after passing review.)
  8. Submit a peer-evaluation and a self-evaluation for each of two groups. (Send one self evaluation with video, send remainder after passing review.)
    Peer & Self Evaluation (Parent) (Editable form)
  9. Certified mentor or trainer’s supervisory feedback review of your group session.  This review can be done on site or, you may submit a video review. The review expects the following protocol to be met: Parent Group Leader Process checklist
    Parent Group Leader Process Checklist (5-point scale, editable, rev. 2016)
    See Tips for Preparing Video for Review (Parent) for further information on preparing your video.
Note: Your video must demonstrate the points contained in the Group Leader Process Checklist. If it does not meet these requirements a second video must be submitted. USB memory stick or DVD only (NTSC or PAL format). No mini DV or other small formats accepted (please call about converting).  Contact us about sending video files electronically:

+Certification Fee

There is a certification application fee of $700 which includes detailed video review and supervisory report (up to two video reviews), registration process, and certificate of certification. Additional video review, if needed, is billed at the rate of $125 per hour.  The certification application fee must be received for the video to be reviewed.  If the supervisory report has been approved by a certified mentor (rather than an Incredible Years trainer) then the cost of certification is $185.

Send application Materials and Certification Fee to:

Incredible Years, Inc.
Certification Committee
1411 8th Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98119 USA

+Full Description of the Basic Certification Process
Attend Approved Training Workshop:

Only those candidates who have successfully completed the approved training qualify to submit a certification application. Approved training consists of a 3-day workshop offered by a certified mentor or trainer of group leaders.

Experience Requirements:

Conduct a minimum of 2 groups, utilizing the complete parent and child video series (each group lasting a minimum of 14 weeks). The optimal number per group is 12-14 parents. It is required that more than 50% of those starting the program complete all sessions (minimum 6 parents finishing the groups). A list of dates, locations, and number of attendees must be submitted.

There are multiple ways to meet the certification requirements. These ways are listed here.

For Toddler Basic Group Leader Certification:
Submit paperwork for 2 groups (12-13 sessions each)

For BASIC Group Leader (Prevention) Certification:
Submit paperwork for 2 groups Preschool (14+ sessions)
Or: 1 group Toddler (12-13 sessions) PLUS 1 group Preschool (14+ sessions)
Or: 1 group Preschool PLUS 1 group School Age (age 6-8) (12-14 sessions, 16-18 if doing program 8)
Or: 1 group Toddler (12-13 sessions) PLUS 1 group School-Age (age 6-8) (12-14 sessions, 16-18 if doing program 8)
Or: 2 groups School-Age (age 6-8) (12 – 16+ sessions)

For BASIC Group Leader (Treatment) Certification:
Submit paperwork for 2 groups Preschool (18-20 sessions each)
Or: 2 groups School-Age (age 6-8) (16+ sessions)
Or: 1 group Preschool (18-20 sessions) PLUS 1 group School-Age (age 6-8) (16+ sessions)

For School Age Basic Certification:
Submit paperwork for Basic (above) and 2 groups of School Age (age 9-12) (16-20 sessions each)

Submit to the Certification Committee Workshop Session Checklists for 2 complete groups.

Submit to the Certification Committee weekly evaluations by each parent who attends each of the 14 or 18-20 sessions for both groups.

Submit to the Certification Committee final program evaluations (Final Satisfaction Questionnaire) by each parent who attended the two groups.

Peer and Self-Evaluation:

Submit 2 Peer and 2 Self-evaluations using the form below, from each of two different group sessions.

Peer & Self Evaluation (Parent)
Feedback from Certified Mentor or Trainer:

Telephone consultation from Certified/Accredited Mentor or Trainer. Group leaders may request telephone consultation which is provided by a Mentor or Trainer. Consultation calls are contracted through IY office.

In-Person Consultation workshops led by Certified/Accredited Mentor or Trainer. These workshops consist of 6-8 pairs of group leaders who present videos of their parent group sessions for peer review and feedback from IY Mentor or Trainer. Agencies may request these consultation workshops at their site or send group leaders to regularly held workshops in Seattle.

Video review of complete parent group session by IY Certified/Accredited Mentor or Trainer. After submitting a video recording of a complete parent group session, the group leader will receive a detailed written report of their performance. The report will provide specific feedback for the group leader. Two complete video reviews are included in the certification fee. For each additional video review (beyond the first two) a fee is required due to the time intensive process of the review and preparation of the written report. Most group leaders submit at least two videos (at different times, from different groups) before obtaining final approval.

The video should be labeled, identifying the program (Toddler, Preschool Basic, or School Age Basic) and submitted with the group leader’s self-evaluation checklist and must meet minimal requirements for following session protocols. Contact us about sending video files electronically:  incredibleyears@incredible

Please see the Tips for Preparing your video for review below.

Tips for Preparing Video for Review (Parent)
Maintaining Fidelity after Accreditation/Certification

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.