apprentice trainer program

-trainer certification-

Program Overview

The ESDM Training Program and Lead Trainers are responsible for the continued development of Certified Therapists through the Apprentice Trainer process.  As of June 2014 the ESDM Training Program and Advisory Committee agreed to create criteria for prioritizing the selection of Apprentice Trainers.


The criteria include:

  1. Region-- certain regions are requiring more support to disseminate and develop ESDM services. These can be underserved regions or those regions in high demand of ESDM services;

  2. Language-- as the ESDM manuals are being translated into a variety of languages there is an increasing demand for workshops offered in languages other than English;

  3. Status of the therapist-- Certified Therapists working in ESDM Training Sites or who are conducting research will be prioritized.

Application Process

As of June 2016, in order to best support both new Apprentice Trainers and the long-term goals of the program, we will begin an application submission and review period for accepting new Apprentice Trainers.

  • Applications will be accepted starting in January and closing in March.


  • Applications will be reviewed between March and May.


  • Applicants will be notified in early May of their application status

Applicant Criteria

In addition to the above program-wide criteria for prioritizing selection, applicants must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for placement as an Apprentice Trainer:


  1. Must have current ESDM Therapist Certification.

  2. Must have been providing direct delivery of the ESDM in practice for a minimum of six months. Therapists certified in the ESDM must actively practice ESDM in their ongoing treatment for a one year period before beginning the process of being trained as an ESDM Trainer. Practicing the ESDM includes regularly seeing clients, utilizing the Curriculum Checklist, practicing the process of goal and step writing, the data recording process, delivering the ESDM at fidelity, participating in some peer supervision or review, and continuing to meet fidelity standards on all procedures. At any point, therapists may request additional supervision in the ESDM intervention from a Certified Trainer at an individually agreed-upon rate. It is the therapist’s responsibility to ensure quality control with all aspects of the intervention.

  3. Must have attended a Parent Coaching Workshop conducted by the ESDM Training Program at the UC Davis MIND Institute. It is not necessary to have completed Parent Coaching Certification to apply.

  4. Must be fluent in English.

  5. Submit a completed application.

  6. Provide one letter of recommendation (preferably from a currently Certified Trainer).

  7. Submit prerequisite materials: 1) a recent full submission with paperwork; 2) a 30-minute video demonstrating a minimum of 3 activities)



 Apprentice Trainer documents outline the prerequisite requirements which will include a full submission and a long-term commitment to dissemination. The application also includes questions about prior experience with providing supervision and training staff, working within a team, and experience with public speaking.

Please note that, due to program limitations, we are unable to accept all eligible applicants for each training year.


The purpose of this application is to learn about you, your organization, your current practices and training goals related to pursuing certification as an Apprentice Trainer in the Early Start Denver Model. Please answer the questions with as much information as possible in order to help us to understand your training needs and available resources. We will review this information in terms of our training feasibility and availability.

Apprentice Trainer Supervision Action Plan

Once approved as an Apprentice Trainer, you and your certification supervisor will work through the Apprentice Trainer Supervision Action Plan to complete all steps required for becoming a trainer. 

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