Certified Instructor Training and Core Program Training (CPT)

We are now accepting applications for our annual Kidpower Core Program Training: How to Use the Positive Practice Method to Teach People Safety Skills to Children and Their Adults — January 21-26, 2016. The CPT is primarily for people who want to become certified as Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International instructors but also for people who want to audit this program to use in their personal and professional lives without making the commitment to becoming instructors at this time.  The six-day CPT includes the opportunity to practice safety skills for yourself, practice teaching to others, observe experienced people teaching, and then to see, teach, and practice personal safety safety skills with children with coaching from a trainer.

Learning to teach with real students

Learning to teach with real students.

We encourage people interested in our Certified Instructor Training Program to apply right away. Once applicants are accepted into our training program, we will make a plan with them depending on how far they are from existing centers, when the next Core Program Training will take place, and their specific situation.  Candidates have the opportunity to receive coaching and guidance in how to use our program before and after they participate in a Core Program Training. Information about auditing the Core Program Training is below.

Many people who are interested in learning how to teach Kidpower also participate in one our three-day Kidpower Skills for Child Protection Advocates Training Institutes, which will soon be scheduled for 2016.

Getting Started

Whether you are interesting in teaching children, teens, or adults, or all ages, your first steps, if you have not done this already, are to sign up for our free educational e-newsletter and purchase and read The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults, which provides an in-depth guide to personal safety, self-protection, confidence, and advocacy skills for young people.

If you wish to become certified as a Kidpower, Teenpower, and/or Fullpower instructor by Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International to teach and organize workshops under our auspices, there are four different paths depending on where you live and your objectives:

  1. If you are in California, you can become an instructor as part of the California Regional Center.  Please read all the information below and then contact us to begin the application process.
  2. If you are not in California, but you are in the service area of one of our Established Centers, please read the information below and then contact your local Center Director. To check if you are close to an Established Center, please look at our Locations page. Note: How close to a center you need to be to become part of the center varies. If you are within 3 hours driving distance of a center, please contact them first.
  3. If you are not in an area served by an Established Center and you do not live in California, you will either need to set up a Center or establish an Authorized Agency Provider agreement to become authorized to organize and teach workshops in your community. Please read all the information on this page as well as the Center Development page and then contact us in the central office.
  4. If you are in an area not served by an Established Center and you are part of an agency that provides services highly compatible with Kidpower’s mission, has an excellent track record, and demonstrates commitment to Kidpower’s values, then you might be able to set up a Kidpower Authorized Agency Provider agreement. Please read all the information below and then contact us to begin the application process.

    Taking in compliments.

    Taking in compliments.

What is the path to becoming a certified Kidpower instructor?

NOTE: Centers are independently run though they all operate under the auspices and support of the Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International Central Office. Centers may have some variation in the specific process they use to certify an instructor, though they will all follow these general phases.

  1. The Application Phase: This is when we consider and interview Applicants. Outstanding Instructors are the heart of our program and our future, so we invest significant time and resources in our Instructor Candidates from the moment we agree to work together. This means we can welcome a limited number and are careful to select Applicants who are motivated to do this work and who demonstrate the commitment and the ability to uphold Kidpower’s Mission, Goals, and Values, and Best Practices. Applicants are required to sign up for our free e-newsletter, purchase The Kidpower Book, complete our screening questions, fill out a written application, sign a training agreement, pay the application fee and have a meeting by telephone, Skype, or in-person. We also require fingerprints and a background check for Applicants in the United States and equivalent screening for Applicants from other countries.
  2. Personal Training Plan Before Core Program Training Participation: After being accepted into our training program, Instructor Candidates start the training process by studying The Kidpower Book and other materials; teaching the 30 Skills; assisting in workshops when possible; doing practice presentations in limited circumstances; and identifying community connections they can build upon to create fieldwork practice teaching opportunities when they return from the Core Program Training for the Supervised Fieldwork phase. All Candidates will be assigned a Training Supervisor who will create an Personal Training Plan depending on the distance from an established center, the time before the next six-day Core Training Program, and the individual’s specific situation. In Established Centers, the Training Supervisor will be the Center Director from the Candidate’s local Center. If the Candidate is also starting a Center because there is no Center in his or her area, the Candidate will be assigned a Supervisor from the Central Office who will give long-distance support to the Candidate’s instructor training and center development via e-mail and Skype.
  3. Participating in the intensive Core Program Training (CPT): We lead a Kidpower Core Program Training (CPT) each year and a Teenpower/Fullpower (CPT) every other year. Each CPT program is six days long and is held in Santa Cruz, California. Candidates may choose to become Kidpower Instructors (i.e. instructors for children, school and parent education programs) or Teenpower/Fullpower Instructors (i.e. instructors working with teens and adults) or both. Participation in the CPT for the type of program you wish to teach is a required part of the instructor training process. The majority of individuals who join our organization begin by coming to the Kidpower CPT and focus on the children’s curriculum and then work towards certification in the teen and adult classes.
  4. Supervised Fieldwork Phase: This is when Candidates gain experience by teaching parts of the program with coaching and guidance until they are ready to teach the full program. This can include presenting in scheduled workshops, if they are already part of an Established Center, and leading short practice sessions the Candidate arranges in supportive environments, such as local schools and parent groups, with close guidance and supervision from a Training Supervisor. Depending on the location, the Supervised Fieldwork phase includes video review or in-person teaching under supervision that leads to gradual authorization to teach in different settings.  For people who are not part of established centers, we provide long-distance supervision through Skype, email, telephone, and video review.  This phase varies in length based on the skill set of the Candidate, the amount of time the Candidate can devote to learning the curriculum, and where the Candidate is located.
  5. Certification as a New Instructor: Once a Candidate has completed the Supervised Fieldwork Phase she or he will be authorized to teach specific workshops as a New Instructor as long as class plans are reviewed prior to teaching and workshops are evaluated afterwards with the Center Director or Training Supervisor. The New Instructor will continue working with his or her Supervisor for up to two years to provide ongoing support and professional development.
  6. Ongoing Certification. In order to maintain their certification, Instructors must stay active and take part in ongoing learning through participation in activities provided by their local Center and the Central Office; reading listserve and e-newsletter e-mails; going to conferences or repeating a training; Skype meetings; and/or conference calls.

    Practicing physical self-defense with "full-force" padded instructor.

    Practicing physical self-defense with “full-force” padded instructor.

How long time does it take to become a Certified Instructor?

The entire length of time from Application Phase to Certification varies. It will depend on when the Applicant contacts us, how much time the Candidate can commit to the Personal Training Plan and Supervised Fieldwork Phases, the skill set of the Candidate, the amount of time the Candidate can devote to learning the curriculum, and if the Candidate is located in an Established Center or not. However, for most people the process takes about two years. 

People interested in becoming an instructor should expect to commit between 500 and 1000 hours to the process (from Pre-training to certification). This time includes the six days of CPT, as well as Pre-Training and Supervised Fieldwork, and time spent studying and learning curriculum.  This time is unpaid. Once an Instructor is certified to teach a workshop, he or she has the potential of being paid by the Center if funds are available or charging fees for his or her time. Compensation is different depending on which Center the Instructor is working with or if he or she is starting a Center.

“The path of becoming and being a Kidpower instructor has been, for me, deeply rewarding. Strangely enough, having so clearly and proudly defined myself as a school teacher and a mother, I almost missed it altogether. Stretching my mind to imagine myself doing this kind of work felt scary because it was unusual. But I found when I stretched, I learned that Kidpower instructors don’t look any one way.”

Kidpower Instructor

Cost of The Certified Instructor Training Program

We make a major investment in people who want to join our organization, as we deeply value the commitment each Candidate makes to our mission and to bringing skills to her or his own community. We are able to do so because of the generous support of our donors as well as the extremely generous donations of time from our training staff.

To start with, all persons interested in becoming an instructor with our organization need to purchase and review The Kidpower Book, which provides an excellent introduction to our program as well as a foundation for training for our organization regardless of the ages of the people you wish to learn to teach. The cost for this is $29.95 plus shipping. A $50 non-refundable application fee is also paid when you start the application process to help us cover the costs of screening.

Applicants from an area where there is no established center with senior staff. In addition to the application fee, the fee of our certified training program is $2,500 for someone who is new to our organization who is coming to a Core Program Training from an area where we do not have senior staff leading a well-established center or from an area where there is no center. If there is a second person coming from the same place at the same time who is well-known to the first and they are planning to work closely together, we offer a reduced fee of $1,200 for this individual. These fees are greatly reduced from the true cost to our organization of providing training, which independent evaluation has placed at over $5,000 per person including pre-training preparation, participation in our six-day Core Program Training, program manuals, and post-training long-distance support including supervised fieldwork for the first year.

Throwing away hurting words

Throwing away hurting words.

The $2,500 fee covers all stages of the instructor training process through to certification for the type of certification (Kidpower or Teenpower/Fullpower)as well as the first year after the training of beginning local service development support with a Supervisor. This fee covers the Core Program Training for either teaching Kidpower and their adults or for teaching teens and adults , manuals, and support toward certification. The cost for someone who has successfully completed one type of Core Program Training to take the other type of Core Program Training is $1,200. If the Candidate is also starting a Center, ongoing Center Fees are either $500 a year or 5% of the gross program income; whichever is greater, as well as insurance costs. Please see Starting a Kidpower Center for more information.

Applicants from an Established Center: The cost for training if you want to become an instructor in California or with one of our other active and established centers is reduced to $2,000 IF you are coming from a primary service area being supported by that Center. The Core Program Training fee may be reduced further to $1,200 for applicants who meet all of the following criteria:

  • are applying to begin the process to become a certified instructor with a well-established Kidpower Center with qualified staff able to provide all follow-up training and fieldwork support in a geographic area where more instructors are needed to handle services.
  • have already been actively involved in supporting the Center by volunteering, donating, or organizing a workshop,
  • are recommended personally by the Center’s Executive Director or Program Director, AND
  • commit to continue the needed fieldwork training to become certified as an instructor and teach with that center.

The cost for someone who has successfully completed one type of Core Program Training to take the other type of Core Program Training is $1,200.

(Please note: If you live in California, you will have the opportunity to become an instructor through the California Regional Center. Our primary service area is currently in the Greater San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay areas with satellite offices serving other communities such as San Diego and Los Angeles.. We do not have independent Centers in California. However, we do have Satellite Offices and Authorized Provider Agreements in locations where we are not currently providing services on an ongoing basis.)

Other costs you will have to budget for are: Travel costs to and from Santa Cruz, California, hostel/hotel costs when in Santa Cruz, breakfast and dinner when in Santa Cruz (lunch and snacks are included in the training fee), and background checks. If you are intending to train as a Full-Force Instructor, you will also need to add the cost for the padded suit.

Once an applicant is accepted into the training program, a $500 initial payment towards the training fee must be made so we can set up an individual training plan. We are open to discussing some flexibility in the payment plan. Sometimes it works before for Candidates to spread their payments out into smaller installments. However, because we commit a large amount of resources to conducting the training program, we do require that the training fees be paid in full one month prior to the date of the Comprehensive Program Training. All alternate payment plans must be approved by our Executive Director.

Note: The Application Fee and Training Fees listed above are separate from other potential costs including long distance telephone, background check, international mailing of materials, travel, additional training programs or conferences we offer that the Candidate might choose to register for, etc. For all phone communication, we request that the Candidate be the one to call us (to cover long-distance charges) or, preferably to be able to use a free video conferencing service (such as Skype).

Core Program Training Description

One important piece of the certification process is our intensive, six-day Core Program Training (CPT).  CPT is a required step on the path to becoming a Certified Instructor. Like all our programs at every level, CPT is experiential, success-based, and individually adapted for each Candidate. Candidates have extensive, supported practice opportunities to build both practical and theoretical skills in the following areas:

Learning to teach people of all abilities.

Learning to teach people of all abilities.

  • “People Safety” Skills appropriate for children and/or teens and adults, including boundary setting, verbal skills, stranger safety, and physical self-defense.
  • Fullpower skills for your own training, to build confidence in your own self-protection skills as well as to deepen understanding of the relevance of these skills for your students.
  • Kidpower Positive Practice Methodology and Teaching Tools that can increase effectiveness in other areas of instruction as well.
  • Classroom management as well as individual student management skills.
  • Adapting and tailoring to address special needs of a group or an individual.
  • Public speaking and interactive presentation skills.
  • Team teaching and cooperative leadership.

Candidates get in-the-moment coaching and support as they integrate all these skills through hands-on work with real students and their parents, teachers, and/or advocates. They also get to see experienced Instructors in action.

2016 Schedule for Pre-Training, the Six-Day Intensive Core Program Trainings (CPT), and Post-Training

Please Note: We  offer our Kidpower CPT once a year and our Teenpower/Fullpower CPT every other year. However, we encourage people to apply to participate in our training program as soon as they are ready to make this commitment, as the CPT is only one step in the training process. Having time to begin your pre-training before the CPT can be very useful in helping you to get the most out of your time once you are at the CPT. Candidates who spend more time doing pre-training are likely to have a shorter time to complete their Supervised Fieldwork.

There are two CPTs: one for teaching children and their adults that will be held January 21-26, 2016, and one for teaching teens and adults that will be held in 2017. You are required to go to at least one full CPT for the age group you wish to teach as part of the certification process. If you want to work with kids, you will go to the Kidpower CPT. If you want to work with teens and adults, you will go to the Teenpower/Fullpower CPT. If you want to work with all ages and abilities, we normally recommend the Kidpower CPT first, followed by the Teenpower/Fullpower CPT the same year or the following year. However, people usually start with the first training available.

Once you have attended a Core Program Training (either Kidpower or Teenpower/Fullpower) you are welcome to return yearly to the same training to gain additional knowledge and skill development without paying for the full training again. We charge $500 to cover food and new material costs. If you have been participated in the Kidpower CPT and have been certified as an instructor, you can participate in the Teenpower/Fullpower CPT for $1,200.

Kidpower Core Program Training Schedule

The Kidpower Core Program Training focuses on preparing instructors to teach children and their adults. As soon as they are accepted into our instructor training program, Candidates will start pre-training activities prior to coming to training.

Training dates:

Kidpower: January 21-26, 2016 — Apply NOW to start preparation activities. Deadline December 1, 2016.

Training Preparation Day:

Thursday. All Candidates are required at the training preparation day unless they have already participated in these activities in their Center. Even then, we highly recommend participating in preparation day activities, which include a demo workshop and a physical self-defense workshop for Candidates to take as students. Full Force Instructor Candidates, who will be wearing the head-to-toe padded suit, will need to get fitted for their suit and get introductory full force training on this day.

Training Schedule:

Thursday Preparation Day 9-noon and 1-5 (Lunch is not included)
Friday 8:30am-4:00pm
Saturday, Sunday, Monday 8:30am-6:00pm
Tuesday 8:30am-5:00pm

Application Deadline: 

November 1, 2015

Note: If you wish to start our training program, please apply as soon as possible. Getting accepted earlier gives you the opportunity for more pre-training.

Teenpower/Fullpower Core Program Training

The Teenpower/Fullpower Core Program Training focuses on preparing instructors to teach teens and adults, including people with disabilities and seniors.

Training dates:

April (specific dates tbd), 2017

Training Schedule:

Thursday Preparation Day 9-noon and 1-5 (Lunch is not included)
Friday 8:30am-4:00pm
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday 8:30am-6:00pm
Tuesday 8:30am-5:00pm

Application Deadline: 

March 1, 2017

How to Apply

Step 1: Start by reading all the information about Instructor Training, the Qualifications for Training Applicants and, if applicable, Starting a Center carefully.

Depending on where you are located and whether you will be starting a Center or not, you will begin your application process by contacting us to indicate your interest. When you email either the Central Office or your local Center Director, please make sure to include:

  1. Where you are located.
  2. A short paragraph about yourself and why you are interested in working with Kidpower.
  3. A resume, if you have one. If not, please include a brief description of your relevant work history.
  4. If you have had the opportunity to participate in a Kidpower workshop.
You will be contacted via email by either a Training Coordinator through the Central Office or your local Center Director. In local Centers led by experienced instructors, potential Applicants usually start by taking a workshop or having a phone or in-person interview.

All Applicants who are not part of a Center led by a very experienced instructor will be required to complete written screening questions to a trainer to see if applying to the training program is a good fit or not.  If both the Applicant and a Kidpower trainer feel good about moving forward with the application process, the Applicant will then pay will then pay a non-refundable $50 application fee by credit card, money order, or check and schedule a Skype or phone interview with the trainer. If both agree to go forward after this interview, the applicant will schedule a second interview with the Kidpower Executive Director and then complete a formal application, a medical screening questionnaire, sign an Instructor Candidate Agreement, and, if applicable, a Center Agreement.

Only a limited number of Candidates will be accepted in each six-day training program. We recommend applying as early as possible. Here is an overview of the application process:

  1. People tell us that they are interested and send us general information about themselves.
  2. We send screening questions and information about Instructor Training, the Qualifications for Training Applicants and, if applicable, Starting a Center that help both the Applicant and us to assess whether being an instructor for Kidpower is the best path to pursue, since there are many other ways to get involved. We also ask applicants to buy the Kidpower Book and sign up for our free e-newsletter.
  3. Once we have received the answers to the screening questions from the Applicant, and all seems well, the Applicant pays a nonrefundable $50 application fee, and we set up a time to have an interview in person or on Skype.
  4. We conduct the Skype or in-person interview. This is a time to get to know each other and for both the Applicant and the Kidpower representative and to ask questions.
  5. If both the Applicant and the Kidpower representative feel good about moving forward with the application process, we send the Applicant all the application documents she or he needs and ask the Applicant to complete, sign and return these documents along with references to continue the process. Unless they are in an area with an Established Center, the Applicant also signs a Center Agreement, which spell out requirements, boundaries, and expectations.
  6. Once we have received all the application documents and agreements we schedule an additional meeting with either a trainer from the Central Office or the Applicant’s Local Center Director to answer questions and discuss plans for training and future involvement.
  7. Before we can accept an applicant into our training program we also require a background check with fingerprints. Applicants will be checked to see if they are in the sex offender database.  Each state is different in costs associated with the background checks but the cost should be less than $100. Applicants outside the U.S. complete a similar process according to what is possible in their countries. Applicants also need to have Medical and Accident Insurance for the period they are traveling to and from and staying in Santa Cruz for the CPT.
  8. At this point, the applicant is accepted into our training program and is now an Instructor Candidate. We make a plan for payment of the Instructor Training Fee and for the Pre-Training Phase. If someone is near an area where there are workshops, we arrange for as many observation opportunities as possible. If not, we make other plans to help familiarize this person with our program. The Candidate is given a Supervisor who will work with him or her to make an Individualize Training Plan.

Certified Instructor Benefits

People from all over the world have participated in our certified instructor training program. We are dedicated to maintaining extremely high quality standards and ethics and only certify as instructors people who demonstrate that they can uphold our values and meet our Instructor Certification Standards for the programs they teach under our auspices.

The most important qualities for being a successful instructor are having a good heart, a good head, good emotional and physical health, high ethics, respect for boundaries, and a deep commitment to making a difference in the world through this work.


  • Kidpower invests in each selected Candidate. Each Candidate has the capacity strengthen our organization and our ability to help others, and we help cover the costs of their participation. The heavily subsidized training frees reflect Kidpower’s equivalent investment in the Candidate.
  • You have the opportunity to work with a Trainer and/or a Center Director to develop an individualized training plan and receive ongoing professional growth support.
  • As an Instructor, you have the opportunity to teach workshops through your Center or to have support in setting up a Center in a new community.
  • You will have quality supervision and ongoing access to our program development.
  • You’ll be welcomed onto our e-mail list-serve connecting Kidpower instructors and board members worldwide with discussion on content updates, articles, recent issues.
  • You will have the opportunity for further development of your own boundary-setting and personal safety skills.
  • You will get experience in real classes with real students taught by outstanding instructors.
  • You’ll strengthen your teaching skills through seeing, learning and practicing our teaching tools.
  • You will have hands-on training in our skills and activities with the opportunity to get coaching by trainers on how to present these effectively.
  • You will become part of our international organization with permission to use copyrighted materials, programs, and program names you are certified to teach; access to new curriculum development, and use of our endorsements and references.
  • While doing Kidpower-authorized activities, you will be covered under our liability coverage in the USA and Canada.
  • You will pay reduced fees for program materials.
  • You’ll have the personal satisfaction of teaching others simple and effective safety skills that can make a huge difference in their lives.

For more information on the benefits of joining our organization read Skills for Your Life/Skills to Teach Others – the benefits to becoming a Kidpower Instructor.

Auditing the Core Program Training

Many great people who want to come to the Core Program do not have the time at least in the short run to do all the follow-up fieldwork to become certified as Kidpower instructors or set up a center so they can organize and teach Kidpower workshops under our auspices. For this reason, we have decided to offer an option to audit the six-day Core Program Training with the possibility of deciding to join the full certified instructor program at a later time.

Participating in the six-day training without doing the supervised fieldwork or, where relevant, starting a center can help participants become much better prepared to use and teach safety skills using the Kidpower program and teaching method in their personal and professional lives. People who successfully complete the Core Program Training by auditing it WILL receive a Certificate of Completion, but will NOT be certified as a Kidpower instructor. They WILL be able to teach safety lessons or workshops using the Kidpower skills – but will NOT have permission to call these programs “Kidpower workshops” or themselves “Kidpower instructors,” or to use any our other program names or our track record in marketing workshops using our materials. Instead, they will acknowledge Kidpower for the use of our copyrighted curriculum in a way that makes it clear where this information came from and tell people how to reach our organization. People taking this option will be asked to sign a Core Program Training Participation Agreement that spells out how to use what is learned in the training a way that is supportive of Kidpower.

If you wish to audit the six-day Core Program Training without becoming a certified instructor, you will still need to apply since we are working with real students. You will need to pay an application fee of $50, sign an agreement about your use of the program, and pay the $2,000 fee, which includes pre-training,  the six-day program, and a follow-up consultation session by email or Skype. Please contact us if you wish to explore this option.

If you decide to audit the training and it turns out at a later time that you wish to become certified, and we agree it is a good fit for you, you can pay an additional $1,000 (to cover your $500 Center Support Fee plus the $500 supervised fieldwork) plus insurance if you are starting a Center and we will make a plan. If it has been a couple of years since you came to the six-day training program, you will probably need to go back, but the cost will be reduced to $500 for a returning participant.

A less expensive option without an ongoing time commitment is our next three-day Kidpower Skills for Child Protection Advocates Training Institute, which will be in Albany, near San Francisco  August 10-12, 2015.  The cost is $1,050. Although the Institute does NOT have the hands-on practice with children, this program includes extensive hands-on practice of intervention, advocacy, and personal safety skills – and has been very useful to parents, educators, law enforcement, therapists, social workers and other carting adults from all over the world.

Establishing an Authorized Provider Agreement instead of  working in a Center

On a case-by-case basis, Kidpower sometimes makes Authorized Provider Agreements with organizations, schools, or businesses that are providing services to people with specific needs to allow them to send qualified staff to participate in our Certified Instructor Training Program and to use these certified Kidpower instructors to organize and teach workshops through the Authorized Provider in collaboration with Kidpower. Requirements include:

  • That the individual to be trained has an established position within this agency, successfully completes our application process, and signs an Instructor Agreement with Kidpower.
  • That the nature of the services to be provided is mutually supportive and does not compete with the funding or services of Kidpower International or of any Kidpower Center serving the same area.
  • That the agency’s mission, goals, and values are aligned with Kidpower’s.
  • That the head of the agency who has the authority to make long-term commitments signs the Authorized Provider Agreement.

For More Information

  1. Read about our positive and practical approach for teaching personal safety skills to people of all ages and abilities by buying one of our resource publications or signing up for our free e-newsletter. Our Comprehensive Program Manuals are now available for purchase by the general public. These manuals have been developed during our over 20 years of teaching thousands of students and training hundreds of instructors.
  2. Read What it Means to be a Kidpower Instructor, by Erika Leonard, California Program Director
  3. If you would like to find out more about the training process, please phone or email us, and please be sure to pass this information on to others who you think might be interested.

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