PMTO Training and Certification
Training Programs for Certification
A typical training program for PMTO specialists includes up to 18 workshop days across 3-5 workshops and coaching seminars. During the workshop training, active teaching techniques provide abundant opportunity for practice (e.g., modeling, video demonstrations, role play, experiential exercises, and video-recording of practice followed up with direct feedback).
Training participants receive a comprehensive set of materials for PMTO practitioners and for parents receiving PMTO services. Materials include manuals for practitioners and handbooks for parents and other tools to facilitate creative delivery of the intervention. Manuals contain foundational information, experiential exercises of core and supporting PMTO content and strategies, session outlines, and all other necessary intervention and assessment tools. Our workshops and coaching employ best practice strategies in adult learning.
PMTO is Observation-based
Throughout the course of training, candidates are required to video record their sessions with families. These video materials are uploaded onto a secure HIPAA-compliant portal so that training mentors and coaches can view sessions and provide detailed coaching.
PMTO training is supported with regular coaching and consultation. Detailed coaching and feedback may take place in person, by phone, by videoconferencing, or in written format. Coaching is structured to provide practitioners with strong support for improving content delivery, therapeutic process, and teaching strategies. Candidates receive a minimum of 12 coaching sessions based on direct observation of their therapy sessions with training families.
Coaching is provided to strengthen existing skills and to shape new skills to mastery. Coaching is based on the five categories within the Fidelity of Implementation Rating System (FIMP- Knutson, Forgatch, Rains, & Sigmarsdóttir, 2009):
- Knowledge: demonstrated understanding and practice of PMTO principles, practice, and theoretical model
- Structure: proficiency in session management, leading without dominating, responsiveness to family issues
- Teaching: skill in balancing verbal and active teaching strategies to promote parents’ mastery of PMTO practices
- Process: proficiency in use of a broad range of sophisticated therapeutic skills that promote a safe and supportive learning environment
- Overall Development: therapeutic alliance and engagement of family in PMTO practice incorporating contextual and family circumstances that may interfere
Candidates provide PMTO services to a minimum of three training families who are referred for treatment at their agency. When candidates demonstrate that they have effectively incorporated coaching feedback into their practice and show competence in their application of PMTO techniques, they are invited to advance to certification candidacy. They then start with a minimum of two new certification families. Candidates submit four video recordings of full treatment sessions from these certification families. The sessions must cover each of the following topics: introducing encouragement, troubleshooting encouragement, introducing discipline, and troubleshooting discipline. ISII Mentors, who are reliable FIMP raters, score these sessions using the FIMP rating system (Knutson et al., 2009). To achieve a passing score, the mean score for each session must be 6.0 or higher (on a 9-point scale), with no scores below 4.
Practitioners must complete the certification process to be qualified to implement PMTO interventions independent of ISII coaching. Following certification, monthly PMTO coaching within the local community is required at a minimum. Coaching from ISII is strongly recommended and provided to community coaches at regular intervals to sustain fidelity over time in the community.
For more information, please refer to the PMTO Certification Guidelines document.
Full Transfer Philosophy
As applied scientists, we recognize that sustaining evidence-based practice in community settings is hard work requiring strong infrastructure and careful planning. Our goal is to help adopting communities sustain PMTO practice with fidelity so that families will benefit from the same positive outcomes that were attained during efficacy and effectiveness trials. To this end, ISII assesses implementation sites for suitability of local infrastructure, necessary caseloads, targeted population, and relevant resources.
Our implementation approach follows a full transfer philosophy, which involves training the adopting communities to conduct PMTO practice independently over time. Our goal is for every implementation site to achieve the capacity to train, coach, certify, recertify, and evaluate PMTO fidelity across successive generations. To ensure successful transfer, we require a long-term commitment to PMTO. In turn, ISII provides long-term support for each adopting community with periodic booster trainings in response to their unique needs.
Local community PMTO leaders become part of an international network of PMTO trainers, coaches, and fidelity raters.
PMTO certification indicates only that the certified practitioner may provide PMTO services at the designated level of certification. PMTO certification does not constitute or create a license or right to treat.