Coach v. Trainer Overview
Training mindfulness to police officers and other first responders requires keenly adept coaches and trainers and carefully crafted professional standards. In addition to meeting emerging professional standards for training to general populations, trainers of mindfulness to first responders must have an advanced understanding of trauma, resiliency, human performance and a strong cultural competency.
Peer coaches have less rigorous training and subsequently have less capacity/qualifications to deliver trainings. Certified trainers have the foundation to do more complex trainings and design and deliver curriculums and mentor coaches. Both peer coaches and certified trainers are necessary for integrating mindfulness into an organization and culture in a sustainable way.
In addition to coaches and trainers, it is important for public safety agencies to partner with carefully vetted community trainers. Our recommendation is that a community trainer sits alongside an organizational coach/trainer, adding diversity and greater fidelity.
Trained Peer Coach
This is the starting place for a high reliability organization to build sustainable integration of mindfulness into its culture, leadership and operations.
A 3-Part training program that leads towards becoming a peer coach for performance and resilience. Graduates of all three phases of this training program will be capable of championing mindfulness as a preventative approach to health and wellness and as a path toward performance optimization- at work, at home, and in the community.
Peer Coaches can integrate seamlessly into existing leadership and training constructs within a public safety agency- operations, training, administration, etc. Peer Coaches will be able to build mindfulness training models, collaborating with community, regional and national certified trainers to tailor resilience and performance training to meet the unique needs of their organization. Peer coaches will be equipped to integrate mindfulness training sessions into the regular rhythms of their organization, ensuring skillful instruction and resourcing others so peers can continue their own mindfulness practice.
Participants in this training program must complete the following to earn the designation of a Peer Resilience Coach:
1. Three day intensive - mindfulness skill building
2. 12 to 16-week Distance Learning- study, mentorship and personal practice
3. Final three day intensive - mindfulness for performance, movement and mindful nutrition, and coaching skills
4. Practicum - local project of training/education
Peer Coaches will be required to complete ongoing professional education to maintain affiliation as a Peer Coach.
Certified Mindfulness Trainer
A Certified Mindfulness Trainer has gone through a formal training program and earned the designation as a certified trainer. These professionals are skilled at providing foundational and advanced mindfulness based skills training to a variety of populations.
If an organization has two or more skillful and competent peer coaches AND a skillful and competent community-based certified mindfulness trainer to partner with, it may not be critical for them to have an internal certified trainer.
For long-term sustainability of a mindfulness-influenced culture, having a certified trainer inside the organization can be very helpful.
The road to certification is a long one; plan on several years. Credible programs that are accredited through the International Mindfulness Teachers Association have rigorous pre-requisites for which there are no shortcuts.
Mindful Badge Initiative is collaborating with Pacific University and University of California Los Angeles on an effort to build a training certification schoolhouse for emergency responders and military personnel. Look for the schoolhouse opening in 2020.