Becoming an ACT Trainer

Printer-friendly version
Click on an option below to get more information on the process of becoming a Peer Reviewed ACT Trainer:

Why join the ACBS training community?

Being listed as a trainer on the ACBS site is meant as a pragmatic way to help learners find high quality ACT training. The ACT Trainers in this community are committed to training with high fidelity to the model and work from explicit, agreed-upon shared values as they train others in ACT. Anyone is free to do/provide training in ACT without undergoing peer review or joining this training community. This peer review process is a voluntary method trainers choose to undergo because it fits their own professional development goals.

Also, as an ACT Peer-Reviewed Trainer, you are able to apply through ACBS to be a co-sponsor for an event that offers CEs for Psychologists at a deeply discounted price. To find out more information on this opportunity, please visit the ACBS CE Co-Sponsorship page.

Being a trainer is also a way to give back to the ACBS community. We are all stronger when we work together. Being a trainer gives you a voice in influencing what ACBS does relating to training and allows you to be part of how ACT and CBS training is conducted around the world. If you'd like a chance to give back to ACBS, and have the skills to be listed as a trainer, we'd encourage you to consider joining. As one member said, joining this community isn't about "what do I get?" but instead, "what can I contribute?".



What are the requirements to apply?

You are welcome to join this training community and be listed as an ACT trainer. Six criteria must be met to do so:

  1. Agree to the list of values and principles for ACT trainers
  2. Have a terminal degree in a relevant behavioral field
  3. Be known to be of good character in the organization’s sole discretion
  4. Be highly effective in the core skills and competencies of an ACT therapist
  5. Be highly effective in training others in ACT
  6. Have a good working knowledge of the basic science and philosophy that underpin ACT vis-a-vis- behavior analysis, relational frame theory, and functional contextualism (see examples of the basic science essays here)

The ACBS training community uses a process of peer review to determine whether a trainer meets these criteria. The spirit of the peer review process is to protect the high fidelity of ACT training through review of the accuracy and quality with which a trainer shares the ACT model while simultaneously promoting a non-proprietary open community that encourages new talent and innovation.


As of January 1, 2014, we are requiring an administrative fee of $80 USD, for each application. Those in Developing Nations (see if you qualify here) will see a fee of $10 USD (if this fee is a barrier, please contact ACBS to discuss the situation, as we don't what this fee to be the difference between your application & non-application).

One of the duties of the ACBS Training Committee has been the time intensive task of maintaining training quality standards, and administration of the ACT Trainer Peer Review process. Those of you that have gone through it know that it is a significant review, and much time and care is taken in this process. It has been estimated that the average cost of ACBS staff time to usher through one of these applications is approximately $160 USD. As you can see, ACBS is absorbing half of the cost of this application process. This does not include all of the generous volunteer time of our committee and our reviewers in this process.

(posted on Sept. 24, 2013)


How do I know if I am ready to apply?

If you are interested in joining the training community and being listed as a trainer, a good place to start is with self-assessment. To self-assess your qualifications:

  1. Review the values statement to see if these are values you endorse (these are listed at the end of the application and also posted in the "Values and Principles" file at the bottom of this webpage)
  2. Assess yourself against the list of therapist competencies and trainer competencies to see if you would rate yourself highly.

Criterion re ‘Terminal Degree in Behavioral Health Field’

One of the criteria to be listed as an ACT trainer is that the applicant’s terminal degree be in a behavioral health field. This is meant to ensure that trainers have relevant underpinning theoretical and applied knowledge of behaviorism. Applicants with degrees in other areas of applied psychology (e.g. Organisational, Counselling, Health, Sports, Forensic or Developmental) may be able to show that their training has the relevant knowledge and application of behavioral principles to their field of expertise. Applicants with terminal degrees in other fields may have some difficulty showing this competence. If your final degree is not in a behavioral health field, you should contact the Chair of the Training Committee in advance of preparing any application, to determine if your underpinning knowledge and competencies will be likely to fit this criterion. In emailing the Chair, it would be useful to describe your training to date, your degree, the nature of your work and any subsequent courses of study or experience acquired that can testify as to your underpinning skills in the theory and application of behavioral psychology. The current Chair is Patty Bach.

If you view yourself as qualified, please consider requesting peer review of your skills as an ACT trainer.


Why peer review and how does it work?

The ACBS community uses a peer review process to balance the need to protect and foster the high fidelity of ACT training with the need to keep the community open to new talented, innovative, qualified trainers. Peers review the materials the trainer submits. A positive review means that peers view the trainer’s work as of the soundest quality. Real effort is made to have the decision to list a trainer on the ACBS website under the influence of the data/argument in the work rather than personal or political factors like who you know or where you trained.

Here’s how the peer review process works:

  1. Candidates self-assess their qualifications relative to the evaluation criteria and submit their application for peer review to join the ACBS training community and be listed as an ACT trainer on the ACBS website.
  2. The Chair of the Training Committee initiates a review by reviewers from among currently listed trainers on the ACBS website. Each application is independently reviewed by two currently listed trainers.
  3. The Reviewers receive the invitation by e-mail. The Reviewer agrees or declines to review.
  4. If the Reviewer agrees, he or she reads the application and completes the peer review rating form, selects a recommendation, and submits the review to the Training Committee. Reviewers are expected to keep the information in applications they review confidential.
  5. The Committee Chair makes the final decision relying on peer-review feedback to guide the decision and will send a summary letter to inform the applicant of the decision along with each reviewer’s blind comments to the applicant (the same summary and each others’ comments are sent to reviewers). Applicants are encouraged to use reviewers' comments as suggestions regarding where they could further refine skills and competencies. The Committee Chair may need to occasionally resolve issues related to conflict of interest among reviewers. Reviewers’ identities are generally not revealed to applicants in order to free reviewers from any social pressures, allowing them to consider only the quality of the application.
  6. Trainer profiles of those approved by the review process are posted on the ACBS website.

The following forms are used to determine the skills of the applicant:

Now that you have read the information about the application process and feel that you are ready to submit your application, you can go to the peer review application form (.pdf version available at the bottom of this page). The Committee Chair offers suggestions and guidance on the application process. Applicants should submit all materials at one time (not in pieces as they are completed/gathered). All materials will be submitted electronically to ACBS at Please feel free to also email ACBS if you have any questions or concerns.

Please label documents to include information about the criterion they are fulfilling (e.g., Criterion1.Signed Values and Principles.pdf , Criterion3a.JaneDoeLetter.docx, Criterion5i.ACTWorkshop.ppt).


How can my training be observed?

As part of the peer review application, it is necessary to have two current ACT trainers review a training example. There are two options to satisfy this important requirement for peer review: live observation or video recording.

Live observations of a training at a conference/event can be organized by the Training Committee if you successfully complete the Observation Request Form for Trainings. However, individuals should download the forms below and consider the application process before they make a request. Although we will do our best to find an ACT Trainer to observe your training, it is not guaranteed. If an observer is not found through the Training Committee's efforts, you can use the list of peer reviewed ACT trainers to find observers in your area.

Another option is to submit a previous training video recording. You can submit this with your application and the Training Committee will find observers for you. It is recommended to limit the video footage to 3 hours total. If you choose this option, you must submit guidelines for the observers to direct attention to specific portions that highlight the particular competencies (this is especially true if the footage is over 3 hours).

Whether the observation is done live or via video, the observer will complete the peer review observation form. The Committee Chair has provided suggestions and guidelines for observers and reviewers.


What if my trainings are in a language other than English?

ACBS strongly supports diversity in our training community. We are committed to supporting applicants who train in languages other than English by arranging for their application to be reviewed by others fluent in that language. In cases where that is not possible, for example when an applicant’s recorded material is in a language not spoken by someone in the training community, we seek to overcome that barrier in other ways. Applicants have successfully had video recordings of a training transcribed, as one example, and then Peer Reviewed Trainers have evaluated the tapes complete with transcripts. We encourage applicants in this situation to contact the ACBS Training Committee administrative support person at, or Patty Bach, Training Committee Chair directly for further information. ACBS is a worldwide organization and the Training Committee welcomes the opportunity to work with you to minimize language as a barrier to peer recognition of your training skills.

Who can I contact with questions?

If you have any questions about requesting peer review or joining the training community, please contact the ACBS Training Committee administrative support person at

This page contains attachments restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.