Step 2 – Apprentice teaching

Upon completion of Step 1 (Foundational Training), you may be eligible for Step 2 of the OMC’s teacher training pathway: Apprentice Teaching.

The OMC cannot guarantee apprentice teaching opportunities but will provide support and assistance in finding an apprenticeship for trainees who have:

  • Completed all four modules of Step 1 (Foundational Training), including all required taught days and any required additional training for trainees without a professional mental health background
  • Reached Advanced Beginner level, as defined by the MBI-TAC, based on informal assessment of the teaching to peers that occurs in Module 4

An apprenticeship involves co-teaching a minimum of two MBCT courses with an experienced MBCT teacher. Your apprenticeship co-teacher will provide pre-session planning and post-session debriefing for each MBCT session, as well as supervision meetings during the 8-week course. Your apprenticeship co-teacher will also be familiar with the MBI-TAC, both as a framework for discussing your skill development and for advising you on your readiness for formal competency assessment.

If you find an apprenticeship through the OMC’s listing, your apprenticeship co-teacher will be your supervisor. If you organize your own apprenticeship, you will need to be sure you have adequate supervision. Your apprenticeship co-teacher may also be your supervisor, or you may need to find a separate supervisor. The Mindfulness Network Community Interest Company (CIC) has a listing of supervisors who meet high quality standards. The UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations Good Practice Guidelines for Trainers of Mindfulness-Based Teachers can help trainee teachers to identify trainers who are qualified to provide them with supervision.

You and your apprenticeship co-teacher/supervisor will decide collaboratively how to structure your apprenticeship experience, depending on your levels of skill and confidence. This may include being a participant-observer, leading selected practices, leading portions of sessions, or leading whole sessions.

In many cases, it will be productive and convenient for an apprentice to complete an entire apprenticeship (co-teaching a minimum of two MBCT courses and reaching readiness for formal competency assessment) with the same apprenticeship co-teacher/supervisor. However, either party could decide not to continue the arrangement before reaching this point. You would then seek another opportunity for continuing your apprenticeship.

Your apprenticeship co-teacher/supervisor will help you determine when you are ready for formal competency assessment (Step 3). To be eligible to apply for Step 3, you must have taught at least two MBCT courses as an apprentice and your apprenticeship supervisor must agree that you are ready. Formal competency assessment requires teaching or co-teaching an entire MBCT course and submitting recordings of all sessions to the OMC’s competency assessment service. This is described in more detail here.