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

If your apprenticeship focuses on MBCT in its original form as described by Segal, Williams, & Teasdale (2013; also known as the “green book”), then no additional training is required before beginning your apprenticeship. However, you may wish to teach an alternate curriculum, such as MBCT for Life (MBCT-L) or Finding Peace in a Frantic World, and so seek an apprenticeship with someone teaching those curricula. You might also aspire to teach in a particular setting, such as workplaces, where the standard MBCT curriculum may not be used.  In such cases, additional training for these curricula and settings is required before entering your apprenticeship. The OMC regularly offers this training and information is available in the Workshops and Masterclasses section of this website.

An apprenticeship involves co-teaching a minimum of two courses (standard MBCT or an alternate curriculum) with a teacher who is experienced with the relevant curriculum and setting. Your apprenticeship co-teacher will provide pre-session planning and post-session debriefing for each session. Your apprenticeship co-teacher may also be your formal supervisor, if he or she is willing and qualified to do so. Otherwise, you will need to find a separate supervisor. The OMC may be able to suggest potential supervisors. The Mindfulness Network 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 you identify trainers who are qualified to provide supervision. Either your co-teacher or your supervisor should 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.

You and your apprenticeship co-teacher 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. 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 and 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 courses (standard MBCT or an alternate curriculum) as an apprentice and your apprenticeship supervisor must agree that you are ready. Formal competency assessment requires teaching or co-teaching an entire course and submitting recordings of all sessions to the OMC’s competency assessment service. This is described in more detail here.