Training is delivered to cohorts of up to 18 delegates. Our experience shows that small cohort sizes have a positive effect on delegates’ experiences and learning, increasing the impact of the training. Our Trainers are able to create safe learning spaces and meaningfully engage with all delegates. This enables open, respectful discussions and ensures attendees feel able to share vulnerabilities and challenges from their daily practice.

The National Autism Trainer Programme (NATP) aims to train staff to Trainer level and support them to embed our approach and train staff in their own settings. There are four components to achieving autism Trainer recognition:

  1. During the training, you are required to attend a four-day online training (09:00-17:00) on the same day of the week, over four weeks. The training is co-produced by renowned experts and experienced Trainers from Anna Freud and AT-Autism and delivered by autistic and non-autistic experts in the field. Trainers will facilitate safe spaces for reflective discussions and meaningful engagement via a range of presentations, videos and case studies. You should expect to be actively engaged in each session.
  2. An optional fifth day of online training (09:00–17:00) is made available to you upon completion of the four-day training.
  3. Post-training, you will join a Community of Practice, led by our Community of Practice Lead. Monthly shared learning seminars will offer a safe space for you to meet with other Trainers, share your experiences and develop your training practice to benefit your NHS co-workers. You will also hear from internationally renowned autistic and non-autistic experts, to extend and consolidate your knowledge.
  4. You will be supported to co-deliver the training with autistic Experts by Experience and embed our approach in your own settings.
What is expected of delegates post-training?

Once trained and back in your setting, the expectation is that in your new role as an Autism Trainer you will deliver the training at least once per year to staff in your service. You will be supported by our programme Community of Practice and Participation teams to engage with and co-deliver the training with an Expert by Experience, who can be contacted from the programme's pool of Experts by Experience.

You will be provided with access to a full multimedia e-library. This will contain all educational material (e.g., slide decks, videos and case studies), a primer along with e-guidance. You will also be invited to join optional live online master classes. The training we offer will equip you to deliver three days of training to staff in your settings. This will develop an awareness of the key features and effects of autism, as well as more in-depth knowledge and skills to enable them to carry out their work more effectively, review, and reflect on their practice.

A variety of additional modules and material will be available for those whose roles demand more advanced and in-depth autism knowledge and skills (e.g., adapted therapy skills, SPELL environmental support, and trauma).


Evaluation of the training

As part of our ongoing evaluation trainees will be asked to provide feedback at the end of each training day. This evaluation will be completed using POD, a tool developed by Anna Freud.  

By using POD we will ensure Trainers have access to participant’s feedback straight away and can use this to inform training delivery on subsequent days.  


Understand more about POD 

POD is an online data collection tool, designed to gather outcomes and feedback from individuals, in a range of settings from clinical interventions, research projects through to training programmes.   

POD can be accessed from any device with access to the internet, allowing data to be collected efficiently and effectively, calculating scores in real time and giving instant access to the results to those who need to see them.

“It has been really good training so far, I am actually sad about the training coming to an end. It has been useful to think about stereotypes, adaptations, narratives and frameworks (SPELL). It has also been helpful that these have been mentioned on a few occasions because it means you are consolidating learning as opposed to getting more and more information every day. Practicing facilitating slides we have already seen helped as it boosted confidence in our knowledge of the topic.”

Training participant

Training roadmap

We have created a useful training roadmap video, explaining the training process and the steps to becoming a NATP Trainer and then training colleagues. You can also view our training roadmap graphic. These tell you all about how the training is delivered, how to connect with Experts by Experience, and the ongoing support you will receive from the community of practice. 

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