Frequently Asked Questions about Good Practice Guidelines

These questions and responses have been compiled to accompany and clarify the Good Practice Guidelines for Teaching mindfulness-based courses (see the GPG for Teachers) and the Good Practice Guidelines for Trainers of mindfulness-based Teachers (see the GPG for Trainers).

  1. FAQs relating to the Good Practice Guidelines for Teaching mindfulness-based Courses.

    1. What are the necessary components of an ‘in-depth rigorous mindfulness-based teacher training programme or supervised pathway’ (A2)?
    2. How long should the ‘annual, residential, teacher-led mindfulness meditation retreat’ be (C1)?
    3. What does ‘regular supervision with an experienced mindfulness-based teacher’ mean?
    4. How much CPD is expected of a mindfulness-based teacher (C3)?
    5. How do teachers seek to maintain their ‘adherence to the ethical framework appropriate to the teacher’s professional background and working context’ (4)?
  2. FAQs relating to the Good Practice Guidelines for Trainers of mindfulness-based Teachers.
    1. What are the necessary components of the 12 month ‘training pathway’ (2)?
    2. What supervision arrangements are recommended for teacher trainers ? (6)

    FAQ A1: What are the necessary components of an ‘in-depth rigorous mindfulness-based teacher training programme or supervised pathway’? (A2)

    ⇒ As a minimum, the teacher training route – whether completed on a teacher training programme or a bespoke supervised pathway - should include:

    • Completion of an eight week, group-based, teacher-led mindfulness-based course as a participant.
    • Commitment to a daily, personal, formal mindfulness practice.
    • Completion of a teacher-led, mindfulness retreat to deepen practice.
    • Training in the theory, rationale and intentions underpinning the Mindfulness-based Intervention (MBI) being taught.
    • Structured training in teaching MBIs. The domains of the MBI-TAC offer an example of the areas this should include. (These are Coverage, pacing and organisation of session curriculum; Relational skills; Embodiment of mindfulness; Guiding mindfulness practices; Conveying course themes through interactive inquiry and didactic teaching; Holding the group learning environment.) seeThe Bangor, Exeter & Oxford Mindfulness-Based Interventions Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI:TAC)
    • Practising teaching under supervision.
    • A process of self-reflection to develop teacher awareness and skills.
    • Formative feedback on teaching practice and development from more experienced teachers.

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    FAQ A2: How long should the ‘annual, residential, teacher-led mindfulness meditation retreat’ be? (C1)

    ⇒ In ideal circumstances, a retreat would be a minimum of five consecutive days to give teachers an opportunity to experience the kinds of processes that might arise for their participants. Where personal situations require it, this may be separated into shorter periods.

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    FAQ A3: What does ‘regular supervision with an experienced mindfulness-based teacher’ mean?

    ⇒The regularity, length and type of supervision should be negotiated with a more experienced supervisor with reference to the extent of teaching work being undertaken, the level of experience of teacher, and the requirements of the agency. As a general guide, an inexperienced teacher might agree to use a minimum of three hours supervision over the period of an eight week course. It is recommended that experienced teachers who teach regularly should have mindfulness supervision at least monthly during the periods that they are teaching. Peer supervision should be supplemented by having a named supervisor who has a role in monitoring quality.
    Please see the 2014 article by Evans et al: A Framework for Supervision for Mindfulness-Based Teachers: a Space for Embodied Mutual Inquiry.

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    FAQ A4: How much CPD is expected of a mindfulness-based teacher ? (C3)

    ⇒Teachers are advised to engage in a minimum of 30 hours of mindfulness CPD per year to keep abreast of the evolution of mindfulness teaching and to uphold agreed standards.
    CPD might include attendance at mindfulness conferences, workshops, or training events and a proportion of the time could include reading.

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    FAQ A5: How do teachers seek to maintain their ‘adherence to the ethical framework appropriate to the teacher’s professional background and working context’ ? (4)

    ⇒As a minimum standard, teachers should engage in an open discussion about all aspects of their work with their mindfulness supervisor to ensure they are teaching within their level of competence.

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    FAQ B1: What are the necessary components of the 12 month ‘training pathway’ (2)?

    ⇒As a minimum, the training should include:

    • An eight week, group-based, teacher-led mindfulness-based course attended as a participant.
    • Commitment to a daily, personal, formal mindfulness practice.
    • A teacher-led, mindfulness retreat to deepen practice.
    • Training in the theory, rationale and intentions underpinning the Mindfulness-based Intervention (MBI) being taught.
    • Structured training in teaching MBIs. An example of the areas this should include can be found in the domains of the MBI-TAC. (These are Coverage, pacing and organisation of session curriculum; Relational skills; Embodiment of mindfulness; Guiding mindfulness practices; Conveying course themes through interactive inquiry and didactic teaching; Holding the group learning environment.) View MBI-TAC
    • Opportunities to practise teaching under supervision.
    • A process of self-reflection to develop teacher awareness and skills.
    • Formative feedback on teaching practice and development from more experienced teachers.

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    FAQ B2: What supervision arrangements are recommended for teacher trainers ? (6)

    ⇒The regularity, length and type of supervision should be negotiated with a more experienced supervisor with reference to the extent of teaching work being undertaken, the level of experience of teacher, and the requirements of the agency. It is recommended that experienced teachers who teach regularly should have mindfulness supervision at least monthly during the periods that they are involved in mindfulness work. Peer supervision should be supplemented by having a named supervisor who has a role in monitoring quality.
    Please see the 2014 article by Evans et al: A Framework for Supervision for Mindfulness-Based Teachers: a Space for Embodied Mutual Inquiry.

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