Recently, we’ve made many exciting enhancements to the Prepare Training® program that remind me how important it is to help keep Certified Instructors on the same page with information about the training. I hope this information helps you help the staff in your organization understand the program. And if you don’t currently use the training but you’re researching its benefits, I hope this helps answer your questions too!

1. What is the Prepare Training® program?

CPI’s Prepare Training® program gives your organization a family of interconnected courses that address a variety of workplace problems. The courses help your staff prevent and respond to workplace violence, giving you proactive solutions so your organization can count on confident, well-trained employees who respond consistently and effectively to a variety of challenging situations.

2. What changes have been made to the program?

Until recently, the Prepare Training® program offered two Specialized Training Segments, Personal Safety Techniques and Violence Response Procedures II. As of the first of this year, these two segments are no longer available. CPI no longer certifies new Prepare Training® Instructors to teach Specialized Training Segments. However, if you completed—prior to January 1, 2015—additional levels of certification to teach one or both of the Specialized Training Segments, you will remain certified to teach the course(s) you’re certified to teach throughout your certification cycle. I also encourage you to contact us so we can discuss further options for supporting you in the best way possible.

3.    What courses are available through the Prepare Training® program?

The Foundation Course gives you a base for building problem-solving skills in interpersonal conflict and other workplace problems. Your participants acquire the skills to respond effectively to anxious, irrational, angry, hostile, or potentially violent behavior. The course provides staff with a common language and a unified system for problem solving. Staff then transfer their learning to the real-life situations they encounter in their jobs.

Topic Modules give you the opportunity to provide staff with additional knowledge and skill development in specialized areas. Current Topic Modules include:

•    After the Crisis
•    Challenged by Mental Illness at Work
•    Crisis Response Teams
•    Giving Bad News
•    How to Document Incidents
•    Opening the Lines of Electronic Communication
•    Setting Effective Limits
•    Situational Applications
•    Workplace Bullying
•    Workplace Substance Abuse

4. Is the Prepare Training® program the same as the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program?

No. While both programs provide adaptable solutions for managing disruptive behavior and potentially dangerous workplace situations, each program is geared toward different organizational types and is based on different organizational needs.

The Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program is designed for professionals who work in fields such as education, health care, residential treatment facilities, etc.

The Prepare Training® program is designed to be more relevant if you work in business, industry, public service, a library, a higher education setting, or a similar organization. Many of these types of organizations are precluded from using physical intervention skills by policy, law, or other factors. This is one of the reasons why the Prepare Training® program no longer teaches CPI’s Personal Safety Techniques℠ or physical intervention skills.

5. Are there other differences between the Prepare Training® program and the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training program?

The Prepare Training® program focuses on a broad definition and approach to preventing and responding to workplace violence. This position is supported by the International Labour Organization (ILO), which acknowledges a similar broad definition that includes many forms of physical and psychological violence at work.

CPI’s Workplace Violence Continuum describes behaviors ranging from discourtesy and disrespect to intimidation, harassment/bullying, retaliation, verbal assault, and physical aggression. Each category of behavior in the continuum often occurs along with one or more of the other behaviors, and each can be observed, understood, and influenced. Each can also lead to the other, and each can stand distinct from the others as serious workplace issues.

6. How does the Prepare Training® program address this continuum of violence?

The Foundation Course and relevant Topic Modules help you address this continuum of workplace problems.

The process starts with the Foundation Course as a base for helping staff build essential skills, a common language, and a unified system for problem solving. The process continues with staff’s transfer of learning to their real-life work environment. The process also involves ongoing policy reviews and discussion, as well as rehearsals and drills for staff to practice their skills. We also advise ongoing program evaluation to assess your return on investment. Refresher training through Topic Modules as well as additional skill development in those same modules help employees retain, refine, and further develop throughout the Ongoing Training Process.

7. How is the Prepare Training® program structured?

The program is dynamic and flexible:
Program Component Approximate Length Notes
Foundation Course 4 hours
(approximately ½ day)
It’s important to note that the Foundation Course is an introductory course. The concepts and skills can then be reinforced and built upon in Topic Modules. All CPI Prepare Training® Certified Instructors may teach the Foundation Course.
Topic Module 2 hours See the complete list of Topic Modules in Question 2. All CPI Prepare Training® Certified Instructors may teach all Topic Modules.
Foundation Seminar 6 hours
(approximately 1 day)
A Topic Module can be taught in conjunction with the Foundation Course in tailoring a training specific to an organization’s needs. This is called a “Foundation Seminar.” All CPI Prepare Training® Certified Instructors may teach Foundation Seminars.

The Prepare Training® Instructor Certification Program is an intensive three-day course taught by CPI staff. Select employees are certified as internal subject matter experts in the Prepare Training® curriculum. CPI then provides ongoing support and consultation to Certified Instructors as they teach the Foundation Course and Topic Modules to employees within their Authorized Organizations.

8. Can a Topic Module be taught without the Foundation Course?

Yes, but with one exception, which I’ll explain below.

That said, all Topic Modules are most effectively conducted with participants who have already successfully completed the Foundation Course. The modules supplement the Foundation Course and frequently assume that participants are familiar with all of the concepts and skills taught in the Foundation Course. All modules can be integrated with the Foundation Course and one or more other modules to further enrich staff skills.

If a Topic Module is taught with participants who have not already completed the Foundation Course, we strongly advise that the selected Topic Module be scheduled for three hours rather than two.

The Situational Applications Topic Module is the exception. This course is highly experiential in nature and relies heavily on the concepts and skills taught in the Foundation Course. It is best scheduled as a follow-up to the Foundation Course rather than as a stand-alone option.

9. Is there refresher training for the Prepare Training® family of courses?

Refresher training really takes place through Topic Modules, which help you as a Certified Instructor tailor the program to meet specific employee and organizational needs. Additional skills taught in the modules help employees build on the knowledge and skills they learn in the Foundation Course.

10. How do I know which employees to schedule into which training components?

If you’re a Prepare Training® Certified Instructor, this will depend on your staff’s and your organization’s needs, and on the assessments that you and your managers conduct. The following table highlights some common possibilities for scheduling, implementing, and delivering the Prepare Training® program. There are countless other possibilities, and we’re happy to help you figure out what will work best for your unique needs.

Approximate Time Frame Employee Group Program Option Refresher Option
4 hours (approx. ½ day) All employees Foundation Course Relevant Topic Module*
6 hours (approx. one day) All employees and/or targeted employees Foundation Course and a relevant Topic Module Relevant Topic Module*
6 hours (approx. two ½ days) All employees and/or targeted employees Day 1: Foundation Course
Day 2: Relevant Topic Module
Relevant Topic Module*
2 hours Targeted employees Relevant Topic Module Relevant Topic Module*
*Certified Instructors may also choose to repeat the Foundation Course as a refresher option.

11.  Can participants earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs), etc. by completing any of the Prepare Training® courses?    

Professional and trade organizations and state, provincial, and federal governments that grant certification, licensure, accreditation, formal approval, credentials, etc. often require individuals and organizations to meet training requirements every year. Many types of employees attend the Prepare Training® program to meet different types of requirements (see Question 12 for a few examples).

Prepare Training® participants who need to verify their training hours in order to meet such requirements typically succeed in having CEUs and PDHs granted due to their participation in Prepare Training® courses. They accomplish this by working with their organization’s Certified Instructor or with CPI to verify training. Training verification is then often submitted along with relevant course objectives to the appropriate approval source.

12. Will CPI’s Prepare Training® courses help our organization meet any regulatory requirements?

Yes. The Prepare Training® program helps organizations comply with many different types of legislative, licensing, accreditation, and other requirements. A few examples include:
  • Many organizations in Ontario use the Prepare Training® Foundation Course and some of the Topic Modules in partially complying with training requirements under Section 32 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Bill 168 Amendments (which addresses violence and harassment in the workplace).
  • Many organizations teach the Workplace Bullying Topic Module to comply with Ontario Section 32, Bill 168 Amendments relevant to specific requirements pertaining to workplace bullying/psychological harassment.
  • Many organizations in the US teach the Prepare Training® Foundation Course and some Topic Modules as a proactive step to meet various interpretations of the General Duty Clause relevant to Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970. Under this US legislation, employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that “is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees.” Many US courts have held that this includes the risk of violence.
  • Many public employers in the state of New York (including the New York State Department of Labor and the City of New York) use the Prepare Training® Foundation Course and some Topic Modules to comply with the New York State Public Employer Workplace Violence Prevention Law.
  • Many organizations in the US teach the Prepare Training® Workplace Substance Abuse Topic Module to comply with training requirements under various federal and state Drug-Free Workplace laws. This is also the case with other worldwide jurisdictions that address workplace substance abuse under legal and regulatory requirements. Even where such laws are not in place, other organizations often choose to teach the Workplace Substance Abuse Topic Module as an awareness and prevention step.
  • Many Joint Commission accredited health care organizations in the US teach the Workplace Bullying Topic Module to comply with a Joint Commission leadership standard (LD.03.01.01) that addresses disruptive and inappropriate behaviors in two of its elements of performance (EP).

Check out a few more Prepare Training® FAQs.

If you have more questions, please give us a call at 888.426.2184, fill out the Contact Us form, or email