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Become an ASIST trainer

ASIST Training for Trainers (T4T) is a five day practice-orientated residential course. A challenging and intensive course, the T4T teaches candidates the content of ASIST and the skills needed to deliver workshops.

T4T is for candidates who have experience of supporting people at risk of suicide. The success of a trainer is greatly enhanced by a combination of skills and characteristics such as:

  • available with dedicated time to deliver training

  • flexible attitude about suicide

  • good interpersonal communication and helping skills

  • suicide intervention skills

  • knowledge about suicide

  • established teaching and group leadership skills.

Planning an ASIST Training for Trainers

Local areas may self organise and  fund a T4T. As there is a minimum number attached to T4Ts, the best approach is for local areas to come together and run a T4T. Please contact the National Training Team at NHS Health Scotland on to discuss options for building trainer capacity and for guidance on how to coordinate a successful T4T.  

Interested candidates should register their interest with the local Choose Life Coordinator.

Course format

Attendance at the full five days plus one evening through the week is essential. The first two days are spent participating in an ASIST workshop, facilitated by two coaching trainers. You must have already attended an ASIST workshop before attending T4T, to ensure you have a full understanding of and be comfortable with the content of the course.

The next three days are spent in coaching sessions and practicing the content of the workshops with feedback received throughout. You will gain confidence in delivering the materials in a friendly and supportive environment.

There is a final debrief on the Friday afternoon where you will have an opportunity to discuss the practicalities of organising workshops and also how to order materials and access support from Choose Life.

Selection criteria

Candidates must be willing and able to meet the delivery expectations from NHS Health Scotland to remain active. Selection will take into account a candidate's skills and contribution to the trainer pool both locally and nationally.

Becoming an ASIST trainer requires dedication, focus and time. Significant time is needed to prepare for workshops (around 30 hours for the first few as you become familiar with the materials). Trainers' feedback remains very positive, with some trainers holding ten-plus workshops per year and many exceeding their targeted numbers of three workshops in the first year.

Each application must be supported by a sponsor. The sponsor is usually the local Choose Life Coordinator or the candidate's line manager. The application and sponsor form is approved by the Local Choose Life Coordinator.

To become an ASIST trainer, it is highly recommended that you have:

  • completed a two-day ASIST workshop (pre requisite)

  • an open mind about suicide and the ability to talk openly about the subject

  • familiarity with Choose Life and local Choose Life activities

  • experience of delivering training and facilitation skills

  • support from your employer for ongoing delivery after achieving Registered status

How to register your interest to become an ASIST trainer

First ensure you have read and understood:

Interested candidates should register their interest with the local Choose Life Coordinator.

After the Training for Trainers

Having successfully completed T4T, you will become a Provisional ASIST Trainer. Once you have delivered three workshops within the first year you will become fully registered. In Scotland, trainers are expected to deliver three workshops per year on an ongoing basis to keep their skills up-to-date. All ASIST workshops must be facilitated by at least two trainers so you should either attend the course with a training partner or link with your local Choose Life group beforehand.

New trainers are supplied with the necessary trainer materials to enable them to deliver both ASIST and suicideTALK. You may be invited to a suicideTALK demonstration about three months after the ASIST T4T.

After the ASIST T4T support is provided by the mentors and the Choose Life national training support team you will also receive feedback from the ASIST Reader for every ASIST workshop delivered, for your ongoing development.

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