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Student Assistance Program Trainings

The Council is a PA Approved SAP Training Provider

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Frequently Asked Questions

What training is required for SAP team members? 
All team members are required to successfully complete SAP K-12 training conducted by a commonwealth approved SAP training provider. This is professional training for team members in all phases of the student assistance process, which is consistent with state guidelines and conducted by a training provider approved by the commonwealth SAP Interagency Committee. This ensures the appropriateness of the recommended services, effective interagency collaboration, and compliance with state and federal laws protecting the privacy rights of parents and students.  Student assistance team members are trained to identify problems, determine whether or not the representing problems lie within the responsibility of the school, and make recommendations to assist the student and the parent. The rigorous training required for team members, which results in a certificate from the commonwealth approved training provider, ensures the board of school directors, school administrators, parents, students and the public that team members have received up-to-date professional training. Training is consistent with accountable standards and appropriate professional procedures. Commonwealth approved SAP training providers issue certificates to trainees after completion of the training and on-site competency assignments. 

How often should SAP team members receive SAP training and what resources are available to update team members? 
Currently, there is neither a training certificate expiration date nor a retraining requirement. However, to remain up-to-date, a SAP member has to attend updates, networking days and be an active member of a team. If this has not occurred, retraining is necessary. Also, in situations where someone had basic SAP core team training prior to 1999 and has not been on a team for years, it is recommended that they be retrained before participating as a member. Additionally, it is best practice for all SAP team members to attend SAP-related trainings on at-risk issues, interviewing students, legal issues, etc. To substantiate SAP training completion, team members are expected to maintain SAP training certificates and related training records. One tool available to provide updated information consistent with current SAP K-12 training is the SAP K-12 bridge training modules, located on the SAP website at These modules could be used for team maintenance or refresher activities with teams (certificates will not be issued). Also, many SAP county coordination/district councils sponsor yearly SAP updates/training.

Can support/service staff attend SAP Training? 
Yes, support/service staff such as nurse assistants, office personnel, and school bus drivers may attend SAP Awareness Training for non-team members. 

Can educators trained only in SAP Awareness or Leadership Training serve on a SAP team? 
No, they must attend the full SAP K-12 team training.

What is the difference between SAP K-12 Training, SAP Leadership Training, SAP Awareness Training and Renewal Training? 
SAP K-12 Training is a competency-based training for new team members. It is the only training that permits individuals to serve on SAP teams, kindergarten through 12th grade.  SAP Leadership Training is provided to school and community leaders with an up-to-date understanding of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program model and its effective implementation to assist at-risk students in our schools. The training will focus on issues of importance to school district administrators, building principals, assistant principals, school board members and other school staff in leadership roles as well as administrators of SAP-related drug and alcohol and mental health agencies. Participants will receive information on current best practices in SAP, the legal environment in which student assistance operates in Pennsylvania, and strategies for measuring, maintaining, improving, and supporting SAP in their schools. SAP Awareness Training is to provide school staff that will not be serving as members of a SAP core team (i.e. bus drivers, support staff, etc.) with an understanding of the current Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's SAP model. The training will focus on student behavioral and performance indicators that warrant a referral to the student assistance core team. Participants will receive information on current best practices in SAP, the role of school staff who are not members of the core team, the referral process, and expected outcomes from a SAP referral. SAP Renewal Training is designed for individuals who attended SAP training more than three years ago to enhance their roles and learn of new changes in SAP. This is often utilized as team maintenance training and can be customized to the individual school SAP team’s needs.

If an individual is trained in the secondary SAP model, are they permitted to serve on an elementary SAP team? 
No, not if trained prior to 2012, since there were separate elementary and secondary SAP training models. In 2012, the SAP training model was changed to include K-12 and those who are trained can serve on either an elementary or secondary team. An individual who was trained prior to 2012 and has completed the SAP K-12 Bridge training may also serve on either team.

Can an individual go to the SAP training, come back to their school entity and provide training for others? 
No. The Pennsylvania SAP model, as outlined in Basic Education Circular (BEC) 24. P.S. §15.1547, requires that all SAP team members be individually trained by a commonwealth-approved SAP training provider. SAP-trained individuals are not certified as trainers simply through attending a SAP training and are not approved by the commonwealth to provide SAP K-12 training to other team members.


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