Professional Development FAQs

Professional Development FAQs

Who can become a Pause, Breathe, Smile (PBS) educator?

We focus on training people already working in schools or other educational settings who can integrate the PBS curriculum into their existing work such as:

  • Teachers, guidance counsellors, RTLBs or social workers.
  • Health promoters, psychologists, etc. working with service providers such as DHBs, community mental health providers etc.
  • Counsellors, psychologists or psychiatrists who work privately with children and their families.
Does completion of the professional development pathway guarantee certification as a PBS educator?

No. The Mindfulness Education Group (MEG) reserves the right to withhold certification from candidates that do not meet the standards for a certified Pause, Breathe, Smile educator. In the unlikely event that this occurs, MEG will support candidates to continue studying and practicing in order to become certified.

I already have some mindfulness training.
Do I need to complete the full pathway in order to become a PBS educator

Yes, candidates are required to undertake the full training pathway in order to become a certified Pause, Breathe, Smile educator.

Can I train in PBS as an independent facilitator?

Unfortunately at this time we are not training people who are not currently employed to work with children and young people by a school or other organisation. The PBS programme is structured in a way that is most suitable for delivery by the classroom teacher within the school learning environment and timetable (or it can be taught by other education or health professionals working within the school or health / community organisations). We have found this to be the most effective way to integrate the evidence-based PBS programme into a school environment.

Please sign-up for our newsletter so that you are kept informed of any developments regarding new programmes and training pathways. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, we encourage you to complete the Breathe online mindfulness course as it will provide you with expert introduction on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, with accompanying guided meditations to further your own understanding and practice.

Are there any ongoing costs associated with being a Pause, Breathe, Smile educator?

Yes. There is an annual membership fee. Membership includes a range of benefits, discounts to mindfulness workshops, and unlimited access to all the audio, video and print resources required to deliver the PBS curriculum. See the membership page for more info.

I want to teach mindfulness, but not in schools. Are there options for me?

Currently we are focused in schools. We are also interested in how PBS could support health professionals bring mindfulness into their work with children and young people.

MEG does not currently offer professional development training and certifications for people wishing to teach mindfulness generally either to adults or children/young people; or to teach a mindfulness curriculum other than our evidence-based Pause, Breathe, Smile programme in schools. However, in the future, we may develop further evidence-based training pathways and programmes for teaching mindfulness other than as a PBS educator.

When and where does the training occur?

There are three steps to the PBS Educator Certification training:

  1. Breathe Online Mindfulness course
  2. PBS workshop
  3. PBS curriculum tutorial videos

Steps one and three are self-paced online courses that can be undertaken anytime with 6 months.

Step two is offered regularly throughout the year with options in the main centres of New Zealand. Click here to find out when the next workshop is happening near you and to register for the PBS Educator Certification.

We also run bespoke PBS workshops for individual schools where a large number of teachers are being trained, or for Communities of Learning or RTLB wanting us to come to their town to do the training.

Contact us to arrange for the PBS workshop in your school or town.

Where is PBS currently being taught?

Since 2013, PBS has been successfully taught to children in years 2–8 in approximately 200 primary and intermediate schools around New Zealand. Since 2015, an increasing number of high schools started implementing PBS.

What is your refund policy?

Breathe Online Mindfulness course is non-refundable. Registration occurs at the moment the course is purchased online.

PBS Educator Workshop: Cancellations made up until 48 hours of the workshop will receive a full refund less $169 made up of: the cost of the Breathe course, and an administration charge of $80. Cancellations made within 48 hours of the workshop starting will receive a full refund less $249 made up of: the cost of the Breathe course, an administration charge of $80 and $80 to cover venue cancellation charges and cancelled catering costs.

In-School workshops (Community of Learning / In-school events):  10 school days prior to the scheduled workshop, if the host school has been unable to reach the minimum number of registrations required for the event (and cannot make up the difference internally), then MEG will cancel the event. The host school will receive a full refund less $89pp registered (for the cost of the Breathe course) and $300 total for administration costs and cancelled travel/accommodation costs.  If a participant from an attending non-host school cancels their placement up until three school days before the workshop date, they will receive a full refund less $169pp (made up of the cost of the Breathe course and $80 to contribute to administration costs, facilitator time and travel costs). Cancellations (non-host and host schools) made within three days of the workshop are not eligible for any refund of total course costs.

Can I train other teachers in the school to facilitate PBS?

No. For quality assurance purposes, PBS educators are not permitted to train others to be facilitators of the programme. MEG remains the sole trainers of new PBS educators.

How are we funded?

Pause, Breathe, Smile was developed at the Mental Health Foundation. As interest in the programme grew it became clear that PBS needed its own organisational structure fully dedicated to this work. So the MEG was established in 2016 as an LLC (for ease of transition) and the MHF was able to contract MEG immediately to deliver PBS in areas where philanthropic funds had already been secured. MEG did this successfully and continued to invest in infrastructure, staffing, professional development pathway for teachers, new resources and so forth, and has grown the PBS programme into a strong brand and successful programme.

Our goal is to make PBS free for all schools and achieve our vision of half a million healthy minds (roughly the number of kids in primary and intermediate schools). We will do this through our social enterprise, which is made up of the PBS Charitable Trust and the Mindfulness Education Group. The Trust will mean that we can receive donations to help make the programme free for schools, and MEG is where all the infrastructure and operational know-how already exists to make this happen.

Moving forward, The PBS Charitable Trust and MEG will continue to work together as a social enterprise in a similar way to how the MHF and MEG worked together. We should note, that the MHF is still involved as an interested stakeholder, and we are looking for others to come on board and share in this vision as well.

Any other questions?