FAQ

  1. What is Best Friends™?
  2. What is a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?
  3. Who is a Best Friends™ Expert Leader?
  4. What is the Best Friends™ Approach Institute?
  5. How do I become a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?
  6. When are certification trainings held?
  7. Can my organization arrange for a Best Friends™ Master Training event for our own group of staff?
  8. What is the time commitment to become certified?
  9. Who is eligible to attend the trainings?
  10. Why should I become a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?
  11. What if I work for an organization but I don’t work exclusively at a single site?
  12. How much does it cost to become a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?
  13. Are there any discounts available for the training?
  14. What are the renewal fees for a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?
  15. What are the fees for the revenue-generating trainings held by a Best Friends™ Master Trainer who has qualified for the privileges of “certificate extension”?
  16. How does a Best Friends™ Master Trainer with “certificate extension” inform HPP about its trainings?
  17. Does a Best Friends™ Master Trainer have to inform HPP about its trainings?
  18. How can I advertise that I am a certified Best Friends™ trainer or that my organization is a Best Friends™ Environment?
  19. Can I (or my organization) use the Best Friends™ logo on signs, badges, or merchandise such as mugs and t-shirts to display within my community or to give to staff as incentives?
  20. What is the Best Friends™ Portal?
  21. Who do I contact for other questions?
What is Best Friends™?

Best Friends™ is a person-centered, compassionate approach grounded in the understanding that relationships are supremely important to dementia care and that they require the essential elements of friendship: respect, empathy, support, trust, and humor. With Best Friends™, the focus is on the individual—each person’s rights and personal history, as well as his or her relationships with all care partners. This care philosophy, which has a 25-year history of success, supports care providers in their efforts to transform the attitudes and practices of staff as well as the culture of their communities that are providing memory care. The core components of the Best Friends™ philosophy include the Dementia Bill of Rights, the Life Story, the Knack, and the art of communication. Those who have used and endorsed the approach—including state-level agencies, Alzheimer’s Association chapters, and corporations and not-for-profit organizations providing care in a variety of settings—have found that the use of this adaptable approach improves not only the quality of care for the people they serve but the efficacy and satisfaction of staff. More information can be found at http://bestfriends.healthpropress.com/about-best-friends.

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What is a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?

A Best Friends™ Master Trainer is an individual who has received instruction from an identified expert and become qualified in how to reliably teach the Best Friends™ approach to the staff, colleagues, and volunteers in the care community, program, or setting where he or she is employed. Independent consultants or self-employed providers may also qualify for Master Trainer certification.* The certification is conferred only after a candidate demonstrates mastery of “train-the-trainer” instruction in the principles and practices of the Best Friends™ approach to dementia care.

* Contact bestfriends@healthpropress.com for information about the Best Friends™ Master Trainer “certificate extension” that allows Master Trainers to deliver fee-based training to interested groups of carers. Additional licensing terms and fees apply for this privilege.

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Who is a Best Friends™ Expert Leader?

A Best Friends™ Expert Leader is an individual so experienced in the Best Friends™ principles and practices, as well as in adult learning, to be designated by the original authors and developers as able to provide “train-the-trainer” instruction to others in the application of Best Friends™. The current Expert Leaders are Virginia Bell (developer, author, expert leader), David Troxel (developer, author, expert leader), Tonya Cox (author, expert leader), and Cindy Lilly (expert leader).

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What is the Best Friends™ Approach Institute?

The Best Friends™ Approach Institute is a hosted training event where the Best Friends™ Expert Leaders join a group of Master Trainer candidates for 2 days of instruction on the principles and practices of the Best Friends™ approach and adult learning techniques, with the goal of preparing them to be licensed trainers in this widely acclaimed care philosophy. Currently, the Institute is held on an annual basis and rotates in location around the continental U.S. Up-to-date information on the next available Institute can be found at www.healthpropress.com/bfai. Organizations may also elect to coordinate with Health Professions Press to host an on-site Master Training event for their own staff with a minimum of 10 individuals knowledgeable in the Best Friends approach (email bestfriends@healthpropress.com for more information).

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How do I become a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?

Master Trainer certification is conferred only after qualified individuals have completed an authorized Best Friends™ training course and demonstrated mastery of “train-the-trainer” instruction in the principles and practices of the Best Friends™ approach to dementia care. The training process includes 2 days of interactive instruction at an annual Institute hosted by HPP (or at an on-site event coordinated with HPP) featuring training by Best Friends™ Expert Leaders. With pre/post-testing, plus individual exercises, small-group activities, and presentations across the 2 days, the Best Friends™ Master Training is structured to provide optimal engagement and retention. Applicants for Master Trainer status are expected to be well-versed in the Best Friends™ approach principles prior to attending Master Training.

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When are certification trainings held?

Currently, the Institute is held on an annual basis and rotates in location around the continental U.S. Up-to-date information on the next available Institute can be found at www.healthpropress.com/bfai. Organizations may also elect to coordinate with Health Professions Press to host an on-site Master Training event for their own staff (contact bestfriends@healthpropress.com for more information).

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Can my organization arrange for a Best Friends™ Master Training event for our own group of staff?

For a group of 10 or more individuals from the same organization, the organization may petition Health Professions Press for a training to be held at the location and dates of its choosing (contingent on the availability of an Expert Leader). In addition to paying the participants’ standard training fees, the organization will be responsible for providing for the training venue and the travel expenses for the necessary training staff. Arranging for an organization-specific training session with an Expert Leader does provide the opportunity for addressing specific goals and interests of the group.

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What is the time commitment to become certified?

The training itself is held over 2 days. Time needed to be prepared to attend an Institute or on-site Master Training will vary with the individual, depending on how well versed the applicant is with the principles of the Best Friends™ approach. (The application process is addressed in the eligibility question below.) For those who are interested in adopting the Best Friends™ approach but are not yet ready for Master Training, a 1- or 2-day introductory training, followed by on-site practice, can effectively prepare a group to be ready to advance to Master Trainer certification. Health Professions Press schedules these introductory trainings on a customized basis at the organization’s location. Please email bestfriends@healthpropress.com for details.

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Who is eligible to attend the trainings?

Any professional who works in a long-term care facility, assisted living community, home health agency, adult day center, or Alzheimer’s Association, or who is an independent dementia trainer or consultant who has experience with the Best Friends™ model, is eligible to attend. Successful Master Trainer candidates have included executive directors, activity directors, nurse managers, memory care directors, adult day services managers, homecare providers, and others. Applicants must complete and pass a pre-test that demonstrates they have a sufficient level of familiarity with Best Friends™ principles to qualify for Master Training. Applicants will be notified via email of their acceptance. Visit www.healthpropress.com/bfai to complete the online application form and pre-test.

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Why should I become a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?

As a certified Best Friends™ Master Trainer, you have the opportunity to be an advocate and leader in bringing an acclaimed person-centered model of care to your work setting or clients*. A Master Trainer gains the ability to train co-workers and volunteers for your employer in locations under the operation of the employer. You will serve as resident expert at the single work location where you are based and ensure fidelity of practice in this Best Friends™ Environment. The Best Friends™ Master Trainer may hold free informational sessions on the Best Friends™ approach for the public as a form of community outreach to inform prospective volunteers, or families of current or prospective clients, about your community’s unique care culture. Master Trainers gain access to exclusive, password-protected content available in the Best Friends™ Portal on HPP’s website (http://bestfriends.healthpropress.com). Special discounts and offers on Best Friends™ products published by HPP are also available.

* Contact bestfriends@healthpropress.com for information about the Best Friends™ Master Trainer “certificate extension” that allows Master Trainers to deliver fee-based training to interested groups of carers. Additional licensing terms and fees apply for this privilege.

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What if I work for an organization but I don’t work exclusively at a single site?

If you work for an organization but are not based in a single building or location, you can still qualify as a Master Trainer. It is your employer’s discretion as to whether it would like to designate one physical location as a Best Friends™ Environment in association with conveyance to you of Master Trainer status; however, only one setting may carry a Best Friends™ Environment designation per Master Trainer. It is understood that having an on-site trainer and advocate for the Best Friends™ approach is the optimal way to implement and maintain a Best Friends™ culture on a continuing basis. This standard may be incorporated into quality rating systems and supports fidelity of implementation.

For organizations with multiple physical sites, special onsite trainings can be held to train a group of Master Trainers at one time. Email bestfriends@healthpropress.com for more information.

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How much does it cost to become a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?

Please visit www.healthpropress.com/bfai for the current training fee schedule. The initial training for certification includes a one-year license, which can be renewed on an annual basis for $315 per year to maintain certification as a Best Friends™ Master Trainer.

The annual renewal cost is $495 per year for Master Trainers who acquire the “certificate extension” to conduct fee-based training. Additionally, Master Trainers who have the “certificate extension” remit a percentage-based fee associated with the revenue generated from each Best Friends™ training they provide to a paying client.

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Are there any discounts available for the training?

Organizations that have previously participated in Master Training Institutes receive special rates for new participants. Also, visit www.healthpropress.com/bfai or email bestfriends@healthpropress.com for information and deadlines on Early Bird discounts or other offers.

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What are the renewal fees for a Best Friends™ Master Trainer?

Participating in a Best Friends™ Approach Institute confers a 1-year initial license, which may be renewed on an annual basis thereafter. Currently, the renewal fee is $315 per year (or $495 per year for a Master Trainer “certificate extension”).

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What are the fees for the revenue-generating trainings held by a Best Friends™ Master Trainer who has qualified for the privileges of “certificate extension”?

Master Trainers who have qualified for the extended privilege to conduct fee-based Best Friends™ trainings must report to HPP on all Best Friends™ trainings they conduct. The Trainer will be responsible for paying Health Professions Press a royalty per training based on the revenues collected (with allowance for deduction of materials costs and facility/travel costs when applicable). The details of this process and royalty structure will be discussed with you when the Master Trainer certification with certificate extension in granted. Applicants may contact bestfriends@healthpropress.com for more information regarding the reporting process prior to applying for the program.

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How does a Best Friends™ Master Trainer with “certificate extension” inform HPP about its trainings?

Master Trainers with certificate extensions are asked to report twice a year on the trainings they hold and to submit, at minimum, the following basic information: (1) number of attendees, (2) per-attendee registration fee and any materials or other fees if charged, (3) direct costs (itemized), (4) date of training, (5) location of training, and (6) attendee names and email addresses (if permission to share is granted by the attendee). HPP also works with Master Trainers with certificate extensions to ensure their offerings meet with approved standards and to arrange specific terms if applicable.

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Does a Best Friends™ Master Trainer have to inform HPP about its trainings?

Unless a Master Trainer has qualified for a “certificate extension,” it is not necessary to inform HPP of in-house or free informational trainings conducted under the standard rights and obligations of a Master Trainer. A petition must be made to HPP for authorization to conduct any training that falls outside the types allowed under the standard Master Trainer certification.

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How can I advertise that I am a certified Best Friends™ trainer or that my organization is a Best Friends™ Environment?

Organizations with Best Friends™ Environment designation may use creative ways to promote their use of the Best Friends™ approach, from posters and signs within their buildings to staff name badges and Best Friends™ job descriptions. Organizations also promote their adoption of Best Friends as exhibitors at regional and national conferences, in TV/radio ads, on their website, and through educational events in their local communities.

Upon certification, guidelines are provided to all Best Friends™ trainers on how they (and their organization, if applicable) may use the Best Friends™ name and logo in promotional collateral. Marketing ideas and sample resources are also provided to trainers by HPP. All marketing or derivative material created by the trainer or his/her organization for external promotion must be submitted to HPP for approval at least 30 days before use. Email materials to bestfriends@healthpropress.com for review; you will receive a response within 10 days.

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Can I (or my organization) use the Best Friends™ logo on signs, badges, or merchandise such as mugs and t-shirts to display within my community or to give to staff as incentives?

Yes, as long as ideas and materials are submitted to HPP for review and approval of proper usage prior to dissemination. Contact the Best Friends™ Brand Manager by phone (888-337-8808 or 410-337-9585 x185) or by email (bestfriends@healthpropress.com) for more information.

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What is the Best Friends™ Portal?

The Best Friends™ Portal (http://bestfriends.healthpropress.com) is a resource-rich location on the HPP website that provides helpful information on the Best Friends™ approach. Master Trainers are entitled to access additional content in a password-protected section, which provides training materials, handouts, marketing tips, artwork, and other useful information to support Master Trainers in their implementation of the Best Friends™ approach. Master Trainers receive their personal log-in information after receiving their certification.

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Who do I contact for other questions?

Contact the Best Friends™ Brand Manager by phone at 888-337-8808 or 410-337-9585 x185, or by email bestfriends@healthpropress.com.

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