Positive Psychology Practitioner & Trainer Diploma (Level 5)

Diplomas / Online Courses / Training Courses

Positive Psychology is one of the fastest growing and most exciting disciplines within Psychology today.

Its approaches have now been widely adopted by the NHS and favoured as an approach by the CQC and the Care Act (see here). The applications go beyond mental illness towards mental flourishing within business, life, education, health, and relationships.

Positive Psychology transcends the emphasis on mental illness and puts the focus on optimal wellbeing and flourishing. It is one of the most holistic scientific approaches to physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Its research includes mastery of fear, courage, resilience, authenticity, hope, and much more.

New research continues to evolve in the inter-disciplinary fields of Positive Education, Positive Health, Positive Neuroscience, and Positive Sport. As an applied science, it has much value to offer to individuals, as well as to families, communities, schools, workplaces, and even national governance.

Train individuals, groups and businesses in Positive Psychology approaches to strengths, wellbeing, resilience, and performance…

As a graduate from our Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology Training Practice,  you will be qualified and insured to deliver Positive Psychology as a training intervention. You will become a Professional Member of the Positive Psychology Guild and able to apply to join the PPG Register of Professionals, which sets professional standards for the practice and regulation of Positive Psychology today.

PPG has a strong relationship with Bucks New university which runs one of the Positive Psychology Courses at Masters degree level in the UK. Our founder completed the MAPP Programme and is now a strong advocate for Bucks Uni!

This Level 5 Diploma will prepare you to engage in a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) MSc degree course. Should you wish to progress to a MAPP following certification, PPG will provide an academic reference on your behalf. Acceptance will be subject to the usual University checks.

1. Professional Education

Positive Psychology in Practice translates the scientific and academic study of Positive Psychology to life and work through the application of professional skills. These skills include coaching, training, facilitation, teaching, mentoring, counselling, and research.

The Positive Psychology Guild’s core diplomas in Positive Psychology Practice introduce the fundamental skills of coaching, training and organisational research, policy, and facilitation. This diploma page is about the second pathway of training.

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Course Format

Our students are adult learners who are often balancing life, home, work, and studies.

They are looking for a part-time online qualification that will enrich their love of learning and prepare them to practice Positive Psychology in an existing role or to set up a private practice. At Level 5, they also want a professional qualification that will help them to understand the scientific, philosophical, and social elements of Positive Psychology, and challenge themselves to think critically here in terms of research, theory, and application.

This is a two year qualification delivered by people who are passionate about furthering the field of Positive Psychology.

Our course content is delivered online in a user-friendly format with group tutoring and training support. You will access your course material through our online learning platform, the Positive Psychology Academy, where you may create a personal profile and connect virtually with other students on your course and other courses. You will meet with your group tutor, trainer, and peers on a regular basis and may email your tutor and trainer for additional support.

At the start of Module 1, you will attend an 8-week Group Learning Cycle (GLC). During this time, you will attend 8 weekly Zoom calls that introduce to you to each of the five units on this course. After completing the GLC, you will transition into bi-weekly group tutor calls with your tutor and peers while you work your way through the rest of the course learning material. These calls will support your ongoing learning and assignment development process.

At the start of Module 2, you will attend a 12-week Group Training Cycle (GTC). During this time, you will attend 10 Zoom calls that cover the theory and practice of of Positive Psychology Training Practice. After completing the GTC, you will transition into 1:1 supervision while you complete your Positive Psychology Training Practice project. You may attend monthly group practitioner supervision calls for additional peer support.

You will attend open webinar lectures on topics such as hope, resilience, authenticity, courage, and confidence. These take place monthly on Thursdays and are open to all of our students. You will also have access to past recordings.

The online Academy also offers social groups where you may connect with other students on topics such as Neurodiversity & Inclusion, Creativity & Innovation, and Violence & Post Traumatic Growth. These groups are linked to Positive Psychology concepts and encourage discussions on research, theory, and practice.

For further details on the course content, please read on or contact us at: training@ppnetwork.org

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Entry Criteria

Please note that this is a Level 5-ranked qualification.

This is equivalent to a foundation degree in the UK and means you will be expected to produce written academic and professional assignments at an undergraduate level.

You must hold a Level 4 qualification or above (or the equivalent, e.g. A-levels plus relevant work experience) and be willing to engage in Level 5 studies that are delivered through a blend of online group learning (live) and self-paced studies. Additional tutor, trainer, and supervisor support is provided.

You will also have a background or strong interest in helping people to acquire and develop knowledge, and be interested in learning how Positive Psychology may be applied in an adult training context to create positive learning environments.

The academic content of this course is balanced with professional training and a rewarding personal development journey. The course may be challenging at times but we aim to make this a growth-based challenge that is worthwhile!

We welcome mature students and people with different learning needs. If you do not have an academic background or you require special learning assistance, please contact us for further information at: training@ppnetwork.org

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Completion Time

This course will take you up to 24 months to complete.

It is delivered in 2 stages. First, you will complete Module 1, which takes 12 months. This is also our Level 5 Diploma Positive Psychology Fundamentals. You will then complete Modules 2 and 3, which will take 9-12 months to complete. These modules will teach you how to apply Positive Psychology in professional settings using psycho-education and training skills. For further details, please see the Course Outline section below.

The maximum period for completing your diploma is 2 years from the date of your enrolment. Should you wish to continue after this period, a formal request will need to be submitted and an extension fee will apply.

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Accelerated Routes

Are you a Level 5+ qualified and experienced trainer or teacher who wishes to integrate Positive Psychology into your training practice or teaching? Or a MAPP graduate looking to acquire training skills?

If your qualifications and experience meet or exceed Level 5 standards, you may apply for one of our accelerated diploma routes. For more details, please read on!

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2. Course Outline

This qualification is comprised of 3 modules. Module 1 focuses on building your academic skills and knowledge base in the science and philosophy of Positive Psychology. Modules 2 and 3 focus on building your professional skills and competencies in the practice of Positive Psychology.

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Module 1 – Positive Psychology Fundamentals

This module covers the Psychology of Strengths, Authenticity, Resilience, Positive Emotions, and Motivation.

You will be introduced to research, theory, and application in each of these areas. You will study broader concepts related to Psychology and Philosophy that are relevant to understanding the growth and development of Positive Psychology as an inter-disciplinary field. You will also be encouraged to reflect on relevant links to culture and society, and how the field of Positive Psychology is evolving.

This learning will form the knowledge base and self-awareness required for your future training as a Positive Psychology Practitioner. It will also introduce you to basic research skills which will be activated during the construction of your assignments.

This module challenges many of our students in a positive way!

We will encourage you to go beyond a surface-level understanding of Positive Psychology to reach a point where you can critically read, discuss, analyse, and synthesise the research and theory behind Positive Psychology. You will complete academic and personal development assignments, and will be encouraged by your group tutor to select unit assignment topics that motivate and inspire you.

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You will study:

Unit 1: The Psychology of Strengths

This unit focuses on Positive Psychology’s contribution of 6 virtues and 24 character strengths to the broader Psychology landscape. You will complete a literature review assignment on a related topic of choice.

Unit 2: The Psychology of Authenticity

This unit introduces you to the concepts of authenticity, self, values, meaning, and purpose from psychological and philosophical perspectives. You will complete a reflective log assignment on a related topic of choice.

Unit 3: The Psychology of Resilience

This unit introduces you to psychological approaches to wellbeing, resilience, and post-traumatic growth. You will complete a critical review assignment on a related journal article of choice.

Unit 4: The Psychology of Positive Emotions

This unit introduces you to positive and negative emotions, feelings, and states. You will design, implement, and evaluate a positive emotions self-intervention assignment of choice over a 3 week period.

Unit 5: The Psychology of Motivation

This unit introduces you to motivation, behaviour, and change. You will deliver a 15-minute oral presentation (recorded) followed by a 30 minute panel presentation (live) on related topics of choice.

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You will complete this module in 12 months.

Following enrolment, you will attend an online Group Learning Cycle with 8 weekly calls (~90 mins each). During this time, you will be introduced to key teaching points on each of the 5 unit areas. You will also learn how to read and discuss scientific research articles related to this unit areas with our tutors and other students on the course. After this, you will transition to bi-weekly group tutoring calls and engage in guided learning material on each of the 5 unit areas in more depth while you prepare your unit assignments.

You will complete 6 assignments in total, including a literature review, reflective log, critical review, self-intervention, oral presentation (recorded by video, audio, or PowerPoint with audio). The combination of these assignments will develop your knowledge base in Positive Psychology, cultivate your research and critical thinking skills, and support your personal development. At the end of the course, you will share your learning journey through an academic poster presentation with the assessment panel (via Zoom) – this is your sixth and final assignment.

From month 4 of your course onwards, one assignment will be due every couple of months. During the last couple of months, the last 2 assignments will be due. You may request an extension of up to one month should you not be able to make the given assignment deadline. You will discuss and develop your assignment ideas during the group tutor calls. Your group tutor will also be available via email to offer feedback on your assignment drafts.

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Accelerated Routes Guidance

  • If you are on the Accelerated Route 1 for Level 5+ Coaches, you will complete Module 1.
  • If you are on the Accelerated Route 2 for MAPP graduates, you will be exempt from Module 1.

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Module 2 – Positive Psychology Training Skills

In Module 2, you will study and practice skills required for professional practice.

You will practice your psycho-education and training skills with peers in the Academy. You may also practice with family and friends who are willing to support your growth as a future Positive Psychology Training Practitioner.

Module 2 will teach you how to bridge your knowledge of Positive Psychology Fundamentals with psycho-education on Positive Psychology in a training context.

You will learn how to train adult learners on topics related to Strengths, Authenticity, Resilience, Positive Emotions, and Motivation. You will also study the dynamics of social and experiential learning theories and learn how to create training sessions, seminars, workshops, and courses that support personal and professional growth.

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Module 2 Units

Unit 1: Introduction to Positive Psychology Training Practice

This unit introduces you to the professional landscape of Positive Psychology in Practice, including whether or not it should become a regulated qualification and profession. You will complete a critical report on a related topic of choice.

Unit 2: Training Practice Methods & Techniques

This unit introduces you to the design of training events (how to conduct sessions, seminars, workshops, courses) and learner outcomes. You will complete a reflective report on practitioner values.

Unit 3: Positive Psychology Training Toolkit 

This unit introduces you to Positive Psychology psycho-education in training settings. You will complete a practice report on your experience of delivering a training session with psycho-education to one of your peers.

Unit 4: Designing Training Interventions

This unit introduces you to the cognitive (intellectual), affective (emotional), and somatic (physical) dimensions of Positive Psychology training intervention design. You will complete a session report on a hypothetical intervention design.

Unit 5: Project Preparation (Training Intervention Proposal)

This unit supports you in the development of ideas for your Module 3 Positive Psychology training intervention project proposal. You will complete a proposal form and ethics request on a relevant project of your choosing and design.

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You will complete this module within 6 months.

Following enrolment, you will attend a 12-week Group Training Cycle (10 sessions, 2 hours each). These cycles are held twice a year in February and September and will introduce you to each of the above unit areas and related assignments. In between the sessions, you will explore and practice your coaching skills and work on your assignments.

There are 5 assignments in this module – a critical report, reflective report, practice session report, practice intervention report, and a coaching project proposal for delivery in Module 3. These assignments are designed to support your professional development as a future practitioner. They will contain academic referencing but are oriented towards the practicalities of running an evidence-based and person-centred practice.

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Accelerated Routes Guidance

  • If you are on the Accelerated Route for Level 5+ Trainers and Teachers, you will be exempt from Module 2. If you discover you need additional learning support you may request this at an hourly rate.
  • If you are on the Accelerated Route for MAPP & PPGDip graduates, you will complete all of Module 2.

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Module 3 – Positive Psychology Training Practice

Module 3 is the final step before qualifying as a Positive Psychology Training Practitioner.

You will spend 12 practice hours training voluntary clients in an unpaid capacity with their prior informed consent and trainee supervision. At the end of this period, you will critically evaluate your practice, its ethical dimensions, and reflect on lessons learned in an extended professional report and project portfolio.

On successful completion of this module, you will be qualified as a Positive Psychology Training Practitioner. You will receive one complimentary year of Professional Membership with the Positive Psychology Guild and may apply to become a registered Positive Psychology Practitioner.

If you intend to practice in the UK, your membership will include one year of insurance and liability coverage. If you intend to practice outside of the UK, we recommend checking any local insurance possibilities in your area before embarking on this course. Being insured to practice is an essential part of being a qualified Positive Psychology Coaching Practitioner for the protection and wellbeing of both yourself and your future clients.

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Module 3 Units

Unit 1: Case Study Analysis

This unit teaches you how to analyse your project case studies from an academic perspective. You will be encouraged to learn from this approach and draw on it in your project reporting. It is indirectly assessed during your final project report and presentation.

Unit 2: Mental Health Referrals

This unit introduces areas of mental health that will be useful to you as a future practitioner when making mental health referrals to qualified practitioners. It is not assessed but rather offers supplementary learning material and prepares you for the reality of practice.

Unit 3: Business Planning & Development

This unit introduces business planning ideas that may be useful to you as a future practitioner, particularly if you intend to set up private practice. It is not assessed but rather offers supplementary learning material and prepares you for the reality of practice.

Unit 4: Professional Guidelines for Positive Psychology Practice

This unit covers the ethical dimensions of practice and various codes of conduct that you may follow as a future practitioner. It is not assessed but rather offers supplementary learning material and prepares you for the reality of practice.

Unit 5: Positive Psychology Training Practice Portfolio

This unit is when you begin to implement your Positive Psychology training intervention project that you designed at the end of Module 2. You will do this with 1:1 supervision and then report on and present your findings and lessons learned before qualifying and entering professional practice.

Please note that Units 1-4 are based on guided learning material. These topics will also be discussed during monthly group supervision calls.

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You will complete this module within 6 months.

This phase of your learning is where you begin to apply your knowledge and skills in a semi-professional context with the support that trainee supervision provides. It is designed to help you build the confidence needed to run your own professional practice and/or use your skills in an existing or future professional role.

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Accelerated Routes Guidance

  • There are no exemptions from this module.
  • If you are on the Accelerated Route for Level 5+ Teachers and Trainers, you will complete all of Module 3.
  • If you are on the Accelerated Route for MAPP & PPGDip graduates, you will complete all of Module 3.

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3. Certification

This certificate is accredited by the Positive Psychology Guild (PPG). PPG is a Not for Profit Organisation and a government registered learning provider with a UK Provider Reference Number: 10067939.

On successful completion of your diploma, you will receive a certificate stating that you hold a Level 5 Diploma in Positive Psychology Training Practice. You may refer to yourself as a Positive Psychology Training Practitioner or Positive Psychology Trainer (PPGDip) and will be eligible to apply for Professional Membership status with the Guild (see below).

Please note that this course is academically rigorous. It is also a professional course with practical applications for the real world. It will prepare you for professional practice and further academic studies (e.g. a Masters degree in Applied Positive Psychology, known as a MAPP degree).

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Professional Membership

Graduates of this course will be invited to join the Positive Psychology Guild as a Professional Member. The first year of membership is offered on a complimentary basis.

Professional Membership includes liability and insurance coverage for practice in the UK and the possibility to apply to join the Register of Positive Psychology Practitioners. It also includes access to an online community of Positive Psychology Practitioners and the Journal of Positive Psychology.

For more information on membership services, please click here.

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4. Course Fees

The diploma qualification fee is £3,450 (March 2022+ fees). This includes:

  • Online access to the Positive Psychology Academy
  • Online access to self-paced interactive study material
  • 8-week Group Learning Cycle at the start of your course
  • Bi-weekly group tutor calls during Module 1 (except holidays*)
  • 12-week Group Training Cycle at the start of Module 2
  • 6 x 1:1 supervision sessions during Module 3 (3 include observed practice)
  • Monthly group supervision calls for Positive Psychology Practitioner trainees
  • Access to our online Academy learning groups and student peer exchange
  • Access to past and upcoming open webinar lectures (also recorded)
  • Tutor and trainer feedback on assignment drafts (on request, by email)
  • Assessments for all unit assignments
  • Certification on successful completion of the course within 1 year**

You will also receive 1 year of complimentary PPG Professional Membership on graduation.

The fee may be paid in full during enrolment with a £100 discount (£3,350) or through a PPG Payment Plan with a deposit of £1450 and subsequent monthly installments (Option 1: 20 x £100; Option 2: 10 x £200). Other payment plans can be discussed on request.

The course will provide you with written and oral teaching points, and links to open access journal articles and other online resources that are freely available. You will also be taught how to find these resources yourself.

We recognise that some students may wish to purchase textbooks on Positive Psychology to supplement their learning resources. If you wish to budget in advance for this, we recommend setting aside a further £50-£100.

*Please note that our Winter holidays take place in December/January (2 weeks). Spring holidays take place in March/April (1 week) and Summer holidays take place in August (2 weeks). During this time there will be no group tutor calls.

**Please note the course fee must be fully paid prior to certification. Should you need to extend your study period beyond 24 months, course extension fees will apply. Course fees are revised each year on 1st March.

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Accelerated Route 1 (Level 5+ Trainers & Teachers)

Qualified and experienced Level 5+ Trainers and Teachers may apply for an accelerated version of this course and complete Modules 1 and 3. You will not be required to complete Module 2 but will have access to the learning content.

The fee for this option is £2,650 (March 2022+ fees).

You may pay the full course fee during enrolment and receive a £100 discount (£2,550) or select a PPG Payment Plan with a deposit during enrolment of £650 and subsequent monthly installments (Option 1: 20 x £100; Option 2: 10 x £200). You must complete your course payment in order to qualify.

Entry Criteria

  • Level 5+ Training or Teaching qualification from a recognised learning provider. This must include an understanding of learning styles, training or teaching methods and techniques, curriculum development and assessments, and equality, diversity, and differentiation in training or teaching scenarios.
  • If your qualification covers most but not all of these areas, your professional experience will be taken into account. You will also need to highlight in your application the professional skills, experience, and commitment required to integrate a new approach based on Psychology into your training practice.

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Accelerated Route 2 (MAPP & PPGDip Graduates)

MAPP and PPGDip graduates may apply for an accelerated version of this course and complete Modules 2 and 3. You will not be required to complete Module 1 but will have access to the learning content.

The fee for this option is £1,450 (March 2022+ fees).

You may pay the full course fee during enrolment and receive a £100 discount (£1,350) or select a PPG Payment Plan with a deposit during enrolment of £450 and subsequent monthly installments (Option 1: 10 x £100; Option 2: 5 x £200). You must complete your course payment in order to qualify.

Entry Criteria

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Multiple Pathways

You may apply to study all 3 diploma pathways (coaching, training, organisations). This will help you to develop a broader Positive Psychology Practice with a wider skill set to meet more complex client needs. You will be given up to 3 years to complete the 3 pathways.

If you wish to complete all 3 pathways, a discounted rate of £4,950* applies (March 2022+ fees).

You may pay the full course fee during enrolment and receive a further £100 discount (£4,850) or through a PPG Payment Plan with a deposit of £1,550 and subsequent monthly installments (Option 1: 34 x £100; Option 2: 17 x £200). As you may qualify in stages, you must have completed the related fee payment for each stage of your course prior to certification (e.g. for first pathway diploma, you should have paid back £3,450, for the second pathway diploma, a further £750. The third pathway diploma will be awarded following complete course payment.

*The Multiple Pathways option includes 1 full diploma (£3,450) and 2 diplomas – Accelerated Route 2 (£1,450 each). This totals £6,350. The discounted rate is £4,950 (saving of £1,400).

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Dual Pathways

You may apply to study only 2 diploma pathways (coaching and training, coaching and organisations, training and organisations). You will be given up to 3 years to complete the 2 pathways.

If you wish to complete 2 pathways, a discounted rate of £4,450* applies (March 2022+ fees).

You may pay the full course fee during enrolment and receive a further £100 discount (£4,350) or through a PPG Payment Plan with a deposit of £1,050 and subsequent monthly installments (Option 1: 34 x £100; Option 2: 17 x £200). As you may qualify in stages, you must have completed the related fee payment for each stage of your course prior to certification (e.g. for first pathway diploma, you should have paid back £3,450. The second pathway diploma will be awarded following complete course payment.

*The Dual Pathways option includes 1 full diploma (£3,450) and 1 diploma – Accelerated Route 2 (£1,450). This totals £4,900. The discounted rate is £4,450 (saving of £450).

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Common Questions

How many hours of studying a week should I expect?

We estimate 7-10 hours a week (this includes group tutor and trainer calls) with additional hours during assignment phases. Having said that, there are many ways to study. Some of our students prefer little and often (e.g. 1 hour a day) while others prefer to block out time on weekends or set several study intensives (e.g. 1 week during time off work).

Will this course prepare me for a MAPP degree?

This course is set at Level 5. A MAPP degree is equivalent to Level 7.

The course will prepare you to progress onto a MAPP degree. For example, you will read research articles on Positive Psychology and learn how to conduct Positive Psychology self-interventions, and write literature reviews, critical reviews, and reflective logs. You will be challenged to think critically with depth and breadth. These academic skills are useful on a MAPP degree. You will also learn about links between Positive Psychology, other schools of thought in Psychology, and Philosophy.

During your studies, you will be exposed to academic research methods, however you will not engage in an independent research project, which is typically part of a MAPP degree. Instead, after studying Positive Psychology Fundamentals (Module 1), you will transition to the Positive Psychology Training Practitioner Pathway (Modules 2 and 3). Here, you will conduct and evaluate a professional case study research project (Module 3) and complete other report-based assignments linked to the development of your practitioner skills (Module 2).

If you wish to study research methods with PPG and engage in an independent research project, you may apply for the Level 7 Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology after graduation. This certificate is launching in May 2022.

If you wish to apply for a MAPP degree after your course, you may request an academic reference and set of transcripts from PPG to support your application. Please keep in mind that universities have a separate and independent admissions process.

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Next Steps

You may enrol in this course at various points throughout the year including:

  • 26th May 2022
  • 29th September 2022
  • 26th January 2023

The course begins the following Tuesday (induction). Group Learning Cycle days are as follows for each of the 3 annual intakes: (1) May – Wednesdays at 1pm and 6pm; (2) September – Tuesdays at 1pm and 6pm; (3) January – Mondays at 1pm and 6pm. You will select only one time slot (1pm or 6pm) as the same session is repeated twice.

Group Training Cycle days for the Training Pathway are usually on Thursdays at 11am-1pm.

All timings are based on UK time zone so if you are based elsewhere, please check the time difference before applying (Winter and Summer times). Dates and timings are subject to change so please check during your application the confirmed dates and times.

You will receive access to the online Academy on your enrolment date.

Application deadlines are 2 weeks prior to the enrolment date.

  • Course fee (or deposit) payments must be completed 1 week prior to enrolment.
  • Spaces are limited so we recommend applying early to secure your place.
  • Enrolment dates may be subject to change.

If you require further information, or to request a course application form, please contact: training@ppnetwork.org

You may also download an application form here: PPG Positive Psychology Application Form

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About the Positive Psychology Guild

The Positive Psychology Guild (PPG) is a non-profit think tank, research institution, training provider, awarding body and membership organisation for Positive Psychologists and Practitioners Internationally. The Positive Psychology Network (PPN) is the social wing of PPG.

PPG offers a bridge between coaches, mentors, trainers, consultants, entrepreneurs, teachers and researchers who integrate Positive Psychology into their services, and psychologists, counsellors, and psychotherapists engaged in positive therapy. It partners with Bucks New University Positive Psychology Department (MAPP), and collaborates on research, raising standards and building awareness of this emerging and powerful discipline.

PPG also runs online and live courses on Positive Organisational Psychology, Mental Health & Wellbeing, and Autism Awareness for Managers & Practitioners, as well as corporate and non-profit workshops and talks on Positive Psychology and wider Psychology topics.

For more information, please contact: info@ppnetwork.org

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