Important elements to consider before starting a PSAP application
In order to become PSAP Approved, schools must provide evidence that they meet 10 Educational Standards.
In addition, before approving a teacher training program, the application reviewers analyze various procedures a school should have.
Below is a summary of important elements you should consider before starting a PSAP application.
1. Practical hours:
These hours refer to the time students spend practicing Pilates exercises (on their own or by taking classes), observing teachers and practice teaching.
Supervision: Student supervision is an important element of a program. Students need to be guided, corrected and supported throughout the program. Supervision is especially crucial at the beginning of the program; the less experienced a student is, the more present the teacher trainer should be. There can be various levels of supervision: a teacher trainer can give one on one feedback, oversee a group or simply be present in the room while students practice.
While supervision for self-practice hours is important (students need some guidance to master the exercises), it is imperative to offer directions to students who practice teach. The safety of both the "client" and the student is at stake and students will need the teacher trainer's help for equipment setting, cueing, corrections and modifications.
Students can practice teach on their own once they are experienced enough. As a guideline, at least 50% of the practice teaching hours should be supervised. Furthermore, "clients" need to be aware that the person teaching them is still in training.
Location: Because students need to make sense of what they learn, observe and experience, it is crucial to ensure the continuity of the philosophy of the program. Students should do the majority of their practical hours at the school they are enrolled in. Students should interact with teacher trainers who share a same vision, mission, goals and educational approach.
A school may decide to offer alternative locations to their students for some of the practical hours. In that case, the school becomes responsible for establishing parameters to ensure the continuity of the program. The alternative location must have a similar way of teaching and supervising students. The school is also responsible for establishing a system to monitor student progress during practical hours. A school could for example offer its students the option to work with one of its graduates.
Fees: As per US norms for vocational schools, students cannot be paid for their practice teaching hours. The school can charge clients a fee to cover expenses such as electricity but this money cannot go to students.
On the other hand, if the school charges its student a fee for self-practice hours (to access the studio or because students are required to take a certain number of lessons), for observation hours or for practice-teaching hours, all costs must be explained in the school catalog and in the enrollment agreement.
Transparency is one of the most important elements promoted by PSAP. Schools that wish to become PSAP Approved must disclose all costs associated with a teacher training program. This includes (but is not limited to) the application fee (if any), the registration fee (if any), the costs associated with the pre-requisites (if any), the tuition, the costs of the books, the exam fees and the costs associated with practical hours (price for required lessons, if any, and studio access fee, if any).
PSAP Approved Schools are also required to give the total price of their comprehensive program (the addition of all the costs listed above and any other fees students must pay).
Schools that wish to become PSAP Approved are asked to provide a description of their program. In an effort to promote transparency and clarity of information, the Pilates School Approval Program asks schools to avoid terms that cannot be defined objectively. "True" or "authentic" are for example words that should not be used as there is no point of reference to define authenticity in the context of teaching Pilates.
Terms such as "Master teacher" or "Classical Pilates" are acceptable if clearly defined.
4. CEC requirement to maintain a certificate:
Schools provide education to students to graduate with a diploma or certificate. Diplomas or certificates do not need to be renewed, unlike a certification. Clarifying the function of a school vs the function of a certification program is a major priority for the PMA, PSAP, and the National Pilates Certification Program. Therefore, PSAP cannot approve a school that requires CECs (Continuing Education Credits) of its graduates to sustain their graduate status. This is a norm for schools of all kinds.
Schools are welcome to build a culture that promotes and encourages a continuing education process and supports the values of the PSAP and NPCP. Schools can encourage the CEC process within their program but cannot require their graduates to produce CECs or lose their graduate status.