Training your staff on ASQ
Why training matters—and 6 options to fit any budget, schedule, or level of expertise
The ASQ®-3 and ASQ®:SE-2 are relatively simple for providers and families to use, regardless of education or level of expertise. However, there’s a big difference between simply getting questionnaires completed, and getting everything you can out of the tools. And that difference comes down to training.
We talked to two ASQ® training experts about the importance of formal training and the different resources available that can help you and your staff use the tools to fidelity.
“A lot of people approach screening tools as another task they have to do, another required form. And without training, they end up missing the great potential ASQ has—to be a structure that helps promote developmental awareness and guide conversations about their children, helping to build relationships with families,” says Jane Farrell, a long-time ASQ Trainer and Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education Specialist at Early Childhood CARES in Lane County, Oregon. “However, we find that after a training, people are much more inspired to think creatively about implementation, and that they do a much better job engaging with parents.”
Quality of training is important, too, explains Carolyn Burke, Professional Development Manager for Brookes Publishing. She runs the Brookes professional development program, Brookes On Location, where she plans on-site and off-site ASQ trainings and coordinates various training opportunities directly with customers.
“We have a very core group of trainers for the ASQ product line. people who authored, coauthored, or have worked on research and development for the last three decades,” Burke explains. “These are people who have been in the field of early childhood and early intervention and know the tools inside and out. Who better to train you than people who are invested in the tools?”
We offer training options to meet any program’s needs
There are different ways to train, so choose what makes sense for your program. In addition to how much time and money you can devote to training efforts, you should consider the size of your program, how many staff use the tools, how experienced they already are, and whether there are designated trainers on your team. Learn more about each option:
User’s Guides are an essential how-to that gives step-by-step guidance on setting up a screening system, administering and scoring questionnaires, working with families effectively, and using ASQ across a range of settings.
Best for: Anyone who is new to ASQ should review the User’s Guides. They are also great to keep on hand for users of any level to reference for fast answers, tips, and inspiration.
Time Required: Varies depending on need
Cost: Included in purchase of ASQ-3 or ASQ:SE-2 Starter Kits. Order additional copies for $55 each
We offer three training DVDs, each on a different topic. Use them on their own, or as a supplement to other training approaches, and show them as often as needed.
The Ages and Stages Questionnaires® on a Home Visit
A home visitor guides a family through completing questionnaires for their two children. Viewers learn how to explain the ASQ screening process, create opportunities for child learning and development, and promote positive parent-child interaction.
ASQ®-3 Scoring and Referral
Learn a variety of scoring-related skills, including how to: use the revised third edition scoring sheets, convert parent responses into point values, compare the results with the cutoff scores, use the ASQ-3 monitoring zone to determine if a child’s progress should be monitored in one or more areas, interpret parent responses on the Overall section of ASQ-3, and decide if a referral is needed.
ASQ®:SE-2 in Practice
A concise and thorough overview of emotional and social development and how to use ASQ:SE-2. Learn what factors might affect screening results, how to score the questionnaires and make referrals, and key ideas for building trusting relationships with families.
Best for: Users at any level can benefit from this watch-and-learn approach.
Time required: Each DVD is 20–25 minutes
Cost: $49.95 per DVD
At this one-day seminar, ASQ trainers come to your site to present a basic overview on how to use both tools. Generally, a half a day is dedicated to each tool. Participants learn about the purpose of developmental screening and tool features, how to administer and score questionnaires, and how to interpret results. You’ll also explore possible follow-up actions.
Best for: Groups of new or prospective users, or individuals and groups that already use one or both tools but need a refresher.
Time required: 1 day (7 hours of training, plus time for lunch and a break)
What the experts say:
“Unlike the two or three-day seminars, this training relies on more direct instruction and less interactive activities, however, scoring exercises are always included. There’s a lot of information coming at you in a short amount of time because there’s so much to learn!” –Jane Farrell
Learn more: Details about the Introductory Seminar
Our Comprehensive Seminar is held on site at a location you choose, for either one or two days depending on whether you are training on one or both tools. It covers the same basic information that’s included in our Introductory Seminar (see above), plus it offers experiential activities that deepen familiarity with the tools and allows for far more interactive discussions.
Attendees will use applied family studies and role playing to gain a deeper understanding of ASQ administration, scoring, interpretation, results sharing, referrals, and follow-up. Speakers can individualize the training to meet the group’s specific areas of focus and/or to meet the needs of more advanced users.
Best for: Groups of new, intermediate, and advanced users.
Time Required: 1 day for 1 tool; 2 days for 2 tools (6 hours of training each day, plus time for lunch and breaks)
Cost: $2,500 (1 day); $3,500 (2 days)
What the experts say:
“Since we can spend a while day on one tool, we have time for a wide variety of hands-on experiential exercises, and we’re able to go into much more depth on things like research and cultural considerations.” –Jane Farrell
“There are often so many different programs in the same community that find ASQ useful, or that are mandated to do screening. Hosting on-site trainings like this one can be a wonderful opportunity to invite those different agencies into the same room—allowing more time to explore ways to coordinate with each other” –Jane Farrell
Learn more: Details about the Comprehensive Seminar
You’ve probably heard of our three-day Training of Trainers Institute, located in different cities a few times a year. This is the same training, except we come to your team, at a site of your choosing. You can host a two- or three-day seminar, depending on whether you are training on one or both tools.
Training of Trainers covers everything that our Comprehensive Seminar does (see above), but it incorporates training considerations and tips throughout. Participants also integrate and practice presenting ASQ-3 and/or ASQ:SE-2 content, discuss specific considerations for the audience you will train, and begin planning for your own future training.
After the successful completion of the seminar, all participants receive a thumb drive containing training materials you can use and modify for your own needs.
Best for: Groups of intermediate/advanced users, particularly those who are responsible for training others in their organization on ASQ.
Time required: 2 days for 1 tool; 3 days for 2 tools (6 hours of training each day, plus time for lunch and breaks)
Cost: $3,500 (2 days); $5,175 (3 days) plus $150.00 per person (license and permission fee)
What the experts say:
“This seminar is designed for people who already have experience using the ASQ tools and now need to take their knowledge to the next level so they can train others in their organization” –Carolyn Burke
“When the trainers leave, participants are completely prepared to do their own training. Literally. We leave the materials with them so they can immediately utilize them at work—teaching, supporting, and coaching their own staff. The Training of Trainers Seminar builds ASQ champions!” –Jane Farrell
Learn more: Details about the Training of Trainers Seminar
This three-day, in-depth training is the same concept as our Training of Trainers Seminar (see above), except we host it at predetermined locations a few times per year. Not only do you get to learn everything you need to instruct your colleagues in using ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2, but you also get to collaborate and network with people from all over who use the same tools.
Attendees receive practice forms, case studies, and the Trainer’s Handbook for conducting trainings within your organization. You’ll also receive a certificate of attendance and a USB flash drive of training materials.
Best for: Intermediate/advanced users, particularly those who are responsible for training others in their organization on ASQ. A beginner user may also find attending the institute helpful if they have no other way to gain training.
Time required: 3 days of training, plus travel time
Cost: $945 (early bird registration discount may be available) + travel and hotel costs. Meals are included throughout the training.
What the experts say:
“Especially for small programs that cannot afford to hire us to come to them, the Institute is a great way for one or two people to get training to take back to their organization.” –Carolyn Burke
“When participants complete an ASQ Institute, they are often excited and motivated to expand their ASQ implementation to include more flexibility and more parent involvement. Trainings promote participants’ creativity in how to use the ASQ tools as more of a proactive service to families—including bridging communication about child development in a positive, strengths-based way.” –Jane Farrell
“One of the biggest takeaways people get from the Institute is the networking opportunities. They love to hear how other people are implementing ASQ, and get ideas for their own programs.” –Carolyn Burke
“The nice thing is when we host the Institute, we’re doing the hosting, preparing all the documents, providing the meals. Attendees can just come, turn off their full-time job, sit down for three days, and learn.” –Carolyn Burke
Explore more ways to learn in the ASQ Training Portal
The learning doesn’t have to end after you’ve read the User’s Guide, watched the DVDs, or attended a seminar. Brookes has a brand new library of presentations, games, hands-on activities, and handouts you can use to aid training efforts and keep your and your team’s skills up to date.
Note: The Training Portal is free, but requires registration to the ASQ website.
Originally published: April 2019