Stride is intended for Direct Support Professionals

Stride Train-the-Trainer is intended for employees in a supervisory role


What is Stride?

Stride is considered the first step in training for a career in the Disability Service Sector. This in-house training provides Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to promote choice, independence, and quality of life for the people they support. In order to provide this training to your staff, your organization must first have a certified Stride Trainer.

History of Stride

From 2000 – 2019, SARC provided Basic Skills Training, or BST, to Direct Support Professionals in the Disability Service sector. However, as processes, best practices, and supports evolved within the sector, SARC identified that updates and changes to this program were needed, and underwent a lengthy review and revision of content. Part of that update was the recognition that were was nothing ‘basic’ about the comprehensive training being provided to DSPs, so the name of the training was also changed to Stride – Expertise in Disability Service. This program is intended for people who are committed to a career in the Disability Service sector.


What you can expect from Stride:

  • A blended learning approach where learning will consist of both online and in-person components.
  • A new platform that is easy to use.
  • Revised and updated content to reflect best practices and language in the Disability Service sector.

Although some things will be new, some things will remain the same, such as:

  • Trainers will continue to support Learners and have administrative requirements for the program.
  • Modules will continue to be competency-based.
  • The hands-on demonstration of knowledge learned will continue to be an integral component of the program.

Taking Stride is part of a DSPs path to expertise in the Disability Service sector.

How to Become a Stride Trainer

In order to enroll Learners to take Stride, your organization must first have a Stride Trainer.

In order to become a Stride Trainer, you must complete two steps.

Step 1: Enroll in and take the Stride Train-the-Trainer course online, which should take you approximately four hours to complete.

Step 2: Complete the online Stride Training. This allows you to become familiar with the content and process, before training the Direct Support Professionals, or DSPs in your organization. After all, how can you train something unless you’ve gone through it yourself?

Upon successfully completing both of these steps, you will receive your Stride Trainer Certification. Once you are a Stride Trainer, you must train:

  • A minimum of one group of Learners within the first year of your certification.
  • A minimum of one group of Learners every two years following, in order to maintain your Trainer status.

If you are unable to meet this requirement, your access to the Trainer portal will be suspended, and you will be required to take the Stride training again to be re-certified as a Trainer.

After you have completed the steps above, you will be able to enroll Learners into Stride.

Pricing for Stride is as follows:

Learner Registration

  • SARC Members: $300
  • Other Organizations:$395 plus GST

Trainer Registration

  • SARC Members: $350
  • Other Organizations: $435 plus GST

If you are a COMPASS eligible organization, make sure to use your COMPASS promo/coupon code at checkout to access the training at no-cost.

What are the benefits of training Stride at your organization?

  • It builds employee knowledge that is based on choice, dignity, and respect for the individuals your organization supports.
  • The program is skill based, hands-on, and appeals to the various adult learning styles.
  • The evaluation components consist of written comprehension, application, attitude, and skill.
  • The training builds staff confidence and promotes success.
  • It is offered completely in-house.
  • The material can be augmented with information specific to your organization.
  • It is a COMPASS eligible program – Learners and Trainers from COMPASS eligible organizations are able to access this training at no cost.
  • Trainer support is available through SARC.
  • Upon the successful completion of Stride, Saskatchewan Polytechnic will grant ten credit units in the Disability Support Worker Certificate Program to both Trainers and Learners.
  • Providing professional development to your staff, leads to higher retention of employees.

Covid-19 Response

For a revised FAQ document, featuring questions about Training Stride during the Covid-19 Pandemic, please click here.

For a document on Options on Training Stride During the Covid-19 Pandemic, please click here.


Stride FAQ

Our organization has never offered Stride before, where do we start?

Before you can train staff at your organization in Stride, you will need an in-house Stride Trainer. The Stride Trainer should be someone who has strong leadership skills, the ability to mentor staff in direct support roles, and the time to dedicate to training. The Stride Trainer will be responsible for leading each group of Learners through the Stride Training.

Every Stride Trainer will need to complete the online Train-the-Trainer course, and go through the online content before they can begin training staff.

Once the Stride Trainer has received their Trainer Certificate, they can begin registering and training Learners.

What if our organization previously offered Basic Skills Training (BST)?

Every Trainer will still need to complete the same online Train-the-Trainer process as new Trainers do, even if they were previously a BST Tutor. A lot of the content will be familiar, however it is important that they understand the new format and any information that has been added or changed, as well as the online administrative requirements.

Learners who previously completed BST do not need to take Stride.

How long does it take to become a Stride Trainer?

There are two parts to becoming a Stride Trainer: 

  1. The online Train-the-Trainer course should take approximately 4 hours to complete.
  2. Then the Trainer will need to complete the same online Stride content that Learners will go through, which should take an additional 30-35 hours to complete. This can be done at the Trainer’s own pace.

Trainers will be required to complete the exercises and exams in order to achieve Trainer status.

What is the commitment involved for Stride Trainers?

It will take approximately 30-40 hours to complete the requirements to become certified as a Stride Trainer.

Once certified, Trainers will need to commit:

  • Approximately 3-5 hours for each Step meeting, including preparation time. Step meetings are held once every 4-6 weeks for all 7 modules of Stride, AND
  • Approximately 1 hour to complete the Pace requirements with EACH Learner, once every 4-6 weeks for all 7 modules of Stride. For example, if a Stride Trainer has 4 Learners, it will take approximately 4 hours to review the Pace requirements for each module.

What is a “blended learning” format?

Stride incorporates a variety of online and in-person learning components that are designed to be engaging for different learners and learning styles. This includes:

  • Engaging online content with the option of reading the information, listening to it, or both.
  • Videos, articles, and links that provide additional information.
  • Online exams that consist of multiple choice, true or false, and matching questions.
  • A Learner Workbook that each Learner can fill in while they follow along with the content.
  • An Exercise Book that Learners will use to complete assignments and submit to their Trainer.
  • An in-person Step meeting with their learning group at the end of each module, to engage in discussion and complete activities that improve understanding and provide different perspectives on the content.
  • Each Learner will meet one-on-one with their Trainer after each module to demonstrate that they are incorporating the skills, knowledge, and attitude that are fundamental to Stride and their role as a Direct Support Professional.

Is the content only available online, or is there a printed version available?

The Stride content is only available online. Current Trainers will always have access to the entire content, and can return to any of the information at any time.

Learners will only have access to the online content while they are completing Stride. While completing Stride, they can go back in the content at any time to review. Once they have completed Stride, they will no longer have access to the online content.

What if we have Learners who have language barriers or learning difficulties?

The Stride content is presented in both text and audio formats, so Learners can choose to read the content, listen to it, or do both!  Trainers can also provide as much or as little support as needed with understanding exercises and exam questions.

What if we have Learners who are not confident using computers or the internet?

Learners will need to have some basic knowledge of computers and the internet to navigate their email and the Stride content. Learners can download and print the Learner Workbook and Exercise Book and complete these on paper. Exams are only available online. The Trainer can work through the content with Learners to help them become more comfortable with the online program.

How does a Trainer maintain their Certification?

Each Stride Trainer must train one group of Learners within their first year as a Stride Trainer, and then one group of Learners every 2 years after that. If a Trainer does not meet this requirement, their access to the training portal will be suspended and they will be required to take the Stride Train-the-Trainer course again.

How many Learners are required for a training group in Stride?

Stride is intended to be facilitated in small groups, as group discussion and hearing different perspectives is an important part of the learning experience. We recommend three to six Learners in each group.

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  • "The Stride Training will help ensure that Direct Support Professionals are trained to the highest degree so that the people we support are supported in a caring and professional way."

    Stride Trainer
  •  “It was as if I was in a face-to-face class with an instructor.” 

    Stride Graduate
  • “I learn and remember things by writing them down after I read them. So having that workbook was good for that reason.”

    Stride Graduate