Accelerating Best Practices in Peer Support Around the World

Program Development Guide

Training Examples

Chapter Navigation

1. Overview of Key Steps

2. Design Content and Approach

3. Training Evaluation and Ongoing Training

4. Examples



In the Resource section for this chapter, you can find Training Materials provided by Peers for Progress Grantees and collaborators, as well as Examples of Condition-Specific training curricula. While the target audiences and topics of these resources vary, they -illustrate how to bundle important competencies and skills together to create a comprehensive approach to training peer supporters. Users would need to tailor sample curricula and agendas to best meet the needs of your specific setting or population.


Determine the Length of Your Initial Training

Initial peer supporter trainings vary in duration. Factors may include strengths and limitations of peer supporters, key tasks of peer supporters, and also organizational capacity in terms of time, budget and resources available. For example, the initial training of Beijing Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Association (BDPTA) took around 6–8 hours because most of the peer supporters were retirees and their trainers (physicians) were very busy. Therefore, instead of a long initial training, BDPTA had a relatively short initial training with ongoing booster sessions. On the other hand, Peers for Progress grantee project in Michigan (PLEASED) focused on empowerment-based approach such as motivation interviewing principles, which required 46 hours to train with additional booster sessions for their peer supporters.

The following examples are selected from projects done by Peers for Progress grantees and collaborators for people with diabetes. They are then organized by the duration of training, including Short (within 12 hours), Medium (13 – 30 hours), and Long (over 30 hours)


  • Short duration training (≤ 12 hours)

Taiwanese Association of Diabetes Educators: One 8-hour session (Agenda only; Chinese 中文)

Peer Leader Demonstration Project in Nanjing: 7-day training ( Agenda overview, pg.26-37)

Peers for Progress grantee in Alabama (ENCOURAGE): 12 hours over 2 days


  • Medium duration training (13 – 30 hours)

Australasian Peers for Progress Diabetes Project Training Manual: 2.5 days


  • Long duration training (over 30 hours)

PfP Grantee – Puentes Project in California : 40-hour training session

PfP Grantee – UCSF Health Coach Training in California: 36 hours over 2 weeks

PfP Grantee – PEARL in Hong Kong: 32-hour “train-the-trainer” workshop

PfP Grantee – PLEASED in Michigan/IDF Peer Leader Manual: 46 hours



IDF Peer Leader Manual Designed by Tricia Tang and Martha Funnell, this manual aims to train peer supporters to provide ongoing diabetes self-management support.
UCSF Health Coach Training in California This material includes training curriculum on the science of health coaching for people working in health care.
Peer Leader Demonstration Project in Nanjing: 7-day training This section of the presentation introduces the training content and length for peer supporters in Nanjing.
Diabetes Self-Management Education Manual This is a manual developed by the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council to help trainers to provide educational session about diabetes to a group.
SONRISA This is a curriculum toolbox for promotores to address mental health and diabetes.
Peer Supporter Training Curriculum Originally developed by Peers for Progress for the Lions Club of North Carolina, this is the curriculum of a rapid training course on peer support.
Peer Support Training Manual The Canadian Mental Health Association developed this training manual as a guideline for peer support training in the Okanagan (British Columbia) Health Service Area.
Peer Support Training Manual This training manual written for Trinity College’s Peer Support Project is a result of years of experience with building a peer support program through the college’s student counseling services. It contains 10 workshops focused on building skills and competencies of peer supporters.
Peer Mentor Support System This Peer Mentor Support System addressing mental health provides a series of peer support training modules, guidance documents, exercises, and other resources in various chapters.
Washington State Certified Peer Counselor Training Manual This manual includes the content for a 40-hour training workshop for peer counselors.
Ohio Advocates for Mental Health Peer Support Training This collection of materials comprises a short course for consumers to further peer support among individuals, to gain skills as Peer Support Specialists, to advance the use of warm lines and partnering activities, and to form and sustain peer support groups. The expectation is that people giving and taking this course will have heightened awareness of effective communication skills and resources to assist them as they provide peer support.
SAMHSA Training Teleconference Archives The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) teleconference archives offer many helpful presentations on peer support for mental health. Presentation slides typically include dozens of links to additional resources.
Lay Health Advisor Manual This manual from the NC Breast Cancer Screening Program prepares older African American women working within their local communities to encourage friends, families, and others they meet to have regular mammograms and pap smears.
Peer education: Training manual This training manual describes ways in which non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may design, deliver and manage training programs on HIV/AIDS for peer educators. Its purpose is to assist NGOs to design and implement strategies and work-plans for peer education, as part of comprehensive sexual health interventions.
UNFPA’s Youth Peer Educator Toolkit: Training of Trainers Manual This peer education in HIV prevention manual was used extensively for two years in 27 countries across Eastern Europe and Central Asia and was translated into 15 languages, including Arabic. In particular, Section 2 provides Guidelines for Training of Trainers, and provides general team building and communication exercises.
Your Heart Your Life The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)’s manual designed specifically to guide CHWs through the process of communicating with the Latino community about heart disease. It focuses on helping people build skills to make practical, lasting changes to fight heart disease and improve their health.
The Community Health Worker's Sourcebook: A Training Manual for Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a training manual sourcebook for community health workers (CHWs) and trainers for preventing heart disease and stroke. It is a user-friendly curriculum designed to enhance CHW competencies in preventing heart disease and stroke by providing information on the major risk factors for these diseases in adults and is not intended to replace basic training.
Lay Health Educator Manual This is a guide for implementing lay health educator interventions and training educators for settings and program models similar to Maine’s Move More project. The manual includes policies and procedures, change models of particular importance, sample forms, and information about exercise.


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