MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA & GUIDELINES

MA is the national peak body for the registration and representation of meditation teachers from all styles and traditions of meditation.

MA carefully sets standards for meditation teaching, to protect both the public and the standing of meditation in the community.

The forms, traditions and philosophies of meditation teaching, the training and experience of individuals, and the structure of teacher training courses may vary widely and differ in emphasis, but in general  applicants for membership must demonstrate the competencies shown in the Curriculum Guidelines and Membership Criteria shown in the table below.

The number of hours shown for each competency is indicative, not prescriptive, and is intended to provide a conceptual basis for achieving each particular competency. Hours shown are ‘learning hours,’ not necessarily ‘contact hours’, however a minimum of 30% face to face contact hours is required.

Furthermore, as a prerequisite for membership, applicants will need to demonstrate their commitment to a personal meditation practice for at least two years as part of their application for membership..

EXPERIENCED TEACHERS

If you have been teaching meditation regularly for two years or more, and have been trained to teach (either formally or informally), you may be able to apply for membership as an ‘Experienced Teacher’.

To do so you will need to upload two formal letters of reference (from recognised meditation teachers, organisations, employers or health related professionals) during the online application process. These letters must describe your teaching experience, endorse your teaching practice, and recommend that you be accepted for membership.

This type of application is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

CURRICULUM GUIDELINES AND MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA

This table outlines the requirements for Provisional Membership with MA.
To be accredited with MA, Meditation Teacher Training Courses also need to comply with these guidelines.

Area of CompetencyAimRequired Hours
Theory & PracticeProvide students with an understanding of how meditation works and how to practice skillfully.
Ensure that students have an appreciation for — and exposure to — a broad variety of techniques and approaches.
Provide students with the knowledge and vocabulary to clearly define key practices and concepts.
30
Teaching MethodologyHow to present meditation in easily understood terms.
How to guide meditation skilfully.
How to recognise signs of meditative states.
How to structure group and individual sessions.
How to adapt a teaching environment to meet specific needs.
30
Student ManagementEthical responsibilities including confidentiality, legalities, insurance, membership with professional bodies, and referrals to and from health and mental health practitioners.5
Science of MeditationIntroductory understanding of the physiology, psychology and neuroscience of meditation, including brain functioning, and the impact of meditation on behaviour and cognitive functioning.
Understanding of therapeutic aspects of meditation on stress, anxiety, pain and illness.
10
History of MeditationStudy of meditation history and philosophies from various texts.
Investigation into use of meditation in complementary forms such as yoga, tai chi and qi gong.
5
Specialty AreasSpecific areas of study. e.g. Teaching meditation to children.*
As applicable.
TOTAL HOURS*80

Criteria for Full Membership

To become a Full Member with MA you need to have been a Provisional Member for two years.
During that two year period you also need to accumulate at least 30 hours of teaching experience (preferably under some supervision or mentoring arrrangement).

Continuing professional development (CPD) requirements apply only to Full Members.

REGISTERED TEACHER TRAINING ORGANISATIONS

When considering your choice between meditation teacher training courses, look for the MA Registered Training Course logo. This will let you know that the course meets MA’s curriculum standards and therefore qualifies you for membership.

How to register your teacher training course with MA

Registered meditation teacher training courses must meet MA’s Curriculum Guidelines and Membership Criteria as well as our professional and ethical standards. If you would like to enquire about registering a meditation teacher training course, please contact us.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is meant by ‘learning hours’?

Learning hours are the anticipated hours spent learning in order to achieve a particular competency. For example it may take one student four hours to read set material and write a reflective response, however it may take another student in the same course six hours to complete the same task. Therefore it is to be understood that learning hours provide an approximated indication of competency. Learning hours must be able to be demonstrated and compliance assessed, for example by curriculum documents, course notes, a participation diary, course assessment etc.

Can some of my teacher training be done online? What if I don’t have enough hours in each of the curriculum areas?

Meditation teacher training courses may have an online component. This is of particular relevance for those who live in rural and remote areas. However, a minimum proportion of contact hours is required, whether that is direct contact within the structure of a teacher training course or supervisory contact from a third party in a mentoring or peer review setting. MA provides a convenient mentoring structure and agreement for those who are not able to obtain direct contact within the context of a teacher training course. Please see the Mentoring Guidelines on the MA website for further information.

What if I don’t have enough hours in each of the curriculum areas? 

The number of hours shown for each competency is indicative, not prescriptive, and is intended to provide a conceptual basis for achieving the particular competency. There are also variations in the forms, traditions and philosophies of meditation teaching, with different emphases on the various competencies. Nevertheless, your overall training and experience must demonstrate the competencies required. Where there is a gap in your training or experience, you should seek out specific training to address the deficiency. You may also be able to bridge this gap by entering into a mentoring arrangement with a more senior teacher. Please see the Mentoring Guidelines document on the MA website for more information.

How many ‘contact’ hours are required? 

Generally, at least 30% of the learning hours shown should be contact hours, meaning face-to-face contact with your teacher. In cases where a meditation teacher training course is primarily delivered online, a proportion of 30% contact hours is still required, but this may be able to be achieved via a formal mentoring arrangement with a third party, eg assisted by supervision or peer review from a recognised local meditation teacher using the MA Mentoring framework to document the mentoring process. As mentioned above, all learning hours must be demonstrable.

What if don’t feel experienced enough as a new meditation teacher?

Engaging in a mentoring arrangement with a more senior teacher for a period of time will increase both your competence and confidence. Doing this in a structured, documented way will also increase your hours of practicum, shown in the Curriculum Guidelines and Membership Criteria table above.

How can I make the most of mentoring?

Mentoring involves undertaking regular (usually weekly) supervision or peer review of your teaching by a more senior teacher and can be structured in a way to best suit both you and your mentor eg teaching as a trainee teacher under supervision or assisting the teacher in class. Notes should be kept of each session and at the conclusion of the mentoring period your mentor should provide you with a letter confirming the length and nature of the mentoring. Please see the Mentoring Guidelines on the MA website for further information.

How can I use the MA registered teacher logo?

Members can use the MA registered teacher logo in their advertising and promotional materials. Use of the logo is limited to locations directly related to your teaching ie the logo cannot be used in such a way as to suggest that MA has recognised any other aspects of your business: only your meditation teaching. At all times your right to use this logo is at the discretion of MA.

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