Accreditation FAQs


IAYT Yoga Therapy Training Program Accreditation

Last updated: 7/30/2013

The Educational Standards

Our program includes a two-week intensive at the school/ashram of our lineage’s Guru in India, and this intensive forms part of our training hours. The subject matter is, we believe in accord with a number of the IAYT competencies; however, the school/ashram does not provide us or the students with any formal documentation regarding their training in India. What can we do to ensure this training is taken into consideration as part of our application?

First, clarify whether your school regards the training intensive in India as ‘transfer’ hours or as part of your training program.

If the hours are transfer hours, then you’ll need to consider the information provided in 2.1.3 and 3.3 in the Training Requirements and Definitions section of the standards. Then, you’ll need to submit the syllabi, faculty information, and competencies the transfer hours meet. Additionally, you’ll need to list the course in the transfer hours information section of the application.

If the hours are part of the training, include the syllabi, faculty, and the competencies in the competency chart.

Whether these will be transfer hours or part of your program, consider documenting the subject matter taught in the intensive in a syllabus and asking the teacher in India to sign a statement at the bottom of the document, attesting that what is shown in the syllabus is a true reflection of what is taught in the intensive. If students cannot be provided with a statement of attainment or similar document verifying their satisfactory completion of the intensive, consider asking the teacher to sign a letter (that you may want to write) that indicates that a particular student attended the training intensive at a specific time and completed the training to the teacher’s satisfaction.

I have a specialty training program. Can I become accredited?

Specialty training programs can be accredited only if they are 800 hours and meet the other IAYT Educational Standards.

Specialty training programs have several options in the accreditation process.

1. Become part of another school’s training program. If this option is chosen, we recommend that you develop a syllabus and a list of the competencies to give to schools offering your program as part of their program.

2. Become transfer hours for another school’s program.

3. Promote the program as continuing education units (CEUs) for graduates of yoga therapy training programs or as additional education hours for those who will be in the Grandparenting process.

The Accreditation Application—School Information

Is the physical address of the school the same as the training site?

The physical address refers to the location where the program is taught. It could be a location that is rented for the purpose of the training.

If you do not have a physical location, or teach in multiple locations, do not worry about entering an address at this time. Currently, this is not a required field in the application.

What if our program doesn’t have a physical location?

This field in the online application is not required and can be left blank or "not applicable” may be entered.

Our trainings are given at multiple physical locations. How do we show this on the application?

Currently, the online application does not ask for a training location(s).

Program Enrollment, Admissions, Hours, and Faculty

What about transfer hours? Do I have to document them?

The standards are very specific: all transfer hours must meet one or more competencies.Documenting that a certain number of hours are dedicated to philosophy does not provide sufficient information because philosophy is such a broad category and the hours indicated may not meet a specific competency(ies). Therefore, you must identify the number of transfer hours devoted to a specific competency(ies).

For all transfer hours, course content, faculty qualifications, and so on, must be documented in the application.It is up to the school’s Program Director to ensure that complete transfer hour competency information is obtained from either the transferring program or the transferring student’s records. Note: Syllabi must also be submitted for transfer hours.

Using the syllabus from the transferring school, the program could flesh out the transferring content in its own syllabus. The transfer hours in yoga therapy program syllabi must accurately reflect what was taught in the transferred course.Per IAYT accreditation policy and procedure, the AC can audit a program if more information is needed.

What about distance learning hours? Do I have to document them?

The standards are very specific: distance learning must meet one or more competencies. The format of learning—online and other electronic media formats, webinars, supervised independent study courses, and correspondence courses—is also essential. Please refer to the standards for more information, specifically, training requirements Section 5 and Definitions page 17 and 18.

The content of a distance learning course, the faculty, and so on, must be documented in the application.It is up to the school to ensure that it obtains complete distance learning competency information from either the school that offered the distance learning course or the student’s records.Note: A syllabi must also be submitted for each distance learning course its students take.

We have our 800 hour program over two years well planned out and can demonstrate how it meets all the competencies and standards. However, we have not retained all of our faculty, especially for the second year. Can we still apply?

If the program has followed the standards, including the competencies, and has a well-established syllabi that will be taught, you can apply.You will need to do the following:

· List the established faculty in the faculty and mentorship section of the online application.

· State in application your cover letter that you are continuing to expand the faculty.

· When faculty is hired, submit a Substantive Change Report, per Section 6 of the Accreditation Policy and Procedures Manual ("changes in composition of the senior staff or senior faculty" must be reported).Note: The Substantive Change Report form is under development.

What if I don’t know a faculty member’s IAYT member number?

New IAYT member numbers on the new website are not available yet, so leave this blank for now. In the future, you will have access to member numbers via the new IAYT website.

Competency Profile: General

See Competency Profile: Practicum Hours (below) for questions related to practicum definitions.

How do I start filling in the competency chart?

It is often best to start from the syllabi. Review each course, its learning objectives and its subsets. Note where each addresses the competencies, specifically, identifying the number of hours per competency. Then, indicate the section of your syllabi and the number of hours in the respective fields in the online application.

You may find it helpful to print and complete a hard copy of the competency chart before entering the information in the online application. You may also find it helpful to work with a hard copy of the standards as reference as you calculate hours and competencies for the whole program.

What components of my training and how many hours should be included in the documentation of competencies?

The program must document at least 800 hours of competencies. The number of hours documented should match the number of hours of your program. If you accept transfer hours or distance learning hours, they need to be included in the break out of competencies.

In the curriculum comparison chart, each section has subsections. Do we need to fill in each subsection (e.g., 1.1.1.a) with the number of hours and the courses for each subsection?

The competencies must be broken out by section and subsection. The break out is already formatted in the chart. All you need to do is supply the course information and the hours. For, example, if you've identified 120 hours in yoga foundations, you would enter the courses and the respective number of hours in each subset category, identifying the hours as contact and/or non-contact. The total number of hours broken out should equal and not be greater than 120 hours. The application is formatted to automatically calculate the contact and non-contact hour totals.

Can each curriculum box have more than one entry?

Yes. Yoga is an integrated science. We anticipate that subjects will not be taught in a linear fashion. Please include all appropriate courses or subjects in each curriculum box.

How do I indicate my course, syllabus lines, and so on in one box? Can’t the online application include a series of smaller boxes?

Schools use many different formats for documenting their syllabus and their course outline. Therefore, we chose not to use several small boxes in the curriculum comparison chart. Please choose a consistent format for recording your information.

What if I don’t teach a topic "separately” but integrate it into another component of the training?

Evaluate the subjects taught within each course, the learning objectives, and related competency(ies) and break out the approximate hours for each competency. For example, if you teach a 100-hour course on Anatomy and Physiology and you integrate approximately 87 hours of Anatomy and Physiology theoretical work ( 2.1.1) with approximately 13 hours of therapeutic applications (, you may indicate the hours in the curriculum boxes as follows: 2.1.1 - Anatomy of Physiology, 87 hours; and, 13 hours.

Note: Break out the hours of each course. The final totals in the curriculum chart must equal the total length of the program.

Is there a list of the common pathologies that should be known in the context of Section 2.1.3, "knowledge of common pathologies and disorders of all major systems?

Schools develop their programs based on their area of focus. Choose the pathologies that best serve your program. Students can always ”grow” their yoga therapy skills in advanced trainings that expand their pathology knowledge and skills.

I have trouble differentiating between what information to put in which competencies, particularly in Section 3 and Section 4.Section 3 has two competencies requiring "demonstrated ability”. How do I differentiate these competencies from the practicum hours in Section 4?

Section 3 addresses teaching and therapeutic skills. The "demonstrations” in this section refer to assessing the extent to which the student understands the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship. The assessment of competencies in this section could include roll playing and observing how the student works with dynamics in an evolving client relationship.

Section 4 addresses yoga therapy tools and their application, focusing on applying intake skills in a regular clinical setting. For assessment purposes, the student would model how he/she uses the relational and teaching skills in the therapeutic setting as he/she moves through the process of taking a case, evaluating the client, developing a protocol, and adapting the protocol to the client’s needs and skills.

In Section 4.2, (basically a comprehensive listing of clinical process components), how do I identify which hours belong in which subcategories? Many of the clinical process elements occur nearly simultaneously.We write evaluative comments on our student summaries of many of these components, but I can’t see how to translate that into hours with any degree of accuracy. The only strategy I have developed is to divide the total practicum hours across the categories.

This is an appropriate strategy.

We recognize the multiple dimensions that exist in the therapeutic setting. The listing of clinical process components serves multiple purposes. We want to ensure that the program includes a yoga therapy session process that is "complete.” Within the whole process, there are parts that ensure good practices. A practitioner needs to know the whole process. He/she needs the ability to adjust the "balance” within an individual session based on an assessment of certain factors such as time or the particulars of a case. With a clear knowledge and understanding of the larger "river banks,” he/she can better adapt.

Some schools emphasize one part of the clinical process more than another. The listing of clinical process components gives schools an opportunity to evaluate the totality of the process they teach given the many components of a yoga therapy session.

Accreditation Application Reviewers will carefully consider the overall integration of the program and evaluate whether the knowledge of and ability to conduct a comprehensive yoga therapy session is supported throughout the program.

In the"Provide Yoga Therapy" section, all of the objectivesrelate to "demonstrated ability". I am unclear what would constitute "instructional hours (50) in this section, which seems to overlap with the "Yoga Therapy and Tools" section.

Fifty instructional hours in "Provide Yoga Therapy” could involve more directive support for the clinical and mentoring aspect of the training. They could include modeling yoga therapy sessions or mentoring time for case review with a student(s) or class case review with the teacher instructing on particular topics, such as additional anatomy awareness or kosha evaluation, that students could use to enhance their ability to complete and assess the case.

What happens if I have too many hours in the competency profile?

The total hours in your application must equal the number of hours of your program, not only the 800 hours required in the standards. For example, if your program is 1000 hours the total should equal 1000, if it is 1200 hours, it should equal 1200.If you teach additional materials that do not fit a competency, please note the general section to which they relate (sections 1 through 5) and include the hours in the comment document you upload.

If the hours in the competency profile total more than your stated program hours, please, check the numbers in each category and correct them as needed..

You may need to verify the break out of courses and the cross-referencing to competencies to ensure you did not double list hours. For example, a 20-hour course in philosophy may include 10 theoretical hours and 10 therapeutic concept hours. Enter 10 hours in each category, rather than 20 hours in each category.

What happens if I do not have enough hours in the curriculum table?

First, be sure you included transfer hours and distance learning hours.

Second, check the courses that you split into more than one category and make sure they are broken out to reflect the total hours. For example, a 20-hour course in philosophy may include 10 theoretical hours and 10 therapeutic concept hours. Make sure you entered the 10 hours in each category.

At the end of each competency section there is a place to download "clarifying comments.” What does this mean?

The application allows you to create a separate document that includes information pertinent to a curriculum subsection. This could encompass comments about the essence of your program that is not reflected in the syllabi or documented hours. It could also include additional curriculum information, including hours of training that are not quite in the "list."

You may also include comments about the way your program weaves competencies together or emphasizes specific areas of learning that can't be quantified in hours. The following is an example of a clarifying comment for training requirement 5.3.1 and 5.3.2: "Major emphasis is given to building referral networks, not so much as a separate topic, but as an on-going theme sprinkled throughout every course of the training.”

You may also consider making comments about how competencies are "woven together” to create acoherent program.

Competency Profile: Practicum Hours

What are practicum hours?

As defined in the IAYT Educational Standards (page 17), practicum hours are "the amount of time a student spends in the practical application of previously studied yoga therapy theory as it relates to the competencies under the mentorship of a faculty member or assigned mentor.”

Practicum hours are focused on the experience of yoga therapy sessions. They’re an opportunity for students to observe and deliver yoga therapy. The majority of practicum hours fall under the category of "Provide Yoga Therapy” and include multiple activities such as record keeping and intake, among others.

Are all practicum hours to be listed in the practicum section of 4.2 (Provide Yoga Therapy) in the curriculum comparison chart?

The majority of practicum hours are usually included in the competency area "Provide Yoga Therapy”. However, some programs may include some practicum hours in other competency areas as part of an integrated approach to program development. While there are no set guidelines regarding how many practicum hours can be allocated to areas other than ”Provide Yoga Therapy,” it is expected that a large percentage will be allocated to this competency area.

What is meant by "clinic” in the context of the Training Requirement 3.4, "Practicum hours may be conducted in an in-house clinic/ classroom, community setting or approved location….”?

A clinic is an outpatient setting where people are treated. A clinic can be located in any setting, such as a hospital or within the "school,” or in other locations. For the purposes of yoga therapy training, it is one of a variety of settings where a yoga therapist in training can practice and deliver yoga therapy sessions.

How are practicum hours counted?

The school determines the "amount of time” credited for each case. For example, a program could allow one hour for case documentation and 30 minutes for developing the case presentation material. The student could earn 1.5 hours of practicum, non-contact time for the case. Whether a student took 1.25 or 2.0 hours for case documentation and presentation preparation, the credit would be the same.

To receive practicum credit hours, self-directed case studies must be supervised and documented based on school policies.

Please see Training Requirements sections 3.5, 3.6, and 5.6. Review pages 17 and 18 of Definitions for the definitions of practicum, practicum hours, and mentor. 

Additional Materials

In the additional material list, we can download a cover page document. What is this? What should it include?

To purpose is lay out the overall bhavana or intention of the program by providing general information. The cover page is optional and is not intended to offer clarification on specific competencies or to be an extension of a program’s marketing.

What are the learning objectives required in the syllabi?

Learning objectives provide a statement regarding the overall intention or learning outcomes (goals) of the course or module. The following is an example of a learning objective: Module 1 covers musculoskeletal conditions, anatomy and physiology from both the western and yoga therapy perspectives, introduction of intake form, SOAP notes, and basic interviewing skills.

What is a Code of Conduct? We have an Ethics Statement. Are they the same?

In the yoga therapy business world, some "traditions" develop an Ethics Statement, others develop a Code of Conduct.The terms are often used interchangeably.
Some schools may have an Ethics Statement that reflects its values and a separate Code of Conduct that reflects the behavior it expects of faculty and administration, which includes the "action of the value." Sometimes the documents overlap in concept.