ESD Global Certification Process

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Level 1 Instructors are able to teach basic  Empowerment Self-Defense classes to women or older female teens from 1 to12 hours long.​


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1. 45 - 60 hours of ESD Global Level 1 Training​

2. Continued engagement with an ESDG Mentor and Mentorship Group.

3. Completion and documentation of 30 hours of free ESD teaching in your community


Note: Certifications in Basic First Aid and CPR are highly recommended, as well as       ​

development of clear safety protocols for teaching practice.*

Application for Level 2

1. Additional 70 hours of teaching*​

2. 4 case studies – reflecting on your role as a teacher​

3. A resume of your relevant experience​

4. A class plan​

*Note: If you have previous experience teaching ESD, you may be able to count (some) hours towards certification.

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Level 2 Instructors are able to develop and teach an in-depth self-defense class in a trauma-sensitive and socially aware environment.


1. Continued engagement with Mentor and Mentorship Group​

2. Teach 100 hours of ESD​

3. Complete 3 to 5 ESD workshops to enhance teaching, or outside workshops that      include​ understanding trauma and creating trauma-informed​ teaching spaces​

4. Create first draft of a business or social media work plan.*​

Application for Level 3

1. 100 hours of ESD teaching​

2. 4 case studies – reflecting on participant experience​

3. Draft business or social media work plan​

4. Documentation of additional training completed

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Level 3 Instructors will be able to show full competency in teaching a full basics class to

at least one specialty group in their chosen area.

Requirements: ​

1. Continued engagement with Mentor and Mentorship Group​

2. Teach 100 hours of ESD​

3. Participate as an assistant/intern in 1 ESD Global Level 1 training​

4. Complete 20* hours of training/research to enhance teaching ​

5. Complete ESD Global online training in understanding trauma*​

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Application for Level 4

1. 100 hours of ESD teaching​

2. Documentation and summaries of additional          training/research noting how it has been incorporated into your ESD teaching

3. Submit a video from a portion of a special population course ​

4. 3 case studies detailing participant response and teacher adaptations         ​

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Level 4 Instructors should be able to competently and comfortably teach Empowerment Self Defense classes in a wide range of circumstances and to a wide variety of groups and speak comfortably about the impacts of ESD on individual healing, growth, and community change.​

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1. 100 hours of ESD teaching​

2. Co-teach an ESD Global Level 1 program​

3. Submit and reflect on participant feedback from Level 1​

4. Review skills and experience with Mentor: identify and address gaps


5. Make an ESD-related presentation to the Mentorship Committee​

6. Submit letters of recommendation

Maintaining Certification

To maintain certification, instructors must:​

Maintain a high standard of ESD teaching practice including:​

  • Ensure that training environments are physically safe, trauma sensitive and free from bias, harassment, and abuse.​

  • Show a commitment to ongoing learning and development​

Certification can be revoked in cases where instructors act in ways which violate the mission, values, and policies of ESD Global Inc. such as:​

  • Harassment, assault, or abuse of a student, co-trainer, partner, or community-member.​

  • Fraudulent business practices​

  • Teaching in a way that is dangerous to students’ emotional, mental, or physical health and wellbeing.​

ESD Global Mentorship Committee may make small changes to this process over time. Anyone interested in achieving certification should be in touch with their Mentor or reach out directly to the Mentorship Coordinator.