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Frequently Asked Questions

Organizational

What is the IMTA?

The International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA), a registered non-profit 501(c)(3), is a global organization dedicated to the professionalization and standardization of the mindfulness field. The IMTA develops and maintains program and teacher standards, fosters an international community of mindfulness teachers, and offers two credentialing tracks – one for mindfulness teacher training programs to become accredited, and the other for individual mindfulness teachers to become certified.

What is the IMTA's mission?

The IMTA's mission is to oversee, support, and provide guidelines for international mindfulness teacher education and training standards, in order to ensure teaching and education programs continue to meet a level of depth and rigor needed to serve students and clients at the highest level and standardize the mindfulness teaching profession.

What is the IMTA's vision?

The IMTA’s vision is to be the leading independent and guiding professional association for the mindfulness field around the world. The IMTA strives to become a central place where the public can come to identify high-quality, accredited training programs and institutions, as well as internationally credentialed and certified mindfulness teachers. The IMTA positions itself as a community for mindfulness teachers around the globe to network, share best practices, and work together to build a strong alliance of global mindfulness practitioners.

The IMTA is being implemented in a staged manner to ensure the professionalization and standardization of the mindfulness field.

As part of this phased approach, the IMTA will develop accreditation for programs with a specialized focus. This will include Mindfulness Teacher Training Programs in the areas of psychotherapy, children and youth, education-specific, and clinical programs belonging to Mindfulness Based Interventions.

Why is the IMTA necessary now?

There is a great need in the mindfulness field for standards and professionalization that will serve both the mindfulness teacher training providers, the mindfulness teachers and the general public. Previously, individuals would become mindfulness teachers with or without the appropriate training and deliver programs without any standards or oversight. These challenges impact the entire industry: high-quality instructors have challenges distinguishing themselves from others within the field; organizations, institutions, and individuals looking to hire mindfulness teachers cannot discern quality teachers to staff their programs; students looking to become teachers cannot easily distinguish between desired and undesirable education programs. The IMTA solves these problems by establishing and maintaining a recognized set of global professional standards and certification and accreditation framework to professionalize the mindfulness teaching and teacher training fields.

How does the IMTA impact the evolution of the mindfulness field?

The IMTA will bring in standards and professionalization. It will help bring in rigor and clarity. It will help legitimize mindfulness teachers in the workforce. It will bring mindfulness further into the mainstream. It will help make mindfulness more respectable as a field of professional services. It might facilitate pathways to greater professional acceptance of mindfulness and coverage through health care providers. It will bring in professional connections and build community among members and pathways to continuous education and professional excellence.

What will be the activities of the IMTA?

The IMTA offers two credentialing tracks: (1) an accreditation track for educational organizations and (2) a professional certification track for individual teachers. It also provides its members with professional status, recognition, and affiliation. The IMTA plans to provide specialized program accreditation and individual credentials, as well as continuing education requirements and evaluation of offerings. The IMTA also envisions an annual Mindfulness Teacher Conference.

Why was the IMTA formed? What is unique about IMTA?

The IMTA was formed to meet the growing need and demand for professionalization in the mindfulness field. The IMTA is not rooted in any individual training philosophy, rather best practices gathered from a careful examination of a wide range of international mindfulness professional programs.

Why was the IMTA formed? What is unique about IMTA?

The IMTA was formed to meet the growing need and demand for professionalization in the mindfulness field. The IMTA is unique in that it is the world's first and only professional membership organization and association for national and international mindfulness professionals.

What is the organizational structure of the IMTA?

The IMTA is a Delaware Corporation with a 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Governed by a board of directors, the organization hosts a Credentialing Committee and Advisory Board. The IMTA plans to provide specialized program accreditation and credentials, as well as continuing education. The IMTA also envisions an annual Mindfulness Teacher Conference.

Who are the leaders of the IMTA?

The IMTA's founding board members are Phillip Moffitt, Dawa Tarchin Phillips and Diana Winston. Dawa Tarchin Phillips is also the acting President of the IMTA. Limited to 12 members, the IMTA will be selecting additional board members from among its existing members and member organization representatives.

Also, the IMTA's substantial Advisory Board of leading figures in the mindfulness field provide support and direction, including Mirabai Bush, and Sharon Salzberg, among others. Visit the Advisory Board for a full directory of IMTA’s advisors.

Who are the prospective members of the IMTA?

The prospective members of the IMTA are operators of mindfulness teacher training programs, mindfulness teachers and mindfulness teachers in training. The IMTA invites mindfulness teachers from all around the world to join, as mindfulness teachers from various corners of the globe each have something unique to offer and can benefit from thought leadership and idea sharing with the other mindfulness teachers and practitioners in the IMTA community.

How can the IMTA provide standards for so many different countries and regions with many different needs?

The IMTA supports organizations in countries seeking accreditation to implement standards that are culturally relevant. IMTA standards serve as important international guidelines and benchmarks, as they represent generally accepted training needed to become a mature and effective mindfulness teacher. However, we realize that different countries may have different needs and we are available to collaborate with interested institutions worldwide on ways to ensure standards adapt to their particular cultural settings.

Who will benefit from the IMTA's work?

Operators of mindfulness teacher training programs, mindfulness teachers, the general public, future students of mindfulness, as well as organizations, and individuals looking to hire mindfulness teachers.


General

What is mindfulness as defined by the IMTA?

The practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of focused, open or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, and experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.

What types of certification do professionals need to teach mindfulness programs?

Currently none. Through the IMTA, teachers will be eligible for two levels of certification – Professional Level and Advanced Level.

Why is it important to get a mindfulness teacher certification?

The IMTA certification track promotes high quality, professional teachers, and further the ongoing success of both innovative and established training programs in this field. Using the IMTA directory of certified teachers, potential clients and customers can find qualified mindfulness teachers to staff their programs.

Why is important to get mindfulness training from an accredited program?

Receiving mindfulness teacher training from an accredited educational program assures the participant that both the curriculum and the faculty meet the depth and expertise of what is currently considered best practices in the mindfulness field.


Membership

What is the value of membership in the IMTA?

The value of membership in the IMTA comes from the professional recognition granted through the certification and accreditation process. Additional value comes in the form of an online public directory, continuing education, access to special offers (i.e., insurance), and networking opportunities. Besides the professional status, recognition, and affiliation, the IMTA membership is positioned to provide additional economic value to its members over time.

What kind of community would members be joining?

The IMTA is a professional community of people dedicated to bringing mindfulness and compassion into the world and secular society. Members are individuals – mindfulness teachers – and organizations that offer mindfulness teacher training programs. The IMTA community also includes the IMTA Board of Directors – Phillip Moffitt, Dawa Tarchin Phillips and Diana Winston and the organization's Advisory Board of world-renowned mindfulness experts including Mirabai Bush, and Sharon Salzberg.

What is the membership structure of IMTA?

Membership is made up of Organizational and Individual members:

Individuals and organizations can pursue credentialing without membership at non-member rates. For information on the membership and credentialing fee structure, visit here.

How does an organization join? A professional?

An organization or mindfulness professional joins by applying online and submitting the requested application materials and application fees. All applications are pending review and approval through the IMTA.

What types of member resources does the IMTA offer its members?

IMTA offers a member's directory listing and peer network support. In the near future, IMTA will launch additional member resources such as continuing education, access to insurance, peer network support, publication opportunities, among others. The IMTA also envisions an annual Mindfulness Teacher Conference.


Certification

What levels of professional certification does the IMTA offer?

At launch, the IMTA offers one level of professional certification within the individual track: the 200-hour IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher, Professional Level (CMT-P) certification. Initially, this certificate will launch with a "Provisional" certification designation until the Credentialing Committee launches the assessment exam. Candidates will have one year to take the exam. Upon passing, the "Provisional" designation will drop. The IMTA plans to develop a 500-hour IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher, Advanced Level (CMT-A) certification.

How do I know if I am eligible to become certified? What requirements determine if a professional has achieved certification?

Eligibility and competency requirements for the IMTA teacher certification track are available here. The IMTA Credentialing Committee will determine if the professional's application materials meet the eligibility and competency requirements for the 200-hour IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher, Professional Level. If so, the candidate will receive a CMT-P certificate a "Provisional" certification designation. The Credentialing Committee will be launching an assessment exam. Candidates will have one year to take the assessment exam. Upon passing, the "Provisional" designation will drop. In the future, a professional is eligible for certification once they have graduated from an IMTA accredited training program.

Does the IMTA have a certification review board?

Yes, the IMTA's Credentialing Committee is made up of IMTA's Board of Directors, assisted by the organization's administrative team.

How do I go about getting certified?

The first step is to review the teacher competencies, and requirements to become an IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher. If you believe that you meet the criteria, please fill out an application, submit your complete application materials, and pay the application-processing fee. The IMTA Credentialing staff will determine if the professional's application materials meet eligibility requirements and will notify participants of their application status within 30 days. IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teachers (CMT) will receive a certification logo and will be listed in the online directory upon payment of the listing fee.

What is the designation IMTA certified teachers may use?

IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teachers can use the associated seal for their websites and promotional literature. They can designate themselves as an "IMTA Certified Mindfulness Teacher" as well as list their certification level, Professional (CMT-P) or, when available, Advanced (CMT-A).


Accreditation

Within the accreditation track, what levels does the IMTA offer?

For educational, institutional and organizational teacher training programs, the IMTA offers the 200-hour Accredited Mindfulness Teacher Training Program, Professional Level credential and plans to offer an Advanced Level program accreditation.

The Credentialing Committee will help standardize the tracks and oversee the growth of accredited, rigorous, well-designed and impactful programs that will guide the development of a new generation of certified mindfulness facilitators, trainers, and teachers. For eligibility and competency requirements for IMTA Accredited Mindfulness Teacher Training Programs, click here.

What is the designation IMTA accredited programs may use?

An accredited organizational program can designate itself as an "IMTA Accredited Mindfulness Teacher Training Program" along with the level: Professional Level (AMTTP-P) or, when available, Advanced Level (AMTTP-A). They will also be given an associated seal to use on their websites and in promotional literature.

Does the IMTA have an accreditation review board?

The IMTA has a Credentialing Committee that serves as its accreditation and certification review board. Currently, the IMTA's Credentialing Committee consists of the IMTA's directors, assisted by the IMTA’s administrative team.

How do I go about getting accredited?

The first step is to review the accreditation requirements through the IMTA, if you believe that your program meets the requirements, please fill out an application and submit your application materials together with the application-processing fee. Upon submission, the Credentialing Committee will review your application, and the IMTA will notify recipients of their application status within 45 days. Following payment of a listing fee, your program will be published in the online directory of IMTA Accredited Mindfulness Teacher Training Programs on the website.