Certified Resilience Trainer Program

The Global Resilience and Inner Transformation (GRIT) Institute is pleased to offer a Certified Resilience Trainer (CeRT) Program. The certification process trains individuals in the Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) model developed by Dr. Sood. 

The two required courses to obtain the certification are: 

  • Transform and 

  • Trainer Skills Intensive (TSI)

Please read the following details to understand your path to becoming a GRIT Institute certified resilience trainer.

We offer three levels of certification:


Level 1: Resilience Qualified 

Level 2: Certified Resilience Trainer

Level 3: Certified Master Resilience Trainer


Level 1 will help you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge of the science and art of stress resilience. 


      • Curricular

        • Complete Transform:  2-day in-person training + 3-month guided long-distance training

      • Evaluation

        • Score 80 percent or higher on knowledge and skills assessment written exam (multiple choice, open book)

      • Certificate:  Submit documentation of the completion of the above to receive a Resilience Qualified certificate from the GRIT Institute.  

FAQ for Level 1:  Resilience QUALIFIED

What can I claim as Resilience Qualified?

A Resilience Qualified person has acquired the necessary knowledge of stress management and resilience concepts and skills to progress to the next phase of training - Certified Resilience Trainer.

I took Transform four years ago and wish to progress to Level 2 (Certified Resilience Trainer Program). Do I need to repeat the Transform course or take the knowledge and skills assessment test to register for Level 2?

You do not need to. We will offer you a short refresher during the Level 2 training to help bolster your stress and resilience knowledge and skills. The knowledge and skills assessment test in Level 2 will incorporate the content that is included at Level 1.

I took Transform four years ago and presently do not wish to progress to Level 2. I do, however, wish to receive Resilience Qualified Certificate. What are my options?

Please send us a request indicating your interest. You will have to take a knowledge and skills assessment written exam (multiple choice, open book) to receive the certificate.


Level 2 training helps you deepen your resilience knowledge and practice, learn and refine teaching skills, and get certified in presenting SMART. The entire level 2 certification can be completed long-distance. 

Prerequisites: Completed Level 1 (Resilience Qualified).

  • Individuals registering for Level 2 who have taken Transform prior to March 2019 will not be required to take the written knowledge and skills assessment test.

  • Individuals who have completed the Transform course prior to March 2016 are encouraged to repeat the course to refresh their knowledge. However, this is presently a suggestion, not a requirement.


      • Eligibility

        • Bachelor’s degree or higher

      • Curricular

        • Complete the Trainer Skills Intensive 

        • Complete a minimum six hours of mentorship (in-person or telementoring) with a master certified resilience trainer

      • Practicum

        • Conduct ten SMART sessions (at least two of these sessions have to be group training involving five or more participants) 

        • Have an established personal resilience practice

      • Evaluation

        • Submit evaluations from at least two sessions (including at least one group session)

        • Provide recommendation letters from two individuals or supervisors who have worked closely with the applicant 

        • Score 80 percent or higher on knowledge and skills assessment written exam (multiple choice) 

        • Obtain a passing grade on a one-hour telephonic oral exam

      • Certificate:  Submit documentation of the completion of the above items with the application form and receive a Certified Resilience Trainer (CeRT) certificate from the GRIT Institute. Please email us to receive a copy of the application form.  


      • Certified to teach the SMART sessions (four-module) to individuals or groups

        • Each module of the SMART program is approximately 30-45 minutes long 

      • Receive all the trainer resources 

      • Membership in the network of the GRIT Institute Certified Resilience Trainers

      • Participate in yearly retreat (optional)

FAQ for Level 2:  Certified Resilience Trainer

Do I have to travel to Rochester, MN for enrolling or participating?

You are welcome to, but do not have to travel to Rochester. The entire training can be completed through a combination of online and telephonic training.

By what date should I complete the enrollment to start the course ?

Please complete your enrollment at least a month in advance. Please note that while we will make every effort to honor your preferred date, we are constrained by a high interest in the program. We are grateful for your patience.

(Note - The May-December 2019 classes are full. We are currently enrolling for January 2020. Thanks.)

How is the group structured?

Each group will have up to six participants.

Who will I be working with for my training?

You will be directly working with Dr. Sood for the entire training.

What are the dates of the phone sessions?

We will set the dates for the sessions based on the convenience of all the participants in a group. The first phone session is often the second Friday of the month.

How long will it take for me to complete the Certified Resilience Trainer (CeRT) program? 

If you have already completed the Transform course, then it will take an additional three months.

If you are starting fresh, the total time it will take is six months.

What resources will I receive as a trainer? 

The GRIT Institute will provide the following resources to help certified trainers succeed in teaching the program: 

We will make every effort to send you a personally signed copy of these books (no additional cost).

* The instructor guide outlines the basic content of the course.

** We will provide the template for the presentation that you will then personalize and enhance with images that are likely to appeal to your audience.

Can I modify the SMART program to my preference after my training? 

We strongly suggest the trainers follow the structured four-module program. Each module of this program is approximately 30 to 45-minutes long. Within that construct, we will work with you individually to customize the program to your background and needs.  The customization process will include adding your preferred images to the PPT presentation, including your stories and metaphors in the program, and adapting the program to your audience.

What can I claim as a certified trainer?

A certified resilience trainer has acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to teach the four modules of the SMART program and any additional curricula approved by The GRIT Institute to be taught by resilience trainers. Upon issuance of the trainer certificate, you can represent yourself as an approved trainer of the SMART program per The GRIT Institute. You will be included in the list of the GRIT Institute network of certified resilience trainers at the website resiliencetrainer.com.

Please note that this certification does not provide you with the credentials to teach SMART or another resilience program in clinical (medical or psychiatric) setting to patients for improving mental health or other medical conditions. This certification is for providing SMART training to enhance general wellbeing and resilience. 

Who takes the Trainer Skills Training Program?

The training is not limited to a particular professional group. The most common professionals who have previously participated in the program are: psychologists, social workers, wellness coaches, health care providers, managers/directors of wellness and resilience programs, HR personnel, personal trainers, corporate executives, student leaders, K-12 educators, higher education. The GRIT Institute welcomes these and other groups to pursue resilience training.

What are the core competencies of the certified trainers? 

The core competencies of the certified trainers cover your skills in delivering high quality content and your commitment to lead a good virtuous life. The five core competencies are:   

  • Passion – A drive to make a positive contribution to the world

  • Excellence – A desire to excel in the chosen work

  • Authenticity – A coherence in thoughts, words and actions

  • Compassion – A disposition of kindness toward others and self

  • Ethics – A commitment to live with the highest morals

In addition, your ability to engage and inspire individuals and group in a participatory program, will be important to successfully teaching the SMART program. 

How do individuals use their training? 

The GRIT Institute certified trainers teach SMART program in a variety of settings to adults, both as individuals and groups. Some of the common settings include corporate, schools, universities, hospitals, clinics, individual coaching, government entities, and others. 

How long is the certification valid? How can I maintain my certification?  

The initial certification is valid for three years. Individuals can renew their certification for three years by participating in a yearly retreat/course offered by The GRIT Institute, along with teaching the SMART program at least 20 times in the three years. 

I completed the Transform or AIT (Attention and Interpretation Therapy) course few years ago and am already teaching the SMART program. Can I continue to teach the program without additional training? 

You can continue to teach the program based on your current training and credentials but would not be able to represent yourself as a Certified Resilience Trainer. If you prefer not to take additional training, you are encouraged to complete the requirements for, and receive the Resilience Qualified certificate.

Do I receive Continuing Ed Unit credits for participation? 

Since we have a wide variety of participants from different fields, we have chosen not to apply for the education credits. We typically provide the number of training hours along with the curriculum of the course and encourage individual participants to obtain credits from their respective organizations. 

What are some personal benefits of becoming a certified resilience trainer?

The following are some of the personal benefits previous participants and trainers have reported as a result of participating in the resilience programs: 

  • Improved personal resilience

  • Decreased stress

  • Improved wellbeing

  • Lower anxiety

  • Enhanced mindfulness

  • Increased happiness

  • Better health behaviors

  • Improved relationships

  • Greater clarity 

  • Improved physical health

  • Weight loss

  • Enhanced sense of self-worth

  • Better focus

  • Greater career success

  • Deeper spirituality

Also, you will become part of a community of members who are committed to living a life guided by higher principles. 

What will I learn during my training?

Please look at the description of the Transform course for details.

A brief description of the Trainer Skills Intensive is summarized near the end of this webpage. We will provide you more details after your registration.  

What are the cancellation policies? 

The student can cancel their participation at any time. The following is the reimbursement schedule on cancellation: Up to two-weeks prior to start of the TSI course - 100% refund; Within two-weeks of the start of the TSI course - 50% refund; After the start of the TSI course - 25% refund.

The GRIT Institute reserves the right to cancel student’s participation for disruptive behavior. If The GRIT Institute cancels a student’s participation after the start of the TSI course, then 50% of the tuition will be refunded.

How do I license the program? 

Upon receiving the Certified Resilience Trainer certificate, you will be able to license the SMART program.

No additional licensing fee will be charged to the individuals. A small revenue share is part of the licensing for individuals teaching the program for profit. 

If you are an employee of an organization, this license covers training up to one hundred employees. Please email us if you are an organization or a company, or wish to provide training within an organization, company, or any entity with more than one hundred employees, for details about an organizational license. 

What are the expectations of Certified Resilience Trainers?

  • Contribute toward improving the wellbeing of their community

  • Live by the principles of gratitude, compassion, acceptance, meaning, and forgiveness 

  • Never misuse their position of power and respect

  • Treat their students with courtesy, professionalism, and grace

  • Follow the law of the land

What is the GRIT Institute?

The GRIT Institute’s purpose is to help create a stronger, kinder, and happier world. The initial activity of the GRIT Institute will be to support the training of individuals who wish to become certified resilience trainers. The GRIT Institute will expand its work and collaboration in the coming years depending on its resources and the felt societal needs.



    • Complete Level 1 and 2

    • Be invited to apply for Level 3


      • Practicum

        • Conducted over 100 resilience sessions (individual or group) with excellent reviews and taught resilience for more than three years (this requirement is flexible for exceptionally experienced trainers) 

        • Have an established personal resilience practice 

      • Evaluation

        • Score 80 percent or higher on knowledge and skills assessment written exam 

        • Oral Exam – one hour, by phone 

        • Submit a one-page essay of how you have applied resilience in your life

        • Submit a one-page essay on how SMART and Transform programs can be improved

      • Certificate:  Submit documentation of the completion of the above four items with the application form to receive a Certified Master Resilience Trainer certificate from the GRIT Institute


      • Certified to teach SMART sessions to individuals or groups 

        • As a Master Resilience Trainer you will be eligible to teach longer versions of the SMART program (half and full day)

      • Receive all the GRIT Institute trainer resources  

      • Participate, in collaboration with the GRIT Institute, in conducting Trainer Skills Intensive 

      • Mentor Resilience Qualified and Certified Resilience Trainers

      • A proportion of Certified Master Resilience Trainers will be invited to participate in, and eventually, teach the Transform course

Program Costs

The following is the fee for the individuals. Please contact us if you are an organization interested in bringing SMART to your institution.

Level 1: Resilience Qualified: $2750


  • Transform Course: Two-day in-person course + Three months of distance learning + One day in-person course conclusion (optional)

  • Participant materials

  • A copy of the following books  

  • Resilience Qualified Certification:

    • Knowledge and skills assessment test

    • Application processing

    • Issuance of certificate

  • If you completed Transform prior to March 2019, are not planning on registering for Level 2 and wish to obtain a Resilience Qualified Certificate, you will have to take the Knowledge and skills assessment test. Please submit your request for taking the exam along with the dates you took the Transform course. A $650 application fee will be charged.

  • Cancellation policy: Up to two-weeks prior to start of the Transform course - 100% refund; Within two-weeks of the start of the Transform course - 50% refund; After the start of the Transform course - 25% refund.

Level 2: Certified Resilience Trainer: $2550


Total cost for certification (Includes Transform + TSI): $5300

Total cost for applicants registering for Level 1 and Level 2 combined: $4600

  • Cancellation policy: Up to two-weeks prior to start of the TSI course - 100% refund; Within two-weeks of the start of the TSI course - 50% refund; After the start of the TSI course - 25% refund.

The GRIT Institute’s mission is to disseminate the resilience skills globally and wishes not to limit the training based on an individual or organization’s ability to pay. In most of our courses we feel blessed in welcoming a proportion of students on scholarship. If you or your organization is financially constrained, please submit your request for a scholarship with a statement supporting your request. We will do our very best to honor each request.

If your resources allow, please consider sponsoring applicants who are not able to afford the tuition. 

Program Summaries

The following is a summary of the Transform, Trainer Skills Intensive (TSI), and the SMART program.  


  • What is Transform? 

    • Two-day in-person training followed by three-month, guided, long-distance learning that shares the science and art of stress, resilience, mindfulness, and wellbeing

  • Who teaches Transform? 

    • Dr. Amit Sood

  • Who participates in Transform? 

    • Individuals enrolled in Certified Resilience Trainer course who are interested in teaching SMART. In addition, individuals interested in in-depth understanding of stress, resilience, mindfulness, and wellbeing, but not particularly inclined to teach these concepts, also participate in Transform 

  • How long is Transform? 

    • Three months

Trainer skills intensive (TSI) 

  • What is TSI? 

    • TSI helps students enrolled in certified resilience trainers program deepen their resilience knowledge and practice, and learn and refine skills in teaching SMART

  • Who teaches TSI? 

    • Certified Master Resilience Trainers

  • Who participates in TSI? 

    • Individuals interested in teaching SMART 

  • How long is TSI? 

    • Three months

  • What is the structure and content of TSI? 

    • The three-month TSI program is divided into six modules. The modules are designed to help you with the following:

      • Master the SMART content

      • Become well-versed with the SMART presentation

      • Discover and integrate your personal stories and metaphors

      • Hone your presentation style

      • Implement positive personal change/s

      • Explore your personal meaning

      • Cultivate a daily gratitude and kindness habit 

    • You will spend at least six hours of direct contact by phone or in person with one or more of the certified master resilience trainers.

Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) 

  • What is SMART? 

    • SMART is the four-module stress management and resiliency program offered by certified trainers to individuals and groups. 

  • Who teaches SMART? 

    • Certified Resilience Trainers and Certified Master Resilience Trainers

  • Who participates in SMART? 

    • Anyone interested in learning stress management and resilience concepts and practices

  • How long is the SMART Program? 

    • Each module of the four-module SMART program is taught in two versions: 30 and 60 minutes long. The four-module program thus has two versions:

      • SMART (light) is two hours long

      • SMART (full) is four hours (half a day) long

        Please contact us if you have any additional questions or comments about the Certified Resilience Trainer Program. We are grateful for your interest.