Improving Systems, Practices, and Outcomes

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Professional Development Network of Program Coaches

The Professional Development Network of Program Coaches is one of four essential support structures:


The Professional Development Network of Program Coaches (PDN) are professional development experts responsible for providing training and coaching to implementation sites. The PDN provides training to increase understanding and application of evidence-based practices and coaching to support high-fidelity implementation of practices at sites.

Watch Program Coach: Guiding Program-Wide Fidelity, a video overview by the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI).


The PDN is key to building personnel capacity in the state. The PDN provides coaching and support to sites, and training for site coaches. PDN program coaches help site Program Leadership Teams (PLT) with data collection and using data for making decisions. PDN program coaches help sites use the Benchmarks of Quality (BoQ) to develop staff buy-in, engage families, set implementation support, and expand practice implementation program-wide.

The PDN will:

  • provide training to PLT on practices and program-wide implementation
  • provide training to implementation site practitioners on the practices
  • provide ongoing support to PLT’s by attending their meetings and assisting with data-use and decision making
  • provide guidance and support to the site practitioner coaches on practice-based coaching and tools for assessing a classroom practitioner’s or home-visiting practitioner’s implementation strengths and needs
  • provide guidance and support to the program data coordinator on measures, collecting data, and using data for making decisions
  • provide training and support to new members of the PDN

For more information, see the Professional Development Network Q&A


The PDN is comprised of individuals from around the state who are experienced providers of training and technical assistance (T/TA) and whose professional responsibilities enable them to commit the time required for the training, TA, coaching, and development activities of the initiative.

The PDN is selected by the State Leadership Team (SLT) during the first year of implementation.

Criteria for selection include:

  • experience and skills as trainers and providers of TA and coaching
  • availability; ability to commit a minimum of .10 full time equivalent (FTE) per month for each site
  • commitment to using the evidence-based practices with fidelity
  • geographic distribution

States can use an application process for selection of network members (e.g., Sample Letter of Invitation and Application Packet for PDN Members). When network members are selected, a commitment to participate should be formalized with a program coach and implementation site agreement signed by the member, the member’s employer, and returned to the State Coordinator.

The PDN is supported by the State Coordinator. The coordinator guides and supports the PDN’s activities and acts as a liaison between the PDN and the SLT. The coordinator attends all training events and TA conference calls, and ensures all resources are in place to support the PDN activities. This includes providing technology for communication and information sharing, organizing training events, and supporting site recruitment.

Time Commitment

The agreement with each PDN program coach should specify the total amount of time (FTE) annually expected for:

  • training for PDN
  • meetings
  • delivery of training on evidence-based practices
  • delivery of program coaching

The commitment of program coaches should be a minimum of three to five years. SLT should plan for a minimum of .10 FTE for each program coach’s support per implementation site. The FTE should also reflect the number of practitioner coaches per implementation site. The number of program coaches will increase as new implementation sites are added.


All members of the PDN are required to participate in training on evidence-based practices and fidelity implementation before beginning implementation activities, to ensure they are proficient in all professional development activities.

PDN members will be proficient in:

  • training techniques
  • TA delivery
  • program coaching
  • practice-based coaching to support the practitioner coach use of selected data tools

The activities are listed in the Program Coach Scope of Work and in the Sample Letter of Invitation and Application Packet for PDN Members.

The PDN establishes a sequence of professional development activities. ECTA Center developed the Sequence for PDN Training Events used for the first year of implementation in the RP2 Intensive TA.


See: Tools