DIRFloortime® Training Program FAQs

I don't have a clinical license or teaching credential. Can I still take these courses?

The DIRFloortime® Training Program (formerly the DIR® Institute) is open to anyone who wants to learn the DIR® model and DIRFloortime® approach that is based on respectful, meaningful interactions that are tailored to each person's individual differences and promotes each person's development to their fullest potential.  There are no college or university education prerequisites to take any of the courses offered except for the DIR 204 level course which requires that a participant hold at least a bachelor's level college degree in occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychology, social work, counseling, medicine, music therapy, or another related field. It is important to know that each person that holds an ICDL DIRFloortime® certificate is required to utilize the information gained in a manner that is appropriate within the laws and regulations of their state or region and within the scope of practice of their profession.  The DIRFloortime® certificates are not "stand-alone" licenses and do not provide any authority for an individual to practice.  Authority to practice as a professional is granted through your state or region's laws or regulations. 

Where can I take these courses? Can I take them online?

ICDL offers the course both online and in-person.  

Do I need to take all courses to receive a certificate?

No. You will receive a certificate each time you successfully complete a course. The certificate will state the level of competencies that you have demonstrated (e.g. basic, intermediate, advanced or expert). You decide how many courses you want to take.

Can I arrange for a course at my agency or area?

Yes, please click here for more information. 

Are continuing education credits offered for professionals?

Please visit our continuing education page for more information.  We offer professional continuing education credits for many professions and we also offer additional ones than are listed on our website for specific conferences, workshops, or courses.  Please e-mail ceu@icdl.com if you have any questions. 

How long will it take me to complete all courses and become a DIRFloortime® Training Leader? How much will it cost?

There are many variables that affect how quickly the courses can be completed.  Each course is generally offered online at least once each trimester.  Therefore, the quickest a student can earn an Advanced Certificate is one year.  Once the student earns an Advanced Certificate, then the student is eligible to take the 204A course to become a Training Leader.  While we encourage students to move through the training as quickly as possible, it is also important that each student takes enough time to digest the information, practice Floortime, and build the skills necessary to successfully complete each subsequent course.  

I only work with children 0-3 years old or children who have severe challenges and function only at the first three capacities. Do I still need to take the second practicum course (DIR 202, Promoting Higher Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities)?

You don't need to take this course unless you want to learn more. However, if you want to learn how to coach caregivers, teachers and other care providers, or even become a DIRFloortime® Training Leader, the DIR 202 is an important course to take first. Children grow up and many of them continue developing higher functional emotional developmental capacities. For you to guide caregivers on how to help children climb the developmental ladder it is important for you to understand and demonstrate competencies in supporting higher capacities. The Training Leaders will give you ideas of how you can demonstrate these capacities with typical developing children or other children with special needs that you could support in your community.

I am a parent of a child with special needs. Can I take these courses? Can I show videos of my child to demonstrate competencies?

Parents of children with Autism and other special needs are encouraged to take any of our courses.  IDIR 101 is open to all professionals and parents alike.  The 200 level courses are designed for professionals, but parents are welcomed to attend as well.  CDL offers certificate courses to anyone wanting to learn the DIR® model and Floortime™principles and to help children and adults with special needs. Many parents of children with special needs are also professionals who work supporting other children with special needs. We generally request that you do not show videos of your own child or other relative during the courses.  If you would like us to consider making an exception, please contact us at dirfloortimetraining@icdl.comMost parents register as Audit Students for DIR 201 and 202.  This is a less expensive option and allows you to join the courses without actually presenting video recordings.  Unless a parent is also a professional (OT, SLP, Psychologist, Social Worker, Teacher, etc.) that works with children, DIR 203 and 204 are not available for parents to attend.  Alternatively, ICDL is developing a parent track of our courses called "Building Floortime Families" with our partner Affect Autism.  These courses are specifically designed for parents of children with special needs. 

I have been receiving training by a tutor. Should I continue? Will these hours count towards my certificate?

Private tutoring is always helpful but is no longer a requirement of the DIRFloortime® Training Program. If you have a good relationship with a Tutor and you want and can afford to continue this tutoring, we encourage you to do so. We encourage you to use a tutor that is an ICDL Training Leader.  If your tutor is not an ICDL Training Leader, we encourage you to have your tutor contact us at dirfloortimetraining@icdl.com to determine if they meet the requirements to be a Training Leader for ICDL.  It is important that the tutor is providing the right type of guidance that is consistent with the model and the DIRFloortime trainings.   

I am considering taking a course in DIR® offered by another organization. Can I still list myself as a DIR® professional and open a DIR® clinic, school or center?

Most reputable and quality training programs, schools, agencies, and centers have progressed through ICDL courses and have permission from ICDL to offer trainings and/or to use the ICDL trademarks.  We have dozens of trainers all around the world leading officially licensed or approved courses.  However, we are aware that there are a few training programs that have begun unofficial trainings that do not meet the ICDL requirements.  We encourage you to be careful as these trainings may not qualify for our internationally recognized certificate program and may not be presenting the information in accurate or appropriate ways.  Some organizations have gone as far as to create confusing names that resemble DIR®, but are not DIR®.  For example, we have seen "DRI," "DIR-FCD," and other renditions that are not officially DIR®.  The organizations we get asked about the most are the following:

  • Profectum: Courses offered by Profectum are not sanctioned by ICDL and are not official DIRFloortime® certificate courses.  There is no opportunity to enter the official DIRFloortime® Training Program with advanced placement. 
  • Play Project: Courses offered by the Play Project are also not officially sanctioned by ICDL, but those that complete the Play Project training to become a Play Project Consultant may enter the DIRFloortime® Training Program  with advanced placement by enrolling in DIR 202. 
  • The Greenspan Floortime Approach: Individuals that complete training with the Greenspan Floortime Approach or the Floortime Center may also enter the official DIRFloortime® Training Program with advanced placement.  Please contact dirfloortimetraining@icdl.com for details.
  • Sensory Connections (Australia): Courses offered are not approved by ICDL and there is no advanced placement option to enter the official DIRFloortime Training Program.  

Most of the leaders from these organizations were trained by ICDL and/or active with ICDL and have gone on to develop their own programs.  We are thrilled to have people learning Floortime, however we have not been able to formally sanction or license these programs.


For students of ICDL’s previous DIR Floortime training format (DIR® Institute):

How do we transition from the previous training levels to the current training courses?

The current courses reflect a focus on specific, progressive, learning objectives, and clear assessment. The below table provides a simplified transition overview.


Past training levels

Current training courses

Introductory Course

DIR 101:Overview of the DIR ® Model and Floortime™ Principles - at least 12 hours course

DIRB (First Presentation: Floortime video)

DIR 201: Promoting Basic Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities

DIRC1 (Second Presentation: "Vignette")

DIR 202: Promoting Higher Functional Emotional Developmental Capacities

DIRC2 (Third presentation: "Long term case" and "Clinical challenge or reflection")

DIR 203: Coaching Caregivers, Teachers, or Care Providers

DIRC3 ("Final paper")

DIR 204B or DIR204A: Becoming and Expert DIRFloortime Provider or Expert Training Leader

If I started my training, how do I know which courses should I take now?

Past training levels

New training courses

If you have attended an introductory course (e.g. online basic course or 2 day course offered by a DIR certificate holder /faculty /facilitator)

REGISTER FOR DIR 201

If you presented a “DIRB case” in 2011 at a DIR Institute or Regional Training

BUT have NOT received tutoring after your “B presentation”

REGISTER FOR DIR 201 as a review student

If you presented a “DIRB case” in 2011 at a DIR Institute or Regional Training

AND received more than 6 sessions of tutoring after your “B presentation”

(we might ask you for a recommendation letter from the tutor stating that you are ready to take this course)

REGISTER FOR DIR 202

If you successfully completed the DIRB training at the Atlanta or Southern California Regional Trainings

REGISTER FOR DIR 202

If you presented a “DIRC1 case” (vignette) at a DIR Institute or Regional Training, and/or are

listed as level II, level II advanced, or intermediate provider on the ICDL website

REGISTER FOR DIR 203

If you presented a "DIRC2 case" (long term case and clinical challenge) at a DIR Institute or Regional Training, and/or are

listed as a level III or advanced provider on the ICDL website

REGISTER FOR DIR 204