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About the Behavioral First Responder Certification

Behavioral First Responder (BFR) is the definitive course in behavioral healthcare training for outdoor educators, camp counselors, guides, SAR team members, and others who work or play outdoors. The curriculum is comprehensive and practical, including the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage behavioral problems in Experiential Education. 

Online or In-Person

The Behavioral First Responder can be taken either online and at your own pace or at an in-person training. We offer both level 1 and level 2 training in either course format. To see a schedule of upcoming in-person courses, click HERE.

What to Expect

Depending on which course and modality you choose to enroll in, there will be different time commitments. Below is a chart of the average times it takes to complete the BFR courses in their various formats. 

BFR Level 1:

  • Fully online: 12 Hours

  • In-person: 8 Hours over one day

BFR Level 2:

  • Fully online: 30 Hours

  • In-person: 16 Hours over two days


There is no required textbook for this certification. However, if you are interested in the curriculum in textbook form, you can purchase Behavior and Group Management by Dr. Alan Ewert and Dr. Curt Davidson. HERE

Completion and Grades

OnlineSuccessful completion with certification is based on 100% completion, an 80% or better on each assessment, and a score of 80% or better on the final exam. Alpenglow is committed to making reasonable accommodations for any student with special concerns regarding their ability to complete the course.

In-Person: Only attendance is required for successful completion when taking this course in-person. However, we reserve the right to withhold certification based on reasonable expectations and effort during your in-person course. 


All eligible students who complete the course will receive their certificate to complete the Behavioral First Responder, which remains valid for three years.


Individuals can earn Re-certification at any time during the three years following your course. Re-certification involves completing an additional 12 hours of continuing education on the BFR website or in-person at a recertification course.


There are no prerequisites for the BFR Certification for either Level 1 or Level 2. Further, you do not need to take the level 1 course prior to taking level 2.


The following is an example of the curriculum included in both levels of the BFR Certification.

Level 1
  • Deescalation Techniques
  • Preventative Strategies
  • Group Living Agreements
  • Conflict Resolution
  • And much more!
Level 2
Everything covered in Level 1 Plus...
  • Relevant Theories
  • Collaborative & Organizational Leadership
  • Considerations for Specific Populations
  • Programmatic Considerations for Mental Health Promotion
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