By Joanna Dodder Nellans

With its focus on hiring quality instructors, Arizona Provider Training has expanded its classrooms from Phoenix to seven Arizona locations in just two years. The latest expansion brought APT to the Prescott region in May.

APT offers a wide variety of classes in English and Spanish that Arizona requires for certain jobs including schoolteachers, nurses, daycare center employees, and people who care for developmentally disabled people; the latter are increasingly family members.

APT also offers classes to anyone who just wants to learn first aid and other lifesaving techniques (see online for a list of courses). Free CPR classes are planned for Prescott Valley, and APT can custom design on-site group courses.

One of the newest classes helps babysitters elevate their ‘cred’ with a certificate showing they’ve learned safety and injury prevention tips, leadership skills, playtime techniques, basic caregiving skills, and first aid during the half-day session.

“There’s just a real need for quality training,” said Alison Pattison, APT founder, and CEO. Last May alone, 1,445 students signed up for APT classroom courses and another 864 enrolled in online courses; 120 agencies use APT programs featuring 21 trainers.

Pattison said she makes a concerted effort to hire and train experts in each instructional field.

“Our trainers really connect with people and prepare them,” Pattison said. “Everybody brings their own stories and experiences.”

Comments gathered from students agree.

“Patrick was amazing, total chill and people person, great personality,” said student Jennifer Yvonne, who completed the “Article 9” course for people who care for the developmentally disabled. “Very informative and knowledgeable…There is nothing I would change about the class. Nothing.”

Pattison, who has taught at the university and elementary levels, uses her extensive experience and education to design APT curricula. She earned a bachelor’s in Elementary Education, master’s in School Counseling and doctorate in Education: Organizational Leadership.

For example, research has shown that adult leaders want to integrate their training with work experience. So Pattison makes sure that students get plenty of class time to talk about how their jobs relate to their training.

“I feel I was given an ample amount of practice. I left with a good grasp of the concepts covered,” Paige Quinn said of her recent CPR class.

“We focus on hiring great people that share our company’s mission to be the leader in caregiver education by delivering exceptional training, inspiring excellence, positively impacting our community, and transforming lives through education,” APT Director of Operations Marie O’Herron said. “We believe there is a direct link between exceptional training and delivering quality care. We provide people with the skills they need to positively impact others, and that makes what we do very special.”