Training & Education.

Robert Goodman, inventor of the SDQ, estimates that there are a significant number of children and young people (5% or more) with serious, but unrecognised mental health disorders. We perceive that the SDQ now needs to facilitate embedding within organisations to expand assessment coverage and treatment of the entire population of children, particularly pre-teens. Our goal is to see that every child between the age of 4 to 17 is assessed at least once a year.

We see formal education, training and qualification of SDQ practitioners as perhaps the key aspect of organisational acceptance and maintenance of mass mental health screening within organisations. We particularly identify “ordinary” schools as the most important focus for mass screening programmes, but recognise as well the benefits of organisational focus for social services, clinical practice and other caring organisations.

Training and education required Since 2016, the SDQ has been developed beyond the decade-old paper questionnaire and scoring website model. Longitudinal and self-entered assessment have been introduced as well as software tools for supporting cohorts (e.g., classes, practice lists, special needs groups), much-enhanced data export and even interfaces with organisation-wide patient, client and student management systems.

SDQ practitioners within organisations are likely to benefit from having a wider range of eduction and skills than required of early adopters. Requirements may involve, for example:

  • managing, justifying, promoting and organising SDQ assessment initiatives
  • training and succession within SDQ-adopting organisations
  • export, analysis and presentation of SDQ data in a complete organisational context
  • competence in using, supervising and training through the full range of SDQ software services (SDQscore, SDQplus, SDQcohort, DAWBA)
  • understanding of data protection and consent in the SDQ context
  • interfacing the SDQ to organisational computer systems.

Professionally recognised certification and accreditation would be an important aspect of SDQ training. We will advise, assist and formally certify organisations and individuals who establish appropriate training and education programmes for the SDQ.


Organisations and individuals are invited to contact Professor Mike Smith at to discuss involvement in the SDQ training initiative.