National Autism Trainer Programme

AT-Autism and Anna Freud have joined forces to develop a ground-breaking autism train
the trainer programme comissioned by NHS England.

AT-Autism and Anna Freud have joined forces to develop a ground-breaking autism train the trainer programme commissioned by NHS England.

The National Autism Trainer Programme (NATP) will be delivered to 4,800 trainers over three years. This course is suitable for mental health professionals, across all seven NHS England regions, and other relevant staff, who currently work or may work with diagnosed or undiagnosed autistic people from the following settings:

    • adult and children and young people inpatient mental health settings
    • all age community mental health settings, including CAMHS
    • residential special schools and colleges
    • health and justice settings

The training programme is co-designed, co-produced and co-delivered with autistic people and promotes an experience-sensitive, trauma-informed approach. During the pilot in 2022, those who undertook the training agreed or strongly agreed that the course was informative and relevant to their role, and that trainers were engaging and knowledgeable.

No specialist or high-level skills are required to attend the course. However, in order to attend trainees must:

  • be working with a team of mental health professionals in one of the settings listed above
  • have the availability and commitment to complete the four training days (09:00-17:00) over four weeks and, following training, train other staff in their setting
  • have a desire to understand autistic people’s experiences and facilitate training designed by autistic content developers in their facility, to improve outcomes for autistic people
  • actively engage in all training days and complete all reflection questionnaires throughout.

For further information on the programme, including course content and bookings, please visit the National Autism Trainer Programme website  You can also email the team at

This training is additional and complementary to the Oliver McGowan mandatory training on learning disability and autism.

Rather than simply offering answers, AT-Autism training is an empowering approach that stimulates the formulation of practical and ethical solutions. By facilitating the thinking process, providers will be more likely to come up with individualised plans of action rather than applying second hand advice across the board.

Katerina Laskaridou - Training course participant