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The SCAA Lead Instructor Credential can be obtained by participating in the Instructor Development Program (IDP), one of our most popular professional development programs. Through this program, Specialty Coffee Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) can advance their training and education skills through workshops on adult learning principles in the workplace, instructional design (based on the ADDIE model developed by the American Society for Training & Development), testing, evaluation, and class management.

Upon completion of the one-day program, students earn the SCAA Lead Instructor Credential and are eligible to volunteer as a Lead Instructor or Station Instructor at SCAA events, through vetting by the SCAA Professional Development Committee. Furthermore, the Lead Instructor Credential is an extremely useful skill set for those professionals with training responsibilities in their companies. There is no obligation to teach at SCAA events upon achieving the SCAA Lead Instructor Credential.

Many students enthusiastically report an increase in quality and delivery of their training and instructional design in their own companies after completing the IDP. This course is particularly beneficial for the coffee expert who trains others, but has no formal coursework in training, adult education, or organizational learning. The SCAA Lead Instructor Credential brings professionalism to any trainer's qualifications, but also provides real skills that are a benefit to any business, such as Instructional Design, applied theories of Adult Learning, classroom management strategies, measuring learning and success metrics, test analysis and basics of design, and more.

As a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), an affiliate of the International Standards Organization, (ISO), SCAA maintains third-party recommendations for our training programs, ensuring the most credible and neutral experience for our participants.

The learning objectives of this program are as follows:

  1. Recognizing education and training as an element of organizational success.
    • Orientation to the SCAA's Professional Development department.
    • Incorporating your company's mission, vision and strategic goals into your training initiatives.
    • Instructor and trainer competencies for the SCAA and at work.
  2. Applying adult learning principles.
    • Recognize four key adult learning principles
    • Independence
    • Preparedness
    • Experience
    • Application
    • Grasp basics of adult learning theory and begin translating theory into practice.
    • Identify characteristics of adult learners and take them into consideration when conducting classes.
    • Recognize how adult learners process information, and strategize class design.
  3. Setting clear, measurable skill and knowledge objectives.
  4. Designing instruction using the ADDIE model of the American Society for Training and Development.
  5. Exhibiting professional presentation skills.
  6. Evaluating learner performance and leveraging learning back at work.

SCAA Lead Instructor Credential

No expiration (50 years)

Credit Code

Class Name


SCAA Instructor Development Program


Instructor Code of Conduct*

*New requirement as of January 1, 2015