Public Release: 

Setting the gold standard

University of Alberta spinoff company, ProTraining, wins award for online mental health and de-escalation training course

University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

(Edmonton, AB) ProTraining, a University of Alberta spinoff company that provides mental health education and training to emergency personnel, announced today that it won a coveted Brandon Hall Group Gold Award for Excellence in the Learning Category (Best Advance in Custom Content). The prestigious awards program has been running for more than 20 years, and is often referred to as the 'Academy Awards' of the learning industry.

ProTraining developed the program to increase the skills of first responders to de-escalate potentially difficult situations, and to improve interactions with individuals who may have mental health issues.

The program is delivered via a combination of online and in-class training. The online course is the first step in the program, developed in partnership with Edmonton-based testing and training company Yardstick.

"Our online program is based on empirical peer-reviewed research on a new approach to police training. This was conducted over a multi-year period, and the research program led to significant decreases in the use of physical force by police. There were also multiple other benefits from this program," says Dr. Peter Silverstone, a professor and psychiatrist in the University of Alberta's Department of Psychiatry, and chair of the Advisory Board at ProTraining.

After the peer-reviewed training proved so successful, ProTraining was formed as a University of Alberta spinoff company with the help of TEC Edmonton and Yardstick.

"We are always thrilled to hear about our clients' successes," says Jayant Kumar, TEC Edmonton vice president, Technology Management. "We'd like to congratulate ProTraining on being recognized for providing a valuable service to the first responder community."

"Officers interacting with the public need specific skills to decrease the risk of negative outcomes. This online version offers a unique, engaging and interactive way to not only inform officers about useful skills, but also includes realistic video scenarios allowing them to practice these skills" says Dr. Yasmeen Krameddine, post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, and subject matter expert for this online course. According to Krameddine, the ProTraining course is a world leading online program.

"Winning a Brandon Hall Group Excellence Award means an organization is an elite innovator within Human Capital Management. The award signifies that the organization's work represents a leading practice in that HCM function," said Rachel Cooke, chief operating officer of Brandon Hall Group and head of the awards program. "Their achievement is also notable because of the positive impact their work in HCM has on business results. All award winners have to demonstrate a measurable benefit to the business, not just the HCM operation. That's an important distinction. Our HCM award winners are helping to transform the business."


More information about the innovative program can be found at or on the Canadian Police Knowledge Network.

About ProTraining

ProTraining is a University of Alberta spinoff company created with the help of TEC Edmonton. ProTraining provides mental health and de-escalation training courses focusing on saving lives and preventing violent encounters in police interactions using online and classroom training. Courses are developed in partnership with law enforcement, protective service officers, bus operators and security professionals in Canada, America, and European Police Organizations. Contact for custom programming.

About Brandon Hall Group

Brandon Hall Group is a HCM research and advisory services firm that provides insights around key performance areas, including Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Management.

About TEC Edmonton

TEC Edmonton helps technology entrepreneurs accelerate their growth. In addition to being the commercialization agent for University of Alberta technologies, TEC Edmonton operates Greater Edmonton's largest accelerator for early stage technology companies, including both university spinoffs and companies from the broader community. TEC Edmonton provides client services in four broad areas: Business development, funding and finance, technology commercialization and entrepreneur development.

In 2015, TEC Edmonton was identified by the Swedish University Business Incubator (UBI) Index as the 4th best university business incubator in North America, and was also named Canadian "Incubator of the Year" at the 2014 Startup Canada Awards. For more information, visit

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