3-day basic training course


The three-day Rock & Water training course is the only course that trains participants to become a certified Rock and Water Basic Trainer. This training provides an extensive and complete insight into the Rock and Water methodology. By learning and experiencing all exercises and games, the three-day basic training has a positive impact on both the personal and professional development of the participants.

Participants who have completed the full three-day Rock & Water Basic Training will receive a certificate. This certificate enables them to work with all 24 lessons of the program within the pedagogical setting in which they were trained (see pedagogical competence). It is limited to teaching young people and adults but is not an accreditation for providing a Train-The-Trainer course or an accreditation for training teachers yourself. The Rock & Water Institute/Gadaku Institute is the only organisation that organises, coordinates and facilitates training for teachers and other educational- or healthcare professionals.

Most specializations are only accessible to accredited Rock and Water Basic Trainers.

Study load

A complete Rock & Water course includes three consecutive days with a contact time of 24 hours and an estimated study load of 40 hours (minimum study load 12 hours). During the training, all exercises and games from the program are practiced and experienced.

Participants are only accredited by the Rock and Water Institute if they have been present at all times (100% attendance requirement) and have actively participated in the training. The latter is at the discretion of the Master trainer who provides the training on site.

Objective basic program

Main Goal: To enhance positive development of social and emotional competencies and reduce problems in the intrapersonal domain (how students see themselves) and the interpersonal domain (how students interact with each other).

The intrapersonal domain includes such things as: psychological well-being, sexual autonomy, internalizing behavior, depressive feelings. The interpersonal domain includes: reducing or preventing aggression, sexually transgressive behavior, bullying and being bullied.

This is done by teaching social skills together with peers, in a school setting that involves all students. The motivation and involvement of students is high due to the physical exercises, games and real situations (scenario training) and safe atmosphere in which they are practiced. In each lesson, exercises and games are regularly interspersed with moments of psychoeducation, self-reflection and discussions. Each lesson is concluded with a processing assignment to optimize transfer from exercise to practice. Learning to use the Rock and Water concept gives students a better understanding of social situations and the impact of and on their own behavior. Rock stands for being able to indicate one’s own boundaries, to make decisions independently, to go one’s own way. Water represents communication, being able to listen, look for solutions together, and respect the boundaries of others. As this process progresses, they learn to make informed decisions in social situations, and develop more and more versatile behavioral alternatives.

Target group basic program

The Rock and Water basic program is a universal intervention and targets all students aged 9 to 18, in primary education, both regular and special primary education. Secondary (special) education and intermediate vocational education. This may include special attention to students with specific support needs in their social-emotional development. In addition, several specialization courses have been developed that focus on other target groups (for example, younger childred, grades 1 through 6). See what options are available at the bottom of this text.

Pedagogical competence

Classes are taught primarily by the own group teacher or PE teacher. Other possibilities are the mentor, internal supervisor, care coordinator or another (qualified) teacher or external trainer who has attended the three-day Rock and Water Basic Training. The Rock and Water trainings are conducted at the working and thinking level of higher professional education. Rock and Water trainers may only teach Rock and Water classes within the pedagogical setting in which they have been previously educated and in their field of work. Thus, the performer already has an appropriate education such as, for example, (PE) teacher etc. This means that they already have the didactic and pedagogical competencies to teach the relevant target group. To clarify, a teaching assistant may indeed participate in the three-day Rock and Water Basic Training, but he or she only acts as an assistant to the teacher and not as the main trainer. In case the Rock and Water lessons at school are provided by an external trainer, the school is advised to always inquire whether the trainer has a Certificate of Conduct and what his/her prior education is. In addition, the presence of one’s own teacher at classes is strongly advised.

Required competencies:

  • Have knowledge of the developmental psychology from school child to adolescent;
  • Have knowledge of structure and content of lesson series for students;
  • Understanding the basic principles of the Rock and Water program, such as the three building blocks, four red threads and the principle of psychophysical work;
  • Be able to perform and demonstrate the practice forms offered to students;
  • Be able to evaluate and interpret implemented forms of work with the group of students;
  • Be able to adapt forms to the age and, if necessary, specific learning or developmental needs of students;
  • Be able to respond appropriately to different student responses to particular exercises.
  • Have insight into one’s own performance to create a positive teaching relationship.

These competencies are worked on intensively in the training.

Through the three-day Rock & Water Basic Training, the Rock & Water Basic Trainer certificate is acquired. The three-day Basic Training includes three consecutive training days with a contact time of 24 hours, of which 20% is theory sessions and 80% is practical practice of (role) playing, exercises, and reflection. During the three-day training, all exercises from the Rock and Water manual are practiced and/or shown and/or discussed. In addition, the aspirant trainer goes through the manual with lesson plans and theory, video scenes and instructional films, for which there is an estimated course load of 40 hours (minimum 12 hours).The training is subject to an 100% attendance and active participation requirement. The manual and accompanying video materials are only available when attending the corresponding training and are therefore not sold separately. Training should be given according to the content and guidelines of the Rock and Water Manual.

Maintaining accreditation

The duration of the accreditation of the certified trainer (obtained by attending the 3-day Rock and Water basic training) is limited. Every four years after obtaining the Rock and Water trainer certificate, one must participate in a Refresher Day or one of the Rock & Water specialization courses. If this requirement is not met, the Rock & Water trainer in question will be listed as inactive in the Rock and Water database and clients can be notified upon request (school board, parents, etc.).

Practical information

Locations: The basic training course is offered at various locations in the Netherlands: Sports Center Oudenrijn near Utrecht, Leek (Groningen), Weerselo (Overijssel) and Heeze (North Brabant). In Belgium, the training takes place in Ghent, Antwerpen and Herzele. In addition, it is possible for a school/organization to purchase the basic training as an in-company (for more information see ‘In-company Trainings’). All courses are organized by the Gadaku Institute / Rots en Water NL and are presented by experienced Rock en Water Master Trainers.
Costs: € 890,- (VAT exempt). Costs include coffee, tea, lunch, the Rock and Water practical book, student booklets parts 1 & 2, a USB flash drive with video material and Powerpoint presentations.
Duration: The training consists of three consecutive days with a contact time of 24 hours and an estimated study load of 40 hours (minimum study load 12 hours).
Times: Starts at 8:30 am (entry possible from 8:00 am). End 5:15 PM.
Trainers: Freerk Ykema, Nick van Deudekom, Klaas van der Veen, Harriette Modderman, Bart Denaux, Stijn Janssens, Jordy Heinsdijk, Marcel Venis en Veerle Van Elsen.
Accreditations: SKJ, Stichting Kwaliteitsregister Jeugd (36 points; SKJ 213510). Accreditation runs until March 15, 2026.
Register Vaktherapie (35 PE-punten) till 28-11-2024.
Registerplein (23 PE-points) till 05-09-2024.


Participants are only certified by the Rock and Water Institute if they have been present at all times (100% attendance requirement) and have actively participated in the training. The latter is at the discretion of the Master trainer who provides the training on site.

This training can also be purchased as an in-company training where the entire team can be trained. An in-company training can provide a school with financial benefits.

For more information about the Rock and Water program, see: What is the Rock and Water program? – Rock and Water