MSBF Trainer

An MSBF (Makaton Signing for Babies and Families) Trainer is usually a professional or parent with considerable practical experience of using Makaton in an early years setting.

An MSBF Trainer can deliver Makaton Signing for Babies and Families  to parents, carers and Early Years Professionals and the children in their care.

As a Makaton Trainer, you can now maximise your income by offering freelance training services. Build your own business, on your own terms, at a pace that you decide. Your MSBF sessions can be advertised on the Makaton website.

MSBF Train the Trainer

This training focuses on information giving, signing and activities. It also includes sessions on the delivery of Makaton Signing for Babies and Families , paying particular attention to the format and presentation of sessions, to encourage learning while having fun. Additional signs and symbols related to babies and toddlers are taught.


An MSBF Train the Trainer workshop is one day, where you will be required to deliver a session from Makaton Signing for Babies and Families .

Entry criteria

Prior to applying to become a Makaton Signing for Babies and Families Trainer, you must have attended the following workshops within the last 5 years.

  • Makaton Signing for Babies and Families Sessions
  • Level 1 and 2 Workshops

Course details

The Makaton Signing for Babies and Families Train the Trainer course is a one-day course:

  • Part 1 (½ day) is a taught session, providing you with additional information related to MSBF.
  • For Part 2 (½ day) you will present a Makaton Signing for Babies sample signing session. This is assessed and counts towards your qualification as a Makaton Signing for Babies Trainer.

The cost of this one-day training course includes tuition and relevant course materials. You will be notified of the outcome of your assessment by The Makaton Charity.

On successful completion of this training you will be issued with a Makaton Signing for Babies and Families Trainer Certificate and you can then apply for a licence to practise.

Essential Attainment Levels for Certification as a Makaton signing for Babies and Families Trainer

Makaton Signing for Babies and Families Trainers must:

  1. Have a clear understanding of the design of the Makaton Vocabulary Language Programme, and the manner in which it can be adapted for use with parents, babies, and children.
  2. Be able to sign the Makaton Signing for Babies and Families Vocabulary accurately and fluently, with good recall and appropriate use of directionality, placement, facial expression and body language.
  3. Understand the relationship between BSL and the use of signs with the Makaton Language Programme.
  4. Be aware of other baby sign programmes available in their area and be aware of the difference and similarities in all systems.
  5. Know how to use Makaton Symbols to meet the differing needs of developing babies and methods of combining them with signs and speech in a multi-modal approach.
  6. Have a good general knowledge of the current relevant research related to the use of signing with babies.
  7. Be able to recognise the different needs of parents and carers and recommend the Makaton Language Programme where appropriate and advise on other training or sources of help and advice.
  8. Be proficient in using the recommended Makaton methods for teaching signs to parents and carers.
  9. Be proficient in providing Makaton Signing for Babies and Families Training.
  10. Know when to request the assistance and professional contribution of their Makaton Tutor or The Makaton Charity.

Find training

Go to Find training to search for training in your area, or call the training team on 01276 606777 and they will put you in touch with a tutor near you.

If you require clarification, please contact the Training Team on [email protected]