Our Crisis Response Team (CRT) training has thirty years of evidence-informed and field-tested best practices as a crisis management utility that includes trauma mitigation and education protocols.


Whether you are a caring supervisor or compassionate friend, [Customized Training] provides coaching and skills so that you know what to say and do to assist victims.


Whether you are a caring supervisor or compassionate friend, [Victim Relations Training] provides coaching and skills so that you know what to say and do to assist victims.


NOVA’s Victim Assistance Academy, offered through our National Advocacy Leadership Center provides comprehensive, skill-based training through an innovative on-line platform.



Crisis Response Team Training

With over ten thousand trained in North America and internationally, NOVA CRT training is an effective tool that can be instantly scaled-up for mass-casualty critical incidents.


is a twenty-four hour program. A forty-hour CRT version offers the same basic core but is expanded skill-building and scenario application. View sample agenda


is a twenty-four hour program and builds upon the essential CRT protocols with current best practices and in a ‘refresher’ training context. View sample agenda


is a qualification process for an individual to become a NOVA-approved Basic CRT Trainer. View sample agenda

For school districts seeking a crisis response protocol, NOVA’s Basic Community Crisis Response Team training provides extensive equipping for trauma mitigation and education, consistent with the Department of Education Guide for Developing High Quality School Emergency Plans, pgs 52-53.

If you would like to explore hosting a CRT training, please contact us at

  • Schedule of Trainings
    • Morrow, GA Basic Crisis Response Team Training (limited space available) January 23–25, 2018 Registration
    • San Diego, CA Basic Crisis Response Training March 5–7, 2018 Registration
    • Boulder, CO Advanced Crisis Reponse Training May 9–July 9, 2018 Registration
    • Boulder, CO Basic Crisis Response Training May 14–17, 2018 Registration
    • Morrow, GA Advanced Crisis Response Training September 24–26, 2018 Registration
    • Danbury, CT Basic Crisis Response Team Training
    • Abilene, TX Basic Crisis Response Team Training
    • Boulder, CO Basic Crisis Response Team Training
    • Columbia, SC Advanced Crisis Response Team Training

What is a CRT?

A Crisis Response Team is a group of individuals trained to provide trauma mitigation and education in the aftermath of a critical incident, either small-scale or mass-casualty, scaling the response to the need, from one individual to thousands (i.e., the “Walking Worried”).

NOVA CRT training participants have a minimum of twenty-four hours of skill-based, field-tested training. These teams could be state coordinated (e.g. out of a state attorney general’s office) or local teams (e.g., a school district). Most teams have extensive training and experience in the widest range of traumatic events, from shootings to natural disasters.

How Are NOVA CRTs Trained?

In over twenty-six years of providing crisis response training, service and management consultation, NOVA has trained over ten thousand people to provide basic crisis response services. While NOVA’s Basic Community Crisis Response Team training is twenty-four hours, there is an extended forty-hour program that some prefer. There is also an Advanced CRT program that is twenty-four hours. All official NOVA training has to be provided by a NOVA-approved trainer.

NOVA-trained responders represent a wide range of contexts and vocations. NOVA CRT training is used by tribal communities, mental health professionals, first responders, school counselors, human resource departments and victim advocates, just to name a few.

How Are NOVA CRTs Deployed?

A more precise question is, how are NOVA-trained individuals deployed? With thousands of trained responders all over North America as well as other parts of the world, NOVA-trained crisis responders are likely present in many mass-casualty crises around the nation. NOVA-trained responders are commonly involved in one of three ways:

• In their professional response roles (first responder, public official, etc.), using skills from the NOVA training
• By responding with the state or local NOVA-trained Crisis Response Team.
• By official deployment from the NOVA headquarters. NOVA only deploys with an official invitation from an authorized individuals. Most invitations are referred back to a state or local team with expressed support for mutual aid if needed. Some national deployments, because of the scale, scope, media exposure or expertise specifically requested, are coordinated through NOVA’s national office. While the level of need dictates the
response, the National Crisis Responder Credentialing Program is often on the first-call list.

 If you have any additional questions, please contact us:


Customized Training

Are you in need of professional training on a specific topic? Our trainers can customize a training just for you and your staff, in person or online.

Topic examples:

  • Ethics in Victim Services
  • LGBT issues in Victims of Crime and Crisis
  • Self-Care
  • Stalking and Harassment
  • Male Victimology
  • Suicide prevention and response
  • Death Notifications
  • The Effects of Trauma on the Brain
  • Communication Skills
  • Dynamics of Victimization/Victimology
  • Crisis Response
  • Program Management Skills
  • Sexual Violence and Substance Use
  • Cultural Competency
  • Victim Compensation
  • Retaliation
  • Criminal Justice
Contact us at for more information!

What Do You Say To Someone Traumatized By Violence Or Crisis?

Some people panic, fearful of saying the wrong thing. Others revert to clichés or lectures, thinking that will help. This training is for those whose primary responsibility is NOT victim care.

Whether you are a caring supervisor or compassionate friend, Victim Relations (VR) Training provides coaching and skills so that you know what to say and do to assist victims. Roles like Risk Management or Human Resources are tasked with addressing the needs of customers, clients and/or employees in crisis. NOVA brings decades of experienced in working with traumatized people with the added dimension of expertise of criminal victimization assistance.

Contact us at to discuss a customized one-day contract training that provides practical competencies for communicating with and serving people in crisis. When contacting NOVA, please indicate the nature of your business, the types of crises that you are seeking to support (e.g. employees, customers, etc.) and the number of people you expect to participate in training.

NVAA: Shaping The Future Of Victim Advocacy

The NOVA Victim Assistance Academy (NVAA) is a forty-hour live distance learning training for aspiring and new victim assistance professionals. Offered through NOVA’s National Advocacy Leadership Center (NALC), this unique academy provides comprehensive, skill-based training through an innovative on-line platform.

To join our wait list for the Spring 2018 NVAA, please email the NVAA Program. 

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $350 per student. Group discounts are available for 5 or more students from the same organization. Please contact for more information. NOVA Premier Members receive a 10% discount!

How Do I Apply?

Due to an overwhelming response, registration for the Fall 2017 NVAA is now closed.  To join our wait list for the Spring 2018 NVAA, please email the NVAA Program.  Thank you for your interest!

Why Apply?

CONVENIENT: Expanded access to learning for victim service professionals who may have schedule, geographical or physical limitations with accessing more traditional academies.

SKILL-BASED: Students receive comprehensive, skill-based training in an innovative on-line classroom.

INTERACTIVE: Small class sizes allow students to interact directly with faculty, participate in role plays and group exercises, and talk to their fellow classmates in real time from their home or office.

UNIQUE: Direct access to over 20 nationally-recognized Subject Matter Expert (SME) Faculty Members. See our dynamic faculty members in action!

VALUABLE: Pre-approved by the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)®

Browse through our NVAA Alumni testimonials to learn why these and other victim assistance professionals are choosing the NVAA.

Ask Our Alumni

  • Luis Bispo, MA
    DoD Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)
    Retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major
    Stuttgart, Germany
    NVAA Fall 2014 Alumni

    My Introduction to Victim Advocacy

    While on active duty, I started developing advocacy skills by caring for Soldiers and family members. This was a duty or role in which those in leadership positions had no choice but to engage in caring for others. I had many opportunities to support families when in crisis. This included help finding lodging, providing advice on their budget plans, and reacting to after hour calls including a drive by shooting at their living quarters and on certain occasions attempts of sexual assault at their quarters. When the Army began developing their sexual assault program, I was selected by my Commanding General to lead the implementation of such program in our command in Stuttgart. From this experience, I developed an interest in pursuing a career in victim advocacy. When I retired from the U.S. Army in 2013, I found a job as Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC).

    NVAA’s Impact on my Career

    As a SARC, NVAA is part of my career and professional development. I believe NVAA brings to the table the reality of victim advocacy and experienced instructors that can make me a better SARC.

    My Experience with NVAA Instructors and Staff

    I rate them “way above excellence.” The impression they left regarding their knowledge of every subject was impressive.

    Knowledge and Skills Gained

    I learned how to talk to a victim, what to expect from each of the different scenarios presented, confidentiality (although I have it, the course gave me truthful reasons to accept it from the heart rather than my job alone) and apply it in discussions to show the community we care for victims of sexual assault; how to appreciate what my peers know and their level of knowledge; and listen to others more attentively.

  • Mary-Justine Todd, MPH, MA
    Founder and Executive Director
    Women’s Crisis Care International
    Lagoon, Bahrain
    NVAA Spring 2015 Alumni

    NVAA’s Impact on my Career

    The NVAA training has given me the credentials necessary to run and operate the first rape crisis counseling and response program in the Middle East, Women’s Crisis Care International. Although where we work, primarily, the Kingdom of Bahrain has no credential requirements as it’s not yet a professional widely understood here, having gone through the NVAA gives me confidence that we can make strong claims about our professionalism, training and expertise.

    My Experience Attending a Virtual Academy

    It is equally interesting and rigorous as any classroom course, however it allows you the freedom to do it from your home and in my case, from the Middle East. Without the online platform it would not have been possible for us.

    Knowledge and Skills Gained

    Ideas about how I can improve upon and expand our advocate training that we hold here in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I got lots of ideas about how to improve and add to my current program.

  • Maricella Montoya Carter
    Interim Executive Director
    The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors
    Newport News, VA
    NVAA Spring 2015 Alumni

    My Career in Victim Advocacy

    I have been in the field of victim advocacy for over 20 years from a volunteer to an employee. I started out volunteering at a domestic violence shelter in junior high. Once I graduated, I was hired as an intake worker and eventually as a victim advocate. I went on to work as a case manager in a men’s prison in Arizona. In California, I worked as a victim advocate and house manager for victims of human trafficking for many years. I worked for Homicide Survivors Inc. as a bilingual advocate and now I am with The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors. I started out as the Hispanic Community Outreach Specialist/Victim Advocate and I am now the Interim Executive Director.

    NVAA’s Impact on my Career

    Even though I have years of experience in advocacy, the NVAA gave me the opportunity to learn new practices. Being able to interact with advocates from other areas of the county and world is an invaluable experience. The fact that we had advocacy in common made it even better.

    My Takeaway from the NVAA

    I realized through the academy many of us out here are trying to help victims survive every day. We do not have to carry it all on our own. I find myself reaching out more now to NOVA and other agencies for resources and support.

  • Lakisha Toussaint, MA

    Why the NVAA

    The NVAA offers an interactive experience to assist me in developing my professional skills as a victim advocate. While I am an active duty military officer, I am volunteering as a victim advocate. The NVAA is a vital tool in broadening my skills and providing instruction on how to better serve victims of crime.

    My Experience with a Virtual Academy

    My experience with attending the virtual victim assistance academy was awesome! The online blended course provided a very interactive learning environment. The instructors for the course were experienced and very knowledgeable of their specific area of expertise. They made class very interesting and gave students a chance to interact at their comfort level.

    Knowledge and Skills Gained

    This course provided a lot of insight for me.  I learned a lot through my classmates’ experiences as well as from the instructors.  The NVAA provided vital knowledge to use as a victim advocate.  For example, knowing my role while trying to meet the needs of the survivor was a major takeaway for me during the training.

  • Dede Dacyk
    Assistant Manager, RCMP Victim Services
    Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP) Victim Services
    British Columbia, Canada

    My Introduction into Victim Advocacy

    I joined the Royal Canadian Mountain Police Victim Services team in 2003. I first joined as a Volunteer and then moved to a paid position. I love being a victim service worker.

    My Experience with the NVAA

    I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the NVAA. I found it very interesting to hear about people situated all over the world and all coming together to share their experiences and knowledge of the same cause. Furthermore, the staff and instructors were wonderful. I found them extremely well qualified and knowledgeable on their subject matter.

    Knowledge and Skills Gained

    The nine week NVAA was a great experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the training and actually wish it had gone on longer. Being in this field for 12 years, I found this program a great refresher. I gained different tools and knowledge from each instructor. I also found it interesting to learn of some differences in law and victim advocacy being that I am from Canada.

What is the NOVA Campus Advocacy Training (NCAT) Academy?

The NOVA Campus Advocacy Training (NCAT) is a twenty (20) hour distance learning training designed to meet the growing need for specialized, skill-based training for campus victim advocates.  Offered through our National Advocacy Leadership Center (NALC), the six-week NCAT academy provides participants with advanced training in preventing and responding to sexual assault, stalking and interpersonal violence in higher education.

Graduates of this unique academy will be eligible to apply for the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)®’s new “Campus Advocacy Specialist” Credential, which recognizes campus advocates’ specialized training and professional experience.

Who should apply?

You must be a campus-based advocate or community-based advocate providing services on a college campus to apply.

Applicants are required to complete 40-hours of Introductory Advocacy Training prior to enrolling in the NCAT.  This prerequisite may be satisfied by attending any of the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® Pre-Approved TrainingsOR by completing a cumulative 40 hours of Introductory Advocacy Training in each of the core competency topics defined by NACP.

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) offers free online trainings which will fill this requirement.

Wondering if your experience meets the prerequisite? Please email us at

When is the training offered?

NOVA is now accepting applications for the Winter 2018 NCAT which is scheduled to meet January 17-February 28, 2018 (every Wednesday from 12-3 pm Eastern Time).  Apply on-line TODAY to reserve your spot in this unique academy.  The Academy will be delivered using a blended-learning approach, which includes six consecutive weeks of live, virtual training and self-paced outside assignments designed to foster classroom discussion and interactive learning.  To enhance participation, class size will be limited to forty.  Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until the class is full.

How is it different?

The NCAT is a unique, high-quality training academy which allows students to directly interact with nationally-recognized Subject Matter Experts from the following agencies:


What is the cost?

The NOVA Campus Advocacy Training tuition is $350/student.  Apply before 12/1/17 and enjoy an Early Bird Rate of $300/student.  NOVA members enjoy a 10% discount and group discounts are available for groups of five (5) or more advocates.  Contact NCAT for more information.

How do I apply?

Complete the Online Registration Form

Or print and mail this PDF NCAT Application Form

Have a question or interested in receiving more information regarding the NCAT Academy?

Email us at!