Brain Story Certification

Learn the scientific underpinnings of the Brain Story from leading experts and be eligible for credits with this free online course, developed by the AFWI.

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What You’ll Learn

Lifelong health is determined by more than just our genes: experiences at sensitive periods of development change the brain in ways that increase or decrease risk for later physical and mental illness, including addiction. That finding is the premise of the Brain Story, which puts scientific concepts into a narrative that is salient to both expert and non-expert audiences. The Brain Story synthesizes decades of research and reflects a body of knowledge that experts agree is useful for policy-makers and citizens to understand.

The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) has developed an online course to make Brain Story science available to professionals and the public. Brain Story Certification is designed for those seeking a deeper understanding of brain development and its consequences for lifelong health. The course is also designed for professionals seeking certification in a wide range of fields. 

Have questions about the course or would like further details? Contact us.

The Courses

BRST 101

Brain story certification

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Brain story certification

An in-depth course for professionals interested in the scientific underpinnings of the Brain Story.

  • 30 hours of instruction time
  • Videos of over 30 leading experts in neurobiology and mental health
  • Certification in Brain Story science

Brain Story Certification is a course endorsed by our Curriculum Committee. For a detailed description of the course contents, download the course outline.


Brain Story Certification is open to anyone at no cost to the learner.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Prerequisites?

There are no prerequisites for the course. Learners may find the content in the What We Know section of this website to be useful background information.

Who is Providing this Course?

The Brain Story course is provided by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) and its parent organization, the Palix Foundation (a private philanthropic organization based in Alberta, Canada).

Who Teaches the Content?

The course faculty for Brain Story Certification comprises 39 of North America's leading experts in neurobiological development and its connection to physical and mental health, including addiction. Their video lectures are excerpts from Symposia hosted in Alberta between 2010 and 2014.

When Must the Course Be Completed?

The course is offered online. Complete them at your own pace.

Is the Course for me?

Brain Story Certification provides detailed science information for those seeking a deeper understanding of brain development and its consequences for lifelong health. The course is challenging but is designed to be interesting and comprehensible to ordinary intelligent people with or without a science background. This course is designed primarily for individuals seeking certification in professions such as health care, policy-making, academia, justice, education, social work, and child care. However, anyone interested in brain development, mental health, and addiction is likely to find the content interesting and is encouraged to enroll.

Is the course graded?

Learners seeking certification will need to pass multiple-choice evaluation questions at the end of each module.

To earn certification, learners must answer 100% of the questions correctly. However, numerous attempts to answer the multiple-choice evaluation questions are permitted in Brain Story Certification. Learners who are not seeking certification may choose to participate in some or all of the evaluation, or may skip the questions and focus exclusively on the learning content.