Staying Healthy Through Education and Prevention (STEP)

Chapter 2: How to Use the Guide

Man standing, holding cane


This chapter provides information on how to use the Web-based STEP Implementation Guide and points out chapters of interest to various staff members in the CCRC community who are considering implementing this program.


After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Identify which chapters in the STEP Implementation Guide are relevant to the community's Senior Leadership Team.
  • Identify which chapters STEP Program Coordinators should read and use in planning and administration of the STEP program.
  • Identify the chapters Instructors should use in their training, preparation, presentation, and implementation of the STEP program.
  • Understand the need for and materials to cover in the staff training workshop. This training can be run by either a staff member or an outside consultant who specializes in physical activity programs for seniors.

Key Points

This chapter will define the leadership and administrative roles that you will need to fill to implement and maintain STEP.

Target Audience for STEP Implementation Guide

The STEP Implementation Guide provides materials and information to four distinct audiences in your community: the Senior Leadership Team (Administration), the STEP Program Coordinator, STEP Instructors, and the STEP Workshop Instructor (if applicable). Note that in some communities, the STEP Program Instructors, Coordinator, and Workshop Instructor roles will be filled by the same person.

Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team should be made up of the administrative decisionmakers in your community. Their support is essential to successfully implement this program. The following chapters in the STEP Implementation Guide will aid the leadership team in understanding the program and identifying programmatic features that will allow them to decide whether implementing this program is a priority:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction provides a summary of the STEP study as well as specific features of the STEP physical activity program.
  • Chapter 3: Implementation of the STEP Program outlines the information you should gather to determine if your community is ready to start this program.
  • Chapter 4 through 10 summarize each component of the STEP program. These chapters can assist the leadership team in understanding what would be involved on a day-to-day basis if the program were implemented.

STEP Program Coordinator

This staff member has overall responsibility for STEP program implementation and coordination. This role includes scheduling the strength and behavior classes, maintaining paperwork such as the training logs, promoting the program, and informing the Senior Leadership Team of program progress. The Program Coordinator can also be a Program Instructor. This decision depends on staff availability, number of available staff, and other concerns that are in play in your community. It is important to determine whether the Program Coordinator can also act as a STEP Instructor or STEP Workshop Instructor.

For STEP to be effective, it is important that the STEP Program Coordinator read and be familiar with all aspects of the STEP Implementation Guide. The chapters of the STEP Implementation Guide that the STEP Coordinator will find most helpful in this effort follow:

STEP Instructors

The STEP Program Instructors lead the STEP physical activity and coaching sessions. Senior housing communities will often have more than one STEP Instructor because they offer STEP classes at multiple times during the week. The STEP Instructor may have a background in exercise or fitness or have other qualifications or experience to act as the STEP Workshop Instructor as well. But a formal background in exercise is not necessary to be a STEP Instructor.

It is critical that the STEP Instructor read and understand the materials covered in the following chapters:

STEP Workshop Instructor

Before starting the STEP program, all staff who will be involved in the program must receive training. The STEP Workshop Instructor role can be filled by any member of the STEP team who is proficient in the content of the program and can effectively convey this information to other staff. This role involves planning and coordinating a training workshop for all the staff members who will be directly involved in STEP and others who should be informed of program details. All the material in the Implementation Guide will need to be covered, from administrative details to demonstrations of the balance and strength exercises, to ensure that members of the STEP team fully understand the program.

If the Coordinator and Workshop Instructor roles are performed by different people, the Workshop Instructor should arrange to have each person present on his or her role and relevant chapters during the workshop. If the roles are filled by the same person, this person should lead the bulk of the workshop.

Use of an Outside Consultant

This Implementation Guide is intended to provide you with the guidance, structure, and materials you need to successfully implement STEP in your facility. With appropriate training, staff do not need a fitness background to lead STEP classes. However, if your facility would like to develop fitness expertise or would simply like more information regarding implementation and fitness training, you can consider hiring an outside consultant.

If you decide to work with an outside consultant, this individual should review the guide and conduct the training workshop in which STEP Instructors learn the specifics of the STEP physical activity program. An outside consultant can also offer additional guidance based on your facility's needs.

Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Chapter 2: How to Use the Guide. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.