Education Programs FAQ
Pathways Content Updates
1. Why is Toastmasters changing the provider for the learning management system (Base Camp)?Back to Top
Since the Pathways learning experience rolled out, members have repeatedly voiced that there are significant challenges with using the online system where content is housed, also known as Base Camp, and challenges with navigating the paths and projects themselves.
Over the past few years, we have worked with our current learning management system (LMS) provider to make enhancements wherever possible. However, we have ultimately determined that the best way to address the greatest challenges faced by members is to engage with a new LMS provider.
2. When will the new learning management system (Base Camp) be available?Back to Top
Development with our new learning management system (LMS) provider is already underway, and the improved system is expected to launch in the first half of 2024.
3. What benefits will the new version of Base Camp provide for members?Back to Top
The improved system will allow for many improvements and enhancements, including:
- You will have an easier time navigating the system, launching your path, and working through projects.
- When your completed path or level is approved, it will automatically be submitted for recognition in Club Central.
- You will be able to access Pathways on your mobile device, with a mobile app to follow in the future.
- Pathways will be friendly and accessible to our members who are Visually Impaired.
- You will be able to share your educational accomplishments directly to social media from Pathways.
4. With the rollout of the new version of Base Camp, Toastmasters International is updating the Pathways product offering. Why is this change taking place?Back to Top
When the new Base Camp system launches, the Pathways product offering will be revised to include six of the currently available paths. There will also be a new offering, called explorations, introduced in 2024. Explorations will be short learnings comprised of approximately three projects each. The list of paths below reflects content that will be available for purchase on the Toastmasters website with the launch of the new platform. Members working in paths not listed here will still be supported in completing these paths.
- Dynamic Leadership
- Engaging Humor
- Motivational Strategies
- Presentation Mastery
- Persuasive Influence
- Visionary Communication
The decision to launch the new platform with these paths was based on several factors, including feedback from members. Since Pathways rolled out, many members have shared that they find the number of path options to be overwhelming when beginning their Toastmasters journey. Fewer path options means a clearer decision process and less overwhelm for new members.
At the same time, the coming addition of explorations will provide existing members—many of whom have requested new content—with options outside of the eleven paths that have been available to them for years.
Adjusting the number of paths offered also lays a foundation for more comprehensive content changes that are coming to the education program in the future. Based on feedback and input from current and prospective members, the Toastmasters Education Team is reviewing and considering new content delivery options including, but not limited to, the inclusion of explorations in our education program. This strategic adjustment to the education program presents more opportunities to look at creative and unique content delivery options for the future.
When deciding which paths would be available for purchase with the launch of the new platform, Toastmasters International reviewed data including path enrollment, path completion rates, and level completion rates. We also considered the unique projects available in each path, and the specialized reasons members might pursue a given path. Ultimately, the final list of paths was selected with input from Board of Directors to ensure a path offering that is strong, provides a diverse range of topics, and will encourage member engagement with the education program.
5. What are the long-term goals for the Toastmasters education program? What new content will be added?Back to Top
At the direction of the Board of Directors, World Headquarters is currently exploring the future of the Toastmasters education program. The revisions coming with the launch of the new platform are designed to set a foundation for more regular content additions and updates.
The goal of Toastmasters education will always be to support the club experience and help members improve public speaking and leadership skills. The team discussing the future of Toastmasters education is considering feedback related to Pathways, current educational trends, and Toastmasters' core competencies of Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Strategic Leadership, Management, and Confidence.
Following the launch of the new learning management system, release schedules detailing planned updates and additions to the education program will be available on an annual basis. While specifics related to long-term future delivery and content offerings are still in development, two new explorations, including completely new projects, will be available for members in 2024.
6. I am working in a path that will no longer be available for purchase when the new version of Base Camp rolls out. Will I be able to continue, and complete, my path?Back to Top
Yes. Members who purchase Effective Coaching, Innovative Planning, Leadership Development, Strategic Relationships, or Team Collaboration prior to the rollout of the new system launch will be able to complete and receive credit for work in these paths. While projects in these paths will not have updated navigation or content following the transition, members working in these paths will still be able to access their educational content, complete projects, and receive credit for path and level completions using the updated and redesigned learning management system.
7. Toastmasters is planning to update the languages available for purchase as fully interactive paths on Base Camp. Why is this change taking place?Back to Top
While preparing to transition all Pathways content to a new platform, World Headquarters reviewed engagement with all available translated languages and provided data to the Board of Directors related to the cost to translate each language, the cost to update each language for the transition to the new platform, and the number of members engaged with paths in each language.
After considering these factors, the Board of Directors determined that it would be best to invest in ease of navigation and access to the platform where Pathways content is housed. However, it is a priority to continue supporting members in all 10 languages that Pathways was originally translated into—as well as those added recently through the District Translation Program—using the many resources available to us as an organization.
Languages with the highest level of engagement will be updated in the new system at launch. This includes Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese.
Languages with lower engagement, including Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Tamil, and Traditional Chinese, will be supported through the District Translation Program. This means that, for content updates, Districts can establish District Translation teams, with support and approval from World Headquarters. As engagement increases in these languages, the Board of Directors may consider transitioning them away from the District Translation Program.
8. I am currently working in or prefer to work in my paths in Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Tamil, or Traditional Chinese. Will I still be able to work in these languages?Back to Top
Yes. Members who purchase a path in one of these languages prior to the rollout of the new learning management system (LMS) will be able to complete and receive credit for work in these paths. While paths in these languages will not have updated navigation or content following the LMS transition, members working in these languages still be able to access their educational content and receive credit for the completion of their path.
Additionally, members who have not purchased paths in these languages but would like to work in these languages following the rollout of the new system can purchase a digital path in Arabic, English, French, German, Spanish, or Simplified Chinese and use the translated materials from another language to support them in working through their path in the language of their choice. This is the process used for all languages available as part of the District Translation Program.
The District Translation Program allows members to work with their District to translate Toastmasters copyrighted materials, including Pathways, into their requested language on a volunteer basis. If you would like to work with your District and World Headquarters to translate Pathways or other Toastmasters items into a language that is currently unavailable, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
9. What are the new explorations that will launch in 2024? Why were these topics selected?Back to Top
Following the new LMS launch in 2024, two explorations will be released, each comprised of three projects. These explorations will include new projects and focus on the topics of inclusive leadership and presenting yourself online.
These topics were approved by the Board of Directors based on feedback from members, as well as professional trends.
As leaders in a global organization, it is critical that we understand how to be inclusive of all people. Projects in the exploration focused on inclusive leadership will help members recognize and address unconscious bias, build cultural intelligence, and learn how to nurture supportive relationships.
Since 2020 and the start of the pandemic, members and prospective members have been requesting content that will help them present themselves well in the digital age. The projects in the exploration focused on presenting yourself online will help members learn how to look and sound their best online, manage meetings in the digital space, and conduct hybrid meetings.
10. What credentials and Distinguished Club Program (DCP) credit will I get for completing projects in the explorations?Back to Top
A plan for individual credentials and DCP credit for work in explorations is still in development. A system will be put in place to ensure that members and clubs are recognized for work completed in these explorations. More information will be made available in advance of the exploration launch.
*The below responses apply to the current version of Base Camp and will be updated after Base Camp transitions to a new learning management system in 2024.
11. How do I get to Base Camp?Back to Top
After you have selected your first path, you can access Base Camp by:
- Logging in to toastmasters.org
- Clicking your name at the top of the screen to access your Profile
- Using the blue “Go to Base Camp" tile, selecting your club, and clicking “Go”
12. How will I know when Base Camp has planned outages or when updates will take place?Back to Top
The Pathways Updates page provides a list of planned technical updates and user experience enhancements, along with a list of previously released changes.
13. Why do I need to disable my pop-up blockers on Base Camp, and how do I do so?Back to Top
Your pop-up blockers must be turned off so your browser does not prevent you from accessing projects, tutorials, and resources which open in new windows on Base Camp.
For help on disabling your pop-up blockers, find your browser name in the list below and click on the corresponding link:
14. What browsers are best for accessing Base Camp?Back to Top
Base Camp is compatible with the following browsers:
- Latest Microsoft Edge
- Latest Apple Safari
- Latest Mozilla Firefox
- Latest Google Chrome
15. How long will it take me to load projects in Base Camp?Back to Top
Internet speeds vary depending on your internet service provider and the area where you live. Some projects in Base Camp take longer to load than others, depending on the size (for example, the projects with videos will take longer than those without).
You may experience longer load times if your system does not meet the minimum requirements. Your system should have at least five megabits per second in network and connectivity speed to ensure faster downloads. The recommended speed is eight megabits per second.
16. Who are Base Camp managers, and what is their role?Back to Top
For most clubs, the Vice President Education (VPE) will assume the role of Base Camp manager. The Base Camp manager helps facilitate your progress by verifying your education, approving requests, and more. If a VPE is unable to perform these duties, or if a club does not have a VPE, the Base Camp manager's responsibilities will be fulfilled by the Club President or Club Secretary. The central duties of the Base Camp manager include:
- Approving speeches outside the club
- Verifying level completion
- Tracking member progress
- Verifying project completion for members using printed materials
- While print paths are no longer available for sale beginning July 1, 2023, members who purchased print paths prior to this date can continue working in these paths. Base Camp managers should be aware of all members working in printed materials.
17. What types of recognition can I receive?Back to Top
You will earn a digital badge and certificate each time you complete a level in a Pathways path. When you complete a path, you receive the accolade of Proficient, signifying your demonstrated expertise. You can also complete the Pathways Mentor Program and earn the title Pathways Mentor.
Those looking for more to achieve can explore the Distinguished Toastmaster award (DTM) and the Distinguished Club Program (DCP). Visit the Achievement + Awards page for more information.
18. How can I earn the Distinguished Toastmaster award (DTM)? What are the requirements?Back to Top
19. How can I access the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) project?Back to Top
Members can receive access to the DTM project on Base Camp once they have completed one path and Levels 1, 2, and 3 in a second, unique path. To receive this project, email email@example.com.
20. How do education credentials work?Back to Top
A member's name will display in the club roster and other Toastmasters International resources, followed by an acronym representing their current educational achievement(s). Depending on which program the member has completed work in, this may show different information:
- Traditional education program award credentials are written as follows:
- Communication award credential followed by Leadership award credential
- Pathways award credentials are written as follows:
- Only the most recently achieved award will show
- Any Pathways award credential overwrites a traditional education program award credential (both Communication and Leadership)
- DTM overwrites all education award credentials, whether traditional program or Pathways
Here is an example:
- Pat Smith completes Level 1 in Motivational Strategies, their name will now reflect as Pat Smith MS1
- When Pat completes the Motivational Strategies path, their name will reflect as Pat Smith MS5
- Pat Smith MS5 begins a new path Team Collaboration and completes Level 1, their name will reflect as Pat Smith TC1
- After completing all requirements, Pat Smith then submits for their DTM, their name will reflect as Pat Smith DTM
- Regardless of any further education awards completed by Pat after their DTM, their name will continue to reflect as Pat Smith DTM
- Traditional education program award credentials are written as follows:
21. How do I apply for an education award online?Back to Top
Club officers can apply for education awards for members through Club Central. Please note that club officers may not apply for their own awards online; if you are a club officer, have a different officer in your club submit for your awards.
22. I am rejoining Toastmasters after several years and have never worked in Pathways. How do my previously earned education achievements align with Pathways?Back to Top
Your progress toward awards in the traditional education program is not transferable to Pathways because the programs' projects and learning structures are different.
Please note: Any service you have completed as a club officer or District leader that has not been applied toward an award can be used to fulfill your next education award in Pathways (including club officer, District leadership, club sponsor, club mentor, club coach, Youth Leadership Program, and Speechcraft).
23. Are my achievements in the previous education programs still recognized?Back to Top
Yes, all educational achievements will remain part of your record with Toastmasters International. Competent Communication (CC), Competent Leadership (CL), and other awards earned in previous education programs will always be recognized by the organization.
24. Do I have to complete a full year in a District leadership role to get District leadership credit to apply for an education award?Back to Top
Yes, your District leadership role must be a complete year, from July 1 to June 30, to count toward a District leadership requirement for an education award.
If you live in a locality with no District, an exception may be granted, but this must be submitted to World Headquarters for review before being processed. If you have any questions related to applying leadership credit toward an education award, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
25. Can I give and receive credit for two speeches done in one club meeting?Back to Top
No, you may present and receive credit for only one speech per meeting.
Working in Pathways
26. How will I know which path is right for me?Back to Top
If you choose to access Pathways using Base Camp, you will have the option to take an online assessment of your skills, interests, and goals. Once you've finished, the assessment will recommend the three paths that best match your responses.
If you don't want to work in a recommended path or prefer not to take the assessment, you can review a description of each path and select the one you prefer. Please feel free to click here for a summary of each path as well as which competencies it helps you develop.
It's also good to note that almost all projects are available in all paths. A project that is required in one path is likely to be an elective in another.
27. How many projects are in a path?Back to Top
Every path has required and elective projects. Path recognition is achieved when a member completes 14 projects across all five levels—a combination of 10 required projects and four elective projects chosen from a comprehensive list covering various subjects. Most projects include at least one speech that will receive an evaluation. Though members are required to complete four elective projects, they have the option to complete as many as they would like.
28. Where can I find the evaluation resources for Pathways projects?Back to Top
These can be found in multiple locations:
- You can access and download fillable PDFs of all Pathways evaluation resources from the Toastmasters resource library here.
- You can also download them in Base Camp from the Tutorials and Resources section or the Speech Evaluations page.
- You can also access evaluations directly from the "Your Evaluation" page of your project. Please keep in mind that evaluation resources downloaded from your project may not be fillable.
29. Is Pathways available in printed format?Back to Top
Beginning July 1, 2023, Pathways content is no longer available for sale in full color, professionally bound materials.
Members always have the option to print their projects directly from Base Camp. You can access a downloadable/printable version of any project in your path using the instructions outlined in the Downloading Pathways Projects resource.
While projects will still need to be marked complete in Base Camp, printing materials will allow you to engage with your learning outside of Base Camp and take a printed copy of your project to your club meeting, if desired.
30. I am currently working in a printed path. Will I be able to complete and receive credit for my work in this path?Back to Top
Yes. Members who purchased a path in printed materials prior to July 1, 2023 will continue to be supported in completing and receiving credit in that path.
31. What about members who don't use the internet?Back to Top
With fewer than 1 percent of members working in Pathways choosing printed materials, members have demonstrated a strong desire and ability to access educational materials online.
World Headquarters recognizes that there are still members whose internet access is limited or restricted. We are already providing support for clubs and members who cannot access Base Camp and will continue to do so. If you or a member in your club does not have access to the internet, contact World Headquarters via email at email@example.com or by phone at +1 720-439-5050, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mountain Time.
32. Does Pathways offer accessible educational materials for individuals who are visually impaired?Back to Top
Please visit Pathways Accessible Materials for more information.
33. Can I complete projects and levels in any order I choose?Back to Top
Projects in Pathways build in complexity across levels. The levels in each path are designed to be completed sequentially. For example, you may learn about organizing a small event in Level 4 of your path. At Level 5, you may then work on developing and implementing a larger event. The sequential order, the time to complete projects, and the opportunity to apply what you learn throughout your path, are by design.
Should you decide that it is appropriate for you as a learner, you may complete levels and projects in the order of your choice.
34. I completed Level 2 in my path, but I skipped Level 1. How can I submit for my Level 2 award recognition?Back to Top
While you can complete levels and projects in the order of your choice (see the previous question), level completions must be submitted in chronological order on Club Central for recognition purposes.
Your Base Camp manager can approve your Level 2 on Base Camp as soon as you have completed all projects in the level. However, they may not submit your Level 2 award on Club Central until you have completed Level 1.
Similarly, to receive recognition for Level 3, you must have completed Levels 1 and 2, and so on through your path.
35. How do I complete my path and receive a certificate of proficiency or a proficient badge?Back to Top
To complete the last project in your path, you must first complete Levels 1 through 5 and have each approved by your Base Camp manager.
Once these levels are marked complete, you will have access to view and complete the final project, "Reflect on Your Path." After finishing this project, you will submit a Path Completion Approval request to your Base Camp manager. As soon as they have approved your request, your path will be complete!
Upon completion of a full path, you will receive a digital badge on Base Camp, along with a certificate of proficiency that can be downloaded or printed. Physical badges are also available for purchase in the Toastmasters store.
36. I am a Base Camp manager. A member asked me to approve a Level 2 completion, but they have not completed Level 1. Is this something I should authorize?Back to Top
When a member requests a level completion on Base Camp, confirm that they have finished all requirements for that level. Then you may approve the level completion on Base Camp, even if they have not completed the prior levels.
However, you may not submit that level for award recognition on Club Central until the prior levels are complete. When a member completes Level 2 on Base Camp, you must wait until they have also completed Level 1 before you can submit Level 2 for credit on Club Central.
37. If I don't meet all the objectives of my project, can I still get credit for it?Back to Top
Yes. Toastmasters is not a pass/fail program. However, keep in mind that you get out of the program what you put into it. Focusing on meeting objectives, including time goals, will help you get the most from your Toastmasters learning.
38. Can I repeat the same path for award credit?Back to Top
Yes. If you are repeating a path, you may earn level awards for it. Please note, though, that if you wish to submit for recognition in the Distinguished Club Program, only one award type is accepted each program year, per member, per club. Additionally, please note that if you wish to complete a DTM award, you must complete two unique paths.
39. Do I need to have both a written and verbal evaluation to receive project credit?Back to Top
For most projects, yes. However, please read through each project carefully to ensure that you are fulfilling the requirements appropriately.
40. What are the costs associated with Pathways?Back to Top
Your new member fee covers the cost of your first path, and the cost for each additional path is 20 USD.
41. How many free paths do I get?Back to Top
Every member is entitled to their first path at no cost.
42. I am a member of multiple clubs. Will I receive a new path for every club I join?Back to Top
Membership dues cover your ongoing membership, as well as services provided to you, your club, and your District, but not additional educational materials. Each new member receives one free path, which belongs to the member, not the club. Additional paths must be purchased individually in Pathways.
43. Can I use a Toastmasters gift certificate to purchase a path?Back to Top
No. Toastmasters International gift certificates are only for Toastmasters-branded merchandise. Pathways educational materials are not available for purchase using a gift certificate.
44. What is the return policy for educational materials?Back to Top
The return policy can be found in the Conditions of Use section of our website, here: https://www.toastmasters.org/footer/conditions-of-use
Please note that educational materials belong to the person for whom they were ordered; they are not transferable between or among members.
Speeches and Evaluation
44. Can I give speeches outside of my club for credit?Back to Top
Yes. You can give speeches outside of the club environment for credit toward an educational award, as long as you receive prior approval from your Vice President Education (VPE) or another Base Camp manager. To request approval from your VPE, you can use the external training tool on Base Camp. Information about this tool is available on the Tutorials and Resources page on Base Camp. While using this tool is optional, VPE approval is required, and the external training tool provides the benefit of creating a record on your transcript.
When projects or speeches are completed outside of Toastmasters, the member and VPE should read the project assignment carefully to determine if an evaluation is required. If an evaluation is not explicitly required in the project, it is still recommended that the member have an evaluator present. However, if it is not possible to bring an evaluator into the setting outside of the club, the VPE may choose to approve the speech without an evaluation.
Speeches given at Toastmasters club meetings are considered to be in the club environment. Speeches given at any Toastmasters event that is not a club meeting are considered outside the club environment. This includes giving a speech as a test speaker in an evaluation contest or competing in a speech contest if using the speech toward a Pathways project.
45. What are the limitations on speech topics?Back to Top
Other than adhering to the requirements of your project, there are no limits on speech topics. However, please consider the following:
Members often hear "through the grapevine" that speeches concerning politics, religion, and sex are forbidden by Toastmasters International because "such controversial subjects are not appropriate."
This is not true. Toastmasters International does not prohibit any speech topic, content, or language.
Toastmasters International recognizes that club members may learn much about the world around them from listening to others' speeches on a variety of subjects. This variety can add interest to club meetings and stimulate thoughts and ideas.
Toastmasters International also recognizes that clubs are comprised of diverse people and recommends that members be mindful of this diversity, using good taste and sensitivity when selecting speech topics, content, and language.
While Toastmasters International has no organizational restrictions along these lines, each club does have the right to limit speech subjects, content, and/or language, with the consensus of its members. Club officers should guide their members on observing good taste and sensitivity in the context of that particular club.
Club websites are useful vehicles that clubs can use to advise members and guests of any policies that have been decided. Presenting information on a club website helps maintain consistency as leadership changes. Additionally, it allows transparency and clarity for club members to review the established practices of their club periodically.
46. Do the evaluator and speaker both need to be present when the speech being evaluated is presented?Back to Top
In-person/live speeches and evaluations are at the heart of the Toastmasters club experience. This remains true whether the club meeting is taking place onsite or online. The speaker receives a targeted evaluation shortly after giving their speech, along with feedback from all audience members. While audience reactions and nonverbal feedback are some of the reasons that speakers and evaluators must be present for speeches, there are additional reasons why this is critical to the club experience.
In-person/live speeches and evaluations provide a learning opportunity for the speaker, the evaluator, and other club members. Recording a speech and sharing it with the evaluator later would remove important opportunities for the entire club to develop. The evaluator learns from quickly listening to a live speech that cannot be paused, analyzing that speech, and putting together constructive feedback in a short amount of time. Additionally, the rest of the club learns from hearing the live evaluation and the feedback the evaluator developed in their limited amount of time. All evaluations should be presented verbally and in writing and are best presented in the moment of the learning opportunity.