Validated Intervention Program

Validated Intervention Program

The validated intervention program, often called secondary intervention, Tier 2

The validated intervention program, often called secondary intervention, Tier 2, or an intervention platform is a standardized, evidence-based program or instructional practice that provides targeted instruction in a specific skill or set of skills (e.g., phonemic awareness, vocabulary, math problem solving, social skills) matched to students’ needs or the function of their behavior and delivered with fidelity. Within a DBI process, this serves as a “platform” (or starting point) that the teacher will modify to meet the student’s unique needs through DBI.

When evaluating the validated intervention program that will represent the platform, teachers should consider a series of dimensions that are part of a Taxonomy of Intervention Intensity to help guide the initial intervention selection:

  • Strength: the evidence of effectiveness for students with intensive needs;
  • Dosage: the number of opportunities the student has to respond and receive feedback from the teacher;
  • Alignment: how well the intervention matches the targeted academic skills or behaviors of concern, as well as incorporates grade-appropriate standards or behaviors we would expect for a particular context;
  • Attention to transfer: whether the intervention is explicitly designed to help students make connections between the skills taught in the intervention and skills learned in other contexts and environments;
  • Comprehensiveness: how well the intervention incorporates a comprehensive array of explicit instruction principles; and
  • Behavioral or academic support: whether an academic intervention incorporates behavioral strategies that may support students with self-regulation, motivation, or externalizing behaviors that may impact their ability to learn, or whether a behavioral intervention considers academic components as part of the intervention.
The final dimension of the Taxonomy, individualization, focuses on the ongoing use of progress monitoring data and other diagnostic data sources to intensify and individualize the intervention based on student need. This approach mirrors the remaining steps of the DBI process that consist of data collection and modification in an iterative process until improvement is seen. View the other steps in the DBI process and this handout to learn more.


Start with the best evidence available! In cases where an evidence-based standard protocol intervention is not available, schools may consider using remediation materials that come with core program materials, expert recommendations, research-based instructional strategies, or standards-aligned materials.