Learn about the history of SAS



Social Skills Training Pty Ltd, (trading as Social Skills Training Institute) is the organisation that publishes and distributes Secret Agent Society, making it available worldwide to children, parents and professionals. SST is a subsidiary of the not-for-profit Autism CRC Ltd, which manages the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism, a world-first research collaboration. SST is committed to providing communities with the training, support and resources they need to deliver high quality, evidence-based child and family supports.

History of SAS

SAS was born in a University environment through the PhD project of Dr Renae Beaumont. The program was developed and evaluated through the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Queensland, by Dr Renae Beaumont under the supervision of Associate Professor Kate Sofronoff. From this point, through much hard work, investment, and professional and personal support, Dr Beaumont’s ideas became an internationally distributed evidence-based program that is literally…


Solving the Mystery of Social Encounters!

2002 - 2005

PhD Commenced.

Development and evaluation of “Junior Detective Training Program” (now known as Secret Agent Society).


PhD Completed.


Publication of the original Randomised Controlled Trial (Beaumont & Sofronoff, 2008).

The publication of the first evaluation of SAS sparked interested from researchers and clinicians worldwide. This Australian study currently holds the most clinically significant change published in the world for a social skills program for children with, the previously termed, Asperger's.


Launch of First Edition Secret Agent Society resources.

SAS Computer Game Pack and SAS Challenger Board Game were available to the world.


Launch of the Secret Agent Society Small Group Program and SAS Facilitator Training Courses!

Professionals from clinical services and schools started attending the 2-day SAS Facilitator Training Course.

The Secret Agent Society Computer Game was a finalist in the 16th Annual Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) Educational Game of the Year Award.

2010 - 2016

The Social Skills Training Institute trained over 1000 professionals to deliver SAS across 9 countries. Tens of thousands of children helped through the use of SAS Small Group Program and it’s associated resources.

In 2013 action research results evaluating Secret Agent Society Small Group Program in specialist schools were released at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Spain.

In 2014, Secret Agent Society Program won the Aspect National Recognition Award for Advancement.

Also in 2014, Secret Agent Society Family Kit won the United States’ Learning Magazine Teacher’s Choice Award for the Family.

Four different research papers were published evaluating the Secret Agent Society suite of programs.

In 2016, Author Dr. Renae Beaumont presented at the University of Queensland TEDx event.

Publication of a book chapter on the intervention of the Secret Agent Society with students with Asperger’s.

Across 2015 - 2016, the Secret Agent Society Small Group Program materials were updated ready to launch the Second Edition of SAS in 2017.


Launch of the Second Edition of the much loved SAS Small Group Program and transition to online SAS Computer Game play!

This new edition incorporates latest child development and social skills training research, findings from recent SAS research projects and feedback from SAS facilitators and families.

Additionally, 2017 saw the publication of a study of the Secret Agent Society Small Group Program with school children across Australia.

Across 2016 - 2017 the Autism CRC invested in an evaluation of a new Secret Agent Society Whole-of-Class Curriculum across Australian schools. 


The AutismCRC won the Australian CRC Association Award for Excellence in Innovation!

Dr Renae Beaumont was awarded the Advance Award in Education!

A book chapter was published on using online training for teachers in the delivery of Secret Agent Society Whole-of-Class curriculum.

Publication of evaluation of Secret Agent Society Small Group Program for children with autism in an urban specialty community clinic in Los Angeles.

Publication of independent randomized waitlist-controlled trial on The Secret Agent Society program on emotion regulation on children with autism in Canada.


Marks 10 years since the launch of SAS into the community! 


Launch of the digital edition of the SAS Small Group Program revoltionalising the delivery of group work! The program resources and professional training became one integrated softare package connecting SAS Facilitators, families, school staff, and children together. 


Dr Renae Beaumont speaks at TEDxUQ

Hear about the mission to build SAS and the Australian dream of using technology to help kids with Autism.

Up to 1 in 68 people live with Autism.

Multiple research studies support the use of Secret Agent Society with children with a range of social emotional challenges.



Social Skills Training Institute
Autism CRC