Get Facilitation Skills

Become a facilitator


Are you a director, manager or team leader needing practical tools for effectively bringing your team’s ideas together and for making better collective decisions which are being implemented? Or are you an experienced facilitator wanting to add tools to your repertoire for generating change and to explore your practice more deeply?

Develop your facilitation skills so as to enhance participation, deepen conversations, build teamwork and develop ownership.

Facilitation is at the heart of both IofC and ICA’s practice globally. With IofC’s long experience of working with dialogue and trust building in situations of tension and conflict and ICA’s proven methods for working effectively in organizations and communities, we combine our experience and expertise to offer a range of training coursesin facilitation that will develop your competence and confidence as a facilitator and provide the opportunity for you to focus and deepen your skills in your chosen areas.

Stay tuned for upcoming dates!


The courses present the methods in a practical and participatory way. Methods are first demonstrated, then analysed and discussed, and then practiced individually or in supportive small groups with guided reflection and feedback. Finally, participants plan how they will apply each method in their own situations. Participants will develop their skills, share experiences and gain an in-depth understanding of the principles behind the methods.

The training courses suits all levels of experience. They also contribute to established international facilitator competencies.

Participation and ownership matter. In every time zone and in private, public, and community settings, Technology of Participation (ToP) methods and tools are bringing high levels of participation to decision-making and planning processes while embedding the ability to create specific customised applications. They cultivate the collective ideas that result in breakthrough changes and generate the spirit of commitment that leads to and supports action for change.

Facilitation provides a set of competencies that enables you to work effectively with groups while ensuring that individual voices and ideas are heard and included in the ongoing conversation and in the end product. The facilitator takes responsibility for the process, allowing the group to generate and control the content.

Whether you are leading meetings, developing plans, holding conversations, guiding an organization through change, transforming conflict, building your team, engaging with others, these skills are useful and important for you:

  • Conversations, Decisions and Plans are enriched by including multiple voices, ideas and perspectives and facilitation provides a framework and process for such inclusion.
  • Using a facilitated approach strengthens the ownership of the group over the topic, decision or plan, leading to stronger commitment and motivation and a higher likelihood of implementation.
  • The presence of a detached facilitator focusing on process allows groups and individuals to express their opinions and ideas openly and safely, thus building understanding and trust.
  • The use of different methods and tools for engagement ensures that everyone can participate, whatever your social or learning style.

This was one of the most useful, challenging and educative courses I have taken in my 26 year of professional life. I highly recommend it and look forward to immediately apply what I have learnt in my professional and private life. I will also explore opportunities for further, deeper training in this field in the near future.

J. Maximilian Bankole Jarrett, Africa Progress Panel

Our courses

The Group Facilitation Methods (GFM) training will teach you versatile, powerful techniques for structuring group conversations and finding group consensus. These will allow you to make meetings more effective, engage groups to develop creative solutions and to help groups identify and understand their shared ideas and goals.

This course introduces the foundations of the Technology of Participation (ToP) approach by teaching the Focused Conversation (O.R.I.D) and the Consensus Workshop methods.

The Focused Conversation Method enables a group to find a level of shared awareness by moving together through a conversation in a structured way, asking questions on 4 levels (facts, reaction, analysis and action/decision).

The Consensus Workshop Method enables a group to find a shared agreement or working consensus on a focus question, by going through several steps including individual and small group brainstorming, the clustering of ideas/responses, the naming of clusters, and a conversation on the output and the outcome.

This course is recommended as a basis for all other courses.


Participants will learn to:

  • Tap into group creativity to maximise productivity
  • Make meetings more productive and efficient
  • Focus a diverse group’s energy on common goals
  • Create a sense of teamwork
  • Let a group deal with more data in less time
  • Recognize and honour contributions of all
  • Welcome diversity while minimising polarisation and conflict

91,5% of GFM-training participants rated the course 8/10 or higher.


Comments from participants’ end-of-course evaluations:

Passionately delivered and very insightful. A perfect blend between explanation & exercises.

Omar Odeh, Senior Adviser, ICRC

This training gave me some very practical tools, through hands-on exercises, to implement facilitation methods with a variety of stakeholders and beneficiaries of UN agencies’ development programmes.

Christian Privat, United Nations Consultant

We learnt 2 useful methods applicable if you are working with groups and aiming to obtain high levels of participation, contribution and engagement.

Violeta Frimu-Patel, Program Manager

Great tools offered in order to facilitate sessions! Thank you!


Excellent group conversation and facilitation tools, easily adaptable for varied situations.

Lara Fuchs

It helped me to identify new tools to manage teams when facilitating. Thanks so much!

Rocio Sanz, Knowledge Manager & Communications Expert


The Action Planning (AP) training will teach you an 8–stage process to assess and plan a short-term project or event in a participatory way. It gives project managers and event planners an additional tool for being more effective in their work.  It will allow you to plan the implementation of your project and generate ownership and commitment in the process.

The Group Facilitation Methods course is a pre-requisite for this course


Participants will learn to:

  • Tap into group members’ expertise
  • Generate a collective decision on the feasibility of a project or event
  • Plan the implementation of a project or event with the team responsible
  • Effectively align resources, distribute responsibilities and set deadlines

91% of AP participants rated this course 8/10 or higher.


Comments from participants’ end-of-course evaluations:

Helpful for cluster responsibilities in terms of project planning.

Tokareva Alexandra, Senior Programme Officer at GCSP

The AP workshop is a concrete tool to enable groups and teams to follow a project from inception to victory.

Véronique Sikora, Facilitator & Coach at Weaving Social Fabric and Associate Professor at Business School Lausanne

This is a concise and useful tool for planning anything from a high-level international meeting, a weekend retreat or an office dinner party. It brings clarity to purpose and prepares participants for effective implementation.

Lara Fuchs

A good way to put GFM to use & create more shared ownership into planning short term projects. The method also serves as a good team-building exercise in and of itself.

Rainer Gude

A useful tool for individual’s collective projects. A good method to identify what people are ready & willing to commit to. Provides a visual image of the actions and an opportunity for the team to work/go through the process together.

Anna Krebs


The Designing Participatory Events (DPE) training will teach you how to make the best of the skills and methods you already have by improving your process design skills to best meet the needs of a group and its task.

This course has no pre-requisite, but it is of benefit to have taken the Group Facilitation Methods course. It is also of advantage to bring specific case study(s) to the course to consider as the tools and frameworks are introduced.


Participants will learn to:

  • know how to maximise participation of people in meetings and events through good design
  • understand some key tools and techniques for designing participatory events  and develop confidence in using them through practice
  • explore ways to evaluate participatory events
  • further share experiences with other facilitators about planning and designing successful processes and events


The Participatory Strategic Planning (PSP) training will teach you 4-stage process (Practical Vision, Underlying Contradictions, Strategic Directions and Implementation Plan) for planning and implementing medium to long-term strategies for teams, departments, communities and organisations. Based on the Group Facilitation Methods training’s Consensus Workshop method for building consensus and the Focused Conversation (O.R.I.D) method for effective group communication, it presents a planning and implementation process for exploring alternatives, developing a framework providing guidance and direction, and defining immediate priorities and actions.

The Group Facilitation Methods course is a pre-requisite for this course.


Participants will learn to:

  • use methods preventing fire-fighting and problem-solving
  • effectively involve people in long-term planning

80% of PSP participants rated this course 8/10 or higher.


Comments from participants’ end-of-course evaluations included:

An engaging active learning experience that provided me with additional tools for my facilitation practise and participatory strategic planning purposes.

Cloe Liparini, Senior Advisor, Leadership Development Program, University of Global Health Equity (UGHE)

The “Participatory Strategic Planning training from ICA:UK offers comprehensive, powerful tools for developing a participatory culture in any organisation.

Matt Gilsenan, Executive Coach / Trainer / Facilitator

A strong, complete and coherent process. Has to be proposed in a “light” version for companies, using different facilitation methods.

Emmanuel Jeger, Consultant & coach, neoconsult

As a new manager, without experience in strategic planning, I found the process bewildering. This course helped make sense of the process, with a clear roadmap and tools to use to run successful strategic planning processes with your teams. I had been searching for help with this and didn’t quite know where to turn. Very happy I came across this course!

Heba Aly, Director, The New Humanitarian

This training not only helps deliver strategic planning outcomes, it helps you do this in a fun, well thought through and natural process that brings people together and naturally builds in buy-in. This course has given me an incredible framework to add to my practice- thank you ICA for the well organised and engaging training

Raymond van der Zalm, Innovation Consultant


There has been considerable thought applied to the nature of change, how to describe it, and how best to understand it, approach it or bring it about. This two day course offers ICA’s perspective on change in an organisational context, introducing a series of tools and frameworks which enable people to take a more holistic view and ensure that the “human factor” is included.

The tools help practitioners to understand, analyse and respond to changing dynamics both outside and within an organisation, as well as considering how to support individuals through the change process.

The training is useful for all those people (e.g. leaders, managers and consultants) looking for ways to facilitate change throughout institutions, companies or organisations (including partnerships and networks).

The course introduces tools for reviewing and analysing trends, historical and environmental forces (the ToP Historical Scan method, the Wave); clarifying and mapping the organisational journey (The Organisational Map); identifying leverage points for change within an organisation (Dynamics Screen); understanding an applying values (The Values Screen); supporting individual behaviour change (Image Change).

This course has no pre-requisite, but it is of benefit to have taken the Group Facilitation Methods course. It is also of advantage to bring specific case study(s) to the course to consider as the tools and frameworks are introduced.


In many of the workshops we facilitate, meetings we hold, and relationships we are involved in, our participants, employees, and others are passionate about the topics we are covering, and emotions can trigger challenging behaviours.

In this course, you will learn methods and tools that can be used to analyse conflict, to structure conversations towards positive results, and to help develop confidence in managing difficult working relationships and tricky moments in a constructive and sensitive way.

After the introduction of a topic or tool, you will participate in practical skills based exercises, including realistic and challenging role-plays. You are encouraged to bring examples of actual conflicts you are facing and consider how to address them during the course of the day.


Participants will learn to:

  • Identify the signs of conflict and apply some new skills, tools and conflict resolution principles when managing conflict
  • Localise and address conflicts before they escalate
  • Work more assertively, impartially and effectively when directly involved in challenging working relationships 
  • Challenge others appropriately and constructively on difficult issues
  • Help to facilitate better working relationships when in conflict



Established in 1946, Initiatives of Change Switzerland's main approach is to bring global change through personal change. IofC Switzerland provides a safe and privileged space to inspire, equip and connect individuals, groups and organisations from around the globe to engage effectively and innovatively in trustbuilding, ethical leadership, sustainable living and human security. IofC Switzerland is the Swiss body of Initiatives of Change International (IofC).

ICA:UK draws on more than 50 years of global experience in human, community and organisational development. As part of the ICA International network of 30 organisations across five continents, ICA:UK focuses on the human factor in world development, developing, sharing and applying effective facilitation methods designed to release human potential and give people greater control over their own development.

Both organizations started their collaboration in 2011, with the involvement of ICA:UK with the Caux Forum, providing design and facilitation support through the Caux Forum Design Team. In 2014, the collaboration extended with the first Group Facilitation Methods course being run jointly in Geneva. The partnership between IofC Switzerland and ICA:UK goes beyond this joint venture. Both organizations have in common that they aim to achieve global and social change, and have complementary approaches. IofC Switzerland focuses on the personal change process and ICA focuses on the way groups work together.


Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)

The Group Facilitation Methods, Action Planning, Participatory Strategic Planning and Organisational Transformation courses are recognised by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), the UK's largest awarding body for leadership and management qualifications.

For a fee of 75£, participants of these courses may receive the ILM Development Award, which recognises that the learner has completed an ICA:UK course that meets ILM standards for professionalism, organisation, content, and trainers. Previous learners have found the Development Award to be a valuable way to demonstrate learning to employers and clients.