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Facilitation Training (Basic)
Basic Level Training
Hosted by U.S. EPA, Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch
Community Involvement University (CIU)

What is the course overview?
This course provides participants with an overview of the key skills and concepts associated with effective meeting planning and meeting facilitation. The course helps participants learn how to be an effective facilitator when called upon to play that role and illustrates how "facilitative behavior" can be applied to a wide range of situations to make them more effective in their interactions with peers and with external stakeholders. The course covers facilitation at different types of meetings, including EPA team meetings, large public meetings, conference calls or other distance interactions, and interagency meetings. Participants learn how to plan for effective meetings, anticipate difficult situations, deal with disruptive participants, and reach successful conclusions.

Who should take this course?
This course is recommended for those who are responsible for planning and/or facilitating public meetings, internal work group meetings, inter-agency meetings, and long-term multi-party meetings with diverse stakeholders. Those who simply want to become more effective in group interactions and problem-solving activities in a wide variety of situations may also find this course beneficial. Although this course is designed for those with limited to no facilitation training, experienced staffers are encouraged to attend the same course because the different levels of experience tend to make the course more interactive and a richer experience for all those who attend. There are no prerequisites for this course.

What are the course learning objectives?
Participants who complete this course will gain skills on how to:

  • Identify who should attend your meeting to achieve stated outcomes;
  • Structure the agenda to achieve agreed upon meeting goals;
  • Use ground-rules and meeting guidelines to ensure needed outcomes;
  • Follow-up after a meeting to ensure results are fully implemented;
  • Prepare for the role as facilitator;
  • Engage participants to help be an effective facilitator;
  • Use specific tools and techniques to be an effective facilitator; and
  • Facilitate different types of meetings (e.g., conference calls, other distance interactions).

What are the logistics?
This course will be one and a half days on April 5-6, 2016 in EPA Region 4 and includes presentations with a variety of interactive discussions on key concepts and skills, role-playing exercises that enable participants to practice their new skills, and group learning discussions. The session leader will seek the active involvement of participants in how they have seen these techniques used - or not used - in their own project experience. The course also includes interactive exercises designed to provide students with opportunities to practice the skills discussed. Recommended course size is 15-24 participants.

Marion Cox of Re♦Source Associates teaches this course. She has developed and delivered training courses in all US EPA regions since 1981. Her courses include public involvement planning, working effectively with communities and diverse stakeholders, conflict management and negotiation, handling hostile audiences and situations, team-building and team management, and collaborative planning. Her work is focused primarily on Agency interactions with communities, state and local regulatory agencies, and with other key stakeholder groups.

Is there available background material?
There is no recommended background material.

For general information contact Tina Conley by telephone at 703-603-0696 or via e-mail at

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