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Facilitation Training (Advanced)
Advanced 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 in-depth discussion about real-life facilitation and problem-solving situations, plus practice sessions where participants use the skills and techniques discussed throughout the course. The course content is focused on both meeting planning and facilitation, and how these two different components are essential ingredients in successful meetings. The course begins with a review of basic meeting planning and facilitation skills and concepts. Next, the session leader presents information on some of the most important aspects of more advanced facilitation skills.

Who should take this course?
This course is recommended for those who are responsible for planning and/or facilitating internal work group meetings, inter-agency meetings, long-term multi-party meetings with diverse stakeholders, community work group meetings, CAG meetings, etc. Although this course is designed for those with facilitation experience, entry level staffers are welcome to attend because the different levels of experience tend to make the course more interactive and a richer experience for all those who attend. Participants who complete this course should have sufficient knowledge to serve as effective facilitators for both internal agency meetings as well as external meetings with other government agencies, other key stakeholders, and the public.

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

  • Prioritize and/or narrow issues and options;
  • Engage and maintain the active involvement of diverse stakeholders;
  • Decide on appropriate “decision processes” for each type of meeting;
  • Move forward past “impasse” to reach successful conclusions;
  • Reach agreements or make group decisions;
  • Effectively implement results;
  • Handle difficult people and situations; and
  • Establish collaborative planning and problem-solving relationships.

What are the logistics?
This one and one-half days course provides for the active engagement of all participants in both the group discussions and interactive exercises designed to provide students with opportunities to practice the skills discussed. The session leader will seek the active involvement of participants in how they have seen the various discussed techniques used - or not used - in their own project experience. Recommended course size is 16-20 participants.

Marion Cox of Re♦Source Associates teaches this course. She has developed and delivered training courses in all 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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