Participants of the Certified Group Facilitator Program engaging in a learning experience

Certified Group Facilitator Program

“This is, without a doubt, the most beneficial and useful training.” -2019 Participant

Program Overview

APAC’s Certified Group Facilitator Program teaches public service professionals how to effectively design, manage, and lead groups to solve problems and meet desired goals. Participants will learn to:

  • Clarify goals and outcomes for group work sessions (e.g., meetings, retreats, strategic planning, community engagement)
  • Design processes by which groups work to achieve their goals
  • Guide groups through discussions and activities required to meet their identified goals
  • Document group findings and decisions

Program participants will learn and practice various techniques to promote productive teamwork. Specific facilitation strategies include: posing key questions, generating options, narrowing choices, focusing the group, managing conflict, developing action plans, and more.

The Certified Group Facilitator Program provides expert, in-person instruction from trainers with extensive facilitation experience. It also allows for hands-on application so participants can practice the skills they are learning.

“Great mix of lecture, discussion, hands-on activities, and practice.” -2019 Participant

Future Program Information

We made the difficult decision to postpone APAC’s Certified Group Facilitator Program until we can schedule in-person training sessions again. The curriculum for this outstanding program cannot be adapted to a virtual learning environment.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list to receive updates and registration information when a future program is scheduled, contact APAC at apacprog@ualr.edu or (501) 569-3436.

About the Program

The Certified Group Facilitator Program consists of three parts.

  1. Intensive, in-person training – Participants attend six days of facilitation training during two, 3-day sessions.
  2. Assignments – At-home work assignments provide insight about why facilitation is important and what it can accomplish.
  3. Capstone – Participants put into practice what they have learned by planning and leading a group facilitation.

The program requires approximately 65 hours to complete. It is offered annually with an approximate cost of $900 (2020 registration fee).

“Best training I’ve attended in years.” -2019 Participant

Benefits of Becoming a Certified Group Facilitator

Public service organizations often develop plans, investigate problems, and make critical decisions through group work that involves many different stakeholders.  In some cases, poor planning, lack of trust, and conflicting values may impede a group’s progress toward reaching its goals.  With a plan of action, a skilled facilitator can help the group to recognize and overcome these obstacles. The result is a process that is more inclusive, decisions that are better informed, and goals that are achieved in a timelier fashion.

“I feel very equipped to be a facilitator.” -2019 Participant

Curriculum Development and Instruction Team

The curriculum development and instruction team currently includes Judith Faust, Marie Lindquist, Kathryn Matchett, Hilary Trudell, Jonathan Wallace, and Lisa Weaver. You can find out more about them on the APAC instructor page.

“Trainers are very knowledgeable and engaging; having real-world experience to validate what’s being taught.” -2019 Participant

Find a Group Facilitator

APAC can help identify a facilitator for your upcoming meeting, retreat, strategic planning process, or other group event. Highly experienced facilitators, who offer their services for a fee, are available to assist you.  At times, these facilitators are willing to provide their services for no fee when the subject matter connects to them personally or professionally. Additionally, volunteer (no-cost) facilitation services are offered by program participants who seek to gain experience.

If you would like to identify a group facilitator, send your request to apacprog@ualr.edu or call (501) 569-3044. Please include the following in your request:

  1. What you would like to accomplish through a facilitated process
  2. Date and location details regarding the facilitation you are planning
  3. If you are seeking a volunteer facilitator or if you have funding to pay a facilitator
  4. Any information you would like to know about potential facilitators (e.g., past facilitation experience, resume, etc.)

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