Facilitation training

Participation Paradigm

The basis of ToP methodology
Learn why ToP™ methods work so successfull in all situations and affect people so profoundly.

The basis of ToP™ methodology

Pre-Requisite : Group Facilitation Methods or GFM Online *

Learn why ToP™ methods work so successfully in all situations and why they affect participants so profoundly. ICA methods are based on years of cross-cultural research into human patterns of perception and experience. Discover the framework for creative, powerful usage and understanding of all ToP™ methods. Course includes book The Courage to Lead by Brian Stanfield.

Learn how to:

  • Facilitate in challenging situations and modify techniques.
  • Respond appropriately to individual and group struggles.
  • Enhance motivation to action. and reduce discouragement.
  • Focus on core information and motivation.
  • Maximize the impact of meetings and planning sessions by the intentional use of verbal and visual images.

As with all ICAA training, this course is delivered by professional facilitators who actually demonstrate the materials, lead reflections to learn collaboratively, provide real life examples from experience, and set you up to practice with others using a suite of tools. Sometimes you might work on interesting case studies. Sometimes you work on your own case. The high quality manual is full of useful materials: underlying theory, short readings, step-by-step instructions, templates, and worksheets. As a result you will have the confidence to use your new understandings immediately with clients of your own.

Both the “live online” and “in-person” courses are usually scheduled from 9 am – 5 pm in the time zone of the location mentioned. Please check the timing carefully when registering.
You will need to choose your preferred type of setting or mode of delivery. The descriptions of the differences between live online (LO), in-person (IP) are explained in an expandable section near the bottom of this web page.

Courses are held from 9 am – 5 pm in the time zone of the location mentioned.

Price is in CAD$1,345.00. Applicable tax is extra.


All ICA and ToP® methods have in common an individual and group empowerment value not necessarily explicitly stated in the methods, but implicitly visible in their impact and results. This course makes the transformation explicit for the facilitator and shows how.

Enable human and group transformation

  • Learn how to use your facilitation and leadership to effect reflection and change
  • Use tools and techniques that reinforce positive images and behavior
  • Learn to design participatory processes that transform


Shape the atmosphere for collaboration and transformation

  • Create the conditions for positive participation
  • Address difficult situations and meet ethical challenges


Practical ways to maximize the impact of facilitated events

  • Skills to deepen your facilitation
  • Ability to motivate individuals and groups to positive action
  • Appropriate responses to individual and group struggles


Deeper insights into facilitation method and style

  • A more grounded view of your own life struggles
  • Stronger connections between facilitation techniques and deeper principles
  • Connect methods and theory to values and philosophy


Day One

Deeper Human Development

  • Limits and possibilities
  • Theory behind methods
  • Facilitator application

Catalyzing Change

  • Responsibility challenge
  • Messages in facilitation tools
  • Choosing tools

Day Two

Designing Transformation

  • Daring to lead
  • Diagnosis and design process
  • Designing meetings and workshops

Transformational Environment

  • Facilitating difficult situations
  • Ethical dilemmas and challenges
  • Applications

Human Development is for leaders who want to enable genuine transformation and positive change.

  • Organizational leaders will learn methods for lasting change.
  • Managers will discover ways to maintain positive engagement and motivation.
  • Community leaders will find ways to make deep change in the ways people relate to community change and development.
  • Facilitators will deepen their understanding of facilitation principles and transformative change.

This course contains self-reflective practices and group methods that can occasion significant change in an individual or a group in the direction of self and group empowerment.

  • Imaginal Education links the power of image change to behaviour.
  • Courage to Lead study charts and guides from the book: The Courage to Lead: Transform Self, Transform Society.
  • Event Orchestration is a template for creating an event that has impact far beyond simple products.
  • Contentless Method is the method that is the foundation for all ToP methods and many other tools and processes.

You can choose to take this course In Person (IP) or Live Online (LO). The codes IP or LO show in the course name when you register.

In Person (IP) classes are instructor-led events occurring in the same room on specific dates with one group of people. You have a deep level of dialogue with face-to-face practice in breakout groups, get paper manuals and books, use pen-and-paper worksheets and exercises and enjoy breaks and lunches together. Instructors demonstrate methods using flipcharts, index cards, marker pens and wall chart visuals . The experience for participants can be similar to working with a client in a live setting. There is no practice of online tools.

Live Online (LO) classes are instructor-led events occurring at the same time with the same people, using our learning management system and online platforms, primarily Zoom and Mural. The course covers the same material as an IP course but uses online tools with plenty of small group exercises. Manuals and books are downloadable as PDFs that can be printed out if you want.  There are no programs or apps to download. Participants need a computer with a large screen (a cell phone won't work well), a high speed internet connection, and earphones or earbuds. We do not actively “teach” online tools, but participants get so see and experience the ones we use during the course.

Self Directed (SD) courses are sets of “modules” like mini-courses, each containing short videos, readings, quizzes and games and assignments. You take them at your own speed any time from anywhere. You get written feedback from instructors on your assignments. The modules are assembled to resemble the in-person and live online course content. The disadvantage is the absence of collegial interaction, teamwork, and dialogue, which is a key component of facilitation. Participant manuals and materials are downloadable in PDF form.

All course graduates are encouraged to follow-up with some 1:1 coaching and join communities of practice we have set up to help extend and reinforce learning.


"I have used this course to diagnose what was impeding implementation for three different projects and then gave a presentation to my section on what I learned."

Course Participant