Facilitator Courses

Facilitator Training Course / Train the Trainer (Accredited)

The Unit Standard
Title: Facilitate learning using a variety of methodologies
ID: 117871
NQF level: 5
Credits: 10

Course Venues

  • Cape Town – Greens Lodge Parow –map | Contact
  • Johannesburg – Accolades Boutique Venue & Luxury Accommodation Midrand – map | Contact

Facilitating Learning

You cannot believe the difference between learning from a skilled facilitator versus learning from a traditional “trainer/presenter”.

Here are just some of the key tools we enable facilitators to master in our 3-day life changing facilitator-training workshops:

  • Preparing learners and environments for productive learning
  • Encouraging learners to interact and work together busily
  • Applying principles which can unlock the potential in a group
  • Building rapport, establishing credibility and getting buy-in to your programmes
  • Using questions for maximum participation, learning and discovery
  • Working seamlessly with single groups where delegates range from those who are first timers to those who are experienced and knowledgeable
  • Using structures to help groups achieve purpose and progress
  • Using a special key to foster a new level of openness among people
  • Observing and responding to subtle signs when working with groups
  • Moving groups ahead agreeably
  • Dealing with disagreement, disruptions, chaos, objections and demanding individuals
  • Constructing presentation slides which illustrate meaning with a minimum of words
  • Presenting seemingly dull information in an interesting and memorable way
  • Stimulating debate and thinking
  • Maintaining and enhancing learner self esteem
  • Summarising in a way that ensures the interaction is remembered indelibly
  • Completing make-or-break-items on a Facilitation performance check sheet


Hello Brian.

I would like to thank you for the excellent Facilitator’s Course.
I learned so much, and have put it all into practice. Before, I was exhausted after presenting training, now I am energised as the participants themselves are so engaged in the learning.
I love your methodology and will continue to fly the EXECOACH flag high. It is an amazing organisation!


Natalie Petersen


AFRICAN SALES Company (Pty) Ltd
Procter & Gamble Prestige Products
Training Manager


Hi Brian,


I would just like to thank you for the course once again. I made use of the facilitator skills and adult learning techniques in my training yesterday and today. The students wrote exams and the increased results are shockingly good.


Thank you for this knowledge, it is highly appreciated and this course is recommended for anyone training adults.


Yours in Training




What do facilitators do?

Facilitators teach. But in a very specialised way. Their classes are typically busy, relaxed, participative affairs where it looks as if everyone is having a good time while learning. Instead of fear and stress you will see a quiet confidence and energy. Some say:”Facilitators don’t teach! They create easy ways for others to learn and remember!”

Would I be a good facilitator?

  • Do you dream of teaching others?
  • Do you love the idea of running a class?
  • Did you play teacher as a kid?
  • Does sharing your knowledge with others give you a thrill?
  • Do you love working with people?
  • Would you do it even f the money was at times nonexistent or modest?
  • Do you get a kick out of seeing another person “get it”?

Sure, this is not scientific, but a number of yes answers suggest you may be a facilitator waiting to emerge.

This Facilitator Training Course is accredited and endorsed by the ETDP Seta (Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority). Delegates meeting the requirements for this course earn credits towards a National Qualification.
You many qualify for recognition of your prior learning (RPL).

Can a facilitator teach anything?

No. Facilitators need to know their subject area.

A typical conversation goes like this:  “So you want to be a Facilitator/Trainer/Teacher? “

Answer: “Yes, that’s my dream!”

Me:  “So which subjects do you want to Facilitate/Train/Teach? “

Answer:” It doesn’t  matter.  Anything!”

This simply means the enquirer needs to think more about their area of expertise, or passion.

(Options may include: A work related area / client service / health and safety / leadership/sales / management / finance / legal / life skills / HIV / Aids / gender based study areas / advocacy / personal growth / goal setting / spiritual / entrepreneurship / animals / volunteerism / wildlife / guiding / community gardening / food security / team building / make up / dressing professionally / food / cooking / a trade, etc.)

Is there work for facilitators?

Yes always. But strangely, the work does not come looking for you.  You need to hunt for it continuously.

Neville, many years on the bench in the electrical industry was retrenched.  The thought of going back to the bench and starting all over depressed him.

 Neville was quite ordinary at our facilitator course, but qualified nevertheless. In no time Neville found work at the Technicon where he now lectures in electrics, his field of expertise.

Me: “So how’s it going, Neville?

Neville: “I could not be happier-ever!  This is what I was born for!  But I must add I’m working real hard, preparing each day for my next lesson.”

How can I get started as a facilitator?

Qualify yourself as a facilitator.  (Execoach can assist with this)

Clarify your preferred areas of specialisation and be sure of where your passion lies.

Build up a solid and growing body of knowledge in your areas of specialisation.

Consider the commercial slant: Who might pay me to present classes in these subjects or facilitate workshops in these areas of learning?

Respond to ads, search for opportunities and apply continuously for posts.

Do some free stuff initially to build your confidence and establish your reputation.

I can’t leave my job, so how can I start as a facilitator?

No need to leave your job.

Make yourself known at work as the one who teaches new people.

Share ways you find for making work easier and quicker.

Be modest, don’t force yourself on others, and train in a soft, mature, adult way without ever being loud, bossy or a show off.

Volunteer and start teaching in your community, club, church, children’s school etc.   Do it for free to get you going.

Please submit your enquiry.


Evaluating your facilitators against a current best practice benchmark

With years of experience in evaluating facilitators in action, we have grown used to remarks such as:

“My attention was drawn back to some things I had let slip!”

“I know this stuff, and it was a good reminder to once again bring out my best.”

“The feedback is incredibly detailed and I appreciated the excellent and encouraging way in which the feedback interview was handled.”

“I feel very motivated because my strengths were noticed and affirmed.”

Executive Coaching & Facilitation evaluates facilitators against 33 essential facilitation criteria!!

Personal discussions with facilitators before the evaluation event clear up expectations and remove the stress of being evaluated.

An abbreviated copy of a facilitator’s feedback report:

Hi Jasmine

Thank you for the assignment to evaluate Zunaid in action with his learners. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Zunaid when he trained a group of 17 HP218 analysis learners on Friday 27th June in Midrand. Here are the main points which Zunaid and I discussed after the session.

We can go into detail of the 33-point feedback form of which Zunaid has a copy when I see you on next week.

What Zunaid does well:

Zunaid sets up a safe learning environment where his learner’s self esteem is maintained and enhanced and mistakes are okay and easily fixed. He does this by applying adult learning principles in all his learner interactions.

People learn well: One learner said: “I never thought I would ever be able to do this!”

Learners who struggle or fall behind are helped individually.

Handouts: Zunaid has made a professional and helpful MEMORY Guide which learners say is very valuable.

Some areas Zunaid needs to pay attention to:

A Learning Structure: Zunaid and I discussed the essential principle of having a visible day structure so that learners can see the big picture and know where they are going, know where they are now and know where they have been during a day’s work.

Questions: We discussed better ways to use questions so that learners are prompted to think more. (Zunaid’s questions led to “yes or no” answers”. Zunaid was uncomfortable when learners needed thinking time and so he would continue talking after asking his questions. He would also answer the questions himself.)

Linking content points in the leaning: We discussed how Zunaid needs to summarise a point just completed and then indicate why the next point is important and why it follows logically. (Rather than: “Okay, now we’re going to do this or now we are going to do that.”)

Going through the computer programme screens: We agreed that it is useless for learners when a facilitator says: ” Go to “New”. Click on “Activate”. Type in 5%…” (Any person would be able to follow such prompts without having an idea of why or wherefore. They would also not be able to follow the programme independently afterwards.) Zunaid and I discussed at length what the alternatives were so that learners engage their minds and think, and also know the rationale of why they are doing what they are doing. (Zunaid pointed out that he had been doing that earlier before I saw him and had fallen into his old habit again)

Zunaid has undertaken to work to a visible structure daily so that his group is informed and in the know of where they are.

He has also expanded on the idea of involving his group to think and understand why they are moving around on screens, and why they are filling in data in particular places, instead of saying: “Click here, click there, open this, close that, enter, close and save”

He was encouraged to enjoy the fact that he has a magnificent rapport with his learners and that he deservedly enjoys their respect and trust.

I walk out of this facilitation workshop a new person.”



Refine teaching styles to meet adult learner needs

Brian Jensen

Adult learners enter the training room or lecture theatre with an entirely different set of needs and expectations than a student or young scholar. Brian Jensen, principle facilitator at Execoach explores some of those differences.

“Adult learners like to puzzle things out instead of being told the obvious. They like to exchange information and share experiences with peers.”

According to Jensen even if adults do not vocalise it, they hope questions like these will be answered:

• Why is it done like this?
• Why is it done at all?
• Who says so? Who else says so?
• What if this? And what if that?
• Where can this information be used?
• How do I apply this learning?
• What will happen if I just ignored this?
• How much can I charge for doing this kind of work?

The way the facilitator or moderator communicates with participants will significantly impact the learning environment. Jensen highlights two elements of communication that trainers should monitor closely;Language and Tone.

• Examples of Language

  • Examples of tone

According to Jensen treating participants with respect is critical to creating a positive space for sharing and learning.

“Learners thrive when facilitators have a high and unconditional regard for others. This regard is evidenced in the facilitator’s courteous and respectful behaviour towards all.”

For this reason Execoach starts a relationship with the delegate long before the course begins. “We find out about the learners work and the learners hopes and objectives for attending a course. By the time we meet at the course, we feel like acquaintances.”

“Execoach attempts to carry out all the ideas and thoughts put forward in this article. We gather feedback from our courses and go through the feedback thoroughly. While we enjoy flattering and complimentary feedback, it’s the more painful developmental feedback we scrutinise and go to pains to respond to, to improve our facilitation, materials and learning environments,” concludes Jensen.

For more information visit Execoach

By Cindy Payle – Skills Portal Journalist


How to facilitate a workshop or training session

Building Rapport:

Be ready early with your presentation set up. Trust that your preparation is ready and be available to greet people and introduce yourself as they arrive and find their seats.

e.g.: Hello I am XXXX. You are? Welcome! I will be the facilitator today. Have you found some coffee? Did you travel OK? Can I introduce you to…?

First words for starting

Welcome to this e.g.: Health and Safety Workshop. I am (your name) and I will be facilitating the workshop today and trust you are gong to enjoy it/find it useful. “

Presenting your structure:

Let’s have a look at this structure here to see what we will be covering.

Pointing to your large, pre prepared structure:

Shortly, we will be starting with some introductions…

I will be keen to find out your expectations from the workshop

Orientation: We will talk about the venue and where everything is. How lunch works, tea times, smoking, arrangements, etc…

Continuing with your structure, say: The subject matter we will be covering is: (e.g.)

An Introduction to Cats/Client Service Skills/Health and Safety in the Workplace etc
Naming e.g. The parts/components of a cat/forklift/a guitar/etc.
Explaining e.g. How………. (Say something enticing about this section.
“Predicting ……….. (Say something enticing about this section)

Introductions/Ice breakers

But, let’s start off with some introductions: How about we do the following:

Tell us your name, tell us about your loved ones, and then tell us about e.g. the best and worst cat/forklift/client service experiences you have had, all in a minute or less.

Venice, would you start for us? (Venice agrees) Thank you

The facilitator also introduces him or herself using the same criteria.


“To help me ensure this workshop is as valuable as possible for you, I would love to hear what your expectations are.

Ask delegates:” Kindly write what you expect:”

From the course/workshop itself
From each other, and
From the facilitator

Responding to expectations as they are fed back to you, say:

e.g. “Cat illnesses are a key point and we will examine four common ones. Thank you

Managing expectations which are not in your workshop’s scope:

e.g. “Performing cat surgery does not form part of this workshop; however, I will be glad to refer you to a vet. Thank you. (Should your cat need surgery, I hope it all goes well!)

Establishing your credibility (initially people may be unsure about who you are and what your expertise is)

Say: “You might be wondering why I am your facilitator today, let me explain:

Passion: My /passion/interest in e.g. Cats/Debt Counseling/Health and Safety/TB/HIV and AIDS/Fires in the home/Technical Support started when… (Give some interesting detail)

Qualifications: This led me to study/research (give details.) I was fortunate to complete my (XXX) and obtain a diploma /degree/certificate in XXXXX in at the University of KZN. (Present your qualifications with humility)

Past Successes: (be specific with numbers, details or percentages) I enjoyed a four years working at a clinic/call centre/project/ where we were able to e.g. reduce the incidence of f burns in children by 42%/Improve our client service rating from 12 complaints a day to 2 a month, Improve sales from 4 deals per week to 12 a day, etc

Securing buy in

Buy in motivators:

These are not strong buy in motivators:

As a team you will be able to perform more effectively
Your organisation will qualify for the five star award
You will understand how the act works
You will know how the system works

Buy in must relate to a personal benefit the delegate may enjoy after the workshop.

What to say to secure buy in:

When you walk away here, you should be able to:

Improve your sales and take-home-pay
Improve your prospects for securing a permanent position
Avoid suffering pain and injury in a accident at work or at home
Win clients over who will remain loyal to you personally and keep buying form you
Adopt a life style that will ensure you are slimmer and more attractive etc.

Ask: Will this be helpful to you? (Wait till you have a response)”

Say: “Thank you, shall we get started? “

Probing to establish present levels:

Ask: “Before we start:

E.g. what do you already know about e.g. forklift vehicles?
In what kind of projects have you already worked?
Which (e.g.) income tax courses have you already completed?
With regard to (e.g.) TB, what does your daily work entail?
On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your present knowledge on e.g. The Income Tax act? Ten being: You know it all, one being you know nothing about It.?

Acknowledge what you hear:

50 tons? That’s a powerful forklift!
Never worked on a project? Not a problem. This workshop will be a good starting point.
You did your Masters on the Act? Wonderful: I may call on you from time to time for to elaborate on some points. Will that be ok? Also, will you be willing to assist with some group work? Thank you.

KEY: When and how to pour out or teach new information:

Once you have probed, you will hear how much your group knows. You then need to take the learning further.

What to say: Point to the structure and say:

So let’s take (name your subject: e.g. Paraffin Safety/Installing the new system/) further:

Use Pictures/PowerPoint/Items/Analogies/Similies/Illustrations/Demonstrations/Items etc. to explain and illustrate your information vibrantly and attractively:

Ask questions frequently: e.g. (Pose questions to the whole group and let at think)

Why do you think, we……..?
What do you think might happen if we…….?
What might be the danger of …..?
Working in two’s, try and come up with as many reasons as possible for…..etc.

(Once everyone has thought about the question, select people to give their views: spread the participation around)

Advance your learning along the lines of Blooms Taxonomy.

Say: We have now named all the parts. Let’s take it up a level and explain how they interact….

Moving up a level again, let’s try and apply this…

Doing best summaries:

Referring to the structure, say: “We have now covered

Commonly used terms in the Income tax field
Identifying the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance

Say: “Let’s remind ourselves again of the common terms. Will you start with one, Victor?

Acknowledge: “Yes, SARS!” Gesture to someone else: Acknowledge: Yes PAYE, Which means?

Moving on: With the tax evasion and tax avoidance, what are some key points that stood out for you, Ilse?

Clarifying: When you say: “Criminal charges, will you explain a little further?

Prompting: To prompt, say: “I am not hearing anything about e.g. Pension fund deductions?”

Responding to an individual’s question:

Say to the group: e.g. Vincent asks: Will all tick bites cause fever? Let’s talk about that.

Once an answer has been discussed and summarized, ask Vincent: Does that answer your question Vincent? If ok, say: Thank you that was a valuable question.

Introducing an energizer:

Say: “Just to change gear a little, how about we do the following;”

Let’s stand and find some space. Perfect. Now, let’s stretch as follows……., Now, move the arms…, the neck…, Thank you. (Also use intellectual energizers, social games and quizzes)

Dealing with disagreement:

Say: Thank you; you raise an interesting/valuable point. Let’s explore that.

Invite others to share their views e.g.

What other views are there on the issue that has been raised..?

If you can, refer to an indisputable source e.g.

The law/act/constitution/terms of an agreement/manual/operating procedure/regulation/document) then do so.

Referring to a reference say: e.g. Let’s see what the act says about claiming 60%. We see under section 14.4, that a maximum of 20% can be claimed.

Ask the one who disagreed: Given that a max of 20% can be claimed, and not 60 %, are you OK to proceed? If person agrees, say:

Thank you for raising the important question of e.g. How much can be claimed?