ToP Facilitation Essentials

Get key facilitation skills and prepare yourself for certification.

Endorsed by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF).  Submitted to IAF on behalf of ICAI by ICA Associates Canada.

View the ToP Facilitation Essentials Program (pdf).

ToP Facilitation Essentials includes 6 days of study with lots of practice.

ICA’s Technology of Participation (ToP™) has been tried and tested worldwide as one of the most effective ways for getting participation and implementing solid results.


Learn how to assess the real and hidden needs of your client, focus stakeholder conversations that get really somewhere, lead workshops that generate consensus from any group, and hold meetings and design events that get results and everyone wants to attend.

Learn the competencies of the International Association of Facilitators: create collaborative client relationships, plan appropriate group processes, create and sustain participatory environments, guide groups to appropriate and useful outcomes, build and maintain professional knowledge, and model a positive professional attitude.

After completing the program, you will require a competency-based assessment by the IAF to become a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF).

Included courses

The three 2-day courses comprising the ToP Facilitation Essentials program can be taken all at once or spread out over a year or more:


  • Group Facilitation Methods

Powerful methods to facilitate and build consensus

  • Meetings That Work

Design and facilitate effective meetings

  • Facilitating Client Collaboration

Design facilitation approaches with your client

What you learn

In the ToP Facilitation Essentials Program you will learn how to:

  • Understand and assess client needs as an internal or external facilitator.
  • Hold conversations that focus teams and stakeholders on results.
  • Build consensus and commitment to implement with any group.
  • Lead meetings and events using best practices and dozens of tools and methods.
  • Help teams articulate challenges and respond with creativity.
  • Co-manage multi-session events.

Facilitators benefit from:

  • Transferable skills, adding value in all work environments and professions.
  • Lateral connections, creating links within and across units, departments and divisions.
  • Vertical relationships, engendering respect at front line, management and director levels.
  • Healthy workplaces, generating a positive atmosphere in every project.
  • A learning lifestyle, understanding perspectives from within the whole organization.

How it Prepares you for Certification

Use of ICA’s ToP™ methods and other methods will contribute to your portfolio, preparing you for CPF assessment by the International Association of Facilitators.

ToP Facilitation Essentials covers all of the competencies required by the International Association of Facilitators. For more information on CPF certification, check the IAF website at The International Association of Facilitators has other programs and services you should consider.

“ToP Facilitation Essentials is a quick way to familiarize yourself with IAF competencies in preparation for certification.”

Bill Staples, ICA Associates Canada

Customers are lovin’ it

With company representatives and stakeholders in the same room, we needed serious expertise in designing the major planning session to launch our new organization. ICA helped us put the whole enterprise on a very solid foundation.

I make plans, hold meetings and conduct research using ICA’s methods of participation. They are the best methods around to involve people in groups in making sense of lots of information and making decisions about action.

All of our staff regularly make use of ICA methods and techniques in programs with colleagues and with the public. It makes them very effective in working together with others.

ICA just finished facilitating a strategic planning session with a community group, and the results were great.

In only three days, we had a way for our managers to move the entire organization toward team-based operations, and an action plan to get it done.

We had ICA Associates lead our strategic planning. It was so effective that we had them look at and enhance all of our program planning and evaluation processes.

As the new president of a large, complex organization, I had to quickly get our whole management team thinking along the same lines. With the help of ICA, it took only two days.

Online bookings are available for regularly scheduled public ToP training courses in countries including Australia & New ZealandCanadaTaiwanUKUkraine & USA.  Other ICAs also offer public courses, and in-house courses on request.

For ToP training near you look at our upcoming public ToP courses or contact trainers directly on the USA  national network of ToP Trainers directly  or visit  ICA Worldwide