What we offer

What is Facilitation?

Much has been written on training, and too little has been understood about facilitation; the result of which is the words being interchangeably used. We share some differences as well as some overlaps between the two disciplines, especially as lived at IAF.


Training is the art of sending information on a specific task, skill and/or behavior in a unidirectional manner from the sender(the teacher or the subject matter expert) and the receiver (the student or the attendee).


We cannot teach people anything. We can only help them discover it within themselves


Facilitation is the art and science of pooling the wisdom and experience of the facilitator and members of a group and moving forward in a designed manner. Together, participants move through different phases to arrive at a common consensus on the outcome and way forward.


Some differences, at a glance, between these two may be:


People involvedTeacher, Professor, Lecturer, TrainerFacilitator
RolesAs defined by The Association of Talent Development, “Expert on stage”As defined by The Association of Talent Development, “Guide on the side”
ExperienceOnly someone with in-depth knowledge, experience and expertise in the subject can trainAnyone who knows group processes can facilitate anything – meetings, outcomes, conflict resolution, etc.
Level of expertiseVertical – subject matter expert on one subject, e.g. Math teacher, Psychology professor, Sales Skills trainerBoth horizontal and possibly vertical
EmphasisOn learning and applicationOn collaboration and communication
Mode of instructionTells unidirectionallyCreates a playing field for multi-directional communication and interactions
Aids requiredPowerPoints, structures, models, process documents, graphics, videos, audios, etc.Either none, or some props depending on the processes being employed; flipcharts and markers
Interaction dynamicsGives linear instructions born of own learning and experience; Shares their expertiseAsks questions, moderates discussions, makes the participants think about how to get to the agreed upon outcomes and encourages participation and accountability; Does not bring in own view-points, opinions and knowledge; Observes group dynamics, processes, actions and results
Outcome achievementSkill building through repeated action/practice; behavior building through repeated feedbackGroup processes, wisdom and dynamics at play
Decision making

Lies with the trainer/teacher

Lies with the group

    So, you are exploring facilitation as a career and life choice. While there are many ways to the top of any mountain, a clear path helps. At IAF, we have a clear, internationally recognized path of growth as a facilitator. Each of these milestones has been detailed further.
    Please click the milestone below to learn more.

IAF CertifiedTM Professional Facilitator

The IAF CertifiedTM Professional Facilitator (CPF) is an international designation that indicates the attainment of the IAF’s Core Competencies for facilitation. It assures that those who are certified are qualified to design and deliver effective group facilitation services.
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IAF EndorsedTM Facilitator

The IAF endorses training programs that are aligned with its Statement of Values, Code of Ethics, and Core Competencies. IAF EndorsedTM trainings can be awarded to both “comprehensive” training programs that cover all six IAF Core Competencies, and “focused” programs that cover one or more competencies in depth.
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