What is the difference between training and facilitation?
Training and facilitation are often used interchangeably, and many learning professionals are both trainers and facilitators. There are some differences, however, which are illustrated in the diagram below.
A facilitator’s role is to help the group share the internal knowledge they already have and use it to achieve a common goal (e.g., decision, action, solve and issue).
In contrast, a trainer’s role is focused on providing external knowledge to the group A skilled trainer will also manage the process, but their primary focus is on providing specific content they cover and lead activities so participants acquire new knowledge and skills.
“Training is about learning and facilitation is about thinking.”
What makes a good facilitator?
Strong trainers and facilitators manage many dynamic factors concurrently. Skilled facilitators and trainers:
- Create an environment that is conducive to learning – it feels ‘safe’ to participants.
- Engages all participants.
- Holds participants accountable for their learning or their decisions/actions.
- Provides opportunities to interact and practice new skills.
- Role models respect for specific needs.
- Assess if participants achieve the learning objectives.
Do you offer any courses?
Performance Matters offers an online course where participants redesign an in-person program for online delivery. There are five modules. The final module focuses on online facilitation skills.
Click here to learn more.
Where can you learn more?
The Institute for Performance and Learning (I4PL) has identified facilitation as a core competency for learning professionals. Click here to learn how they structure this competency.
The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) is a professional association that sets internationally accepted standards, provides accreditation and a community of practice.
These are some projects that include facilitation:
- Session for 100 current and future delegates and board members
- Team building workshop
- Training and accreditation standards
- Redesigning process at a municipality
- Curriculum design and learning strategy
- Performance management for managers and employees
- Business Leadership Development
- Performance consulting workshop