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ToP Facilitation Methods

icausa-logo“This was the best training I’ve had since joining the department.”
–Wayne Fanno, Ph.D., State of Oregon

“Invest two days in this course; the benefits are more than worth it!”
–Tricia Yates, Oregon School Boards Association

“I went in feeling insecure about my skills to lead a meeting and walked away from the experience feeling like I had started building a solid facilitation foundation. I now feel I have the confidence to lead a positive and productive meeting.”
–Meg Dethloff, USGS/PNAMP Biologist

ToP Facilitation Methods
Beaverton, Oregon

Early December 2020 (TBD) Virtual – Register Here*

Please note that at this moment we intend to go ahead with a face-to-face course and will make a decision whether this is safe to do so by early October. We will also inform you of any virtual courses as they become available.

Click here for our Black Lives Matter Statement of Solidarity from the ToP Network Board.

*You will be redirected to the ICA website for registration.
Looking for other dates and locations? Click Here

Need to see what this training is all about?

Course Description

This is our core course which has had consistent rave reviews for more than 10 years! The curriculum is developed by a national team of trainers and consistently revised and updated on a regular basis.

In this course you will learn three proven processes for activating group participation. You will also gain hands-on experience practicing methods and explore ways to apply them to your specific situation.

The Focused Conversation Method

Learn a structured process that helps you plan and facilitate a meaningful exchange of ideas. Discover ways to involve every member in thinking through difficult issues. This process heightens your effectiveness in facilitating virtually every form of group communication.

  • Conduct purposeful, productive meetings and discussions
  • Quickly capture a group’s best thinking
  • Surface new ideas and solutions
  • Ask questions that stimulate candid feedback and discussion

The Consensus Workshop Method

Energize problem-solving with a process that builds active participation and teamwork. Productively channel diverse ideas into consensus decisions everyone can own and support. Learn tools to facilitate groups to new levels of creativity and cooperation

  • Tap rational and intuitive thought processes
  • Integrate diverse ideas
  • Generate practical and creative solutions
  • Develop group consensus

The Action Planning Method

Master this powerful implementation planning process which enables you to help a group rapidly pull together an effective plan, organize needed resources and mobilize individuals’ energy into action.

  • Visualize a successful result
  • Analyze the current reality
  • Create a practical plan
  • Maximize group commitment and involvement

“I have used the facilitation method that I learned through your teaching several times. It is such a fabulous tool. I cannot say enough good things about it.”
–Past Participant


After taking this two day interactive learning course you will be able to:

  • Reduce time spent on conflict resolution and prevent conflicts
  • Allow groups to discover their own motivation
  • Attain a deepened commitment from group members
  • Point to visible results
  • Save time and money through increased productivity

Who Should Take This Course?

People who are actively involved in the leadership and facilitation of groups and teams including: Supervisors, executive directors, managers, professional facilitators, private consultants, training managers, educators, health practitioners, community specialists, concerned citizens and team members in high participation environments who need increased exposure to group participation methods to be effective.


Group Facilitation Methods is the prerequisite for many other ICA listed courses, including Strategic Planning and Environmental Scanning Approaches.

Continuing Education Credit

Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and Masters Certified Education Specialists (MCHES) earn 13.5 Continuing Education Contact Hours (CECH) for ToP Facilitation Methods recognized by the National Commission on Health Education Certification (NCHEC).

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) members earn Certification Maintenance (CM) credits for ToP Facilitation Methods (14.5 CM).

Pricing & Cancellation Policy

Early bird discount of $50.00 is available up to 21 days prior to the training.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellations more than 10 days before the course start date will be refunded all but $150 of the registration fee. Cancellations 10 days or less before the course start date (including no-shows) will receive no refund.

TRANSFER POLICY: To transfer to another course date and/or location, an additional fee of $150 will apply. Transfers and attendance must occur within 1 calendar year of the original course registration, and can be transferred no more than 2 times. If there is no attendance within 1 year or a transfer exceeds 2 times, the registration fee will be forfeited.

Looking for In-House Training for Your Group?

Generally it is cost effective if you have 16 or more people attending. For example, the corporate cost for a 2 day in-house course for up to 20 participants is generally $14,400 USD in fees (includes 2 trainers, manuals, training supplies and royalty fee paid to ICA for intellectual property – excludes travel expenses).  The rate is lower for government and not-for-profit groups.

You provide the space (need long walls or a whiteboard to place sticky walls with painter’s tape; movable tables and chairs), the participants and the refreshments. We supply everything else! Please contact us if you wish to schedule a ToP course inside your organization.

More Testimonials

“I went through a ToP facilitation training several years ago and it was by far the best quality and most useful training I have participated in over the years. The co-facilitators (Barb and Judy) really bring the subject alive and help teach through applied learning.” Heather Ficht, Executive Director, East Cascades Workforce Investment Board

“The course is a don’t miss if you participate, lead, or have anything to do with a group of people! The fail-safe techniques ensure a group will produce it’s very best work and have fun doing so, with your help as a ToP facilitator.” Sheryn Olson, Biologist, USGS

“This course teaches you to think outside the box, challenge yourself and others during conversations, and engage people in tough brainstorms. It will bring out new though processes and help you realize how you can change how you have been facilitating meetings in the past.” Melissa Boles, Employer Services Manager at Workforce Southwest Washington

“You and Judy did a tremendous job teaching us. I am now using those methods continuously in my consulting and coaching, and they are so helpful. The Focused Conversation has really helped me frame up discussions so nicely. Thank you both!!” -Past Participant