5UFS Using Facilitation Skills

Introduction to 5UFS Using Facilitation Skills

Using facilitation skills is a level 5 CIPD unit that offers a unique set of skills in development and learning as well as diverse knowledge of different facilitation techniques in different professional contexts. Facilitation skills are becoming an essential set of skills for managers in different organisations. The skills are vital elements of the facilitation process and for anyone leading a focus group, team or research group. Students pursuing the unit learn how to organize and manage a facilitation process that yields the desired outcome.


The unit is suitable for individuals planning to pursue a career in human resource management and leadership and development.  Professionals who seek to further their knowledge and understanding of facilitation models can also enrol for the unit. HR and L&D professionals can benefit from the unit by gaining an understanding of different facilitation tools and techniques. Anybody willing to develop their facilitation skills in business or organisational setting should also enrol for the unit. Facilitation skills are important for people in leadership position regardless of what they may be leading i.e. small organisational teams, focus groups or research groups. Therefore, individuals who have completed the unit are likely to have successful outcomes when facilitating meetings or organising events.

Unit Objectives

The primary objectives of the unit include:

  1. To understand the nature of facilitation and the principles of effective facilitation
  2. To discuss the different facilitation models and techniques
  3. To enable the students to apply different facilitation techniques in different business and learning contexts.
  4. To identify personal facilitation skills and areas of improvement.

Unit Content

The unit is made up of many valuable lessons aimed at creating an effective facilitator. The unit content will be based on the unit objectives. The lessons deduced from the objectives will be simplified to enable the students to understand and apply what they will be taught. The lesson will cover the nature and principles of effective facilitation. In this lesson, the conceptual nature of facilitation will be discussed.   Terms such as facilitator and facilitation will be defined. In this lesson, the learners will gain a broader understanding of the expected outcome of facilitation.

The unit will also cover the importance of facilitation skills in business and learning contexts. Using facilitation skills is important in strategic planning, project management, team building and addressing dysfunctional behaviour in an organisation. In the learning context, students will discover that facilitation skills are important in experiential methodologies, critical reflections as well as face to face discussions. Another lesson as it will be covered in the module is the critical attributes for effective facilitation. The attributes include genuine respect, goal oriented process, acceptance and trust as well as caring and empathy.

Deducing from the second objective, students will be taught about the different facilitation models. Some of the models discussed include: Carl Rogers’ humanistic model, John Heron’s 6 category intervention model, Philip Burnard’s model, Casey, Roberts and Salaman’s model. In addition to the models, students’ will also be taught about different facilitation techniques and the facilitation process. Facilitation tools such as round-table discussions, knowledge café, and customer windows among others will be discussed in detail. Dealing with dysfunctional and disruptive behaviour in a group will be critically discussed during the lessons. Importantly, real life example for each tool, technique and model will be given or researched during the lessons.

The unit has a provision for a practical learning where students will be required to demonstrate the use of different facilitation skills and techniques. In this lesson, learners will gain a broader knowledge of when and how to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical world. It is also during this lesson that each student will have adequate time to reflect on their facilitation skills. The reflection is essential in helping the students understand their areas of weakness. Models of reflective practise such as Schon, Johns’ model of structured reflection, Boud, Keogh & Walker; 6 stages in Gibbs’ reflective cycle applied to L&D practice will be used.

The use of facilitation skills is important in both HRM and L&D practice. Therefore, the lessons taught by the unit give practical scenarios for students to apply their knowledge in a small group of practical sessions. Examining case studies to identify both strengths and weaknesses of different facilitators is essential in gaining practical knowledge of what is expected from an effective facilitator. Primarily, the unit focuses on core values, dynamic techniques and experiential facilitation of effective facilitation.

Expected Learning Outcome

At the end of the module, learners are expected to have a clear understanding of the nature of facilitation and the principles of effective and efficient facilitation. Learners should also be able to analyse and discuss different facilitation models both theoretically and in real life situation. Successful students will be in a position to apply the different facilitation techniques in different business contexts and attain the desired results. Upon completing the unit, students should reflect on their facilitation skills, identify both strengths and weaknesses and come up with ideas of improving their weak areas. The learner should be able to plan and prepare for facilitating events as well as meet the needs of the participants

Summary and assessment

The unit is covered in 60 hours. 30 hours are dedicated to direct learning through lectures and group discussions. The other 30 hours are for self-directed learning, assessment and personal research. The unit is usually assessed through a 2500-4000 word essay. Being a level 5 unit, the essay should demonstrate an understanding of facilitation skills concept and critical thinking. To achieve this unit, the evidence the learner presents for assessment must demonstrate that they have met all the learning outcomes and assessment criteria. Using facilitation skills is a unit that offers a firm foundation for facilitators to work with different groups by exploring techniques and frameworks of facilitation. Acquiring knowledge of using facilitating skills boosts the confidence of a facilitator and enables them to have different styles and techniques of delivery. The primary difference between an excellent facilitator and a good facilitator is training and experience.

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