What are these qualities? What are the behaviours?
Lets’ start with the behaviours, or skills, if you like. This is what facilitators do when with a group…
- Challenge habitual thinking and behaviour
- Hold space
- Model behaviours
- Notice and reflect back
- Look for opportunities to get out of the way
Do I hear a how? How do facilitators do all of this? By…
- Selecting appropriate activities and processes
- Providing a suitable environment/space
- Keeping track of time and progress
- Clarifying, questioning, sometimes challenging and summarising
- Being non-partisan, not taking sides, not having pre-determined answers/outcomes
- Ensuring the group does the work
- Ensuring that the group’s work is captured, when necessary (which implies knowing when that is)
Hmmm….Is that all there is to facilitating? What distinguishes pedestrian facilitation from great facilitation?
Maybe it’s the personal qualities, or attitudes, that facilitators bring…
- Bravery and a willingness to fail gracefully
If I’m learning to be a facilitator, I probably want to learn the how (processes, techniques, tip and tricks) first. Then I’d want to know about application, when and why I would use one and not the other. Problem is, learning is not linear. It happens in loops and leaps, in small moments of clarity, in confusion and messiness. In other words, learning, and meaning, emerges. It can’t be structured in a way that makes sense to everyone because everyone learns differently (and no, I’m not thinking learning styles – that’s been well and truly debunked).
Here’s the dilemma. While learning is non-linear, the training is. It starts on Monday, finishes on Friday. Each day has a start and an end. We progress from one day to the next. Doing what? There’s no end of choices really.
It’s the curse of the agenda: in advance, we’ll decide we’ll do this, then that, then something else. I don’t know until I’m in the room with the group what the group really needs. The group becomes its own learning laboratory – it has within it all the complexity and messiness of any group of humans. It comes down to the curse of planning. We have the ability to think ahead, to plan what we’ll do. In many cases that’s a sensible thing to do. If I have to catch a plane I need to plan when to get to the airport, and make sure I go to the right airport. The consequences of not planning are pretty clear. I can apply the same thinking to working with a group of people. I can plan certain things – when we’ll start, when we’ll finish, where we will meet, when we will break for lunch, why we are meeting. It’s harder to plan for what might happen with a group of people, especially once I use a process that is participatory. If I follow a plan meticulously, I might miss some opportunity, or something important. If I have no plan at all…
I’ll need to draw on my ability to be spontaneous and improvise, to use what’s available (including the people in the room) combined with my own skills and knowledge of facilitation.
If an agenda is not so helpful, what is? Learning outcomes? At the end of this training, you will be able to…will understand…will know… Hmmm… There might be a shift towards these things. Learning may happen during the training. Most likely it won’t. It might happen next time one of them is in front of a group. Who am I to determine what learning you need? Nope, learning outcomes don’t help me.
In the end I need to do what I usually do – start somewhere, see what happens. Notice. Respond. Do something else. Explain what I’m doing and why. Provide opportunities to experience different approaches (processes) – not just watch, actually be a part of them, exploring topics that illuminate even more about working with groups. I need to be prepared for a number of possible approaches and to offer a rich and diverse, human, experience that enables people to learn at their own pace, to struggle in their own way, to allow meaning and insight to emerge by providing space and opportunities for them to make their own meaning, rather than me impose my meaning.
The topic of facilitation is so large, I need some anchors, some boundaries: time is one (a one-day course is very different from a five-day course); the participants and their current level of understanding is another (I won’t know that until I work with them). Briefing from the client? Can be unreliable, especially if they’re not sure themselves what they want. Facilitation principles? Too abstract. Qualities of a facilitator? Too obscure.
TRAINYOUCAN is an accredited training provider through the South African Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) with level 4 BEE Status and provides both accredited and customised learning programmes to organisations looking to maximise their investment in developing their staff.
ETDP SETA Accreditation Number: ETDP10687
We have over 14 years experience in “Train the Trainer” also knows as Facilitation Skills, Assessor, Moderator and SDF (Skills Development Facilitator) Training, including Training Provider Accreditation. We see ourselves as the number 1 Training Company when it comes to continuous support. Not only do we offer monthly public courses on Trainer, Assessor, Moderator and SDF in Durban, but also offer a range of accredited and short courses such as Project Management, Finance, Employment Equity, SHE Rep, Leadership, Supervisor skills, General Management, Receptionist, Event Management and Disciplinary Hearing training.
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A. BEFORE THE WORKSHOP
* Schedule ample time for planning
* Take some time to get to know each other
* Discuss each other’s style of planning and facilitating
* Avoid making assumptions about one another
* Take time to discuss your views about the workshop topic
* Especially examine areas of disagreement
* Discuss any concerns about potential challenges that participants may present
* Agree on common goals for workshop
* Review each other’s triggers
* Find out whether and when it is okay to interrupt
* Decide how to keep track of time
* Strategize about how to stick to the original outline and how to switch gears
* Plan ways to give signals to one another
* Divide facilitation of activities fairly
* Share responsibility equally in preparing and bringing workshop materials and resources
* Agree to arrive at the workshop site in time to set up and check-in before the workshop begins
* Schedule time after the workshop to debrief
B. DURING THE WORKSHOP
* Remember to keep a professional demeanor at all times
* Keep communicating with each other throughout the workshop
* Support and validate one another
* During activities that don’t require constant attention, check-in with one another
* Include your co-facilitator even when you are leading an exercise or discussion, by asking, for example: “Do you have anything to add?”
* Use lots of eye contact
* Assert yourself if your co-facilitator is talking too much
* Remember that it is okay to make mistakes
* Take the initiative to step in if your co-facilitator misses an opportunity to address a myth
C. AFTER THE WORKSHOP
* If you can’t meet right after the workshop, schedule a time to debrief before you leave
* Listen carefully to one another’s self-evaluation before giving feedback
* Discuss what worked well
* Examine what did not work
* Brainstorm what could have been done differently
* Use written evaluations as a reference point to talk about the workshop, and assess your effectiveness as co-facilitators
* Name particular behaviors, for example: “When you kept interrupting me, I felt undermined and frustrated”, or “I got the impression that some participants were bored”, instead of “You always interrupt me” or “You were very controlling during the workshop.”
* Realize the importance and potential difficulty of debriefing a challenging workshop
* Make sure to share any clean-up or return of resource materials
* REMEMBER: YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE
COMMON TRAINING PROVIDER SCAMS & FRAUD ALERT
TRAINYOUCAN Accredited Training Network strives to deliver the highest level of service delivery and 100% compliance with SAQA and the ETQA’s (SETA) guidelines and policies. Not only does this add extra creditability to our brand, but also to the learner satisfaction and competency to perform the actual task.
We at TRAINYOUCAN Accredited Training Network do not want to be associated with any of the common Training Provider Scams and Fraud and will never entertain any related discussions at any point in time.
Don’t get caught with the most common training scams and fraud!
1. POE building (Portfolio of Evidence) in the class is against the SAQA policy  and the NQF Objectives  plus a “cheap” way to sell courses by compiling fraudulent evidence for certification. Providers should be reported to the relevant ETQA for investigation and possible de-registration including certified learners as the programmes are offered outside the scope of approval. 
2. Reduced classroom (contact session) as per the minimum guidelines of the Unit Standards NQF Credit allocation to save on catering, venue and facilitation cost.   
3. Falsely advertising, misleading learners with content or the inappropriate/unauthorised use of the SAQA or SETA logos or trademarks  with learning content that does not meet the NQF principles  where either the learning programme or the training provider is not accredited by the relevant ETQA for delivery.  
4. Issuing of certification (mostly in class) without complete/any uploading of learner achievements and the confirmation of receipt (copy of the SOR – Statement of Results) on the ETQA/NRLD database, also known as “Selling Certificates”. 
5. Not providing the relevant supporting structures as defined by the SAQA policy for Accreditation of Training Provider or limiting the supporting /enrolment period with sub-clauses of impossible/unreasonable timelines. 
 SAQA Policy 2003: The National Qualifications Framework and the Standards Setting; reference to page 9, “Credit system”.
‘Notional hours of learning’ refers to the learning time that it would take an average learner to meet the outcomes defined, such as: contact time, time spent in structured learning in the workplace, individual learning and assessment.
The process include:
- Delivery. (Typical contact session + formative assessments).
- Workplace experience. (Outside the classroom before assessment can take place)
- Assessment. (Summative assessment)
 National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act 67 of 2008) – NQF Objectives.
The objectives of the NQF as outlined in the NQF Act No 67 of 2008 are as follows:
- To create a single integrated national framework for learning achievements;
- Facilitate access to, and mobility and progression within, education, training and career paths;
- Enhance the quality of education and training;
- Accelerate the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities.
The objectives of the NQF are designed to contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the nation at large.
 SAQA Guidelines: Criteria and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Providers, 01 October 2001, page 25, section 3.D.iii in respect of: Policies and practices for learner entry, guidance and support systems.
 Understanding the different definitions of “accreditation” including (a) a persons accreditation, (b) a Training Providers accreditation or (c) the Learning Programmes accreditation.
 Notional learning hours are the estimated learning time taken by the ‘average’ student to achieve the specified learning outcomes of the course-unit or programme. They are therefore not a precise measure but provide students with an indication of the amount of study and degree of commitment expected.
 No reference on the SAQA policies or guidelines found, but general good practices for operation and authentication should be used. The only reference found as the criteria SAQA provides on the information that should appear on the certificate that is in direct conflict of issuing certificate with reference to the in-appropriate use of NQF, Credits, Unit Standards and ETQA or SAQA logos.
SAQA Policy: Policy on Usage of SAQA Trademarks by Stakeholders
The Trademarks lodged are the following:
- South African Qualifications Authority
- South African Qualifications Authority together with the old and new Q devices
- National Qualifications Framework
- National Learners’ Records Database
- NQF support link together with logo
 ETQAs are accredited by SAQA for “…the purpose of monitoring and auditing achievements in terms of national standards or qualifications and standards” (SAQA, 2001c:7). In turn, ETQAs are responsible for accrediting providers34 whose primary focus35 coincides with the primary focus of the ETQA, provided that the body seeking accreditation:
- is registered as a provider in terms of the applicable legislation36;
- has an effective and functional QMS as required by the ETQA regulations;
- is able to develop, deliver and evaluate learning programmes, which culminate in specified registered standards and qualifications;
- has the necessary financial, administrative and physical resources;
- has the necessary policies, practices and reporting procedures as required by the ETQA regulations; and
- has not already been granted accreditation by another ETQA.
SAQA (2001a) prescribes only two forms of Training Provider Accreditation:
- Provisional accreditation: “Granted for an agreed, limited period of time according to an agreed programme of development to enable full accreditation criteria to be met, provided the interests of the learner are protected” (SAQA, 2001a:11).
- Full Accreditation: “The certification, usually for a particular period of time, of a person, a body or an institution as having the capacity to fulfil a particular function in the quality assurance system set up by the South African Qualifications Authority in terms of the Act” (SAQA, 2001a:17).
 SAQA Guidelines: Criteria and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Providers, 01 October 2001, page 26, section 3.D.iv in respect of: Policies and practices for managing off-site practical or work-site components.
 SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Principles of the NQF, namely:
- Integration; To form part of a system of human resources development which provides for the establishment of a unifying approach to education and training.
- Relevance; To be and remain responsive to national development needs.
- Credibility; To have international and national value and acceptance.
- Coherence; To work within a consistent framework of principles and certification.
- Flexibility; To allow for multiple pathways to the same learning ends.
- Standards; To be expressed in terms of a nationally agreed framework and internationally acceptable outcomes.
- Legitimacy; To provide for the participation of all national stakeholders in the planning and co-ordination of standards and qualifications.
- Access; To provide ease of entry to appropriate levels of education and training for all prospective learners in a manner which facilitates progression.
- Articulation; To provide for learners, on successful completion of accredited prerequisites, to move between components of the delivery system.
- Progression; To ensure that the framework of qualifications permits individuals to move through the levels of national qualifications via different appropriate combinations of the components of the delivery system.
- Portability; To enable learners to transfer credits of qualifications from one learning institution and/or employer to another.
- Recognition of Prior Learning; To, through assessment, give credit to learning which has already been acquired in different ways.
- Guidance of learners; To provide for counseling of learners by specially trained individuals who meet nationally recognized standards for educators and trainers.
 SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Principles of Assessment, namely:
 SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Principles of OBET (Outcome Based Education and Training) with regards to Applied competence that consist out of:
- Practical competence; The demonstrated ability to perform a set of tasks in an authentic context. A range of actions or possibilities is considered, and decisions are made about which actions to follow.
- Foundational competence; The demonstrated understanding of what the learner is doing and why. This underpins the practical competence and therefore the actions taken.
- Reflexive competence; The demonstrated ability to integrate performance with understanding, so as to show that the learner is able to adapt to changed circumstances appropriately and responsibly, and to explain the reason behind an action.
 SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Formative and Summative Assessment.
- Formative assessment refers to assessment that takes place during the process of learning and teaching.
- Assists in the planning future learning
- Diagnoses the learner’s strength and weaknesses
- Provides feedback to the learner on his/her progress
- Helps to make decisions on the readiness of learners to do a summative assessment
- Is developmental in nature
- Credits/certificates are not awarded
- Summative assessment is assessment for making a judgement about achievement. This is carried out when a learner is ready to be assessed at the end of a programme of learning.
- At the end of a learning programme (qualification, unit standard, or part qualification)
- To determine whether the learner is competent or not yet competent
- In knowledge and inputs-based systems, this usually occurs after a specified period of study.
- In OBET, learner-readiness determines when assessments will take place
- Is carried out when the assessor and the learner agree that the learner is ready for assessment
 SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Formative Assessments leads to Summative Assessments.
Results initially collected as results for formative assessment, can be used for summative assessment with the agreement of the learner. This will prevent having to assess outcomes twice.
The organization of the learning programme will inform decisions on when summative assessments can take place, e.g. a learning programme can be organized around one outcome or a set of outcomes, depending on what is appropriate in terms of ensuring learner success. Summative assessments are administered when a learner has gone through such a programme and is ready to be assessed. On declaration of competence, credit is then given, recorded and reported.
 SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Quality of Evidence that consist out of:
- Validity of evidence
Does the evidence relate to the specific outcomes and criteria to be assessed? Evidence is not automatically valid (or invalid) – evidence should be appropriate to hat is being assessed.
- Authenticity of evidence
Can the evidence be attributed to the learner? Is the evidence the learner’s own work? In written assessments, safeguards against dishonesty have long been in place. In BET, there is no difficulty in checking authenticity where the assessor is observing the learner directly. However, where indirect evidence is produced, or where group work was undertaken, the assessor has to verify that the evidence is the learner’s own work, and in the case of group work, that he/she has made a fair contribution to the end-result.
- Sufficiency of evidence
Is there enough evidence to meet all the criteria needed to certify the learner as competent? Is the assessor confident that the performance can be repeated? The use of various sources of evidence and a variety of assessment activities assist in ensuring that the evidence is sufficient. This will ensure that enough evidence is provided to meet all the criteria and the applicable range statements.
- Currency of evidence
Is the evidence related to current competence? Currency refers to the applicability of skills, knowledge and understanding in the present circumstances. In some fields of study, currency of experience and training is of the utmost importance.
 SAQA Policy: Criteria and Guidelines for Assessment of NQF Registered Unit standards and Qualifications; Steps in the Assessment Process, namely:
Preparatory phase, with reference to the section of:
Decide on the timing of assessment
The timing of assessments will depend on the following factors:
- the rationale for assessments at certain points in the learning programme (formative or summative), i.e. will learners be at a logical end-point of learning, or at a point where diagnosis needs to be made?
- the sharing of facilities with other assessors
- the extent to which workplace learners will be able to undertake assessments