Overview of the Training Programme

The Social and Health Educations Project’s Core Training Programme comprises five main elements: i)  Foundation-level Training ii) Introductory Facilitation Training, iii) Specialised Practitioner Training;  iv) Additional Accredited Training and  v) Continuing Personal Development. There is a clear progression route within the programme from entry-level foundation training to facilitation skills training and then to specialised practitioner training.

  1. There are two, separate Foundation Courses in SHEP. These are SHEP’s Certificate in Personal Development and SHEP’s Certificate in Social Awareness and Community Empowerment
  2. Completion of SHEP’s two Foundation Courses, or their equivalent, is required for entry to SHEP’s Certificate in Facilitation.
  3. Completion of SHEP’s two Foundation Courses, or their equivalent, is required for entry to SHEP’s Certificate in Continuing Personal Development.
  4. Completion of SHEP’s two Foundation Courses and SHEP’s Certificate in Facilitation, or their equivalent, is required for entry to SHEP’s Practitioner Training for Community Tutors and Community Facilitators.
  5. Over the next few years we are planning to offer a small number of externally-accredited awards as part of our core training programme.
  6. Applicants for the UCC Diploma in Social and Psychological Health Studies should be practitioners in personal and social development (or both) and have undertaken practice-oriented training. Those who have completed Facilitation Training or Practitioner Training with SHEP will be at an advantage.
  7. The On-going Development Programme and the Continuing Practitioner Development are a complement to SHEP’s core training programme.

Foundation Courses

There are two, separate Foundation Courses in SHEP. These are SHEP’s Certificate in Personal Development and SHEP’s Certificate in Social Awareness and Community Empowerment. In both of these courses extensive use is made of experiential participatory group-work for the purposes of awareness-raising, values-clarification, interpersonal skills development and the development of capacity for effective citizen participation. In the SHEP Certificate in Personal Development course particular emphasis is laid on personal awareness and development. In SHEP’s Certificate in Social Awareness and Community Empowerment this emphasis is extended to encompass the development of personal effectiveness in collective settings. The general focus of the foundation training is on enabling participants to develop a capacity for personal effectiveness through their decision-making and action in both private and public spheres.

Those who have completed both SHEP’S foundation courses who wish to take more time to work on their own growth and development may apply for a place on SHEP’s Certificate in Continuing Personal Development.

Introductory Facilitation Training

The introductory phase of training as a facilitator with SHEP is participation on SHEP’s Certificate in Facilitation. This is a year-long, part-time, initial training course in facilitation through which participants are supported to develop competencies for facilitating in a range of settings.  The focus of the course is on enabling participants to develop a capacity for engaging with others in a facilitative way, such that their personal effectiveness is enhanced. Experiential methods are combined with the formal teaching of defined knowledge components to equip participants with the generic skills of group facilitation. Completion of both SHEP’s Foundation courses is normally a prerequisite to commence facilitation training with the Project.

Specialised Practitioner Training

SHEP offers a range of specialised practitioner training courses to those who have completed SHEP Certificate in Facilitation through which participants are prepared participants to apply their facilitation skills in specific settings. These are i) ‘Specialised Tutor Training’ courses which prepare people to work as Community Tutors, facilitating groups through SHEP’s Community Education Programme, ii) Community Advocacy Training which prepares participants to work as volunteer advocates through SHEP’s Cork Advocacy Service, and iii) Community Facilitator Training which, it is envisaged, will prepare people to work as volunteer facilitators in communities and with voluntary groups. This model of facilitation and practitioner training for community health and well-being is unique in Ireland.

Additional Accredited Training

Additional Accredited Training is available in SHEP to complement the experiential training which is a key feature of SHEP’s core training programme. It currently consists of a two-year, part-time undergraduate Diploma in Social and Psychological Health Studies delivered in collaboration with UCC.

Through this course SHEP-trained facilitators and other social, community and health care practitioners are supported in developing a firm theoretical understanding of issues pertinent to personal and social development. The Project also has an accreditation pathway via links with W.I.T through its RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) programme that potentially leads to the Higher Diploma in Social, Personal and Health Education W.I.T at Level 8.

On-going Development Programme

Each year SHEP offers a spring and autumn programme of short training courses and workshops intended for core training course participants, members of the Association of Friends, and specialised practitioners.  These offer further opportunities for personal development work, for development of social awareness and understanding of social justice, and for the refreshment or enhancement of facilitation skills.