The SHEP Certificate in Facilitation Course is an intermediate training in group-work facilitation, intended for those who have completed foundation training in social and health education and who now wish to begin training to support other people in their development.

SHEP Certificate in Facilitation

Applications are now closed for this course since 29th January 2021.

Schedules for 2021 course

Wednesday Group – Schedule of Dates

Tuesday Group – Provisional Schedule of Dates

To enquire regarding future courses contact Liam Mc Carthy Course Co-ordinator at

Course Information

As an intermediate course, this training is intended to serve as a platform for SHEP’s specialised practitioner training courses in areas such as the delivery of personal development courses, the provision of advocacy support, and working as a facilitator in community or organisational settings.

This course provides an opportunity for participants to develop awareness of the principles of effective group facilitation, as well as basic competence in the skills necessary to facilitate group processes.

The approach in the SHEP Certificate in Facilitation Course is one which emphasises the use of the self in facilitation.  An underlying assumption is that unless the trainee facilitators continue to grow and develop in awareness and personal effectiveness, they will not function well as group facilitators. For this reason, the SHEP course provides opportunities for personal and group process work, along with skills development and engagement with theory.

Who can apply?

Those applying for this course should normally have satisfactorily completed the SHEP Certificate in Personal Development course and the SHEP Certificate in Social Awareness and Community Empowerment. An opinion on each applicant’s readiness for training may be sought from trainers on earlier courses in The Social and Health Education Project.   The trainers will be asked only in general terms for their views of the applicants’ readiness to undertake intermediate-level training as facilitators.  Issues shared in confidence with trainers by individual participants will not be discussed.  It will be assumed that, in applying for the course, trainees agree to the views of trainers being sought in this way.

  • People who were exempted from the SHEP Certificate in Personal Development course because of equivalent work done elsewhere may be asked to provide a reference from a trainer who worked with them, giving their view as to their readiness for intermediate-level training in group facilitation.
  • People who have not completed the Social Awareness course are eligible to apply and can be offered places on the Facilitation course subject to their commitment to undertake the Social Awareness course at the next feasible opportunity.

How are places allocated?

Priority of offer of places will be given first to applicants who have completed both the SHEP Personal Development year and the Social Awareness & Community Empowerment courses and secondly to those with exemptions or making an undertaking related to the Social Awareness Course. Priority is also given to those who have a clear sense of how they intend to use the training in future years. Some applicants may be asked to come for interview. Places among those considered ready for training will be allocated largely on a first-come, first-served basis.

Early application is advised.

How is the course structured?

The courses in 2021 are in groups of c. 12-14 max participants, working with two regular trainers. There are 29 weekly sessions of 2½ hours from January to early June, and from September to December/January. Each group also has 6 or 7 weekend day workshops of 6 hours (Saturdays or Sundays). Over the course of the year, participants are also expected to undertake a total of 18 hours’ collaborative learning in small groups.

SHEP has organised 2 blended groups in 2021

  • Tuesday Nights commencing 23rd March 7-9.30pm – Facilitators Mary Mangan & Rose Crowley
  • Wednesday Nights commencing  24th February 7-9.30pm – Facilitators Rosarie Coleman Claire Barry            

Due to the Public Health situation all of SHEPs Facilitation courses will be on-line up to summer 2021. It is the Projects intention that, if the public health situation indicates it is safe at the time, both the Facilitation groups will reconvene after the summer break In-person. If the course re-convene In-person in autumn it is most probable that the physical location will be Cork City for most sessions. The course will continue On-line in the autumn if not safe to come together In-person.

Early in the training, small learning groups will be formed and will commence meeting to discuss and explore material relevant to the theory of groups and the practice of group facilitation. Each learning group will undertake a small project on group facilitation and will prepare and deliver a presentation to the whole training group. The emphasis of the training in the post-summer period will be on facilitation practice, with opportunities being provided for trainees to facilitate in different configurations and with a variety of foci.

What approach is used in training?

A variety of training methodologies are used during this course, including formal teaching, experiential exercises, practice sessions, personal development workshops and collaborative learning in small working groups. The here and now events and experience in the training group serve as a live field for experiential learning. SHEP trainers constantly seek to ground theory in the experiential.  Some written work is generally required of participants undertaking this course and they are asked to record their learning during the course in a personal learning journal.

Is there assessment?

Participants on all Social and Health Education Project training courses are encouraged to reflect on their experience and learning and this emphasis continues in the SHEP Certificate in Facilitation course. On-going self, peer and trainer assessment takes place during the course.

At the end of the training course, each participant will complete a personal learning evaluation and will hear feedback from their trainers in a one-to-one session.

Do participants receive a certificate?

A certificate will be awarded to those who complete the course satisfactorily. A high level of commitment and of attendance is expected from participants. Except in the most exceptional circumstances attendance at a minimum of 80% of both the evening sessions and of the day-long workshops will be considered essential for satisfactory completion of the course.

Does the course lead on to further training?

Those who successfully complete the course become eligible to apply for a place on any of the Project’s Specialised Practitioner Training Courses. In addition, completion of the SHEP Certificate in Facilitation fulfils the entry requirements for the Diploma in Social and Psychological Health Studies at U.C.C.

Reduced Fee Approach in 2021 due to Covid-19 Public Health Situation

The course fee for the SHEP Certificate in Facilitation Course in 2021 for all people offered places will be €490.  The normal course fee is €930 – this year however a €440 concession/bursary is being given to all who are offered a place. This course fee applies to everyone and is lower than the normal Reduced Fee level. There are no other Reduced Fee options. This fee is payable before taking up a place, although SHEP is willing to make payment plans with participants to spread the payments over the duration of the course.

Please read the  Important Information on Fees 2021 SCF