ToP Trainer Competencies

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Trainer competencies From ToP Competencies and various ICAs

ToP methods are used not only for facilitation, but also for training facilitators. Since the very beginning ICA staff were interested in passing on ToP knowledge to community residents, to clients, and to staff apprentices. In addition most ToP methods are transformational in nature with the capacity to reinforce positive change in individuals and groups toward a more participatory culture.

For this reason many ToP facilitation competencies are also training competencies and have technology transfer built right in.

Here are several sets of competencies from different sources that are important for new ToP trainers. 21 of 170 ToP competencies



The 21 ToP competencies below are simple ones that a new trainer might want to reinforce. There are many additional ToP competencies that the new trainer will develop over time, that if required at the very beginning of their training journey, might block the new trainer from taking the trainer journey.

The competencies below have varying degrees of importance when applied to inhouse or public courses. They are important for both professional and community training.

I. A. -2 Assess and understand client needs I. C. -11 using graphics and communicate essential method and principles. II. E. -23 Effective communication skills, an objective stance, rapport, active listening and participant feedback II. E. -27 Ability to observe and provide feedback to participants II. F. -30 Create a climate of safety and trust II. H. -40 Provide clear procedures and instructions III. I. -43 Assess learning styles, needs and abilities and design appropriate experiences III. I. -44 Understand multiple learning styles and learning theory III. J. -47 Use learning approaches that best fit the group and modify approach to meet emerging needs III. K -51 Communicate with all styles III. K -56 Able to adapt own style to group needs III. L. -57 Plan effective use of time, space, visuals and equipment IV. M. -71 Adapt discussion method to many applications IV. N. -80 Adapt workshop method to many applications IV. O. -83 Know when strategic planning is appropriate IV. P -99 Creates clear visual documentation of an action plan IV. Q. -106 Adapts Historical Scan process to needs of group V. S. -120 Build capacity, not dependency V. T. -123 Modify personal behaviour / style to reflect the needs of the group V. U. -125 Describe situations as facilitator sees them and inquire into different views V. X. -140 Recognize tangents - redirect to task



From GIFL (numbers refer to module) 1.recognise the significance of preparation in writing aims, context and instructions for a session, so they can pass this on to participants. 1.Discuss the underlying dynamics of facilitation, and how these relate to a range of facilitation methods (including the ToP Focused Conversation & Consensus Workshop methods). 4. Diagnose, understand and value diversity within a group and themselves. 4. Understand and apply the model of Multiple Intelligences. 5. Influence others with integrity.


From ICA USA ToP Network. • Know 17 points of “When Adults learn best.” • How to set up a learning environment in motivating ways. • Can create and use visuals that communicate.

From ICA Associates inc. • Having many personal examples to illustrate concepts. • Knowing how to use and read orchestration sheets. • Know and can use some adult learning principles

General Additional ToP Competency • Knowledge of Image Change theory, and how to use it to help participants change their own behaviour. • Able to use positive, helpful images and messages to participants about their skills


Training Journeys Some people learn ToP methods by being a participant many times, then actually using the methods, getting the theory at points along the way. This is also a way to become a ToP trainer, but a way that large numbers of people can never participate in. Books, courses, videos and online experiences are the only routes open to a large majority of any population.