Certified Facilitator Training: Everything You Need to Know About Our Open Programme

Open programme career conversations certified facilitator training in progress online with Antoinette Oglethorpe presenting to a laptop

Why Become a Certified Facilitator? 

In today’s business world, organisations need to take a new approach to career management. It is no longer realistic for organisations to offer lifetime security to employees. Nor is it realistic to expect lifetime commitment from them. More than ever, the organisation-employee relationship is a partnership.

Career management strategies need to reconcile the differing needs of organisations and employees. Managers and employees need to have meaningful career conversations. And organisations need to create a culture which values learning and professional development.

Our Certified Career Conversations Facilitator Training Open Programme is designed to equip you with the skills and confidence to become a career mentor and champion, with the additional capability to empower others within the organisation(s) you support so you can foster a culture where career growth and fulfilment are at the forefront. Our unique delivery model transforms you from a career conversation novice to an expert facilitator, offering a cost-effective solution for scaling internal capability. 

Unlike other programmes, however, we don’t want to attract anyone and everyone to our Certified Facilitator Programme. We want to attract the right people. 

So, in this article, I break down who the AO Certified Facilitator Training Open Programme is for and answer all your questions about it so you can make the right choice when it comes to investing time and energy in your professional development. Including, how you can sign up for our next open programme.

Let’s get started… 

What is the Certified Career Conversations Facilitator Programme? 

The Certification Programme is a 12-week programme that equips you with the skills and confidence to become a career mentor and champion, with the additional capability to empower others within the organisation(s) you support. By the end of this programme, you will: 

  • Have the confidence and expertise to lead meaningful career conversations. 
  • Gain actionable strategies for driving lasting behaviour change. 
  • Develop skills to make career conversations training sessions effective and enjoyable. 
  • Have the tools and resources to build scalable programmes linked to the business strategy or integrated with your own content. 
  • Gain access to a professional community for ongoing support and professional development 

Why we created the Certified Career Conversations Facilitator Programme 

Career Conversations are something that should be a day-to-day part of life in every organisation. But they’re not. It’s not that managers don’t care about developing their employees, it’s that they don’t know how to talk about careers with them. They lack the skills and confidence to have career conversations often because they have very little experience of having a good career conversation themselves. They don’t know what questions to ask, and they worry they won’t have the answers to the questions they will be asked by employees.

Our Confident Career Conversation Programme helps address these challenges in a very practical way.  It provides managers with a practical toolkit of cards with powerful solution-focused questions that they can use to plan and hold an empowering career conversation with employees. We created the Certified Facilitator Programme because there are so many organisations that want to train their managers, but they need a cost-effective solution to scaling delivery throughout organisations. 

Is the Programme based on the book Confident Career Conversations? 

The award-winning, bestselling book, Confident Career Conversations explains the steps you need to take to have effective career conversations. The Confident Career Conversations Programme shows you the how. We don’t just tell you the steps you need to take; we show you exactly how to do it, along with interactive activities and practice conversations.  The Certified Facilitator Programme gives you the skills and resources to develop that capability and then train others in the how. 

What’s Included in the Certified Facilitator Training Open Programme? 

The Certified Facilitator Programme combines self-paced learning with dynamic live online workshops.  

workshop timeline. Introduction Day 1 Workshop. Confident Career Conversations, influencing behaviour, solutions focused philosophy and practice, brain-friendly learning. Delivery presentation - final day workshop. Follow up certification assessment.

When you come across training programmes it is often difficult to see what you actually ‘get’ for your money. So, here’s a breakdown of what’s included within the Certified Facilitator Programme. 

Introduction workshop – Get to know your fellow participants, our programme structure and the expert team. This sets the stage and manages your expectations upfront so you can make the most of the programme. 

Bi-weekly live online workshops – Participate in four, 2-hour live interactive workshops. This is where we (i.e., Antoinette and Team AO experts) take you through a key part of the programme so you can put the things you’ve learnt into action. You learn with us and get to ask questions or obtain feedback along the way. Can’t make it? Don’t worry. All sessions are recorded for watching back at your convenience.  

Self-paced modules – Complete practical assignments through our learning portal, featuring real-world case studies, ‘bite-sized’ learning tips, interactive activities and collaboration with your fellow participants. We take you through the programme step-by-step, through extremely helpful, actionable, bite-sized videos you can work on at your own pace. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the programme. Each module takes 3-4 hours on average. 

Delivery practice – Lead a sample session using the materials and approaches covered in the programme. You’ll get to use the Facilitator Kit, slides, and all the tips and tricks we’ve discussed. You’ll receive constructive, detailed feedback from your peers and Team AO experts ensuring you’re fully prepared to lead meaningful career conversations training. 

Resources and materials – In addition to the online resources, you will receive: 

  • Antoinette Oglethorpe’s book, Confident Career Conversations. Empower your employees for career growth and retention.  
  • A comprehensive Career Conversation Toolkit and Workbook in hard copy and digital format. 
  • Certified Facilitator Kit with PowerPoint slides, activities and a facilitator guide with key learning points, helpful tips and timeframes for effective delivery.  

Institute of Leadership – Upon successful completion of our programme, you’ll receive “Institute Approved” status and the privilege of becoming a member at the Member Grade (MIoL) with the Institute of Leadership. To achieve the “Institute Approved” status, you will need to complete all modules and pass a final evaluation that includes multiple-choice questions, case studies, and a presentation. 

Certification – You will achieve full certification by delivering your first programme within 3 months and submitting a minimum 1000-word report reflecting on your experience.  

Ongoing support & development: As part of our Certified Facilitator Community, enjoy unlimited email support, exclusive webinars, and supplementary training materials at a 30% discount. 

1:2:1 support – You will receive personalised mentoring at key points in the programme to help you apply what you’ve learned to your unique situation. This is your opportunity to ask questions about your situation and gain personalised feedback.  

Excellence Exchange: A firm favourite among our Certified Facilitators is the Excellence Exchange. You’ll join your peers and meet up once every month to gain feedback, work out problems and ask questions. This is a great way of making some valued connections as well as sharing ideas, resources and best practices. 

Is it a One-Time Certification or Does it Need to be Renewed? 

Your certification is valid for two years. After that period, we recommend renewing your certification to ensure that you continue to align with the latest best practices and tools in career management and mentoring. Renewal involves participating in a half-day refresher course and submitting a reflection piece on how you’ve applied your skills over the last two years.  

What Skills Does the Certified Facilitator Programme Help You Develop? 

The programme comprises four modules – one module focussed on Confident Career Conversations and three train the trainer modules focussed on the skills to deliver Confident Career Conversations. 

Module 1: Confident Career Conversations 

Gain actionable tools and insights to empower employees to take control of their own career paths in 20 minutes or less. This module isn’t just about providing answers; it’s about asking the right questions. Equip your team to feel fulfilled and engaged in their current roles, while also encouraging them to seize development opportunities. The end goal? Happier employees who’d rather grow with you than look elsewhere. 

Module 2: Influencing Behaviour Change 

Step beyond theories and dive into the pragmatic stages of behaviour change and the principles that drive skill development. This module gives you the strategies to not just fill seats at workshops but to inspire real, lasting change. You’ll also tackle organisational challenges head-on, crafting a strategy to foster a culture centred around continual learning and growth. 

Module 3: Solutions Focus 

Discover the solution-focused practices that form the backbone of our Career Conversations programmes. This isn’t just about problem-solving; it’s about facilitating actionable change at both the individual and organisational levels. Get ready to turn theory into practice and make a tangible impact. 

Module 4: Brain-Friendly Learning 

Make training enjoyable and effective with our Brain-Friendly Learning principles. Our Brain-Friendly Learning principles make training not only enjoyable but also effective. This module ensures that you create an inclusive learning environment that caters for all, including those with neurodiverse needs. This approach will help you deliver training sessions that are not just engaging but also psychologically attuned to encourage information retention and practical application. 

What if I am already skilled in one or more of these areas? 

Most of the people who join the programme are already excelling in one or two of the areas above – the problem is, you have to get good at ALL of these areas to become a Certified Facilitator. 

The good thing about the programme is we’re not going to make you go through something you’re already excelling at – YOU decide where you want to focus your time and energy and what will bring you the best ROI. 

How does the Programme cater for neurodiversity? 

Recognising the rich tapestry of neurodiversity, we’ve integrated a variety of learning approaches and methodologies. Our content is designed to be both engaging and adaptive, catering to different learning preferences and cognitive styles. This involves interactive sessions, multi-sensory experiences, and providing resources in various formats. Furthermore, we always remain open to feedback and continually seek ways to refine our offerings. 

Who is the Certified Facilitator Training Open Programme for? 

This is not a beginner programme. The Certified Facilitator programme is for established professionals with management experience and experience of presenting to a group who want to: 

  • Become more skilled and confident in having career conversations. 
  • Help others take ownership of their professional development. 
  • Empower managers to have these career conversations. 
  • Develop strategies to balance the organisation’s needs with individuals’ aspirations. 

You must: 

  • Have at least two hours per week to dedicate to developing your skills. 
  • Understand that the programme is an investment rather than an expense. 
  • Be committed to developing others and delivering career conversations training  

Is the Programme open to non-HR professionals? 

Yes. Whilst typically HR, L&D and Talent Management professionals’ benefit from becoming Certified Facilitators, managers from across organisations with teams hugely benefit through enriching their learning in this area. A number of our certified facilitators are line managers who have volunteered to become Career Mentors within their organisation. 

Is the Programme recognised outside the UK? 

Yes. This is a global programme and is open to participants from any geography although it is worth noting the live online sessions will be held in a UK time zone. 

Who is the Certified Facilitator Programme not for? 

We’re quite clear on who this is not for. This may seem direct, but the last thing we want is for you to invest in this programme only to find out it’s not right for you. 

So, the Certified Facilitator Programme is not for: 

  • Beginners who are just starting out in training and development 
  • People who don’t have time to dedicate to their professional development. 
  • Those who have no plans or commitment to delivering career conversations training on behalf of their organisation. 
  • Those who are unwilling to push themselves and step out of their comfort zone. 

How much does the Certified Facilitator Programme cost? 

We recognise that different people have different needs and budgets. Therefore, we have three packages to cater for that. Each offer includes our standard programme which comprises: 

  • Introduction workshop  
  • Four 2-hour live online workshops  
  • Self-paced modules through our learning portal 
  • Delivery Presentation Day 
  • Antoinette Oglethorpe’s book, Confident Career Conversations. Empower your employees for career growth and retention.  
  • A comprehensive Career Conversation Toolkit and Workbook 
  • Certified Facilitator Kit  
  • AO Certification. 
  • 1 year’s membership at the Member Grade of the Institute of Leadership (MIoL)  
  • Unlimited email support, exclusive webinars, and supplementary training materials at a 30% discount. 

Fundamentals Package – £3,500 + VAT (valued at £5,640 + VAT) 

Standard programme plus: 

  • One 1:2:1 coaching session with a Team AO expert 
  • 3 months access to Excellence Exchange 

Mastery Package – £4,500 + VAT (valued at £7,290 + VAT) 

Standard programme plus: 

  • Three 1:2:1 coaching session with a Team AO expert 
  • 6 months access to Excellence Exchange 

Elite Package – £6,300 + VAT (valued at £9,890 + VAT) 

Standard programme plus: 

  • Six 1:2:1 coaching session with a Team AO expert 
  • 12 months access to Excellence Exchange 

Is the Certified Facilitator Programme value for money? 

The cost of the Certified Facilitator reflects the value of the comprehensive training, resources, materials and support that provides you with everything you need to deliver career conversations training on behalf of your organisation. 

Investment in the Certified Facilitator Programme is an investment in you and the future of the organisation(s) you support. Compared to the high costs associated with external consultants and training providers, our programme offers a cost-effective solution to scale internal capability. The return on investment is a more empowered and engaged workforce that drives results. Our experience with other clients is that investment results in: 

  • 82% of employees reported an increase in career conversations. 
  • 92% of employees who had a career development conversation felt more positive about their future. 
  • 62% of employees who had a career development conversation were more likely to stay with the organisation. 
  • Workshops delivered by Certified Facilitators achieved an average net promoter score (NPS) of 90% (vs an industry average of 71%).  
  • Organisations with Certified Facilitators were able to deliver training to four times the number of managers. 

That’s a 400% return on investment. 

Here is some feedback from previous participants: 

“The workshop has been excellent on many levels.  The career conversation model proposed empowers employees by being based on solutions, clients’ strengths and on the future.  The delivery is done through accelerated learning methods which motivate and bring about behavioural change.  Participants walk away with a practical tool kit they can start using right away.  Most useful for trainers is that they know how to address the challenge of those resistant to change.” 

Rosie Innes, Head of Career Planning & Communication, Career Management, UNHCR (The United Nations Refugee Agency) 

“Attending this training was super. It was a perfect blend of theory and hands-on practice. Right from the start, we carried out practical exercises that allowed us to apply what we were learning in real-time.”

Renuka Patel, Career Mentor, the BMJ 

I love the materials that we received on the Facilitator Programme – The toolkit, all the workbooks and resources, slides, agenda.  They are all ready to be used straight away. We have already planned our first Confident Career Conversations Workshop for Managers in just a few weeks

Sara Canna, HR Manager, Global Talent Management, World Health Organisation (WHO) 

The breakout rooms were great! We had genuine, enriching discussions and were an excellent platform for peer-to-peer learning. I was also deeply impressed by the high-quality feedback provided by the facilitators—insightful, constructive, and incredibly helpful.

Cat Chatfield, Career Mentor, The BMJ 

I loved the personal practice and experience. I feel more confident as a result. The brain-friendly approaches make the training much more enjoyable and effective! The structured approach and booklet for each day will really help when I am delivering the workshops. And it was great to learn from Antoinette and Clare’s experience in the field.”

Julianna Soos, Work and Organisational Psychologist, International Agency for Research on Cancer 

What I personally found most impactful was the focus on actionable strategies. The course didn’t just dwell on theories; it provided us with tangible takeaways that we could immediately implement in our careers. From the ‘5 steps model’ to developing small habits that make a big difference, every part of the training was geared towards action and results.

Natalie Bryan, Career Mentor, The BMJ 

How long will it take to complete the Certified Facilitator Programme? 

Without the Certified Facilitator Programme, it would take approximately 15 years of experience and 8 days of work to design a programme and materials equivalent in quality to the AO Confident Career Conversations Programme (and that’s only if you follow the right path!) 

The Certified Facilitator programme runs for 12 weeks, with each module taking 3-4 hours on average to complete. This equates to a total time commitment of around 48 hours—and after the initial programme, you remain a member of our Excellence Exchange community for as long as you would like access to coaching calls, resources and member-only events. 

What if I’m on holiday/taking time away during the Programme? 

We’d ask that you make every effort to attend the live sessions because we know you will get more from the interaction and collaboration that takes place in person. But, if you have something booked, don’t let that hold you back. All of the sessions are recorded and available for you to watch back. 

Can we adapt the materials and training to align the content to our context and culture? 

While Antoinette Oglethorpe Ltd will retain all Intellectual Property (IP) rights, we grant certified facilitators a non-exclusive license to use our Career Conversations materials for business purposes. You are not permitted to remove any notices or markings from the materials, and you are required to diligently protect the IP. We have used these materials with a wide variety of organisations and industries and know the tools can be used in a wide varieties of contexts and cultures.

However, while you may not change the design or the content of the Career Conversation Toolkit and workbook or Antoinette’s book Confident Career Conversations, you are free to integrate them with your own content to ensure alignment with the organisational strategy, context and culture. 

What will I need to get started? 

To get started on the Certified Facilitator Programme, you will need: 

  • A stable internet connection 
  • A device such as a computer, laptop, or tablet 
  • An active email address for communication and course materials 
  • A commitment to dedicating time and effort to complete the programme. 

Who will actually teach you? 

You will, of course, learn from the author of Confident Career Conversations and designer of the programme, Antoinette Oglethorpe. 

Our teaching and coaching team also consists of expert Team AO facilitators with a proven track record in career mentoring and facilitation. They have been carefully selected based on their expertise, practical experience, and ability to effectively communicate their knowledge. They’ve been through the programme themselves and become certified career conversations facilitators. 

How to access the Certified Facilitator Programme? 

When you sign up for our programme, you will receive an email with simple instructions on how to access the online portal, where you’ll find all the online learning materials and additional resources. 

You’ll also receive calendar invitations to our Introductory Workshop, live online workshops and Delivery Presentation Day. You will receive all the support you need to get the most from the programme. 

How do I sign up? 

Now that you know everything you need to know about our Certified Facilitator Programme, registration is open for our next course. You can secure your place between Monday 8th April until Friday 10th May.

Places are very limited with only 12 places available, we expect them to sell out quickly. So to secure your place you need to book a no-obligation 1-2-1 call with our team.

You’ll be one step closer to becoming a career mentor and champion for the organisation(s) you support. 

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