About the Foundations in Public Participation program 
The only international program of its kind, the Foundations program provides participants with an overview of public participation, best practices in the field, and dynamic techniques to enhance impact. This unique training program equips participants with practical tools for designing and implementing effective public participation plans and communications strategies.
IAP2 regularly reviews the highly regarded and innovative training materials undertaken by around 18,000 participants since the 1990's, for today's challenging climate.  Whether you are new to the public participation process or an advanced practitioner, the Foundations training will provide you with the structure, techniques and knowledge you need to be successful.
The program is hands on, and draws on expertise of the IAP2 Federation Licensed Trainers to ensure that you receive the very best public participation and community engagement training available globally. 
It delivers a consistent model wherever it is conducted - the UK and throughout Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Botswana, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Singapore or other countries and regions around the world.
The IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation program is a two module (5 day) program intended to provide a broad-based learning experience covering all of the foundations of public participation. 
Delivery of the IAP2 training program by Essential Planning Ltd is also recognised by the Homes and Communities Agency and IEMA, and regularly held at the University of Westminster (2011, 2012, 2013, 2017) and various consulting companies including Temple Group, London, UK (2014); and Jacobs, London, UK (2015, 2016).  

Foundations is right for anyone working for or involved in public participation projects in: 

  • Government - local, regional and national agencies
  • Corporations 
  • Utilities 
  • Environmental Agencies 
  • Community Organisations and the voluntary sector 
  • Universities 
The full Foundations Program fee is currently being offered for the discounted fee of £1,000.  The usual 3-day Planning module fee is £750, and 2-day Techniques module is £500. We offer a 10% discount for early booking, and other discounts for non-government organisations, the voluntary and community sector, and for multiple bookings.  For more information on fees and our program of IAP2 Foundations training in 2019 see the main training page.

The Foundations - Modules 1 to 2

Regardless of the arena in which you work, IAP2's Foundations in Public Participation can broaden your toolkit and bring greater creativity to your approach. If you are a student or researcher, the program will give you a broad-based understanding of how public participation works across the world.

Project Managers, scientists, engineers and other technical professionals will take away as much as any public participation practitioner from this training. Community and voluntary organisations often find a new way of organising and communicating with others through the training.  

An overview of Modules 1-2 is set out below.     

Module 1 - Planning for Effective Public Participation

A major reason that initiatives fail is inadequate preparation. The IAP2 planning module provides you with a proven structure that will greatly increase your odds of a successful project. This hands-on course gives you the opportunity to delve into your own challenges as you learn and review the essential elements of effective public participation planning.

In this first module, we cover the following:

  • Evaluating the scope of a decision - not always a straight-forward exercise!
  • Identifying the right processes and decision steps including timing and needed resources
  • Establishing roles and responsibilities of the primary parties
  • Developing a clear understanding of stakeholder audience concerns and hopes
  • Selecting the appropriate level of public participation
  • Setting clear and achievable objectives
  • Developing a detailed public participation plan for the entire process
  • Establishing and maintaining effective communications
  • Identifying appropriate evaluation tools to measure the effectiveness of the initiative.

This course is a prerequisite for the subsequent module, Techniques for Effective Public Participation.


Module 2 - Techniques for Effective Public Participation

Once you have completed the planning module, you are ready to add 50+ practical tools and methodologies to your public participation toolkit - powerful techniques you can put to immediate use in your next project.

This module breaks down specific methods including World Cafe, Citizens Juries, Revolving Conversations, Nominal Group Technique, Deliberation and Advisory Groups. Opportunities to practice, experience and understand when and how to utilise such techniques are provided, and in the process you get to build and refine your own Facilitation skills. 

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