Facilitator preparation

Delivering a successful Leadership Change programme requires a facilitator with the right capabilities, skills and aptitude. Do you think you are the right person? The Facilitator Self-Reflection Tool below will help you reflect on what you have and what you might need to deliver a programme. Read both the Facilitator’s Guide [.pdf 2MB] and the Final Report [.pdf 647KB] for a full understanding as to the programme’s needs and context.

View the Facilitator Self-Reflection Tool

Self-reflection tool - text version

Interprofessional Change Leadership Programme Facilitator – could that be you?

What does it take to facilitate change leadership programmes for interprofessional education and practice? It’s very important that the Programme is run by well–qualified facilitators with a broad range of skills, experience and qualifications.

This tool aims to help you reflect on your readiness to become a facilitator.

Journey to Machu Picchu

Like all great journeys it is important to take stock of where you currently are, where you want to be, and how you are going to get there. Imagine you are on a trek up the mountain to the old city of Machu Picchu in Peru. Using this analogy, where are you in the journey to becoming a facilitator?

Step 1: You have read enthusiastically about this wonderful place, but have little idea of where it is or what is involved in getting there.

Step 2: You have done some research, looked at plane prices, bought a new pocket knife, but are still writing a list of things you’ll need.

Step 3: You have packed your bag, got on the place – and are heading towards Peru.

Step 4: You have sat at the top of Macchu Picchu after your trek, watching the sun rise over the mountains, reflecting on how you went.

What step of the journey are you on?

Successful facilitators – what does it take?

Having reflected on your own journey, have a look at those taken by three experienced facilitators of change leadership for interprofessional education and practice. Becoming a facilitator involves two parts of a persons’ development:

  • a set of professional skills, qualifications and experiences
  • a life journey of experiences that inform their beliefs, attitudes and values.

Read the profiles each of the people below to see how they became facilitators.

Lynn Sinclair

Title: Innovative Program and External Development Lead, Centre for Interprofessional Education, University of Toronto

Lynne’s education and professional experience:

  • Qualified health professional: Physiotherapist
  • Professional health experience: 23 years in various roles in both large teaching hospitals and the University
  • Facilitation of adult learning workshops across a range of professions: 14 years experience
  • Strong working knowledge of IPE & IPP: 7 years as Director of Education for 12 professions at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and 10 years at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Interprofessional Education
  • Leadership training: Masters of Arts (Adult Education); Collaborative Change Leadership Certificate Program
  • Knowledge of change leadership: Collaborative Change Leadership; Certificate Program
  • Knowledge of Appreciative Inquiry: Collaborative Change Leadership; Certificate Program
  • IPP Leadership Programme: Accredited facilitator; Founding contributor and faculty for University of Toronto’s five day ehpicTM course since 2004

Lynne’s back story:

“As a physiotherapist practicing in cancer care at a large urban hospital in Toronto, I worked with an outstanding interprofessional team of clinicians including: surgeons, nurses, therapists, social workers and many others. It was only when I left that organisation and moved to another team that I realised that not all teams communicate and collaborate well together. I became interested to learn how we could improve teamwork across many teams and organisations, thus improving patient care and health outcomes.

I was selected as the first hospital-based Interprofessional Education Leader in Toronto and was introduced to the exceptional Dr. Ivy Oandasan who was already researching interprofessional education for Health Canada. I immediately knew that I wanted to work with Ivy and thus we started what has become a 10 year collaboration on multiple projects together.

I now travel around the world to collaborate with organisations to develop clinicians and students capabilities for interprofessional education and practice. I remain convinced that this interprofessional approach lies at the heart of truly transformative health system change.”

Margo Brewer

Title: Director Practice & Interprofessional Education, Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia

Margo’s education and professional experience:

  • Qualified health professional: Speech Pathologist
  • Professional health experience: 30 years across a range of health organisations
  • Facilitation of adult learning workshops across a range of professions: 10 years + experience
  • Strong working knowledge of IPE & IPP: 6 years as Director Interprofessional Practice, Curtin University
  • Leadership training: Qualified life coach; Completed Curtin University’s Senior Leadership Programme
  • Knowledge of change leadership: Researched and authored publications on change leadership
  • Knowledge of Appreciative Inquiry: Appreciative leadership practitioner for the past 2 years
  • IPP Leadership Programme: Accredited facilitator; Completed University of Toronto’s five day ehpicTM course

Margo’s back story:

“Early in my career as a speech pathologist I recognised that the focus in health care was not on individuals and their families but instead on the professionals involved. Health professionals rarely worked collaboratively to provide a coherent, integrated service for clients. This model of service delivery often led to inefficient use of health professional’s resources and less effective outcomes for our clients.

This professional experience aligned with my personal experience when in 1986 I became the mother of a child with multiple health problems. As a parent I was surprised to discover how horrendous it was dealing with an unsupportive health care system. Our journey through this system was frustrating, time and energy sapping generally as a result of the very limited, if any, collaboration between the multitude of health professionals needed to achieve optimal outcomes for him.

When I moved to working in health education in 2002 I realised that to achieve a supportive health service we would need to educate our students how to collaborate effectively, not only with each other, but with their clients. An interprofessional approach to health care just makes sense!

My experiences both professionally and personally are the emotional drivers behind my passion for leading and facilitating interprofessional practice.”

Ivy Oandasan

Title: Academic Family Physician, Toronto Western Family Health Team, University Health Network

Ivy’s education and professional experience:

  • Qualified health professional: Family Physician
  • Professional health experience: 21 years as family physician working in a teaching practice affiliated with a university-based family medicine residency program
  • Facilitation of adult learning workshops across a range of professions: 17 yrs. experience
  • Strong working knowledge of IPE & IPP: Inaugural Director of the University of Toronto’s Office (now Centre) of IPE leading the development and implementation of a competency-based requisite IPE Curriculum for all health care disciplines; Clinician investigator since 2004 researching both IPE and IPP with over $7 million of IPE specific grant funding, over 30 peer reviewed publications and hundreds of invited and peer-reviewed presentations. Has led both national and provincial system based initiatives to advance IPE & IPP
  • Leadership training: Masters of Health Sciences in Family & Community Medicine; Academic Fellowship in Family Medicine
  • Knowledge of change leadership: Co-created the Collaborative Change Leadership Course now offered by the Centre for IPE at the University of Toronto; Co-lead for
  • Ontario’s 2 year Project to develop A Blueprint for Action to Advance IPP
  • Knowledge of Appreciative Inquiry: Lead on multiple initiatives and research grants founded on the theoretical premises related to Appreciative Inquiry in the advancement of IPE/IPP
  • IPP Leadership Programme: Founder of University of Toronto’s five-day ehpicTM course since 2004; Accredited facilitator

Ivy’s back story:

“Early on in my training to become a family physician, I realized that I was called to be both a care provider as well as a teacher. My early years as a clinical teacher led me to explore burgeoning areas in medical education helping learners prepare for their future clinical practices. In preparing for a presentation that I was invited to provide on a medical education topic, I stumbled across the area of Interprofessional education. Soon after, a call was put out by Health Canada, to conduct an Environmental Scan and Literature Review to Advance Interprofessional Education for Collaborative Patient Centred Practice (IECPCP).

As a new educational researcher at University of Toronto, I applied for the grant and was awarded the contract. This began a 10 year career that has given me incredible opportunities to conduct research in IPE and IPP, innovate ways to teach and assess learners in IPE, lead the development of IPE curricula and faculty/leadership development initiatives influencing change locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. My multiple leadership roles in IPE and IPP have provided me with “on the job wisdom” that could never have been achieved through just reading. It has been in the act of doing that we can truly gain the knowledge of what it means to learn about, from and with others to advance IPE and IPP.

Committed to supporting others to become IPE/IPP facilitators. I have grounded my IPE and IPP knowledge and practice through my experiences as a clinician, educator, researcher, leader, family member and patient.

Many have said that IPE/IPP is just the latest fad of the day. These people have missed the boat. I’ve spent 10 years on the boat watching this movement grow – watching it move internationally and seeing many climb on to the boat leading it in multiple directions.”


How do your professional skills, qualifications and experiences compare to those of Lynne, Margo and Ivy?

Which of the essential facilitator criteria do you meet?

☐ Health profession qualification
☐ 5+ years of professional experience
☐ Experience in workshop facilitation of adults across a range of professions
☐ Strong working knowledge of interprofessional practice
☐ Knowledge of change leadership
☐ Knowledge of the appreciative inquiry method

Which of the recommended facilitator criteria do you meet?

☐ Leadership training
☐ Attended an Interprofessional Practice Leadership programme

It may be helpful to read the Facilitator’s Guide, the Programme Module slides & notes and the Leadership Programme Report to give you a greater understanding of what is required of facilitators to run the leadership programme.

How to qualify

What if I don’t qualify? How can we run the Leadership Programme? It is very important that Leadership Programmes are run by well-qualified facilitators who have a broad range of skills, experience and qualifications—a lot is at stake! But not everybody will meet all the criteria. Here are two models that might help:

Team Facilitation: Find one or more colleague(s) who have the skills, experience or qualifications that, together, comprise the right criteria to form a facilitation team!

Facilitation Coaching: Find an experienced facilitation coach who can run the programme for you, with you participating, observing and facilitating various parts of the programme. This mentoring process is designed to help you attain the skills and experience that you need.

Facilitator's Guide

A step-by-step guide to delivering the programme.

Final Report

A summary of the programme’s development.

Facilitation coaching available on request

To support the implementation of the interprofessional change leadership programme, coaching is available to enable you to develop your confidence and capacity for facilitation. Research into effective interprofessional education has found that the capabilities of the facilitator are critical and that specific training is needed. To ensure the time, money and resources invested in delivering this programme are well utilised you are encouraged to take advantage of the facilitator coaching.

Margo Brewer, Director of Practice & Interprofessional Education at Curtin University, led the development of this leadership programme and has facilitated leadership development for interprofessional education and practice in Australia. Margo also completed the five-day epic leadership programme delivered by the Centre for Interprofessional Education at the University of Toronto, which has been used as the model for this Australian programme.

Megan Smith and Franziska Trede, Charles Sturt University project team members, also have considerable experience in leadership development and health education.

A range of coaching options are available, including: A project team member modelling the facilitation of the full programme or co-facilitating the programme with you and/or your colleagues. Each option includes both pre-briefing and post-briefing reflective sessions.


Margo Brewer
Director Practice & Interprofessional Education
Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University
e: m.brewer@curtin.edu.au
p: (08) 9266 9288

Associate Professor Megan Smith
Head of School, School of Community Health
Faculty of Science, Charles Sturt University
e: mesmith@csu.edu.au
p: (02) 6051 9245

Associate Professor Franziska Trede
Deputy Director, The Education for Practice Institute
Charles Sturt University
e: ftrede@csu.edu.au
p: (02) 9752 9003

Contact University of Toronto

Centre for Interprofessional Education
Belinda Vilhena, Manager
e: Belinda.vilhena@uhn.ca

NEXT: Deliver the programme

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