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Individual who is responsible for helping trainees to learn, not by presenting information, but by listening, asking questions, providing ideas, suggesting alternatives, and identifying possible resources. Facilitators are found in face-to-face and self-instructional delivery as well, but their responsibilities are very different for these delivery systems. The facilitator plays three main roles which are the follows:

Leadership role

  • To focus on providing a direction to the group when the leader fails to fulfill their role
  • To stimulate and encourage constructive debate between group members
  • To support members of the group, helping them to bring information, and to build new ideas
  • To participate when the group is interacting poorly or in the wrong direction, by promoting new discussion
  • To promote team building in a cohesive, interactive, and productive way

Referee role

  • To regulate and maintain order of the group discussion, discouraging participants from talking at the same time
  • To protect members, and ensure that all contributions to the discussion are treated equally
  • To deal with problems, and to control people within the group, allowing everyone to participate freely
  • To manage the time, and adhere to the meeting timetable ensuring completion of the agenda

Neutral role

  • The facilitator is neutral, and pragmatic, because he takes a detached look at the discussion
  • He encourages feedback, to promote discussion of each point of the meeting
[1]See also: Online Facilitator

MATERIAL.png Additional Materials
Document Content
Gather – The Art and Science of Effective Convening A very useful guidebook from the Rockefeller Foundation. The guide can inspire you in the planning, preparation and delivery process, and should allow you to: determine whether or not to host a convening; clarify a purpose for the convening that shapes all other decisions; build an effective team; curate an experience; ensure follow through for impact. Copyright©2013 Deloitte Development LLC. This publication may not be modified or altered in any way.
Basic Facilitation Skills This manual presents a basic introduction to facilitation. It provides a basic guide for those who are periodically called upon to facilitate and for those who are first time practitioners. Published by the Human Leadership and Development Division of the American Society for Quality, the Association for Quality and Participation, the International Association of Facilitators.


  1. Rapid Instructional Design, Learning ID Fast and Right. George M. Piskurich, 2006, http://www.see.ed.ac.uk (7 March 2008), www.work911.com (7 March 2008), www.mindtools.com (27 August 2008)