Facilitation Groundwork – revisiting foundations

NEXT DATES 22-27.9.2024. & 1-6.12.2024.

LOCATION Croatia, defined per date

Inspired and informed by the IAF competency framework and professional standards for Certified Professional Facilitators, this training will help you expand your toolbox, sharpen your tools, level up your skills and fill your heart with inspiration and passion for mastery in this work and the opportunities it brings for impact.

Who is it for?

This is the programme for trainers, facilitators, team and project leaders, scrum masters, team coaches and others looking for comprehensive training in facilitation skills, and seasoned practitioners wanting to revisit foundations. 

It is planned an international programme, held in English. 

Why should you join?

Have you ever experienced a meeting that lasted longer that it was planned for?  A workshop that got hijacked by conflict and heated emotions?

A decision-making workshop that led to no decision, rather to more confusion?  A planning session that ended up with confusion and no clarity in next steps needed to take?


If you are in a business that relies on collaboration – conversations are your critical tool. 

Meetings. Strategy workshops. Brainstorming sessions. Training events. 

People. Diversity in perspective, goals, motivation, attitudes, communication styles.

Effective facilitation skills have become crucial to create the space for meaningful discussion, empowerment and collaborative decision making within today’s fast paced, resource poor and complex organisational environments. “Business as usual” meeting strategies are no longer appropriate to generate solutions to complex problems involving multiple stakeholders and competing interests. 

Social research consistently proves that people are more committed to the ideas and plans that they have participated in creating. Collaborative groups with equal participation among all group members (rather than a few subject matter experts dominating) produce better results. The reason? Such groups consider multiple perspectives, and generate more creative and effective results.

Skilled facilitators are effective leaders, capable of not only designing and leading focused, positive, and productive meetings. They foster creativity, enable ownership and alignment to new directions, and help build the commitment required for successful implementation of ideas and solutions

Strengthen your core as a facilitator by revisiting foundations.


Your work as a facilitator starts long before you greet your participants in the room.

And often continues after they left.

During the Facilitation Groundwork training we will walk through all off the three stages of your event – the before, the during and the after of your gathering.


Exploring the need

Contracting outcomes

Inviting participants

Designing the process

Preparing the venue


Welcoming participants – facilitating arrival, contracting outcomes, and guiding principles

Inviting participation

Facilitating and harvesting the process

Being a process guardian




Follow-up activities

In case of series of events – facilitating the in-betweens

The key elements of the programme

Being a facilitator is about helping people be in the conversation. Think together. Make meaning together. Create ideas, find solutions, make decisions, and learn together.

It is about context, purpose, people, and process. About knowledge, skills, and tools.

There is craft and there is art. There is a relationship, there is a process, there are tools & methods, and there is the magic of you – the unique, authentic expression of who you are as a facilitator.

During our six days together, we will touch base on all.

Understanding the role of a facilitator:
  • The context – why do we need facilitation?
  • Key definitions and distinctions – what facilitation is and what it isn’t.
  • When should you and when should you not take the role of a facilitator?
What we need to know about people and conversations that matter:
  • A bit about human nature and who we become in collaboration
  • Essentials of group dynamics
Process design:

We design for harvest – what are the outcomes you are aiming for?

  • The divergence/emergence/convergence diamond as a map
  • Planning the flow of interactions throughout the process
  • Types of interactions and how do you choose what, when, for how long …
Methods and tools for: 
  • opening / facilitating arrival; closing / facilitating commitment and accountability for next steps on departure
  • exploring / un-packing a problem; creating ideas
  • sense-making; decision-making
  • dealing with disagreement and heated emotions in the group
  • working with post-its, templates, visual aids
  • art and associative tools as helpers (photos, clay, lego-bricks, color/paint)
The magic of you – who are you as a facilitator
  • your presence
  • your energy, your body, your voice
  • your YOU (the unique, authentic superpowers of being YOU)
Bringing it home – working on Your projects
  • Reflecting on what and how you can use in your upcoming projects
  • Planning, practising and improving own facilitation projects


Programme will be held by Adrijana Strnad, CPF and Miljenka Plazonić Bogdan. 

We both have a passion for the potential of the groups and learning. With more than 20 years of experience in facilitation and training, we invite you to a learning journey where we will share the art and craft of facilitation with you! 

More about us you can find on the team page!

For any questions around the content of the programme please contact us!

How will we work - our training approach

  • Experiential, affirmative, interactive, practical
  • Opportunity to work on your own projects – design your process, training exercise, meeting or workshop flow.
  • Trainer-led facilitation grounded in group coaching and training principles.
  • Conceptual knowledge promptly applied in practice.
  • Loads of immediate feedback – you will be both loved & hugged and challenged to step into the next level of you.
The training schedule is planned as a full-day experience, with intensive learning sessions and opportunities to have individual time to rest, sort shorter working or family matters and enjoy some of the amenities of location. 
Detailed schedule will be provided to registered participants. 
You should count on leaving from Zagreb (transporation is provided and included in the package) around 9:00 on Sunday (arrival to the location until 13:00 latest).
Training programme will end on Friday at 16:00, and planned arrival to Zagreb is latest at 20:00. 

IAF Core Competencies we rely on

A bit about IAF, what it stands for and why do we rely on the IAF framework?

The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) is a participatory organisation with members in more than 65 countries. As a professional association, it sets internationally accepted industry standards, provides accreditation, supports a community of practice, advocates and educates on the power of facilitation and embraces the diversity of facilitators.

The IAF Core Competencies framework was developed over several years by the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) with the support of its members and facilitators from all over the world. Tested over time, the six competencies form the basic set of skills, knowledge, and behaviours that facilitators must have, to be successful facilitating in a wide variety of environments.

Our program follows and promotes the IAF competency framework, and it will help you deepen your understanding of them.

It is a standard that we, as professional facilitators and members of IAF, hold ourselves accountable to and promote in our work.

Facilitators need to build trust and establish strong relationships with clients in order to effectively understand their needs and goals. This competency involves establishing rapport with clients, understanding their expectations, and setting clear boundaries and agreements for the facilitation process.

Facilitators need to have a clear understanding of group dynamics and be able to design and implement appropriate processes that are tailored to the needs and goals of the group. This competency involves selecting appropriate methods and tools, designing agendas and activities, and creating an environment that supports group participation and engagement.

Facilitators need to create a safe and inclusive environment that encourages all participants to contribute and engage in the facilitation process. This competency involves creating ground rules, managing group dynamics, and using techniques to encourage participation and engagement.

Facilitators need to guide the group towards outcomes that are relevant, meaningful, and actionable. This competency involves using questioning and feedback techniques, facilitating decision-making processes, and ensuring that the group achieves its objectives.

Facilitators need to stay up-to-date with the latest facilitation techniques, tools, and methods, and continuously improve their skills and knowledge. This competency involves attending training and development programs, staying informed about best practices in facilitation, and seeking feedback from clients and colleagues.

Pricing and registration

Program price

3500 EUR all-inclusive:

  • 6 days training journey, on-site from Sunday to Friday
  • Workshop Etui by Neuland filled with facilitation tools
  • Accommodation (single use of rooms)
  • Food and drinks with group meals and breaks
  • Transportation from Zagreb to location (spacy and cosy minibus)
  • Materials for participants – handbook and learning sheets

25% VAT to be added to listed prices (except for EU participants outside Croatia with valid VAT number) – please get in contact for details.


22-27.9.2024. – Croatia, location to be defined soon /up to 3 hours drive from Zagreb, with transportation from Zagreb provided/

1-6.12.2024. – Croatia, location to be defined soon /up to 3 hours drive from Zagreb, with transportation from Zagreb provided/


The number of participants is limited and can be from 8 to 12. 

Upon registration, an offer is sent with all details, including a request for payment of 20% to secure a place on the programme. 


We encourage you to come with mates from your organisation!  For the second and any following person from the same organisation, we offer a 30% discount on the program price. This offer is time-limited: for dates in September 2024 it is valid for registrations up to 1.5.2024., and payment of 20% of the program fee by 31.5.2024.

AOPL Croatia Alumni  - participants of the AOPL or AOH training held in Croatia- have 10% personal price discount! Claim it by adding a remark "AOH/AOPL alumni" in comments in registration form.

For all logistical questions, offers and payments, you can reach to our support at office.cplcroatia@gmail.com

Training is organised in partnership with SMINKO d.o.o. Your registration and payments will be processed by SMINKO d.o.o., responsible for the organisation and accounting in the name of the main organizer Centre for Participatory Leadership.

CPL Terms of Service and Privacy Policy apply for all registrations, as presented in the registration form. 


Location of the programme supports vivid interchange of indoor and outdoor activities for a week long programme. Depending on the date of the training, location will change, but generally it is up to 3 hours drive from Zagreb, with transportation from Zagreb provided.


Training in March 2024 was held at the Istrian seaside in Hotel Valamar Sanfior in Rabac, The beautiful hotel and surroundings offer a lot of inspiring space inside and outside for our work, comfortable accommodation and privacy for each participant. The hotel offers many options to relax and enjoy after-work hours as well.

Rabac is located 3 hours drive from Zagreb.

All photos of the location are part of their promo materials, all rights reserved.

Ready to learn?

You are warmly invited to join us on a unique learning journey!

You would like to join? Find dates that fit your schedule!

Register for dates in 2024:

22-27.9.2024.  Croatia (location to be defined)

1-6.12.2024. Croatia (location to be defined)