tCI offers the most comprehensive range of one-day courses on public consultation and engagement available anywhere.

Courses vary from a foundation one, helping those new to this work to understand what makes a consultation meaningful, through to the unique Masterclasses where participants work on realistic scenarios. There are courses on particular skills, such as running a focus group or analysing the data that comes from a consultation.

At each course delegates are able to learn from an experienced expert. Courses are designed to be lively and interactive – with plenty of group exercises to put theory into practice. Courses can also be delivered in-house, which is a very cost-effective and efficient way of training whole teams. Personal recognition is achieved through a well established Certificate of Professional Development (CPD), and for more experienced members we now offer the Advanced Practitioner Certificate (APC).

Our Courses

Social Media

These hands-on practical courses offer tools and techniques designed to better your overall quality of surveys, focus groups, data results and public meetings. These courses will give you alternative ways to improve your overall delivery and final results.

Better Data Analysis for Public Consultations

This course aims to offer participants a detailed insight into the issues and challenges inherent in the use of data collected by public engagement and consultation engagement exercises and their presentation to decision-makers.

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Better Focus Groups

This is a course where the emphasis is on the use of Focus Groups in public consultation and participation, rather than as a market research methodology. It is not just about organising such events, it also teaches facilitation, using a specially-prepared film of a genuine Focus Group.

So be a fly on the wall - watch and listen to an actual Focus Group and observe the all-important skills of Facilitation/Moderation. Spot the deliberate mistakes!

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Better Surveys & Questionnaires

A hands-on practical course on using survey techniques in the context of public and stakeholder consultations, and public engagement generally.

It covers basic questionnaire design techniques, but goes further to consider when and how to use these methods. Included are five short workshop sessions which help bring the topics to life.

Every delegate also receives a free copy of Better Surveys & Questionnaires – a book in the Institute’s Signposts series, worth £12.00.

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Preparing for a Public Consultation

Does the thought of preparing for a public consultation appal/terrify/excite you?

Is this something you’ve never done before and are wondering where and how to begin? Or, have you been involved in the pre-consultation stage before, but know it could have been a much more effective exercise leading to a better overall consultation

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Conducting a Public Consultation

Are you confident you can meet the best practice standards now expected of a public consultation?

Public consultation is evolving rapidly, with a new emphasis on stakeholder involvement at all phases of change programmes. In addition to greater public/stakeholder participation at the pre-consultation phase, and the post-consultation period, the conduct of the all-important dialogue is critical. With greater expectations and a wider range of techniques for gathering consultee views, consultation professionals need to be fully aware of the possibilities and pitfalls.

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Better Public Events (In-house only)

There is no doubt about it: running Public Events on controversial topics must be one of the most daunting tasks undertaken by public engagement specialists.

The problems are well known, but it is perfectly possible to address them through excellent preparation and sound facilitation. Learn the tricks of the trade at this unique training course.

Also, consider the wealth of alternatives.

Making Participatory Budgeting Work for You (In-house only)

With more emphasis on alternative and innovative methods to reduce public sector spending and increase participation, more organisations are looking to run Participatory Budgeting (PB) events, many learning on the job and picking it up as they go along.

Participatory Budgeting techniques can be valuable in determining the opinions of residents, business or other stakeholders. PB has a proven track record of increasing levels of participation, engagement and empowerment in a range of community settings.

With an increasing number of judicial reviews as communities and individuals challenge funding priorities, this is one way to persuade the courts that consultation has taken place.

Effective Focus Groups and Facilitation Skills (Scotland Only)

Anyone interested or involved in public engagement & consultation or public policy and wants to learn techniques and broaden their knowledge – fast!

This course considers the specific issues relating to when to use focus groups, the organisa-tional and planning issues, question construction, recording and data analysis. The session also provides an introduction to facilitation including the role of the facilitator, managing the process, managing behaviours and managing the discussion.

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Better Questionnaires & Surveys (Scotland Only)

For those likely to become involved in the use of surveys and questionnaires as part of public and community engagement in Scotland.

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Social Media

Helping you understand how and why social media is such an important dialogue method for consultation, these courses will take you through set up to best practice use of social media as an engagement tool.

Using Social Media in Public Engagement & Consultation

A course reflecting the astonishing increase in the use of social media as an important channel for stakeholder engagement and consultation. It also offers guidance to those who realise that they will have to engage with customers, citizens or stakeholders, using social media as part of their day to day job. And it takes effort and understanding to get it right!

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Social Media for Consultation

Social media has now become an accepted dialogue method for most stakeholders. However, too many are not prepared for the effect this has had on our ability to deliver best practice consultation and high quality public dialogues.

Social Media for Consultation is a unique, contemporary course that aims to address how organisations should manage social media for consultation.

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Keep up to date with current equalities developments and the risks of legal challenges. Essential awareness raising for those who’s job role is to consult the public – and to do so lawfully.

Equalities Essentials

Understanding Equalities requirements when managing significant change and avoiding legal challenges.

Against the backdrop of a new government, speculation about the future of equalities and human rights and increasing challenges to consultations on equalities grounds, are controversial issues and need to be addressed.

This course clarifies the duties public bodies must continue to observe, how legal precedent is making fulfilling the duty more exacting and how to ensure safe compliance.

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Law of Consultation

Few training courses require as much updating as this important one-day course on the Law of Consultation! The reason is simple. There is a continuous stream of judicial reviews with Judges regularly developing a body of law that needs to be familiar to everyone working in public engagement.

The course will normally be delivered by Rosa Curling, Solicitor at Leigh Day who is highly experienced in the Law of Consultation and Rhion Jones LL.B, Programme Director, tCI.

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Law of Consultation: Practical Implications (In-house only)

A brand new in-house training course/workshop! Many hundreds of Institute Members and supporters have attended our unique Law of Consultation.

We are now able to offer a special variant of this course with the emphasis firmly on the practical implications of the many Court decisions we have scrutinised.

This course will be delivered by some of the Institute's highly expierenced Assocaites, and will provide ample opportunities for detailed discussions about the application of the legal rules to the client's own environment.

For further information and fees please contact Martin Roach, tCI Account Manager, or 01767 318350

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Applying the Law of Consultation (Scotland Only)

The legal system may be different, but the basic principles underpinning the law of consultation are the same. Those managing change to Scotland’s public services and working with communities to develop solutions to problems all need a thorough understanding of what the law requires. So, do central and local government policy-makers, planners and infrastructure developers as well as community groups and third sector organisations who frequently have to focus their time and resources on responding to public or stakeholder consultations.

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Keep abreast of current developments, investigate and learn in one of our specialist courses. Develop key skills through exercises you can take away and implement in your consultation processes.

An Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry makes for faster and more sustainable solutions. The
cross-cutting nature of so many problems facing public bodies etc means that traditional methods may no longer work as well.

Appreciative Inquiry has become a popular approach used extensively to creatively address challenging problems and involve people in a positive way.

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Facilitation for Consultation (In-house only)

In times of austerity, many organisations and particularly those in the Public Sector are looking at how to achieve value for money and utilising existing resources to engage with stakeholders. The use of Facilitators in public and stakeholder consultation is growing in popularity and importance. Rather than bringing in external resources to facilitate deliberative events, wouldn’t it be far more cost effective to up skill the existing workforce and not have to rely on procuring that service?

This intensive 1-day course is an opportunity to explore the skills and qualities required for effective facilitators. The growing use of facilitators in a wide range of consultation dialogue methods is placing a new emphasis on those with an engagement role and we will go through some of the barriers and how to overcome them, within different scenarios.

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Develop your working knowledge in our tCI Masterclasses, succeed with our topic relevant classes and further your knowledge in key areas of consultation.

Managing Significant Change in Health & Social Care (In-house only)

There is scarcely any part of the NHS that does not face serious reconfiguration in the coming years and Local authorities are facing similar upheavals. But how many of those likely to be involved have the essential know-how and understanding to succeed in such challenges?

In particular, how many managers, clinicians and local authority leaders are really familiar with the required consultation and engagement processes they will have to implement?

Remember also that disclosures including the Mid-Staffordshire review have illustrated the need to listen to patients and public. They raise the bar for all consultations in the future.

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Managing Significant Change in Health & Social Care (Northern Ireland)

There is scarcely any part of the Health System in Northern Ireland that does not continue to face serious reconfiguration and service change in the coming years. But how many of those likely to be involved have the essential know-how and understanding of how to navigate such challenges with the bar to success having been raised in the last two years? In particular, how many managers, clinicians and patient representatives are familiar enough with the required consultation and engagement processes they will have to undertake, that they are confident they can successfully manage risk? Increasing public hostility and intolerance of change, perceived as austerity-driven service cuts, requires greater assurance and confidence on the part of consultors. Remember also that disclosures including the Mid-Staffordshire review, and the Bengoa review have illustrated the need to listen to patients and the public better. They raise the bar for all consultations.

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Understanding Community Engagement

“To Engage or Consult” that is the question.

A management game to explore current best practice in community engagement and consultation.

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Engaging on Public Services Budgets (In-house only)

An in-depth exploration of how local authorities should engage and consult their stakeholders and the general public when budgets are under extreme pressure and services are having to be rationalised or withdrawn. As in other Masterclasses this is a Management Game using the tried-and-tested mythical town of 'Bloombridge' to explore issues affecting public engagement and consultation. Those who have attended Consultation Before & After (CBA) and Managing and Measuring Public Engagement (MMPE) will be interested to see how it copes with plans to close a Library and a Care Home.

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