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Training & Events

In March 2020, we suspended all public training due to Covid-19. As we shift towards the 'new normal', we are pleased to announce the return of public training, which will now be delivered via a virtual platform.

By delivering our public training virtually, you can connect with those in the consultation and engagement community and get trained by experts in the field.

Furthermore, our ever-growing suite of e-Learning courses is an excellent way for you to train.

Below you will find more information about what courses are currently available. For more information, get in touch.

Upcoming Courses and Webinars

Virtual public training
Virtual in-house training
Virtual public training

We’re delighted to bring back our public training courses, now delivered virtually. If you require further information please contact us on or telephone 01767 318350

Please see a list below for detailed information on 2021 public training programme.

Practical Equalities

A one-day course that clarifies the duties public bodies must continue to observe, how legal precedent in fulfilling the duty more exacting and how to ensure safe compliance.

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Preparing for a Public Consultation

Delivered over four consecutive mornings 9.30 to 11.30. This course equips participants to conduct the full range of preparatory activities to ensure a robust public consultation process, building upon tCI’s experience of pre-consultation best practice.

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Conducting a Public Consultation

Delivered over four consecutive mornings 9.30 to 11.30. The course equips participants to develop and organise the full range of consultation dialogues, building upon tCI’s experience of best practice.

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Ten Smart Engagement Techniques

A one-day course to ensure your team can do three things:

Work out the best form of engaging or involving people for the scenario.
Work out how to build a bespoke event that suits a requirement.
Use ‘engaging’ methods that keep participants enthused and involved.

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Co-Production in Public Engagement and Consultation

A one-day course that aims to provide a definition of co-production within the context of consultation and engagement and explore its broad principles. We will also look at practical applications of a range of methods.

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Effective Digital-First Consultation

With a turn to online consultation as the default method for collecting views during the pandemic, best-practice has been overshadowed by a sense of urgency. This repurposed version of the popular “Best Practice Online Consultation” course contains invaluable lessons - from how to construct an effective online questionnaire to dealing with the tricky subject of engaging the digitally excluded. The course covers recent examples and explores some of the popular technology options and delivery models for integrating a multi-channel approach to consultation & engagement.

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Making Community Engagement Meaningful

This course is run over two consecutive days from 10.00 - 12.30. Engagement with communities is critical for both public and private organisations if they wish to gain, build, and maintain community understanding and support for their activities. This course is essential for those who want to ensure their community engagement activities are meaningful, building trust and reciprocity with the communities being served.

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Don't Do It!

A one-day course to ensure your team does not fall into the same bad practices and high-risk approaches that have resulted in other bodies suffering reputational damage and legal challenge.

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Best Practice Approaches To Lawful Consultation

A one-day course to ensure that those involved in your projects know what is and what is not lawful – whether a decision-maker, manager or engagement facilitator – so that they meet duties and not create a risk.

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Drafting a Media Relation Plan for Consultation and Engagement

It gives insight to dealing with journalists and what makes a story for your public engagement/consultation. It then continues with helping you reflect and develop a 6-stage media relations plan which will be vital to ensure effective and co-ordinated engagement with multi-media and multi-audiences.

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The following courses are offered to you as e-Learning modules.

If you are an Institute member, you can access training by logging in to your account Member benefits include discounted rates and free training on selected courses. Non-members will be required to create a free non-member account to gain access. To discuss enrolment, purchases or discounted bulk-buy, please get in touch.

Consultation for planning and development

This course focuses on the process of a developer submitting a planning application, acknowledging the important role consultation has in planning.

This four-module course explores the context of consultation today, asking why you should consult and if there is a legal requirement. It shows how you might create a strategy, and offers useful tools for running your consultation. Finally, exploring some of the challenges you may face and how best to overcome them.

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Advanced Social Media

This 'Advanced Social Media' course takes a deeper look into the use of social media in your consultations, covering policy implementation, influence, the value of good content and how best to get noticed.

It looks at social media monitoring, performance indicators and how to measure the success of your social media campaign. and finally, explores the foundations of engagement and your engagement strategy.

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Using Social Media in Consultation

This course takes you through the uses of social media in the three stages of your consultation.

We explore how social media connects our society and its uses in a consultation context. Using social media in your consultation has some clear advantages and this course explores these benefits and highlights some of the challenges you may also come across. We look at some of the tools you can utilise and offer some tips that will help with your social media use.

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Law of Consultation Online

If you were to ask a consultation professional to describe the Law of Consultation, they would probably be able to mention The Gunning Principles. Ask them to describe those in detail and that could present more of a problem. There is, of course, a great deal more to all of this and that is what this online course will help you to appreciate.

Written by Institute Founders, Rhion Jones and Elizabeth Gammell, this eight-module course is a substantial but worthwhile investment in your professional development and involves between four and six hours of serious study and covers 40% more High Court cases than can be included in the public course. A course summary document gives you a handy aide-memoir to supplement your learning, and Module 8 will be updated every year for the next three years to incorporate new significant cases free of charge to all registrants.

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Creative Dialogue Methods

Our Creative Dialogue Methods course is broken down into three separate lessons, exploring what we mean by ‘creative dialogue’, the key characteristics, benefits and challenges of using these techniques in consultations, and the methods you can use to encourage creative dialogue.
We also touch on the Gunning Principles, social styles and how, and when, creative dialogue might be useful in relation to them.
There are a multitude of techniques out there, and this course focuses of four of them in particular, looking at the essential characteristics of World Cafes, Appreciative Inquiry, Participatory Geographic Information Systems and Citizens Assemblies.

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Creating a coding frame for text responses

This course sets out how to construct a coding frame that will help you to organise unstructured (e.g. free text) responses.

In tCI’s online Data Analysis and Report Writing course, the principles of coding are covered, and though it is not essential, tCI recommends that you complete this course first, and study, in particular, the module on qualitative analysis and coding, which will give you some background.

This course takes you further into the detail of coding and explains, through a step-by-step approach with a worked example, how to do it.

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Consultation and Public Events

In this course, we focus on three particular types of public events: Public Meetings, Drop-in events and Public Consultation Hearings. The course is primarily designed to help those new to consultation but also contains much best practice advice as a refresher for those with some experience in this often challenging aspect of public consultation.

Using a mixture of helpful, practical advice, sprinkled with anecdotes from the wide experience of Institute Associates and Members, we will equip you with a lot of very important insights.

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Data Analysis and Report Writing

Taken from our public training course, Better Data Analysis for Public Consultations, Barry Creasy has created this e-learning course on the subject.

This five module course looks in detail at Quantitative and Qualitative analysis, exploring what they are and how you might use them in your data gathering. The in-depth Quantitative Analysis module takes you through gathering the averages and percentages of your data. It looks at how you cross-tabulate and weight your data, and how you deal with error.

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Focus Groups

Taken from our public training course; Better Focus Groups, Barry Creasy has created this e-learning course on the subject.

This two-module course teaches the techniques for preparation and moderation; which will set you on the right path to a well-run focus group,

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Surveys and Questionnaires

Taken from our public training course, Better Surveys and Questionnaires, Barry Creasy has created this e-learning course on the subject.

This single module course delves into the different types of questions you might ask, the wording and clarity of language you will need to employ. It covers the rating/ranking of questions, why they are used, and how many options you may wish to have. and how best to score the responses.

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Collecting information, data and sampling

Written by Institute Associate, Barry Creasy, this course looks into the basics of collecting information, data and sampling.

This two-module course looks into the basics of qualitative and quantitative data, validity and how these relate to the question development for a consultation. The second module covers Sampling. What it is, why we use it, and when it is best to do so. We’ll then explore the Institute’s recommended type of sampling.

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Stakeholder Mapping for Public Consultation

This course focuses on what is different when it comes to deploying stakeholder mapping in a consultation context, as opposed, to more generic issues.

We’ve created three fictional, but realistic scenarios from the worlds of Health, Planning and Airports, to help you understand how mapping works, and how it enables you to treat each group or individual to the best advantage.

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The Consultation Charter: A foundation course in consultation

This foundation course in consultation is an eight-module programme based on these key charter principles, demonstrating some of the issues you may come across and what the solutions might be.

This course is free to all members of the Institute

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Virtual in-house training

The following courses are offered to you as virtual in-house courses usually via Zoom.

If you require further information please contact us on or telephone 01767 318350

Preparing for a Public Consultation

Trainer: Paul Parsons | CPD Credits: 30

90 minute modules:
• An introduction to consultation
• Targeting your audience
• Pre-consultation engagement
• Developing and selecting options for consultation

Conducting a Public Consultation

Trainer: Paul Parsons | CPD Credits: 30

90 minute modules:
• Planning a consultation
• Planning consultation documents
• Managing a consultation
• Managing consultation output

Ten Smart Engagement Techniques

Trainer: Nicholas Duffin | CPD Credits: 25

2.5-hour modules:
• Five smart online engagement techniques
• Five smart offline engagement techniques (COVID relevant of non-COVID)

Don’t Do It – 10 mistakes to avoid

Trainer: Nicholas Duffin | CPD Credits: 25

2.5-hour modules:
• Common mistakes (10-6)
• High-risk mistakes (5-1)

Best Practice approaches to lawful consultation

Trainer: Nicholas Duffin | CPD Credits: 30

2.5-hour modules:
• Understanding statutory requirements and Public law
• Using Best Practice to minimise risk

Practical Equalities in light of COVID-19

Trainer: Nicholas Duffin | CPD Credits: 30

2.5 hour modules:
• When delivering proposals
• When consulting on proposals

Co-Production in Public Engagement and Consultation post-COVID-19

Trainer: Andy Wright | CPD Credits: 25

2.5-hour modules:
• Part 1: Introduction to the underlying principles of co-production in engagement consultation
• Part 2: Introduction to practical methods for co-production and where they might be applied

Drafting a Media Relation Plan for Consultation and Engagement

Trainer: Martin Evans | CPD Credits: 25

Two x 2.5-hour modules on easy steps to craft a media relation plan for consultation and engagement. It will be a mix of knowledge share, discussion, video and exercises.

Module 1 - Understanding the changing media landscape: Six steps to a media relations plan
• Preparing objectives
• Developing messages
• Define your audience understand your journalists – with some participant research before the next module

Module 2 - Audience Feedback
• Build relationships
• Quality content
o Storytelling to capture the emotion/hearts and minds
o Introduction to preparing your spokespersons
o Measure and evaluate

Certificate of
Professional Development

The Institute’s Certificate of Professional Development (CPD) recognises an individual’s commitment to enhancing his/her skills and knowledge in consultation services and techniques. Since the scheme began, we've awarded over 1,600 certificates.

Advanced Practitioner

The Advanced Practitioner Certificate (APC) provides recognition amongst consultation and engagement professionals. The emphasis of the advanced recognition is on the individual’s own experiences and insights gained from their professional careers, as well as acknowledging a thorough training history in the field of consultation and engagement.

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