An Exploration of the Skills and Methods for Facilitation
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An Exploration of the Skills and Methods for Facilitation of Interprofessional learning in the Work Place. The PIPE Project. Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for three years. University of Reading Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College

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An Exploration of the Skills and Methods for Facilitation

of Interprofessional learning in the Work Place

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The PIPE Project

  • Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for

  • three years.

  • University of Reading

  • Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College

  • Oxford Brookes University

  • Oxford PGDME

  • Thames Valley University

  • University of Oxford

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PIPE Project Objectives

  • Focus of the whole project was on the facilitation of IPL with the objectives being:

  • To increase accessibility of opportunities for facilitating IPL for teaching staff

  • To develop and evaluate the preparation of teachers for IPL

  • To ensure that teacher preparation for IPL is recognised and accredited

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PIPE Scheme 3

  • Challenge to PIPE 3 was to try and find out if there are additional skills and knowledge needed for facilitation of IPL in the work place

  • Questions that framed the study

  • What, if any are the facilitation skills needed to promote IPL in the work place?

  • In what ways can these skills be acquired?

  • In what way could the use of additional facilitation skills help promote and encourage IPL?

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…Facilitation of work based learning

Our overall question we set out to solve was:

Is the current preparation of facilitators sufficient to promote effective interprofessional learning in the work place or are additional skills and methods required?

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The DELPHI Process

  • Takes it’s name from the Delphi oracle’s skills of interpretation and foresight.

  • A survey method that seeks to measure consensus where there is lack of research or different opinions

  • Expert panel

  • Rounds

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…Delphi Results

  • Quantitative data -

  • 61.5% agreed that skills gained through experience

  • 61.5% agreed it was necessary to attend short course

  • Only 15% agreed on need for formal teaching qualification

  • 30% agreed that skills were developed through being an expert practitioner

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Delphi Results

  • Five main categories identified –

    • Awareness and use of self as a facilitator

    • Dealing with difference and conflict

    • Group process and relationships

    • Power dimensions for facilitator and group

    • Context, planning, authenticity of process

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Awareness and use of self as a facilitator

  • Personal qualities: aware of ways own behaviour can influence group outcomes

  • Potential role conflict: aware of own professional identity and

  • bias

  • Making no assumptions on professional behaviour able to

  • value the person first and foremost.

  • Open minded acceptance of differing viewpoints, knowing there are different value systems

  • Confidence to take risks:challenging sensitive issues,stereotypes,racist,sexist or ageist statements

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Dealing with difference

  • Time needed to explore differences and commonalities

  • Aware of diversity

  • Challenge the views not the person

  • Conflict is natural and can be creative.

    (In IPL groups conflict can remain

    hidden as learners stay on best behaviour)

  • Avoid using professional jargon

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Group process and relationships

  • Be explicit on aims and outcomes that are expected or desired

  • Being flexible:help group make choices and decisions

  • Facilitation of social dimension of group learning

  • Aware of participants’ hidden agenda

  • Group formation, forming, storming and norming process

  • Decision making process: IP group will need to find ways to make

    democratic decisions

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Power dimensions for facilitator and group

  • Unequal power base between professionals has significant influence

  • for IP work

  • Power relationships linked with role stereotypes, must explore

  • commonalities and differences

  • Empower all in group to participate

  • Facilitator to be aware of own power. Concept of neutrality explored

  • Organisational power and status: health and social care professionals

  • work in hierarchical organisations

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Context,planning and authenticity of process

  • Pre-planning the session, negotiate sponsor’s aims and be aware of possible contentious issues

  • Organisational structures, policies and politics affect session and add to complexity of IPL

  • Relate to real work issues, the process must be authentic

  • Any IPL session must be a joint activity between participating organisations including educationalists

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Overall result

Delphi results showed :

  • The IPL facilitator requires a greater depth and higher order of skills than for work with a uni-professional group.

  • These are skills similar to those needed to facilitate diverse, complex groups.

  • The Delphi survey research results provides documented evidence on the issues that should be addressed in the preparation of facilitators for IPL .

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Democratic and Democratic Decision


‘Equal rights for all, special privileges for none’

Atticus Finch’s definition of democracy in the book

To Kill a Mocking Bird

Democratic decision making: reaching a decision through a

process of consensus. Everyone should feel they are part of the process,

Able to have their say even if they disagreed with the majority decision

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How PIPE 3 findings informs process of democratic

Decision making

  • Process of facilitation is about helping the individual or group to get the

  • most out of a learning experience, by guiding, structuring a programme

  • and intervening to trigger the learning.

  • The skilled facilitator is able to help the IPL group address conflict,

  • challenge sensitive issues and find ways to make decisions

  • .

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How PIPE 3 findings informs process of democratic

Decision making

  • Individuals making decisions in IP practice without a facilitator could use

  • the five categories as a guide:

  • Be aware of self, who you are and what you bring

  • Diversity: value other perspectives and conflict OK

  • Relationships: agree ground rules and hear all voices

  • Acknowledge affect of unequal power to any decision making

  • Context: organisational influences

  • .

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PIPE 3 Work based IPL

Phased plan drawn up for projects 3 year period –

  • To build a theory of IPL facilitation

  • Produce principles of IPL facilitation

  • To work out and write a model for teachers to plan and run facilitation preparation programmes

  • To provide consultancy in setting up facilitation training programmes

  • To publish, disseminate and embed findings

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Illeris K 2004 ( 2cnd ed) The three dimensions of learning. Roskilde University Press: Denmark

Koppel, I. Barr, H. Reeves, S. Freeth, D. and Hammick, M. (2001) Establishing a

systematic approach to evaluating the effectiveness of IPE. Issues in

Interdisciplinary Care Vol 3 (1) 41-50

Loxley A., Collaboration in Health and Welfare, Jessica Kingsley: London

N.W. London Workforce Development Confederation. Evaluation Report of Joint

Universities Multiprofessional Programme 2, 2002-2004 (JUMP 2)

Qualitative Health Research in Health care, Consensus Methods for medical and

health research. Ed. Mays N. & Pope C BMJ Publishing Group

The Delphi technique: a critique. Goodman C

Journal of Advanced Nursing 1987, 12, 729–734.