Community Engagement Training – IAP2

We deliver face to face and digital training including the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)’s Certificate in Engagement and Advanced Certificate in Engagement.

IAP2 courses are being transformed for digital delivery and available from 4 May 2020.  Trainers are being re-licenced to deliver these courses digitally.

Find out more about the IAP2 courses below or register to book your place.

IAP2 Certificate in Engagement

Course Structure

To be awarded the Certificate in Engagement, a total of 5 days of training need to be completed. There are 2 options available.

Option AOption B
1 day
  • Engagement Essentials (1 day)
  • Engagement Essentials (1 day)
2 days
  • Engagement Design (2 days) and
  • Engagement Methods (2 days)
Choose 1:

  • Engagement Design (2 days) or
  • Engagement Methods (2 days)
1 day each
N/AChoose 2:

  • Engaging with Influence (1 day)
  • Conflict in Engagement (1 day)
  • Online Engagement (1 day)
  • Engagement Facilitation (1 day)
Total 5 Days5 Days
Engagement Essentials (1 Day)

This starter module provides participants with an overview of the core concepts underpinning effective engagement. Participants will have a practical opportunity to unpack the definition of engagement, uses of engagement and the five key elements that underpin engagement.

Doing this course, participants will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Describe what a contemporary model of community and stakeholder engagement looks like in an Australasian context
  • Demonstrate understanding of the different uses of engagement
  • Explain the characteristics of successful engagement
  • Design a simple community/stakeholder engagement activity, justifying decisions about why, when, and how to engage
  • Assess the community and stakeholder factors that shape engagement
  • Assess the core elements for effective engagement: context, people, scope, purpose and influence
  • Identify emerging engagement practice e.g. participatory budgeting or ‘gamification’
Engagement Design (2 Days)

Effective engagement requires a practitioner to analyse the context for engagement and the engagement task and then plan the engagement approach, selecting the right methods and setting the measures for effectiveness. Engagement Design is a key module for anyone who is responsible for designing and planning engagement projects. The module is a hands-on opportunity to use the planning steps and tools for engagement that gets the job done.

Doing this course, participants will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Describe the drivers of contemporary engagement
  • Describe the IAP2 Australasia Engagement Model and its relevance to engagement planning
  • Identify the purpose and context for engagement
  • Understand and design engagement approaches for a range of purposes and situations
  • Identify a range of engagement methods and know how to choose what would be appropriate methods for a range of engagement designs
  • Reach and activate community and organisational participation
  • Integrate monitoring and evaluation into the engagement plan and activities
Engagement Methods (2 Days)

The key nexus point of engagement that works is the point of contact between an organisation and the community. Engagement Methods introduces participants to a comprehensive set of methods that work for engagement from face to face methods to the use of online approaches. Participants get to practice core set of methods and strategies for managing groups and develop skills to communicate and work with communities directly.

Doing this course, participants will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Design engagement methods to suit different engagement goals
  • Prepare questions in a sequence to suit the purpose of engagement and chosen methods
  • Facilitate a small group conversation and manage group dynamics
  • Demonstrate an ability to deliver small-scale, fundamental engagement methods: world cafes, workshops, open houses, carousel and public meetings
  • Describe a range of methods that can be used for engagement
  • Respond to community comment online and face-to-face
Engaging with Influence (1 Day)

Engagement starts inside the organisation when we, as engagement practitioners, give advice and build the mandate for engagement. Engaging with influence is focussed on focus on helping practitioners to build professional integrity. The workshop is perfect for any practitioner who wishes:

  • to overcome internal barriers and increase the uptake of their professional advice
  • to become more influential with key decision-makers and to be heard
  • to understand challenging internal dynamics

Doing this course, participants will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand what contributes to professional and personal credibility
  • Build their personal and professional self confidence in the engagement space
  • Understand different decision-making styles and strategies on how to work with them
  • Apply an influence network mapping tool to develop ethical strategies to have influence where it is most needed within an organisation
  • Develop the capacity to work with status
  • Apply a range of strategies for building influence
  • Become a trusted internal adviser on all matters of engagement
Conflict in Engagement (1 Day)

Managing conflict is a critical challenge for engagement practitioners everywhere. The workshop is a mix of theory and practical skills and techniques, and understanding the dynamic of conflict. This workshop is for engagement practitioners who want to obtain practical skills to deal with difficult engagement situations, in online and face-to- face situations.

Doing this course, participants will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Identify the triggers and context for conflict in engagement scenarios
  • Understand a range of strategies for responding to challenging behaviours
  • Provide a suitable response to emotive situations
  • Anticipate, prevent and/or mitigate difficult situations or behaviours, now and for the future
  • Understand their role and manage their own behaviour when facilitating engagement activities
  • Build confidence and personal resilience when dealing with difficult situations
  • Understand the impacts of conflict and challenging behaviours in engagement
Engagement Facilitation (1 Day)

Facilitation skills in the engagement context is an essential career skill to be able to plan and facilitate meetings with stakeholders.
In this course participants will enhance their ability to respond appropriately, generating confidence in, and support for, their facilitation approach. The course will take participants through a model for facilitation as well several practice scenarios.

Doing this course, participants will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Plan a facilitation process
  • Manage face-to-face live meetings or events with a group of stakeholders
  • Manage conversations when stakeholders are hostile or resistant or their views are divergent
  • Lead other internal stakeholders towards deciding on a more effective process

IAP2 Advanced Certificate in Engagement

Course Structure

The Advanced Certificate in Engagement is for experienced engagement professionals designed to stretch you as an individual and as a practitioner, as you take a deep and analytical dive into advanced engagement.  The training is suitable for:

  • Experienced community engagement professionals
  • Managers of engagement teams
  • Lead decision makers of engaging organisations
  • Leaders of organisations that wish to become more engaging


Pathway 1Pathway 2
Pathway 3
IAP2 Australasia Certificate in EngagementIAP2 Certificate in Public Participation (prior to 2014)IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation

Pathways to Advanced Engagement Practice (1 Day)

Engagement practitioners who have had the experience of completing the previous course ‘Certificate in Public Participation’ and want to move to the Advanced Certificate in Engagement will need to do this course.  It is a transitional program that explores the contextual changes in Australasia and presents critical new frameworks and concepts that are shaping contemporary community engagement practice.


Option AOption B
2 days
Strategies for Complex Engagement (2 days)Strategies for Complex Engagement (2 days)
2 Day Electives
Choose 1:

  • Building an Engaging Organisation (2 days) or
  • Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation (2 days)
1 Day Electives
Choose 1:

  • Engagement Evaluation (1 day)
  • Engaging with Influence (1 day)
  • Engagement Facilitation (1 day)
Choose 3:

  • Engagement Evaluation (1 day)
  • Engaging with Influence (1 day)
  • Engagement Facilitation (1 day)
Total 5 Days5 Days
Strategies for Complex Engagement (2 Days)

This course will challenge the thinking of experienced engagement practitioners, taking them on a ‘deep dive’ into complex engagement. Participants will be continually challenged to develop both their thought processes and engagement processes to a new level. New approaches will be considered for managing what is often the ‘unknown’.

Doing this course, participants will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the drivers of complexity
  • Describe the characteristics of complexity within an engagement process
  • Identify the key sources of complexity for an engagement process
  • Understand and map how complexity may change across a project or an organisation over time
  • Map how an organisations role may change over time, and identify the triggers and mechanisms for change
  • Understand the range of strategies for dealing with complex engagement
  • Demonstrate critical thinking in choosing strategies that are purposeful, context-appropriate, responsive and iterative, and which meet the Core Values
  • Design an engagement plan which describes how strategies are used and when
  • Demonstrate an ability to build robust engagement strategies
  • Complete a risk management analysis
Building an Engaging Organisation (2 Days)

Many organisations are good at engagement, but the engagement environment is changing; more dynamic, fast paced, more accountable and greater expectations by communities, are putting pressure on organisations to create better value for their engagement efforts. This course provides practitioners with strategies and tactics to get their organisations moving towards becoming great engaging organisations.

There are two major parts to the workshop:

  • What is an engaging organisation from the perspective of external points of view
  • How to move from where you are now to create a more engaging organisation, including:
    • What is your role as senior practitioners in doing that; and
    • How to create your organisation’s sustained approach to engagement.

The workshop will be a mixture of practical experiences backed up by evidence and dialogue, with opportunities.

Strategies for Dealing with Opposition and Outrage in Public Participation (2 Days)

Incorporating the work of Dr Peter Sandman, an expert in risk and crisis communication, this course is for practitioners dealing with key issues facing our communities and causing outrage. This two-day module will help build your skills and knowledge for designing, planning and addressing outrage in order to create meaningful, effective engagement programs.

Doing this course, participants will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Understand the drivers and behaviour behind outrage, stress and conflict by exploring concepts related to emotional intelligence
  • Plan and rehearse for facilitations to prevent and reduce the occurrence and impact of conflictDevelop strategies for diffusing conflict and managing negative emotions in community engagement settings such as information displays, open houses, workshops and forums
  • Develop personal skills to communicate with confidence under stress
  • Develop skills and resilience by evaluating past engagement activities