Mentoring is a highly valuable safeguard for facilitation practice. Working alongside and entering into dedicated dialogues with experienced mentors helps less experienced facilitators to integrate the values and principles of practice. It also assists facilitators to gain insight into the capacities they need to cultivate in order to work meaningfully within families and with groups of people. Experienced mentors guide mentees to set and achieve personal goals and enter more fully into reflective practice. It is important to note that mentoring is a practice that is regular and ongoing. Even experienced mentors regularly seek out other mentors from whom they can learn. This is part of their commitment to lifelong learning.


Guide for Ethical Conduct

Those who engage in Independent Facilitation shall demonstrate ethical conduct in the following ways:

  • Act in an ethical manner with integrity, competence, diligence, and respect with people they serve, family members and/or loved ones, community members, and other colleagues within the social service field.
  • Act in accordance with the values, philosophy, and principles of Independent Facilitation, as outlined in OIFN’s Scope of Practice of Independent Facilitation.
  • Respect the right to privacy and confidentiality of people and families and/or loved ones in all they do, including all professionally acquired information, and disclose such information only when properly authorized or when legally obligated to do so.
  • Place the integrity and the interests of people they serve above their own personal interests and not exploit the relationship with the person and family and/or loved ones for personal benefit, gain, or gratification.
  • Use reasonable care and judgment to achieve and maintain independence and objectivity in engaging in all aspects of practice. Report any abuse or neglect or suspicion thereof.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong, collaborative learning and participate in self-development and reflective practice. Maintain a reasonable level of awareness of leading-edge practices in their field of activity and undertake ongoing efforts to maintain competence through formal and informal learning and mentoring and through active participation in a Community of Practice.
  • Develop and maintain appropriate documentation relating to their practice that is clear and understandable for the purpose of accountability.
  • Disclose conflicts and make full and fair disclosure of all matters that could reasonably be expected to impair their independence and objectivity or interfere with their respective duties to people and families and/or loved ones they serve.
  • Review costs and ensure that any costs associated with any fee for service or other fee structures are discussed prior to entering into the work.
  • Review the values and principles of Independent Facilitation with people and families and/or loved ones they serve prior to being formally engaged in the role.
  • Measure one’s own achievement by the progress made by people and families and/or loved ones served and carry out ongoing evaluation of efforts to date.
  • Work within an ethic of “do no harm,” in order to ensure that people and families and/or loved ones they serve are not made more vulnerable through entering into the relationship. Facilitators need to acknowledge that their attitude, dedication, self-discipline, ideals, training, and conduct determines the level of trust invested in them by people and families and/or loved ones.

This Guide will be adapted and modified by the Community of Practice regularly over time.

Adapted and modified to suit Ontario context from the following sources: Coaches Association of Ontario Code of Ethics; Insurance and Financial Communications Association; Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers Code of Ethics.

Many people ask about training and certification for independent facilitators. Certification or training programs are often an easy and clear way to prove someone’s skill, experience, and/or expertise. However, facilitators come from diverse backgrounds with rich experiences and skills that are not achieved through one specific pathway. Independent Facilitation is a non-regulated practice, which means that there is no universally recognized local, regional, or federal authority, regulatory or accrediting body that holds the liability or provides monitoring for independent facilitators.

As a self-regulated profession it is expected that when independent facilitators initially meet with a person; his family and/or significant others; they will review with them the Guide for Ethical Conduct as well as their relevant experience.

Independent Facilitation involves a complex set of skills and capacities that are gained and proven over time. It is critical that persons new to the practice take the time to understand this complexity by observing and learning from more experienced and skilled facilitators at work. This involves careful job shadowing and mentoring so that new facilitators can learn the craft little by little through hands on participation, reflective practice (reflecting on experience) and co- facilitation. There are a variety of different approaches across the province that work within the same values and operate out of the basic tenets of facilitation and planning. Each of these approaches offer complementary perspectives and add overall to a facilitator’s body of knowledge.