Starting points

The purpose of the project was achieved through the development of an inclusive training course in person centred approaches.
Person centred approaches are proven to be an effective strategy to support the goals of a person and to steer person centred services. Despite this fact there are only very few short term trainings (one-two day seminars) and no comprehensive training opportunities in person centred approaches in the participating countries.

Curriculum Development

In the curriculum development process it was important to transfer the latest developments of person centred approaches from the UK and incorporate experiences from other European countries. Helen Sanderson Associates, an experienced training and consultancy organisation in person centred thinking, planning and practice, organised the transfer of expertise from the UK and took a lead in developing the training course.  
The course was developed by the multinational Curriculum Development Group  Julie Allen and Julie Lunt from Helen Sanderson Associates, Oliver Koenig from Austria, Milena Johnova from the Czech Republic, Ines Boban and Stefan Doose from Germany and Andreas Hinz from the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg and approved by the advisory board that consisted of the other project members.

3 different levels of competence

The curriculum consists of three distinct levels of competence:

  1. a basic level, which introduces the training participants to person centred approaches
  2. a facilitation level, which enables training participants to professionally guide, document and reflect on person centred processes
  3. a multiplication level, which enables training participants to facilitate seminars and training events on person centred approaches and inform and influence change at organisational and strategic levels.

The inclusive training course in person centred approaches consists of 6 modules each one to three days and was piloted in Vienna (Austria), Eutin (Germany) and Prague (Czech Republic). Participants from Slovakia, Luxembourg, Italy and Switzerland took part as observers in order to transfer the ideas in their organisations and countries.
There was a multiplication course with two modules each two days for people from all countries in Bratislava (Slovakia) and Prague who were interested in becoming ambassadors for the ideas and methods of person centred planning in their countries.  These workshops had an emphasis on European exchange, teaching training skills and person centred teams.

Important elements of the training course in person centred approaches

The course in person centred approaches consists of certain important elements of the training:

  • Inclusive training – the training needed to be designed in a way that enables a diverse group of learners with different abilities and learning styles to learn about person centred approaches. It was important to include direct service workers, counsellors, teachers, managers and budget holders from different organisations and work fields as well as self-advocates and parents.
  • Action learning – integral part of the training is to explore person centred thinking and planning tools for oneself and to take part in at least three different person centred  processes in different roles.
  • Online learning opportunities – in addition to the seminars the participants could use the moodle online learning platform for in depth information material and exchange.
  • Portfolio – the participants used a portfolio to document and reflect on the training and the person centred processes.
  • Modular structure with different experienced trainers and continuous course facilitation – the facilitation training course consisted of six modules with different experienced trainers and a continuous course facilitator who facilitated the group process and supported the person centred planning processes of the participants. A European multiplication training course with two modules with interested participants from the different courses led by the transfer expert and supported by the facilitators.
    It is important that training in person centred approaches should be done by trainers who are trained and experienced in person centred thinking and planning. The curriculum development group of this project formulated a collection of standards for trainers.
  • Working with changing organisations – it was important to ensure with the executive directors of the regional partner organisations that the training in person centred approaches was consistent with the direction of development towards a more person centred organisation to enable the training participants to practice what they have learned afterwards in their work.