The ISW/FDW/TDW Multi-Step Model

The ISW/FDW/TDW Multi-Step Model.pdf


This outlines recommended steps for becoming ISW Facilitators and FDW Trainers. The recommended practices regarding training for delivering the ISW and FDW are documented with intention to ensure consistency of ISW Program delivery and to safeguard ISW Program integrity.  

Historically, descriptions of the process for becoming an ISW Facilitator or an FDW Trainer focused on the completion of the FDW or TDW, respectively. However, this document describes the full scaffolded multi-step approach in keeping with the developmental focus inherent in the ISW Program. 

It is also important to note that these recommendations, while created with the entire ISW Network in mind, are contextual. These recommendations are particularly important in contexts where institutions are establishing new ISW Programs, and in countries where ISW is relatively new or is being conducted in a language other than English. 

For any questions about these recommendations, please contact the ISW Network Executive at  

See the infographic below for an abbreviated overview of the Multi Step Model.

Recommended steps for those who wish to become ISW Facilitators

Step One: Take an ISW 

It is recommended that all potential ISW Facilitators have taken at least one ISW to determine their interest in the values and processes of the ISW Program. This also ensures that all those in an FDW have the common experience of participating in an ISW.

Step Two: Facilitator Readiness Assessment

Participants may apply to attend an FDW and be interviewed by the Trainers and/or the ISW Executive (for Network sponsored FDWs) in order to determine an individual’s readiness and suitability to be an ISW Facilitator for their institution or organization. This step can also clarify the potential misconception of participants applying for an FDW thinking it is ISW 2.0, instead of a workshop to train Facilitators of the ISW Program. It is important that descriptions of the workshop processes are shared with potential candidates and that expected outcomes are clearly communicated.

Step Three: Take an FDW  (or participate in a Facilitator Apprenticeship*) 

Participants attend a 40-hour FDW and, if successful, receive their ISW Facilitator Certificate. It should be noted, however, that Trainers may recommend that Facilitators take another FDW or FDWs to refine or further develop their facilitation skills. 

Following the FDW, Trainers submit the names and emails of those who successfully completed the FDW to the ISW Network Executive Team via the contact form at New Facilitators then need to complete the appropriate Registry Form at

Once the Facilitator Registry form is reviewed and confirmed, the new Facilitator will receive directions about how to access resources, Handbooks, and professional development events geared specifically for Facilitators. 

Step Four: Co-facilitate first ISW(s) with an experienced Facilitator as a member of – or at the invitation of – an ISW institutional team.

Newly certified Facilitators are expected to work with an experienced Facilitator to offer their initial ISWs. In fact, it is a recommendation that all ISWs be co-facilitated whenever possible. Working with different Facilitators as part of an institutional team helps expand one’s skill set and contributes to a Facilitator’s professional development. 

* Facilitator Apprenticeships may occur when it is not possible to host or attend an FDW. This is a scaffolded approach to developing facilitation skills involving a minimum of 2-3 ISWs in which the Apprentice assumes increasing responsibility and agency in running an ISW independently. Before certification is granted, both the ISW Facilitator Mentor and the Apprentice must be confident that competence has been achieved. Please see: 

Recommended steps for experienced ISW Facilitators who wish to become FDW Trainers 

An ISW Facilitator can become an FDW Trainer by being accepted as a Trainer-Trainee (Trainee) in a Trainer Development mentorship program. The Trainee works alongside an experienced Trainer to shadow in a combination FDW/TDW, with increasing responsibility for tasks such as facilitating feedback to Facilitators and leading theme sessions. The Trainer, as mentor, assumes responsibility for assisting the Trainee to embody the ISW Program values and develop skills needed to implement an FDW.

Step One: Trainer Readiness Assessment 

An experienced Trainer (or Trainers) meets with the potential Trainee to assess their readiness to become a Trainer. In most instances and contexts, this will require that the potential candidate is an experienced Facilitator having facilitated or co-facilitated a number of ISWs over a number of years. (It is not recommended that ISW Facilitators become FDW Trainers until they have co-facilitated ISWs with other Facilitators and/or in a number of institutional contexts). 

The Trainer(s) will ask the potential candidate a number of questions to determine readiness. In addition, they will consult with the ISW Local Representative or institutional ISW team to determine if the individual is a recommended candidate. The candidate may need to facilitate additional ISWs before entering the Trainer mentorship program and may be advised to observe/assist with an experienced Trainer in an FDW before participating in the TDW component of the program.

Step Two: Assist with an FDW and observe the FDW process 

In keeping with the ISW’s mentorship model, the Trainee may be asked to participate in an FDW to assist the Trainer and observe the overall processes of the FDW. Although there are generally ‘no observers’ in an ISW, the FDW is an opportunity for an institution to expand its facilitator team and for that team to work together to better understand the ISW Program’s principles and values.

In addition, experienced Facilitators may not have participated in an FDW for some time, and the opportunity to observe and reflect on how the FDW significantly differs from an ISW can be a valuable learning experience in becoming an FDW Trainer. Being involved with pre-FDW planning and orientation activities with the Training team is important. Roles and responsibilities might also include:

  • assist with administrative tasks, such as digital recording and other technical tasks
  • prepare feedback forms, lesson plans, and other print and visual materials
  • assist with climate setting, warm-up activities, and formative feedback strategies
  • participate in or lead theme-based sessions
  • participate in the ISW/FDW cycles as a learner/feedback provider as requested

Step Three: Participate as a Trainee in a combination FDW/TDW as a member of the training team

The Trainee is an integral part of the Training team, scaffolded into the Trainer role as the workshop progresses. The key outcome in this stage is to practice FDW facilitation skills and provide constructive feedback on FDW participants’ facilitation. Other responsibilities may include:

  • assist with all FDW planning 
  • lead warm-up activities and theme-based sessions 
  • observe and assist with all processes of lesson/feedback and facilitation cycles
  • shadow the Trainer in their 1:1 debriefing sessions with Facilitators to observe questioning and feedback strategies 
  • scaffold into facilitating feedback in both group processes and 1:1 debriefing sessions upon mutual agreement with the Trainer 
  • meet with the Trainer to discuss performance outcomes and areas of development
  • meet with the full Training Team (when two or more FDWs are running concurrently) to evaluate formative feedback and plan next day activities 

Upon successful completion of the TDW, the Trainee receives a FDW Trainer certificate signed by the Trainer. In some cases, the Trainer may ask the Trainee to participate in another TDW prior to being awarded the Trainer certificate.

Upon completion of the FDW/TDW, the Trainer-Mentor sends the name of the new Trainer, along with the names of new Facilitators, to the ISW Network Executive Team via contact form at The new Trainer (and also the new Facilitators) needs to complete the appropriate Registry Form at

Once the FDW Trainer Registry form is reviewed and confirmed, the new Trainer will receive directions about how to access resources, Handbooks, and professional development events geared specifically to Trainers. 

Step Four: Co-train your first FDWs with an experienced Trainer 

The newly certified Trainer is expected to work with an experienced Trainer to offer their initial FDWs. It is standard practice to co-facilitate one’s initial FDWs following certification. In fact, it is a recommendation that all FDWs be co-facilitated whenever possible. This is one of several ways that FDW Trainers continue their own professional development within the ISW program and contribute to strengthening the global ISW Network.