Becoming a 16 Guidelines Facilitator

The 16 Guidelines for Life programme offers powerfully practical ways to bring wisdom and compassion into every aspect of our daily life. During Level 1 and Level 2 of the programme, a range of tools are introduced to participants for exploring their inner experience of each guideline and discovering how to apply their wisdom to life situations, relationships and challenges.

The Level 3 Facilitator Training is a deeper dive into the philosophical and pedagogical basis of Universal Education. Universal Education is rooted in Buddhist philosophy, psychology and science: a 2,500-year-old tradition committed to rigorous empirical investigation and authentic practice. It is presented using contemporary language and methods suitable for people of all traditions and cultures and encourages a non-dogmatic and experiential approach.

This unique and authentic system of inner learning can transform challenging emotions, build better relationships and bring a more stable happiness. During the Facilitator Training the four wisdom themes introduced in Level 1: How We Think, How We Act, How We Relate To Others and How We Find Meaning and the 16 Guidelines themselves are explored in much more depth. Trainees gain a better understanding of the 16 Guidelines tools and practice how to present these tools to others in groups.

The live training sessions are delivered in an interactive and highly experiential format which allows participants to practice facilitating in supportive peer groups.

After the training, participants are able to offer the 16 Guidelines for Life Level 1 course either online or in-person. They can confidently lead regular 16G discussion groups. They have full access to 16 Guidelines course materials, reflections and lesson plans. Most importantly, they have the opportunity to join our global network of 100+ facilitators for ongoing support, inspiration as well as peer-to-peer learning. FDCW convenes regular online forums for global facilitators where a topic is presented and then discussed in groups. Also, more informal Meet-Ups take place. This is useful for newer facilitators to learn tips from more experienced ones.

This year the 16 Guidelines Level 3 training took place from March to April over 4 weeks. 20 motivated and highly enthusiastic trainees joined from Canada, the USA, India, the UK, Austria, Israel and France. Trainees and trainers met every weekend on Zoom to complete the 18 hours of live training with additional weekly self-study components for completing in-between sessions using the online Study Zone platform.

16 Guidelines Level 3 Trainers

The course was delivered by two of our Senior Accredited faculty members:

Marian O’Dwyer is a Senior Accredited Faculty member teaching all levels of 16 Guidelines, 16G for children and teens, Unlocking Your Potential and Building Balanced Empathy and training our next generation of facilitators. She has 30 years of experience in teaching mindfulness-based practices. Marian is based in Spain and delivers courses, both live online and in person, in English

Wendy Ridley is a Senior Accredited Faculty member teaching all levels of 16 Guidelines internationally, 16G for children and teens, Building Balanced Empathy, Unlocking Your Potential and training our next generation of facilitators. She is an Education Consultant and is a Trustee on the FDCW board. Wendy delivers workshops in English and has experience working with translators.

The Course Contents

The two Trainers, Marian O’Dwyer and Wendy Ridley covered many topics including:

●      Working with intention and motivation

●      Safeguarding

●      Effective group facilitation skills

●      History of Universal Education

●      Exploring the role of mindfulness

●      Facilitating a 16G Level 1 course

To build confidence in how to facilitate material to a group, each participant had an opportunity to practise presenting topics from the 16G Level 1 course. Care was taken to ensure this took place in a supportive environment. Trainees then received helpful feedback from the group and the trainers.

The group dynamic is a crucial part of the training. Each week the group grew more confident and open with a willingness to help and learn from each other. There was plenty of laughter and creativity along the way.  At the end of the training, everyone shared how invigorated and inspired they felt to share the tools and wisdom of the Guidelines with others in their communities.


Here is some of the feedback from Trainees:

Completing the course makes me feel I joined a virtual world-wide community with a wonderful vision. I also feel contacts made during the courses can work as a valuable mutual support network

–Christian M

It was amazing, I really liked the good energy, the loving kindness of everyone, both the facilitators and the students. I liked the professional and focused interesting content”.

–Sarit H

“…I was very surprised on the focus being how to facilitate, with all the trainings I have taken this was never addressed before…so it was wonderful!”

 –Marianne K

The course was wonderful. I received valuable tools, information and inspiration.

–Dhalia W

“I was delighted. One way I can know that, is that every session went very quickly and smoothly. I feel nourished, still curious and open. The course was an experience of close community working together towards a noble goal.”

–Hilary M, assistant trainer

We offer heartfelt congratulations and welcome to all the newly accredited 16G level 1 facilitators!!

If you are wondering what it’s like to become an FDCW facilitator, check out this blog post, The 16G Facilitator Training Pathway, by Gillian Watt who shares her personal journey.

The Level 3 Facilitator Training is not the end of your 16 Guidelines journey – it’s just the beginning. If you are interested in learning how to become an accredited 16 Guidelines facilitator, please contact us. The next training takes place in Spring 2024. Contact FDCW for more information.

Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW)

At FDCW we are committed to a more compassionate, wiser world. We provide resources, courses and training to develop qualities such as kindness, patience and courage – qualities which are essential for meeting the challenges of the world we all share.

The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW) was established as a global charity based in London in 2005. Since then we have provided secular training, programmes and resources across many sectors of society – schools, universities, hospices, workplaces, healthcare, youth groups and community centres. Our courses have reached thousands of people across the world through our dedicated and growing network of facilitators in more than 20 countries.

Support our Work

As a non-profit organization, FDCW relies on donations like yours to continue producing valuable resources and hosting events. You can support us by sharing our newsletter, following us on social media, and making a donation. Every contribution, big or small, helps us in our efforts and we truly appreciate it.

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