Through innovative solutions and effective learning interventions, we help clients overcome programmatic and personnel obstacles and empower them to reach their most ambitious goals. Each year our diverse and experienced team of consultants develop and conduct hundreds of trainings and provide technical assistance in a variety of formats including:
- Academies and institutes
- Field-based technical assistance
- Online training programs
- Site exchanges
- Technical assistance centers
- Webinars and virtual technical assistance
An investment in training and technical assistance for program grantees and employees allows an organization to build and maintain a strong, in-house foundation of experience and to better serve its customers and clients.
ICF’s academies and institutes serve a wide range of organizations, audiences, and disciplines. We work with public- and private-sector organizations to tailor the content, format, and structure for their designated field and develop curricula based on the latest best practices and prevailing research.
ICF’s academies and institutes deliver multi-day, off-site trainings that include the key components of a successful professional development experience:
- Audience-tailored—Pre-training assessments ensure appropriate course content and provide a benchmark for clients to evaluate progress.
- Expertly designed—Courses developed by instructional designers and leading experts in the field helps to ensure participants receive targeted, effective instruction.
- Multi-modal—Taught by academics, practitioners, and peers, academy courses incorporate a relevant combination of experiential and theoretical instruction that participants can apply directly to their jobs.
- Workplace applicable—Tactics such as pre-training assessments, multiple post-evaluations, and support from instructors help clients hold participants accountable for applying their new skills in the workplace.
Adult Learning Theory recognizes that adults, unlike children, need to see the practical application of lessons in order to translate training into improved job performance. From academies to webinars to self-directed learning, ICF incorporates Adult Learning Theory into our training programs with concrete, problem-centered lessons that relate directly to day-to-day workplace activities.
Studies show that application of Adult Learning principles increases motivation in training and technical assistance participants before, during, and after training. Based on a foundation of rigorous research and evidence-based technical assistance, ICF delivers Adult Learning Theory grounded in the following core principles:
- Curricula must be based in practical, not theoretical lessons, and translate to the real world.
- Professional development must involve peer support and an environment that encourages participation.
- Adult learners must have the opportunity to put lessons into practice on-site.
- Ongoing support and coaching must be provided to ensure lessons learned become habit.
By incorporating Adult Learning Theory into materials, speaker presentations, team-building activities, and post-training evaluations, ICF helps client organizations move employee participants beyond passive learning to application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. We also work with them to create an action plan that is directly applicable to their workplace for sustainable success and improvement.
Effective training and technical assistance requires meticulous needs assessment and evaluation. Each program starts with an assessment and ends with an evaluation to ensure quality control and continuous improvement. ICF’s custom needs assessments include methods such as structured dialogues and web-based surveys.
Following implementation, we employ a range of program evaluation designs—from basic feedback surveys to in-depth, post-training interviews with program participants and their supervisors.
ICF tailors evaluations to demonstrate outcomes linked to the training program’s learning objectives. We evaluate from different stakeholder perspectives to determine if outcomes have been demonstrated through:
- New knowledge or skills
- Changes in attitude, behavior, or performance
- Improved operations, policies, and practices
ICF offers a continual feedback loop throughout a program lifecycle, turning needs assessment and evaluation data into actionable recommendations.
Whether improving the health of at-risk communities or coordinating emergency disaster relief, ICF’s technical assistance professionals help requestors connect people with the right resources and experts. We use evidence-based applications, state-of-the-art technology, and proven best practices to help clients build capacity and improve provider effectiveness.
ICF’s experts start with a needs assessment to determine a requestor’s specific needs. We work with them to ensure that identified goals and objectives are carried out through the development of technical assistance centers and materials.
Recent TA centers have addressed issues such as child welfare, healthy marriage, children’s health, victims of crimes, family self-sufficiency, education, fatherhood, neighborhood stabilization, disaster response, disaster behavioral health, and early childhood.
ICF assists public-sector clients with developing and disseminating appropriate, action-oriented technical assistance materials, a key component to a successful technical assistance center, which include:
- Interactive websites
- Participant and instructor training manuals
- Interactive training materials
- Online courses
- Conference presentations
- Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Some Technical Assistance Programs We Support
Gateway to a Forever Family: Improving Child Welfare through Dynamic Information
Giving a Head Start to America’s most vulnerable children
ICF develops and manages the HUD Exchange, which provides program guidance, services, and tools to HUD's grantees, including state and local governments and nonprofit organizations. The website has resulted in a significant costs savings and efficiencies to HUD by allowing the agency to share resources across offices and streamline the delivery of technical assistance to grantees.