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Systemic Modelling Foundation (was Level 0)

The Rolling Programme starts here...

Once you have experienced Systemic Modelling as a participant (on our Clean For Teams workshop or equivalent) and are ready to learn how to run the process yourself, you can join this continuous learning programme, leading first to Foundation level then to Professional level Systemic Modelling certification. This will give you a complete framework and an abundant toolbox for encouraging teams to move from contempt towards curiosity and collaboration. And we use the process to teach the process so you will be experiencing multi-level and collaborative learning at its best.

Regular in-depth and intensive training will enable you to develop competency in applying the principles that underpin Systemic Modelling. You will learn how to use clean questions and metaphor models to support a group to better understand one another and to develop the skills and capability they need to collaborate meaningfully.

You may join in one module (over 3 whole days or 5 shorter sessions) at a time, or commit to attending four or eight modules (with a price reduction). Joining in on a long-term basis will enable you to explore the process more deeply, including the philosophy behind it and the skills required to deliver it well. There’ll be skill-building exercises to stretch your attention and to develop your confidence and in-the-moment coaching to ensure you’re competent in the process. You’ll be delivering group processes live to fellow participants and you’ll be offering and receiving feedback from trainers and peers. Between modules, you’ll be expected to find groups of your own to practice with. This programme is fun, full-on and focused.

During the Foundation modules our focus will be on the basic skills of using Clean Language to facilitate a group:

  • How to get into – and stay in – a good state for facilitation
  • What’s the minimum you need to say to gain the group’s interest, without imposing your thinking on them
  • What kind of questions work well as ‘openers’ to get the modelling going
  • How to use clean and cleanish questions to accept and extend each person’s response, giving equal attention to all group members
  • How to encourage diverse contributions so everyone feels their ideas are accepted and valuable
  • How to get group members curious about one another’s responses
  • How to use your posture and your voice to draw attention to yourself (when you need more control) and away from yourself (when you have got a network of attention going in the group)
  • How to direct attention to different kinds of information as they emerge
  • How to ensure people get maximum learning from every session and that they leave knowing how they’ll apply what they’ve learned

All of this will be done by following a basic template that you will learn to adapt based on the group’s needs, the opening question and what emerges as you go along. We’ll be integrating the first stages of learning about the other Systemic Models too. For example, you’ll be learning how to give feedback to your fellow participants using the Clean Feedback model and how to create a Developmental Task to make the most of your learning opportunities. And the content (or themes) we’ll be running will come from participants and can include asking about outcomes, senses, drama, brain state etc. – all the models you’ll become even more familiar with if / when you move on to the Professional level.

Foundation Level is a certification process in its own right and if what you are wanting to do is run small group processes using clean questions, this may be all you need. Those who want the full suite of Systemic Modelling skills and models can move onto Professional Level training once they have completed one Foundation Level module. This is also a great module to revisit any time you want to get back to basics.

Who is it for?

This training is for you if you are:

  • A change manager, HR professional, trainer or teacher
  • An independent coach, consultant or facilitator who works, or wants to work, with groups
  • An agile coach or project manager
  • A Clean Facilitator who currently works with individuals and want to extend your clean skills so you can work effectively with groups
  • A leader or senior member of any kind of group, team or organisation
  • Anyone interested in how change can happen in groups
  • Fascinated by what makes groups tick, interested in detecting patterns in yourself and others and open to learning from feedback
  • Someone who believes that change starts with yourself
  • Looking for group facilitation or teaching methods that will:
    • Reduce conflict or bullying and create a culture of collaboration
    • Create a learning culture that honours and utilises diversity
    • Support a culture of self-management and empowered working within a team
    • Develop shared metaphors for visions, values, projects – anything that matters to the group
    • Get away from drama situations and hidden agendas and encourage outcomes, actions and feedback
    • Help people move from contempt to curiosity to collaboration

… and that can be adapted to suit any context.

What will I gain?

  • More information about your own patterns of thinking, behaviour, attitude and identity and how these relate to other people’s patterns
  • The ability to pay attention to language and behaviours at an individual and group level – and to facilitate others to pay attention to theirs too
  • An understanding of the role that language, especially metaphor, plays in group thinking, and how you can utilise that to create deep sustainable change
  • The skills related to the basic Systemic Modelling format so you are able to help a group to model any theme they are interested in
  • The opportunity to be part of a supportive peer group, where everyone is working together to master the art of Systemic Modelling
  • Continuous professional development as you get feedback on your work and use that to develop unique tasks that help you grow into your role as a group facilitator


​Once you have completed a Foundation Level module, you can move onto the Professional Level modules. These are all about how to deliver the Systemic Modelling models, knowing how they fit together and when to use each one. The format of the Professional modules is similar to Foundation, with small group sessions offering plenty of opportunities for you to practise leading the group, including teaching the models. Each practice session is followed by feedback from peers and trainer. The modules will also include sessions taught by the trainer, so you will be taking part in live demonstrations of the work as you learn.


​To join the Foundation Level training, you must have completed Clean For Teams or an equivalent (e.g. if we have run a similar programme at your workplace).

You will also find it helpful to have read From Contempt to Curiosity: Creating the Conditions for Groups to Collaborate using Clean Language and Systemic Modelling by Caitlin Walker. This book, which details how Systemic Modelling came into being, contains numerous stories which illustrate how it can be used, along with information about all the models that will be taught on this programme.

Frequently asked questions

What is Clean Language?

Clean Language is a simple set of questions developed by counselling psychologist David Grove. These questions are used with a person’s own words to direct their attention to some aspect of their own experience. Asking these questions in the right context often results in an interesting new insight or the recognition of some new possibility. And if that new possibility is then questioned using Clean Language, the result can be quite profound. Clean questions invite people to consider their experience from different perspectives and they are often surprised by their own capacity to generate new, powerful and useful ideas about their own experience.

More detail

What is Systemic Modelling?

Systemic Modelling is an approach for supporting groups to use clean questions and metaphor models to better understand one another and to develop the skills and capability to collaborate meaningfully.

More detail


Sarah and Rachel facilitated a thrilling, vivid and emergent learning experience - Systemic Modelling Level 0 - which provided access to new dimensions.


A ‘learning by doing’ journey for a group of 7 practitioners carefully guided by Marian and her amazing assistants Sarah and Karrie. The pace that was just right, fun exercises, time for reflection and inquiry, in-the-moment feedback and a welcoming space for celebrating our development in Clean! Highly recommended to anyone who wants to see groups self organize and build network wisdom through masterful facilitation.

Katya Rudelson, Management and Development Consultant

This course has given me fabulous strategies and the confidence to help teams be more effective. Systemic Modelling enables teams to get to the real issues of why they aren't working as well and to create their own solutions. A must for facilitators, coaches and trainers working with teams.

Denise Chilton, Coach

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Buy eight Rolling Programme modules and save £1600

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