The purpose of the Institute’s outreach activity is to offer systemic training to the widest range of students possible. IFT provides an annual open workshop programme that can be accessed by anyone interested in the programme topics, which are delivered by national and international presenters. Participants receive a continuous professional certificate for the training hours completed which can be used for professional registration and part of a portfolio of ongoing learning. Topics are chosen based on the feedback from previous participants to ensure it remains relevant to the professional developments in therapy, health and social care fields.
There are taster events for those people who want to explore the potential utility of systemic ideas in their work. These act as feeder workshops prior to application for the foundation level courses.
In order to reach the broadest audience, IFT provides a range of training options delivered for external agencies. These options include short-focused events as well as more substantial courses. As these options are commissioned by agencies, the training is free at the point of delivery for students. Courses are delivered at the agency site which means that those students with caring or other responsibilities do not have to make additional arrangements. This also means that courses reflect the diversity of the workforce and do not depend on students’ ability to pay or travel distances to access training. As a result of this outreach work, a number of students have been financially supported to progress to more advanced training at the Institute’s central London location.
This outreach work includes supervision and leadership training and coaching with senior leaders who make decisions about strategic directions of organisations and thus seek out the Institute to provide additional support in periods of change.
IFT staff routinely present at national and international conferences to widen our reach. This includes recruitment events such as Community Care Live for social work where a keynote can stimulate interest in agencies and individuals accessing systemic training.
IFT staff also edit and contribute to professional journals such as the Journal of Family Therapy, The Journal of Psychological Therapies and also Context magazine. These are accessed by professionals in the UK and abroad.
IFT staff volunteer for professional committees with the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (the Systemic College) that represent the standards of training and practice across the UK and therefore influence debate about accessibility and equality of access for the widest range of students.