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Foundation training is for anyone who would like to learn how to effectively use our innovative and award-winning approach to support people with communication difficulties. Foundation training can be undertaken face to face or online. See below for more details. 

This training will help you to:

  • Use Talking Mats to support the children and adults you work with to share their feelings, thoughts and views.  
  • Reflect on your own communication.
  • Learn how issues that arise can be explored further through careful planning. 
  • Discover our Talking Mats research and evidence base. 
  • Connect with practitioners around the world.

You can see training and resource options in our shop.


This course is ideal for anyone who prefers a flexible learning experience at a self-guided pace.  There are 4 modules consisting of;

Module 1: What is a Talking Mat

Module 2: The evidence supporting Talking Mats and who can use it

Module 3: The benefits of using a Talking Mat for the listener and the thinker

Module 4: Using Talking Mats creatively

Each module has a teaching section and an activity which may be watching a short film clip, a quiz, reading or contributing your ideas, questions and comments to the group forum.  The final module requires a short film of you carrying out a mat and your thoughts on how this went.

The course is completed over a period of 6 weeks and we estimate it involves 12 hours of learning.  There are no live sessions.  Your learning is supported by personalised feedback from Talking Mats tutors.

Book now to secure your place on one of our online Foundation courses.  We have courses beginning on:

  • 10th January 2023
  • 7th February 2023
  • 7th March
  • 4th April
  • 2nd May
  • 30th May
  • 27th June

Face to Face (In Person)

Face to face training is delivered by specialist Talking Mats tutors, and can be undertaken in one of two ways; the two-part course and the one-day course.

The Two-part Course

This course is delivered over two half-days near our headquarters in Stirling. It is structured to allow participants time to reflect and develop their own communication skills between the two sessions, which are held 4-6 weeks apart.

Stirling 31st January, 28th February 2023, Stirling University Innovation Park

Format of course:

  • each half day will run from 09.00-12.30hrs
  • the first session will provide background, support and materials to enable each participant to create a Talking Mats
  • participants will be expected to make a film of themselves using a Talking Mat, preferably with someone with communication difficulties before the second session
  • the second session will use the films as a focus for discussion, reflection and application in the workplace.

Please note: film footage is required in order to pass the course

The One-day Course

This course is delivered in one day and we combine hands-on experience of Talking Mats with role-play, discussion and reflection of the use of the tool in a variety of real-life situations.

Manchester 29th June, 16th November 2023, St Thomas Centre

find out more here

How to book

Please book your place through our shop.

Once you have booked your place, one of our team will be in touch to get more details including any accessibility or dietary requirements.

Face to Face (Online)

This course, in partnership with Course Beetle, is perfect for anyone who wants to take part in live sessions with a Talking Mats tutor.

The course is split into three live Zoom sessions and will be structured as Follows:

Session 1: 16th February 2023

  • What is a Talking Mat?
  • The Talking Mats Process
  • Research Evidence
  • Who Can Use Talking Mats?
  • Impact of Talking Mats
  • Preparation for Session 2 Assignment

Session 2: 2nd March 2023

  • Session 2 Assignment – Reflection
  • Thinking about Topscales​
  • Digital Talking Mats​
  • ​Planning your own Mats​​
  • Preparation for Video Assignment

Session 3: 22nd or 23rd March 2023

  • Video presentations
  • Supportive reflection with your tutor and peers
  • Next steps: Registration, Licensing, and Network opportunities

Find out more and book your place here