It was amazing! I got way more out of it than I really expected. I feel way more confident about my abilities and the skills I’ve learned and had a chance to practice.


I think how immersive the course was is a real selling feature…being able to learn tools and then immediately apply and refine them is a really valuable and impactful experience.


I feel really great! Deborah and Bronwen are great educators. I felt very mentored and safe…I really enjoyed that we got to practice with real life participants. That was beyond what I expected.

If you are an aspiring – or relatively new – moderator looking to acquire the essential skills needed for moderating in-person qualitative focus groups and interviews this course is for you!

The course:

  • Is hands-on – delivered in-person over 2 days.
  • Offers generous opportunities to practice moderating skills – you will moderate a real focus group!
  • Will prepare you in both theoretical and real-life contexts.

What you will take away:

  • A skillset for powerful questioning and effective listening.
  • Learn how to ask the right questions, the tools to confidently run in-group exercises, and understand how to manage basic group dynamics.
  • Valuable skills that are transferrable to user experience (UX) research.
  • You will design a discussion guide for and moderate a focus group with real participants, putting what you have learned into practice.

Come prepared to engage, have fun and learn all about the essentials of in-person moderation!


We will primarily focus our learning and practice on:

  • Setting yourself up for success before fieldwork
  • Understanding the elements of good Discussion Guide design
  • How to introduce a group and build rapport
  • Asking effective questions and probes
  • Maintaining the flow of the discussion and keeping it on track
  • Managing group dynamics, including challenging respondents
  • Tips for specialized questioning techniques and exercises to elicit deeper responses

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this Moderating Essentials Course, participants will have:

  • A new skillset that will enable them to understand how, and when, to ask effective questions and probes
  • A good understanding of some specialized tools and exercises that can enhance in-person qualitative discussions
  • An understanding of group dynamics and some techniques to overcome typical challenges of in person qualitative discussions

Who is this course intended for?

This course would be well-suited for those with education in market research or at least 1 year experience working in the market research field who are also aspiring moderators (or relatively new moderators) looking to acquire a skillset for moderating in person focus groups qualitative discussions. Participants will ideally have at least observed focus groups in the past.


Deborah Klotz has over 15 years experience as an accomplished qualitative research consultant. Her curiosity drives her to explore people’s motivations and behaviours, to understand client businesses and to dig for deep insights.

  • Prior to joining the CAIP instructor team, she taught moderating skills through the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) and the RD Centre for learning. Deborah is also a frequent guest lecturer for the Humber RAP Program.
  • Deborah has won multiple awards for her work including the MRIA’s 2015 Research and Excellence Award and the 2016 Emerging Leader Award

Deborah has experience managing a qualitative practice for two full-service research firms and working with a broad range of clients in industries including (but not limited to) Travel & Tourism, Fast-moving Consumer Goods, Financial Services, Professional Services, Technology, Education, Media and Crown Corporations/Government Agencies.

Bronwen Ward believes every person has a unique and interesting story to tell. She values human perspectives and is always seeking to understand underlying motivations that drive human decision making and behaviour. She is an expert at forging connections, allowing people to feel comfortable and relaxed while facilitating deep meaningful discussions.

  • Bronwen’s wealth of experience in qualitative research crosses many industries and categories. Her skillset provides unparalleled value with both excellence in the details and a keen understanding of the strategy.
  • Bronwen has taught the Qualitative Research Course for the Georgian College RAP Program and has been a frequent guest lecturer.

Deborah and Bronwen are both passionate about sharing their learning and expertise with others. They both currently work at Upwords, a boutique, qual-focused research consultancy, where they help brands make human connections.

Important Details

Delivery: In-person across 2 full day sessions
Size of class: Maximum 6 participants

Rates: $2800 plus HST for CAIPs and CRIC corporate members
$3000 plus HST for non-members

We’d love to hear from you. Please contact us at [email protected] with any comments or questions.