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Peer support group facilitator training program

Learn skills and best practices to lead a community-based peer support group.
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) offers peer facilitator training to people impacted by cancer who wish to start a new virtual or in-person cancer peer support group in their community or deepen their skills to enhance existing support groups. This program was adapted to make the training available virtually, through a self-paced online seminar series, which is delivered by CCS staff.

As an extension of the core Peer facilitator training program, an online Community of Practice is available to eligible peer facilitators. This will be in the form of a private forum, on Cancer Connection, and allow participants to connect with one another, to share experiences, and address questions and challenges related to facilitation and group activities.  

Following the completion of training, peer facilitators lead, operate and oversee delivery of support groups independently of the Canadian Cancer Society.
Interested in learning more about this program or registering for the training? Contact our team at:

What can I expect from the training? 

The Peer Facilitator Training webinar series is intended to provide new and existing peer facilitators of community-based cancer peer support groups with essential information and best practices to achieve high quality and sustainable support to others. Each module of the training series explores an aspect of setting up, running, and maintaining a virtual or in-person cancer peer support group.
The training is available to eligible facilitators through a self-paced four-part webinar series. The training is based on the latest evidence and best practices in peer support and group facilitation, as well as being informed by the lived experience of volunteers from across Canada.   

Training curriculum provides information and tools addressing the following: 

  • Benefits and purpose of peer support
  • Peer facilitator role and core skills
  • Confidentiality and privacy
  • Group scope and guidelines
  • Communication and facilitation skills
  • Meeting planning and organization 

Who is eligible? 

People with lived experience of cancer, including caregivers, who wish to lead a community-based peer support group are the primary audience for the Peer Facilitator Training and Community of Practice. We encourage those interested in becoming a peer facilitator to consider the following guidelines: 
Be one-year post-diagnosis, with health and wellness allowing for support group management and attention to the needs of others. 
Be committed to facilitating a community-based peer support group for people with cancer. 
Have a positive, caring, and non-judgmental approach. 
Be committed to complete all the training requirements and participate in ongoing learning and skill development opportunities. 

Additional audiences  

Access to the training webinars series only (not the Community of Practice) will be permitted for the following additional audiences:  

  • Professionals and students who do not have lived experience but wish to expand their knowledge in this area. 
  • People wishing to start peer support groups for those with other chronic diseases or life experiences.

While the program is designed for people using the Canadian healthcare system, access to the training webinar series will also be permitted for those outside of Canada.  

Consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to requests outside of these parameters.  

Please note that this program is not a replacement for individual peer support training which is a distinct model of peer support.  

For questions about eligibility, or for more information about the training program, please contact the team at