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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: Facilitator Led Training Guide


7. Pre-Course Arrangements

In addition to preparing teaching materials and anticipating the participants’ needs, some logistical considerations should be made as part of course preparation. These include inviting the participants, arranging the classroom set-up, and preparing learning materials.

Inviting the Participants

The course participants may be either pre-selected to attend or have to “apply” to take the interviewing course. In either case, all participants should be sent a letter of confirmation with any relevant course instructions including

  • Learning objectives;

  • Location and directions;

  • Course timings; and

  • Prerequisites.

A sample letter is shown in Figure 1 (page 16). This letter may be modified to fit your course needs. The confirmation letter should be sent 1-2 months prior to the course to allow staff to make arrangements for workplace coverage and to provide adequate time to read one course prerequisite, Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: Self-Study Modules.

Figure 1. Sample Confirmation Letter

Print on letterhead

<Name of Participant>

Dear _____________:

I am pleased to confirm your enrollment in the training course, “Effective TB Interviewing,” which will be held on <day/date> from <start time> to <end time> in <city, state>. Directions to the course site are enclosed.

The objectives of the “Effective TB Interviewing” training course are for the participant to develop the skills to

  • Provide a comfortable interview environment for the patient

  • Apply concepts of TB transmission to the contact elicitation process

  • Establish rapport with an index patient

  • Appropriately respond to TB education questions from the patient

  • Utilize effective communication techniques to convey respect, sincerity, and confidence to the patient

  • Address patient’s concerns by recognizing verbal and non-verbal cues

I have included a copy of the course prerequisite, the Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: Self-Study Modules, for you to read prior to your arrival at the course. These materials contain the basic information on TB interviewing and provide a foundation prior to conducting interviews. The concepts from the materials will not be reviewed during the course to ensure the maximum time to practice the skills of TB interviewing. Please be sure to read the enclosed materials before coming to the course. You will get the most out of the course only if you are acquainted with the objectives of TB interviewing and its techniques. <Include any reference to testing participants on Modules’ content in order for them to participate.> You can then be prepared to participate in discussions, role plays, practice interviews, and other activities. Even if you are an experienced interviewer, your review of the materials will help bring the entire class to the same level.

<The remainder of the letter can be devoted to other appropriate matters such as: lodging, travel, expense reimbursement, emergency message telephone number at course site, parking, etc.>

If you have any questions regarding the course, please feel free to call me at ( ) ____-_______ or contact me by email at ______@_________. I look forward to your participation in the course.


<Course Facilitator>



If possible, you should secure a support person to help with activities during the course. This person should not be a participant and does not need to be someone who is necessarily skilled in TB interviewing. The support person can act as a timekeeper and should keep a copy of the agenda with specific timings of each activity. If the other facilitator/trainer acts as the support person, he or she can also make observations during the course, which will assist in formulating future training. A support person can also assist with any unforeseen problems, attempting to remedy these problems while the facilitator proceeds with the course activities.

Several activities (i.e., activities 5, 7, and 8) require other staff—experienced interviewers—to be ideally effective. These people may be colleagues within your program or other health department programs. If obtaining other staff to assist is difficult, some of these activities can be done in larger groups.


All of the activities in this manual have a list of necessary supplies that you should have prepared and ready ahead of time. In addition, you should have the following items for the participants just before the start of the course:

  • Preprinted or prewritten nametags (if not preprinted or prewritten, provide pens for writing) – The writing on the tags should be visible from the front of the room and all areas of the classroom set up. The facilitators and trainers should also have nametags.

  • Sign-in Roster – This should be a preprinted list of expected participants’ names with room for them to sign. Participants may require verification of their attendance and this roster can provide this information readily.

  • Extra pens and paper for participants’ note taking.

  • Extra copies of the Effective TB Interviewing for Contact Investigation: Self-Study Modules for reference, in case the participants wish to refer to a concept during a break but did not bring a copy.

  • Flip chart, chalkboard, or wipe-off board for impromptu mini-lectures.

  • Participant certificates of completion – Providing certificates is a nice way of ending a course. Certificate paper can be inexpensively purchased and names printed or neatly handwritten. These may also serve as verification of attendance for their job requirements.

Classroom and Facility Arrangements

The ideal arrangement for the classroom is to place tables in a “U” shape with the opening of the “U” at the front of the classroom and chairs for participants around the outside of the table. In this arrangement, participants can see each other for interactive purposes. The “U” should remain open to allow the instructor to move about freely. However, this arrangement may not always be possible in the space available to you or if the chair and tables cannot be moved easily.

Whatever the arrangement, there should be enough space for participants to move about and form groups without disturbing one another. While much of the course involves small group communication activities, the seating arrangements help to facilitate discussion after each activity has been completed and the participants come together for a discussion. Ideally, if several rooms are available, these can be used for small group activities.

There should also be space in the front of the room for a table to include teaching materials. Since the course mostly involves interactive activities, there is no need for a podium in the room. In fact, a podium may be a barrier to a facilitator working with a group of participants.


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

Please send comments/suggestions/requests to:, or to
CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333