Serious Illness Conversation Guide (SICG) Training


The Serious Illness Conversation Guide is a tool that helps clinicians understand their patients’ goals and values and incorporate them in clinical decision-making. The person-centered questions in the guide explore:

  • A patient’s understanding of their illness,
  • their preferences for information,
  • their personal goals,
  • their fears and worries, as well as their sources of strength,
  • the abilities they find most important to their daily life and the tradeoffs they are willing to take for the possibility of more time, and
  • how much the people who matter to the patient know about their wishes.


Participants will gain communication skills using the Serious Illness Conversation Guide through a practice-based approach that involves both independent and group learning. Participants will:

  • Explore the importance of serious illness conversations and how they can result in better care for people who are seriously ill.
  • Outline the evidence that links the Serious Illness Care Program to outcomes that support the quadruple aim of health care.
  • Experience the Serious Illness Conversation Guide as part of a structured approach for ensuring the delivery of serious illness conversations.
  • Practice the communication skills necessary to use the Serious Illness Conversation Guide, receive feedback to improve those skills, and integrate these skills into your practice.

Training events

For a list of our upcoming trainings, please visit our Events & Activities page.

For questions, please contact Mitha Wardhani by email or (206) 577-1825.

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Respecting Choices® First Steps® ACP Facilitator Certification

Overview & Purpose

Respecting Choices® First Steps® ACP Facilitator Certification is designed for individuals interested in providing advance care planning facilitation. This course assists participants in learning effective communication and conversation skills for person-centered ACP.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify communication skills for facilitating First Steps ACP conversations.
  • Create strategies to transfer individual goals, values, and preferences to a written plan.
  • Demonstrate beginning competency in facilitating First Steps ACP conversations through role-play
  • Become certified as a First Steps ACP Facilitator through final competency role-play demonstration

Pre-Course Requirements

  • Respecting Choices First Steps ACP Facilitator Online Core Curriculum (modules 1-4) *
  • Personal Engagement Activity
    • Purpose: To gain an understanding of common reactions that people have regarding advance care planning (ACP).
    • Instructions: Attempt to have a conversation with a loved one or close friend. Ask this person the following questions:
      • What is your understanding of advance care planning?
      • What type of advance care planning have you done, if any?
      • What fears or concerns do you have about this type of planning?
    • Review of Advance Directive (AD) document and AD guidelines used in your organization/community (or distributed by your ACP team)

*The online component includes interactive courses intended to help you learn basic ACP concepts and prepare you to actively participate in the course, allowing for a more robust classroom experience.  If you are unable to complete these modules 24-hours before the course starts, your instructor may ask you to reschedule your training date.

Facilitator Responsibilities

An ACP facilitator is a role that is best utilized when they have the proper support to do the following:

  • Initiate opportunities for ACP conversations
  • Assess the needs of the individual seeking ACP assistance
  • Design a person-centered approach to ACP based on the individual’s illness, readiness, fears, concerns, and religious or cultural beliefs
  • Make referrals to other resources as needed
  • Assist individuals in making informed healthcare decisions based on facts, understanding, reflection, and discussion
  • Prepare the individual’s healthcare agent and loved ones to understand and honor their decisions
  • Assist in developing a plan that honors the individual’s goals, values, and preferences
  • Develop strategies to effectively communicate the plan to those responsible for implementing it (e.g. physician, other providers, healthcare agent, and family)

Training events

For a list of our upcoming trainings, please visit our Events & Activities page.

Building Physician Skills in Basic Advance Care Planning

Nearly all physicians agree that advance care planning conversations are important, yet more than half report feeling unprepared to do so. Not surprisingly when physicians learn how best to engage in ACP conversations, they report they are more likely to have those conversations. They also describe the conversations as very important for their patients. More than that, the physicians find the conversation professionally rewarding.

Designed for physicians and advanced practitioners, the three-module online course, Building Physician Skills in Basic Advance Care Planning, will enhance your ability to:

  • Effectively introduce and motivate patients to participate in basic advance care planning.
  • Guide and document basic ACP conversations with patients and families.
  • Successfully integrate and bill for basic ACP in everyday practice.

The interactive course allows the learners to work through real-life scenarios, analyze sample ACP conversations, and practice skills like answering patients’ questions and selecting appropriate billing codes. Valuable features include an assortment of downloadable tools and resources, such as a basic ACP conversation guide. The primary goals of basic advance care planning are to explore a person’s goals and values, and to name and prepare their health care agent.

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Participants will earn Maintenance of Certification Part II credits upon successful completion of all three modules.

Honoring Choices® Pacific Northwest, jointly sponsored by the WSMA Foundation and the Washington State Hospital Association, has partnered with Respecting Choices® to offer the online course to physicians and advanced practitioners in Washington state. Through a grant from The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the online modules are free of charge for WSMA members and members of the Honoring Choices PNW initiative until February 2021. Get started at