Critical Friends Method is about challenging, taking control and initiative. Through the help of Critical Friends students explore future potentialities.
Taking control is central to the Critical Friend method.
The changing dynamics of our world and our economy creates a need to give being entrepreneurial a renewed form and content. Important aspect is to organise one’s own network and reflelections with sustainability, sharing, collaboration and flexibility as the most important characteristics. Through Critical Friends students achieve an active role in their development
The Critical Friend method is implemented in addition to existing project driven education. The Critical Friend circles are being formed to sharpen insights and to speed up the learning process and open new perspectives. A student’s challenge is the starting point of the Critical Friend process;
Training courses enable Critical Friends method to be applied in practice. This applies for anyone responsible for bringing parties together such as: students, businesses, Governments and NGO and entrepreneurs,
The stakeholders for the Critical Friend method are various. The idea is that Critical Friends function in a circle and that the circle meets at regular times. The circle is made up of coaches, facilitator, challenged and the Critical Friends. Educational institutes organize the circles, while the challenged individual more or less invites the Critical Friends. The educational institution also trains and certifies the coaches and the Critical Friends. The Critical Friends can be anyone and are usually selected from a manifold of partners.

Resources needed

Trainingsprograms to train facilitators, coaches and Critical Friends. For the implementation an ecosystem with enough Critical Friends is required.

Evidence of success

At the moment, it can be said that the method is in a growing positive phase as it is used and applied at multiple institutes and companies.
Currently the students involved in the Critical Friends Method in 2018/2019.
Alfa-college Hardenberg (38), Afla-college Kiemkracht (180), Alfa-college ICT (34), Alfa-college Vlucht voorwaarts (56), Alfa-college Hoogeveen (120), Hanze University support staff (246), Hanze University students entrepreneurship (60), Hanze University IWP Assen (120)

Potential for learning or transfer

Critical Friends Methods works ideally as a self-propelling system. So the good performing Critical Friends become coaches and later are promoted to the role of trainer. Three types of training are used for learning and training. The first training is for the facilitator who employs the method; during this training emphasis is on what the method does and how it fits in curricula as an addition. The second training is for the coach; during this training the coach learns how to steer group processes. The third training is for the student; during this training they learn how to be an effective Critical Friend through asking questions.
Main institution
Hanze UAS
Groningen, Netherlands (Nederland)
Start Date
September 2017
End Date


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