The Information and Referral Process

The Information and Referral Process 

Helping you help people, this interactive course is for new staff at Information & Referral (I&R) organizations who will be responsible for handling I&R inquiries, for the supervisors who oversee this essential work, and for existing staff needing to reacquaint themselves with key principles. The content provides an overview of the activities of an I&R Specialist, a detailed analysis of the I&R process and the communication techniques required to assist in that process. It also represents a useful preparation for more experienced staff who are preparing for an AIRS CIRS or CIRS-A examination. The course was written by AIRS staff member, Clive Jones, a former President of InformCanada, who is responsible for the AIRS Certification Program, in addition to assisting with training and standards development. It was adapted from material within The ABCs of I&R (copyright AIRS). Additional AIRS online courses deal in more detail with specific aspects of the I&R process such as advocacy and crisis intervention. AIRS is the nonprofit Alliance of Information and Referral Systems at


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

Alliance of Information and Referral Systems Certificate of Completion


Course Details

Course Code: REL-HHS-AIRS-IRP-V2
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 9/30/2023
Learning Objectives:
Define the stages of the I&R process.
Apply communication techniques (including effective listening) to establish and clarify client needs.
Describe the nature and challenges of effective information and/or referral provision.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives


I&R in Person and on the Phone

Section 2: I&R Communication Techniques

I&R Communication Techniques

Effective communication techniques include:

The I&R Process

Asking Questions

Open and close-ended questions

Let's Review Types of Information Sometimes Needed


The I&R Process: Stage 3


The I&R Process: Stage 4

Information Giving

Referral Giving

Searching for Referrals

Saying No and Problem Solving

The I&R Process: Stage 5

Section 3: AIRS Standards on I&R Service Delivery

Standards Section

Section 4: Let’s Review

Section 5: Conclusion


Course Contributor(s)


Instructor: Clive Jones, B.A.

Clive Jones is a former President of InformCanada, and is responsible for I&R training, credentialing, and standards development.

Disclosure: Clive Jones, B.A. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
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All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
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