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To Certify or Not To Certify

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Many people ask us whether to certify as a process facilitator or not.   In this brief video blog, I’m going to answer “Why” facilitator certification is invaluable and highlight “What” 3 different processes will require.

Do You Remember?

Here are my top 3 reasons to start your journey towards facilitator certification:

  1. It’s an invaluable experience for your professional development spending many months providing documents and evidence of your experiences as a facilitator.  Plus you get the credibility of adding the title CPF©, CTF or CMF™ to your name, distinguishing you as a certified facilitator.
  2. It’s a confidence booster as peers and assessors give you feedback on your strengths – “Yes, I can do this!”
  3. You receive a 3 year professional development plan as assessors give you feedback on what you need to work on – invaluable!

For a quick summary of the 3 processes we talk about in this video, download the chart here.

Helpful Resources

  1. IAF’s Facilitator Certification Program
    https://www.iaf-world.org/site/professional/cpf
  1. International Institute for Facilitation’s Competent or Master Facilitator Certification
    http://www.inifac.org/master-facilitator-certification/
  2. Get a sense of your current facilitation skills by completing your own Facilitator Certification Self Assessment.  Other helpful links can be found on our website: https://northstarfacilitators.com/facilitation-certification/.

We’re Here to Help

Give us a call or email us with any questions you may have.  We’re here to help!

Barbara MacKay

Barbara loves “everything facilitation”. She thinks BIG! She loves working with other facilitators around the globe to create transformational results for client groups. She loves teaching others how to do that. She loves presenting at global facilitator conferences. She loves certifying new professional facilitators. If you also love what process facilitation can do for the world, connect with her – virtually or in person. She believes facilitation processes, used well, will provide the roadmap to a more just and sustainable world.

7 Comments

  1. Martin Gilbraith on September 10, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Thanks for this helpful explanation Barbara, I too am often asked what is the difference between the various certification options. I think it
    is worth adding, relative to how widely each are adopted and recognised, that there are around 450 current CPFs worldwide (http://www.iaf-world.org/index/Certification/OurCPFs.aspx), around 115 CTFs (http://ica-international.org/top/top-intro.htm) and around 25 CMFs (http://www.inifac.org/find-master-facilitator/)

    • Barbara MacKay on September 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Martin – fascinating data isn’t it? I know there were over 1000 CPFS but not all have chosen to recertify. It is shame since one colleague told me after recertifying what an amazing experience it was to revisit the last three years of work and then get good feedback from assessors on what to consider next. Always good to keep getting peer review in my opinion and honor the organizations which support and promote facilitation.

    • Barbara Mackay on September 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Martin – fascinating data isn’t it? I know there were over 1000 CPFS but not all have chosen to recertify. It is shame since one colleague told me after recertifying what an amazing experience it was to revisit the last three years of work and then get good feedback from assessors on what to consider next. Always good to keep getting peer review in my opinion and honor the organizations which support and promote facilitation.

      • Martin Gilbraith on September 18, 2014 at 3:25 am

        Hi Barbara, yes I got a lot of value from the CPF recertification as well as from the original assessment. I suspect some of the 1000+ some-time CPFs had let their membership laspe and lost their designation that way as well, which is also a shame!

        • Simba on November 26, 2014 at 6:50 am

          thank both of you work and data.

          i have share Martin’s data and linkage to some of my Chinese peers. i am sure that there will be more and more people who dream to be certifed .

  2. Barbara Mackay on September 18, 2014 at 8:50 am

    yes – i see another discussion going on about IAF membership numbers being holding steady at 1200 worldwide. Interesting when there is so much interest in facilitation now? Thanks Martin for your tireless work in this field and for being so supportive of me in this work.

  3. Barbara Mackay on December 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Great points received from my colleague, Jerry Mings:

    The Certification article is interesting.

    I find it is helpful to explore the re-certification process of a organization in relationship to your life long learning plan. Some organizations have a great certificationnexperience and a very week re-certification process. Others have an great re-certification process and an acceptable certification process.
    I think it is important to look at both when considering a certification.

    The final point is the life cycle cost of designation in current dollars. When you look at the cost of initial certification plus the cost of certification over the life of your certification period (e.g., 10, 15 or 20 years) , it can add up to thousands of dollars. I encourage people to budget for the costs and to evaluate how they will measure their return on investment for the designation they they hold. For example, the life cycle costs could be:

    Initial certification $1500.00
    Annual Maintenance Fee $95.00 per year for 15 years
    Recertification Fee $300 every three years

    This leads to a total life cycle fee of $1500 + $1425 ($95X15 years ) +$1500 ($300 x 5 cycles) = $4, 425,00. This does not include annual membership fees
    for the organization that can add another $4500 to the costs. So the total life cycle costs is around $8,925.00 ( $4,425+$4,500.00). If you apply a time value of money analysis, the cost today would be higher when converted to 2014 dollars.

    The final twist in the analysis is the return on investment. What would I have to generate income over the life of the designation to justify this investment. In some circles, the rule of thee would be applied. So, in order to make the investment worth while, I would have to generate $26,775.00 in income to make the certification beneficial. One third would pay for the actual designation costs, one third would pay for my time to invest in the necessary training and activities to stay current and the final third would go int my bank account as the financial benefit of hold the benefit (my profit).

    I think the key to looking at the questions of certification is a grounded conversation on the life long long learning plan coupled a honest economic analysis.
    Without looking at both elements, there is a risk of not understanding the work involved in maintaining the designation.

    As a last point, I made a decision early in my career to seek designations that would force me to keep on learning by having to practice the craft. My work is grounded in in process and hence my designations are process orientated. The IAF CPF is the most challenging day long assessment adventure, ASQ is a formal exam that is brutal, just brutal. ICA ToP Certification is a personal journey or learning with lots of good advice and mentoring. My APBM is a strange mix of exams and then reading Harvard Business Review Articles annually and my ADR work is about school, learning, and practice. With six designations, the annual bill can be high. However the combined work on six re-certifications keeps me deep into the field of process.

    I think the questions should be, To-Recertify or Not. Getting certified is a good starting point, staying certified is the craft of life time.

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