IAF Professional Development Path

Your Professional Development Path as a Facilitator

Members across the globe have joined forces to re-think how IAF can support facilitators on their professional path — we would like to tell you about the intentions, results and impact of this initiative.

IAF Provides the Facilitation Industry a Backbone

As you know, IAF works to establish international standards, build credibility, and promote the value of facilitation worldwide. Central to these objectives is providing support and recognition for the professional development (a.k.a. ProPath) of IAF members.

Being a facilitator is a unique opportunity to help groups work together by creating effective processes that foster participation and achieve results. While there is no single, universal approach to facilitation, there are certain values, ethics, skills, and behaviours that support effective facilitated processes.

The Association has drawn on the significant experience and expertise of its members to discuss and distill the key attributes of credible and effective facilitation. The outcomes from these global discussions include the IAF’s Statement of Values & Code of Ethics, Core Facilitator Competencies framework, mentoring, certification programmes, as well as conferences and training programmes.

What is changing?

We have decided to expand the certification programme to cover the lifecycle of most facilitators ­— your current credentials are still valid and valued, but you will now have accreditations that are more tightly aligned with your levels of experience. Many of you started facilitating well before joining IAF. In the future, we would like IAF to be a home for facilitators at all stages of their career. Scroll down for the detailed descriptions of these milestones in the IAF Professional Development Path that we are proposing:

  • IAF Member
  • IAF Endorsed™ Facilitator
  • IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator
  • IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | Master
  • IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | Emeritus

This impacts the re-certification process as well. There will be adjustments to the fees, timing and deferral process. Having worked with a wide coalition to design these improvements, we hope you will find them reflect your best interest.

We are also working on formalising our mentoring relationships. We know many members enjoy exchanging tips and experiences ­— and we encourage this. We also know that when two people commit to a deeper mentee-mentor relationship over time, the results are transformative. The idea is to offer people mentoring from IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitators over six months for a small fee. The details are still being worked out. Sharon Honner, our Regional Director for Oceania, is leading the initiative and will be telling us more about how it works for all interested in mentoring.

What are we still working on?

The concept of being “IAF Endorsed™“ is still under discussion. We would like members to become IAF Endorsed™ as a first step in formalising their knowledge of the core competencies. But, there are challenges.

We are  working on how to offer the IAF Endorsed™ seal of approval. If you have reflections or solutions to any of these questions, please get in touch via prof.dev@iaf-world.org.

  • What is the value of being IAF Endorsed™?
  • What would an online self-assessment look like?
  • What hurdle must someone pass to be endorsed?
  • How much mentoring would be sufficient for a member?
  • How would we assess programmes or product and what would the price be?
  • How can we ensure that “IAF Endorsed™“ programmes uphold the standard?

Not to mention, the rollout details which should be hitting your screens in October 2018.

Members Supporting Members

Professional development is something our members know a lot about; but until now the Professional Development Pathway for Facilitators has been a bit ambiguous. We thank the people who volunteered their expertise to benefit all of us who wish to keep growing. Sponsored on our board by Cameron Fraser, Director of Professional Development, the initiative was led by former association chair Gary Austin, and long time member Jan means. They split the work into three work streams:

  • Certification Levels (Led by Gary Austin, with Gillian Martin Mehers & Kofi Kumodzi)
  • Requirements (Led by Gary Rush, with Theresa Ratnam Thong & Brad Rilatt
  • Process (Led by Jan Means, with Sharon Almerigi & Alice Strachan)

The core team solicited membership involvement — many thanks to: Corky McReynolds, Emay Cowx, Brian Tarallo, Alexandra Kosulina, Lynda Baker, Penny Pullan, Grace Tan, Larry Philbrook, Sheryl Smail, Paul Cooper, Patricia Rita Nunis, Julia Perkins, Christy Hicks, and Becky Roberts. We also thank Sharon Honner for making the concept fit with our emerging mentoring programme, and Jeffer London for driving the marketing of the initiative.

Benefits You Can Expect

If you are wondering "what is in it" for me, let us outline the goals we have been working towards.

  • New members get a full professional pathway, that stays relevant over time.
  • The CPF remains the highly sought after facilitation industry standard.
  • CPFs can upgrade their status, rather than indefinitely re-certifying.
  • Seasoned facilitators can be recognized for their lifetime achievements.

And as an association, we hope this will help us attract younger professionals while becoming more relevant for experienced facilitators. Within the facilitation market, we believe this will solidify our position as the home for facilitators and the benchmark for organisations that use facilitation.

Progress Together

At the end of 2017, we produced this video with the famous line: “We are working on it!” The five minute video outlines the intentions we had for the Professional Development Path (a.k.a. ProPath), and it’s fair to say we are delivering.

There is what you can expect, going forward:

  • Updates to the website that explain the Professional Path
  • Downloadable documents with all the details about each stage in the Professional Development Path
  • A way for CPF to formally become IAF Mentors
  • Possibility to get in-depth mentoring in your personal growth area
  • Presentations about the Professional Path at regional conferences
  • Media kit for chapters who would like to discuss professional development
  • Announcements for CPF, CPF|M and CPF | E certifications

Credentials on Your Professional Pathway

Here are the five credentials of the IAF Professional Pathway, as we plan to post on our website.

1. IAF Member
Develop your facilitation skills and network

  • Do you work as a facilitator, or use facilitation in your current role?
  • Are you interested in actively developing your professional skills and keeping up to date with trends in facilitation?
  • Would you like to benefit from IAF resources, network and events?

IAF membership signals your interest in improving your facilitation skills, investing in continuous professional development and furthering the field of facilitation. If you’re happy to subscribe to our statement of values and code of ethics and would like to contribute your perspective to our shared voice, exchange experiences and develop your skills, consider IAF membership.

2. IAF Endorsed™ Facilitator
Demonstrate your professional development

  • Have you been working as a facilitator, or using facilitation in your current role, for more than a year?
  • Are you relatively new to facilitation and seeking a way to assess your progress or development needs?
  • Would you like to benefit from IAF resources, network and events?

IAF EndorsedTM Facilitator status is given to members who have demonstrated an understanding of IAF core competencies and want to be recognised as knowledgeable facilitators in a wide variety of environments.

3. IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator
Establish yourself as a professional facilitator

  • Have you been working as a facilitator, or using facilitation in your current role, for several years?
  • Are you seeking meaningful credentials and validation of your experience?
  • Are you ready to invest in your professional development?

IAF CertifiedTM Professional Facilitator (CPF) status is a credential given to members who been through the rigorous IAF certification process and have undergone an in-depth peer review of their experience, knowledge and skills.

4. IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | Master
Be recognised for shaping the field of facilitation

  • Are you an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator?
  • Have you been working as a facilitator for over a decade?
  • Are you looking to deepen and refine your practice?
  • Have you contributed to the development or promotion of the profession?

IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | Master (CPF | M) status is given to members who have already completed the CPF, recertified twice and passed the CPFM certification. This mastery level of certification includes: four peer-reviews and recognition by the IAF for their contribution to the field.

5. IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | Emeritus
Inspire the next generation of facilitators

  • Have you transformed the field of facilitation?
  • Would you like to inspire the next generation of facilitators?
  • Are you stepping back from working full time to only taking on select projects?

IAF Certified Professional Facilitator | Emeritus status is only given to members who have been recognised by the IAF for their extraordinary contribution to the field of facilitation.  As elders in our community, Emeritus Members are recognised and celebrated. If you have earned your CPF, have been recertified twice and are stepping back from working full time, consider becoming an Emeritus.