IAF Professional Development Path

IAF - the Backbone of the Facilitation Industry

The IAF is the home and support for facilitators at all phases of their career. Since 1994 the IAF has promoted the value of facilitation worldwide through the establishment of international standards and by providing support and recognition for the professional development of facilitators.

The Association has drawn on the significant experience and expertise of its members to identify the key attributes of credible and effective facilitation. The outcomes of this are IAF’s Statement of Values and Code of Ethics and the IAF Core Competencies framework.

The IAF Professional Development Path

The IAF Professional Development Path (PDP) is composed of the following stages which are completed through a process ranging from gaining membership in the organisation to being individually assessed according to competency and experience. The PDP allows for a facilitator to undertake one stage at a time, ending at any one of them or advancing along the Pro-Path as part of an evolving career. They are:

  • IAF Member
  • IAF Endorsed™ Facilitator (EF)
  • IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator (CPF)
  • IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | Master (CPF | M)
  • IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | Emeritus (CFP | E)

Beyond membership, all PDP level assessments are conducted and completed online. The CPF assessment can be done in-person, or online. Consider the following when making a choice.

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 fellow members and events?

IAF membership offers you the opportunity for improving your facilitation skills, investing in continuous professional development and furthering the field of facilitation.  Become a member.

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?
  • Have you been investing in your professional development?
  • Are you relatively new to facilitation and are seeking a way to assess your progress or development needs?

Do you want to be recognised as a knowledgeable facilitator by your clients and colleagues? IAF Endorsed™ Facilitator status is given to members who have demonstrated an understanding of IAF Core Competencies and want to be recognised as competent facilitators in a wide variety of environments. Check back soon to find out more about becoming an an IAF Endorsed™ Facilitator.

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 validation of your experience by achieving a credential recognised at international level?
  • Are you ready to consolidate your investment in your professional development by receiving detailed feedback from other facilitators?

IAF Certified™ 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, skills, and facilitation practice. Become an IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator.

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 for a credential that can validate your professional career as facilitator and your contribution to the development and the 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 CPF | M certification. Become an IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | M. 

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

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

IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | E status is only given to members who have been recognised by the IAF for their contribution to the field of facilitation. As elders in our community, Emeritus Members are recognised and celebrated.  Become an IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator | E.

Becoming IAF EF - Endorsed™ Facilitator

IAF Endorsed™ 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.

An Endorsed Facilitator is a person who has proven to know the fundamentals of facilitation. They work as a consultant, project manager, trainer, coach, part time facilitator independently or within an organization.

Who can apply?

Candidates should demonstrate at least one year of experience as facilitators and should have attended the IAF Mentoring programme.

EF Application and documentation

The application process consists of:

  • an online examination
  • an application form.

Once registered for the assessment, the candidate receives the application form. When the form has been filled in, the candidate is invited to take the online examination.

Once the online examination has been completed, the application form and the results of the examination are sent to an IAF Assessor who, after reviewing them, gives the final assessment and fills in a short feedback form.

Assessment process

The assessment process is based on the information provided by the candidate in the application form and the results of the online examination.

In order to receive the designation, the candidate must have passed the online examination with a minimum of 80% correct answers. The information provided in the application form complements the information derived from the online examination.

Online assessment

The test is designed to test the candidate's understanding of the IAF Core Competencies. It consists of 60 multiple-choice questions, equally divided across the 6 IAF Core Competency areas. The duration of the test is set at 45 minutes. Before taking the exam, the candidate receives all the information necessary to take the test (duration, possibility to skip a question, etc.).

Application form

The application form consists of a first administrative part, a second part containing a short career resume of the candidate, a third part containing information on any training courses attended on facilitation, other courses considered relevant by the candidate to be mentioned, as well as a brief essay in which the candidate is asked to present an example of the meetings they are most frequently asked to conduct.

The assessor is looking for basic adherence to the IAF Core Competencies in the candidate’s work.
 

Becoming IAF CPF – Certified™ Professional Facilitator (CPF)

The CPF – Certified™ Professional Facilitator (CPF) assessment process was developed more than 20 years ago. To earn the distinction of a CPF, a candidate must have sufficient experience and skills as a process facilitator to demonstrate each of the six Core Facilitator Competencies.

The assessment process has since the beginning consisted of two stages.

  • The first stage is based on submission of an application form online and is reviewed in an ‘asynchronous’ way.
  • The second stage involves two candidate interviews and the observation of the candidate’s preparation and facilitation of a workshop, which is conducted in a face-to-face (F2F) ‘synchronous’ mode.

For many years the IAF has been exploring the possibility of offering the full CPF assessment online. The COVID-19 pandemic has offered the opportunity to develop a robust and reliable online assessment process that ensures the highest quality standards set by the International Association of Facilitators.

The CPF online assessment

The CPF online assessment offers the opportunity for a candidate to participate in a full online assessment. The existing CPF model now includes a Stage 2 online synchronous assessment in which the two candidate interviews and the observation of the candidate preparation and facilitation of a workshop are conducted fully online.

While offering members the opportunity to engage in a fully online assessment process, the IAF will continue to offer the possibility of F2F assessments several times per year in conjunction with IAF conferences and events organized worldwide. The online assessment will be an attractive option for persons or countries where travel and accommodation costs preclude taking part in a F2F assessment. The F2F assessments will remain an attractive option for those persons who wish to combine their assessment with attending or presenting at a conference and making the most of the networking and professional development opportunities these exciting events offer.

Becoming a CPF

The intent behind the IAF’s assessment process is to give each candidate ample opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the Core Competencies. During the assessment, the candidate provides evidence through written documents, verbal interviews, and an observed facilitation practicum which will be carried out live in a face-to-face setting or now using an online space.

Preparation for the CPF assessment

If you are interested in undertaking the CPF assessment, you should review your facilitation knowledge, experience and skills relative to the IAF’s Core Competencies. If in doing so, you identify gaps in your experience, prepare a plan to address them.

You may wish to consult the IAF Regional Director for your area who can inform you about any available training opportunities aligned with the IAF Core Competencies.

Proceed with your application when you feel you have the knowledge, skills and experience to demonstrate your use of the Core Competencies.

The CPF Stage 1 assessment (Application & Documentation)

The CPF assessment process is divided into 2 stages.  Stage 1 is the documentation and submission of your facilitation experience, which is then reviewed by assessors for evidence of a variety of experience (group size, processes, duration of engagement, in person and online facilitation) and skills across the Core Competencies.

When you are ready to undertake Stage 1 of the assessment process, you should:

  • Check the calendar of upcoming CPF Assessments. The deadlines to submit the required application and related materials are dependent on the assessment date.
  • Contact the CPF Programme Administrator to request the CPF Information and Application package.

Complete your application and return it to the CPF Programme Administrator with the application fee*. You will be provided with further information about the documentation required during Stage 1 of the assessment.

Each candidate’s documentation is carefully evaluated by a team of two assessors who are assigned to the candidate for the duration of the process. The assessors use the IAF Core Competencies to evaluate evidence that the candidate understands the foundations of facilitation and applies the competencies actively in their work.

Successful candidates from the Stage 1 assessment are invited to a Stage 2 Assessment Day for further demonstration of their facilitation competencies.

*Application fees are non-refundable. Please click here for our Certification Fee Policies.

The CPF Stage 2 Assessment (interviews and workshop facilitation)

Candidates may choose to do their Stage 2 Assessment either online or at a face-to-face event.

CPF Stage 2 online

Prior to the online Stage 2 CPF Assessment, candidates will receive detailed instructions on how best to prepare. These instructions cover both the technical and the process aspects of the assessment.  One of the assessors assigned to a candidate will be designated as the candidate’s ‘client’ for the purposes of planning for the Assessment workshop.

During the Stage 2 Assessment, you can expect to:

  • Be interviewed online by your assigned assessors to further explore evidence of the IAF Core Competencies.
  • Facilitate a workshop online, the focus of which has been agreed in advance with the ‘client’ assessor.
  • Act as a participant for other candidates’ workshops online.

The final evaluation and results are provided to the candidate in the form of a written report within two weeks after the Stage 2 Assessment. The results for a candidate are given as either a “pass” or “defer”.

CPF Stage 2 Face to Face

Stage 2 F2F assessment will be conducted at the Assessment Day.

Assessments take place in several locations throughout the year. We advise submitting your application materials early so that you are prepared when a certification event is scheduled near you.

Prior to the CPF Assessment, candidates will receive detailed instructions on how best to prepare for the event. One of the assessors assigned to a candidate will be designated as the candidate’s ‘client’ for the purposes of planning for the Assessment Day workshop.

During the Assessment Day, you can expect to:

  • Be interviewed by your assigned assessors to further explore evidence of the IAF Core Competencies.
  • Facilitate a demonstration workshop, the focus of which has been agreed in advance with the ‘client’ assessor.
  • Act as a participant for each of the other candidates’ workshops.

The final evaluation and results are provided to the candidate in the form of a written report within two weeks after the Stage 2 Assessment. The results for a candidate are given as either a “pass” or “defer”.

 

Becoming a IAF CPF | M - Certified™ Professional Facilitator | Master

The IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator ǀ Master represents a more senior level of experience, as well as a broader engagement with advancing the field of facilitation (e.g., such activities as IAF Board / Committee involvement, conference organization, presentations, writing / publishing, teaching, mentoring, etc.). We require a minimum of 8 years as a CPF, prior to being considered for IAF CPF ǀ M.

This level is obtained at the time of re-certification.

Click here for more details on how to apply.

 

Becoming a CPF | E - Certified™ Professional Facilitator |  Emeritus

The IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator ǀ Emeritus is a designation granted to an IAF CPF or IAF CPF ǀ M when the person demonstrates the senior level of an IAF CPF ǀ M, however is no longer actively working as a professional facilitator, and who has made significant contributions to advancing the field of facilitation (e.g. publishing, teaching, mentoring, etc.) over the course of their career. This certification level is meant primarily for those who have retired, or are retiring, from actively facilitating.

Click here for more details on how to apply.

SHARE