Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Certified Professional Facilitator for another 4 years!

Recently I graduated and was recertified as Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) for another 4 years with the International Association of Facilitators (IAF). In 2008 I passed my first assessment, when I was judged by 2 senior CPF Assessors.

Background
IAF's aim of the certification process, started in 2003, is to ensure that Certified IAF members meet the standards of dealing with different and complex situations as facilitator. Through this program IAF wants to ensure and maintain high quality standards for the profession of Facilitation. Facilitation is an Art and experience as must!.

The certification process
As part of the assessment, I was asked to select 7 workshops with different clients in different situations over the last 4 years. I selected a mix of face-to-face workshops and trajectories with civil servants, social workers and international development workers. I also presented an online facilitation trajectorie involving young professionals and a participatory workshop event with youth. Based on these 7 workshops I was asked to the development of my professional compenties based on 6 Facilitator Compentence Criteria;
A. Creating partnerships with the client
B. Planning the appropriate group processes
C. Creating and maintaining the right atmosphere for active participation
D. Guiding the group to results
E. Developing and maintaining professional expertise
F. Developing a positive and professional attitude.

Feedback from the assessor
Four years ago I had to pass a process of defending and explaining my assessment in front of a commission of 2 senior assessors. Followed by a practical of half an hour on stage facilitating a workshop with real participants, followed by a feedback meeting with my assessors. This time the certification was written and judged by one assessor.
My senior assessor complimented me about the following strengthes:
The facilitator leads and guides intensive processes from intake up to evaluation. He makes a link with the context and supports the client to embed the results in the long term context;
The facilitator knows his own shortcomings and tries to identify a co-facilitator compensating his weaknesses;
The facilitator is experimenting with new media (virtual tools and video) and reflects critically on his own learning process;
The facilitator is open for new developments and participates enthousiastcally in networks, events and conferences to share his experience and learn from others.

Possible areas for improvement
The senior assessor provided me with the following suggestions for future development;

  • Continue with the process of combining facilitation events with organisational development. Focus at embedding results into the contextual changes of the organisation. Read more literature about organisational development to help to improve the quality of the intakes;
  • Continue the experiments and applications of online facilitation processes. There is still a whole new world to be developed in the area of online facilitation;
  • Consider to take bids and facilitation assignments in the business sector;
  • Challenge yourself to further deal with resistance in groups. Think of creating new solutions dealing with resistance or develop processes where resistance doesn't show up.
A final hartwarming remark from the assessor. 'I am impressed in the professional way you develop. You experiment with new modes of facilitation, take responsibility, share and contribute your expertise to other colleagues!'

Conclusion
CPF (Certified Professional Facilitator) is a valuable process. It has created new insights on how to challenge myself in my professional development as Facilitator!  Read more about the IAF CPF Certification process.

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