A year ago in 2011, I became a “Certified Professional Facilitator” by the International Association of Facilitators. IAF’s mission is to “promote, support and advance the art and practice of professional facilitation” and their “professional facilitator designation offers clients an assurance that those who are certified are qualified to design and provide basic group facilitation services.”
Here’s a section from the application I submitted to IAF that shares how I demonstrated the core competencies for facilitation:
“From the start, I worked to create collaborative a client relationship. We reached agreement on our respective roles and responsibilities, along with my rate. We designed a retreat that would meet the organization’s goals based on their needs. I developed a detailed agenda, facilitated the entire day in a way that led towards effective group decision-making and allocated time at the end of the day for participant evaluation.
I worked hard from beginning to end to create and sustain a participatory environment. I affirmed the diversity of their group throughout the process and welcomed all of their ideas. I planned a group process designed to foster open participation from the diverse set of personalities that made up the organization’s board. I was already aware of the organization’s culture and could relate to it because I share many of the same values and had facilitated numerous similar organizations.
I dedicated myself to guiding the group in the direction of useful outcomes. I worked hard to guide the process so they reached useful outcomes. I laid out the process at the start and stayed with it throughout the retreat, ultimately reaching consensus on their vision, strategies and goals.”
I continue to build my own knowledge and experience as a facilitator. I appreciate being a member of the International Association of Facilitators and would recommend the site to anyone looking for best practices in facilitation. I’m excited to have earned the designation of a “Certified Professional Facilitator and look forward to serving many more organizations in this capacity.