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With facilitation today there is no common, shared body of knowledge. In part, because facilitation is a fuzzy word and widely applied, there is no single definition — making Facilitation Certification fuzzy as well.

In North America, there are three primary methods for certifying professional skills and knowledge. None of the methods is necessarily superior or inferior when compared with each other.

  1. Association; e.g., Project Management Institute, Scrum Alliance, etc.
  2. Service Provider; e.g., Microsoft®, Oracle®, etc.
  3. University; e.g., Georgetown University, UCLA, etc.

First, consider the credibility of a facilitation certification:

MG RUSH Certified Structured Professional Facilitator Facilitation Certification

Successfully complete a rigorous, five-day MG RUSH course to earn Certified Structured Professional Facilitator (CSPF) status, a premier facilitation certification

  • Facilitation:  The definition of the word facilitation is applied in many ways. There is no central body defining or controlling what facilitation is or where/ how it is applied. A search via Google or Bing returns many disparate uses of the term facilitation. Definitions range from facilitation among business groups, social groups, mediation and dispute resolution, to teaching/instruction, community development, and many more.
    At MG RUSH our instruction in facilitation supports all of the mentioned situations. Through a structured approach, we focus on business and organizational challenges, especially planning and understanding requirements. We cover workgroups, projects, executive sessions, board meetings, and workshops of all types and durations.
  • Certification:  Most professional certifications include these elements:
    1. Body of knowledge (BoK), representing best practices and best of breed for industry standards
    2. Minimum level of practice with the certifiable skills and knowledge in appropriate, demonstration situations
    3. Test(s) or other repeatable, comparable, standards of the skill and knowledge being practiced

There are three global associations that provide certification focused exclusively on facilitation. They include the Association for Talent Development (ATD), the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), and the International Institute for Facilitation (INIFAC).

There is no central, unambiguous standard-setting agency. However, the IAF focuses its promotional efforts on the “core competencies” of facilitation. There are less than 500 IAF Certified Professional Facilitators (CPF), most of them outside of the USA. The INIFAC facilitation core competencies are quite similar but their requirements are more stringent. There are less than thirty INIFAC Certified Master Facilitators (CMF) worldwide in 2018.

The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation published in 2005 provides a compendium of articles written by 30 authors, assembled around a set of core competencies. See comparison charts hereNeither the IAF or INIFAC provide facilitation training through their organization. Rather, they rely on outside experts such as ourselves to prepare students.

Related associations include the International Business Analyst’s Association (IBAA), Project Management Institute (PMI), and Scrum Alliance

Both the IAF and the INIFAC operate in a manner similar to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the International Business  Analyst’s Association (IIBA), or similar associations. They provide a body of knowledge, certification testing, and rely on Registered Educational Providers (REP) such as ourselves for training on the core competencies. Current BoK includes Project Management Institute’s PMBok (Sixth Edition, 2017) and the International Business Analyst’s Association BABok (Third Edition, 2015). We rely partially on our certification and endorsement among these and other Associations as Registered Educational Providers to justify the certification of our robust curriculum and proven teaching methods.

For in-depth training on facilitation, students depend on the best efforts by commercial organizations (like ours), universities, and clubs/ associations. Frequently, the university certifications derive from trainers that also teach for us, or our competitors. No university can satisfy the rigorous requirements mentioned above (body of knowledge, testing, experience, requirements, etc.) without borrowing heavily on the knowledge codified by others, such as our MG RUSH Professional Facilitation curriculum, classroom immersion, practice, feedback, and testing.

Thousands of companies provide varying levels of certification for products and services they provide.  Motorola famously certified Green Belts, Black Belts, and Master Black Belts from its very own, Motorola University before the intellectual property for Six Sigma® was purchase by Underwriter’s Laboratories.  

Microsoft®, Oracle®, and hundreds of others in the Information Technology space continue to provide certification by product type and role. Needless to say, a certain cachet derives from branded certification that exceeds that of independent associations who are not privy to all the working parts of proprietary solutions.

There are various clubs/ associations that promote facilitation (in any of its many meanings) as a means to build community, share tips and techniques.  They generally promote whatever form of facilitation the local association/ club prefers.

Among commercial trainers, MG RUSH provides some of the most long-standing, recognized, and well-developed facilitation trainers and certifiers available. Our MG RUSH Professional Facilitation Reference Manual augments nearly one thousand documents, templates, and visual aids available online. Our alumni instantly access our body of knowledge, downloading agendas, tools, and methods. The integrated resources contain contributions by the trainers, students, and others who are continuously testing in the field. We also apply a soft test to the usefulness of our certification by mentions of our training in students’ resumes. With our longevity and deep content, students frequently include our certification in their CVs and Biographical Sketches.

Discover how our structured form of facilitation creates amazing results, proven to make you a better leader.

The competencies gained from our rigorous training are inspirational and practical, you will love the results. For information on claiming your educational units for the IBAA, PMI, or Scrum Alliance click here.

For a comparison of three Associations’ various core competencies for facilitation scroll down. We also demonstrate to what extent our MG RUSH Professional Facilitation curriculum covers the IAF core competencies. (MG RUSH does not provide IAF certification. Nor are we formally endorsed by IAF. For IAF certification guidelines, please visit their website.)

If you want, drop us a note and we’ll send you a table that compares over twenty facilitation certification organizations. We have compiled attributes such as:

  • Facilitation certification class pricing ranges from USD$11,000 (Ten Directions®) to $200 (Lego® Education)
  • Facilitation certification class durations range from one day (various) to sixteen days (UCLA—plus offsite reading and exercises).

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Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

Want a free 10-minute break timer? Signup for our once-monthly newsletter HERE and receive a timer along with four other of our favorite facilitation tools, free.


Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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