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 facilitator 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.
- Association; e.g., Project Management Institute, Scrum Alliance, etc.
- Service Provider; e.g., Microsoft®, Oracle®, etc.
- University; e.g., Georgetown University, UCLA, etc.
First, consider the credibility of a 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 applications of the term facilitation. They 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:
- Body of knowledge (BoK), representing best practices and best of breed for industry standards
- Minimum level of practice with the certifiable skills and knowledge in appropriate, demonstration situations
- 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 (scroll down to see chart) but their requirements are more stringent. There are less than twenty INIFAC Certified Master Facilitators (CMF) worldwide in 2017.
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 (scroll down to see chart). Neither 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. Their current BoK includes Project Management Institute’s PMBok (Fifth Edition, 2013) 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.
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. The MG RUSH Professional Facilitation Reference Manual combines with nearly one thousand documents, templates, and visual aids available online. Students 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 alumni resumes. With our longevity and deep content, students frequently include our certification in their CVs or Biographical Sketches.
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 pricing: ranges from USD$11,000 (Ten Directions®) to $200 (Lego® Education)
- Facilitation certification class duration: ranging from one day (various) to sixteen days (UCLA—plus offsite reading and exercises).
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. The MG RUSH Professional Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology ensures you align to and support the various competencies of the IAF. For information on claiming your educational units for the IBAA, PMI, or Scrum Alliance click here.
Below we compare three Associations’ various core competencies for facilitation. Finally, we demonstrate to what extent our MG RUSH Professional Facilitation, Leadership, and Methodology curriculum takes the IAF core competencies and helps you become a newly certified, professional facilitator.