- What makes INIFAC’s certification unique?What are some benefits of becoming a CMF®? (recognized as among the world’s elite facilitators, camaraderie with other CMF®s, marketing on website and in social media)
- What certifications does INIFAC offer?
INIFAC founded and supports the following certifications for facilitators: Certified Master Facilitator® Certified Skilled/Competent Facilitator®, Certified Master Learning Facilitator™, Certified Learning Facilitator®, Certified Advanced Virtual Facilitator™ and Certified Virtual Facilitator®.
Why would I want to become a ______
What is the difference between a _______ and a __________
- How do I become certified with INIFAC as a Certified Master Facilitator®, a Certified Skilled Facilitator™, a Certified Learning Facilitator®, a Certified Advanced Virtual Facilitator™, and/or a Certified Virtual Facilitator®?To become a Certified Master Facilitator® requires you submit four items for review and assessment. Below you will find a simple explanation of the four items. For the interested CMF® candidate, we highly recommend you thoroughly read the requirement details. A. You must document a minimum of 30 distinct facilitated sessions over the three-year period prior to application. (Certified Competent Facilitators® and Certified Professional Facilitators received credit for 15 sessions.) B. You must submit reference letters from a minimum of five clients. C. You must provide a written submission that responds to questions about your knowledge and experience across each of the 30 sub-competencies that make up the Master Facilitator Competencies. D. You must submit a written facilitator guide and a video of you facilitating a session based on a topic and specific participant role plays provided by INIFAC. Two INIFAC-certified assessors will assess and review your certification package.
- What is the difference between facilitation and leadership?
Short answer: neutrality
- What is a learning facilitator?
Learning Facilitators specialize in creating an appropriate environment for learners to feel comfortable to consider new ideas and are not threatened by external factors. The facilitator helps learners learn at their own pace and in a way that is relevant and personal to them. Learning facilitation is less about presenting or lecturing, and more about allowing participants to find their own information and answers with minimum guidance. Often participants will learn through trial and error during the session while the learning facilitator is very hands off. That requires the learning facilitator to have full trust, faith and confidence in the participants and their ability to find the right answers.
- How was INIFAC founded?
The International Institute for Facilitation (INIFAC) was created in 2003 when five facilitators came together to develop a certification program at the master’s level that would achieve several objectives: Define a set of facilitator competencies and sub-competencies, with input from facilitators and clients, which define the knowledge and skills needed to achieve outstanding facilitated sessions. Establish the highest degree of rigor and consistency available by implementing defined scoring guidelines for each competency and sub-competency. Promote the highest standard available for facilitator quality by requiring an 80% or higher assessment score in each competency. Following a review of existing competency models, the initiating team developed a draft of competencies and sub-competencies specifically designed to define the knowledge and skills needed to achieve outstanding facilitated sessions. To gain additional input on competencies, the initiating team commissioned a research project that included a survey of over 450 facilitators and clients. The survey requested participants to 1) respond to the definition of an outstanding facilitated session, 2) identify the facilitator skills needed to achieve an outstanding facilitated session, and 3) rate the importance of 57 skills in achieving an outstanding facilitated session. Using the input gathered, the initiating team redrafted the competencies by dropping some, adding others and modifying many. The result is the “Master Facilitator Competencies” with six competencies and 30 sub-competencies. From this initial start, four of the five members of the initiating team went on to become Board members for the International Institute for Facilitation.
Certification Requirement FAQ’s
- What are the Experience List Requirements?
A candidate for Certified Master Facilitator® must serve as the primary facilitator for 30 “distinct” facilitated sessions with a minimum of five different project sponsors from a minimum of five different organizations, 10 different project sponsors.
CCF® and CSF™
A candidate for CCF® or CSF™ must serve as the primary facilitator for 7 “distinct” facilitated sessions with a minimum of five different project sponsors from a minimum of three different organizations.
A candidate for Certified Master Learning Facilitator™ must serve as the primary facilitator for 30 “distinct” facilitated sessions with a minimum of five different project sponsors from a minimum of five different organizations, 10 different project sponsors.
A candidate for Certified Learning Facilitator® must serve as the primary facilitator for 7 “distinct” facilitated sessions with a minimum of five different project sponsors from a minimum of three different organizations.
A candidate for Certified Advanced Virtual Facilitator™ must serve as the primary facilitator for 7 “distinct” facilitated sessions with a minimum of five different project sponsors from a minimum of three different organizations.
- Do I receive credit if I am already a certified facilitator?
A current CLF®, CCF®, CSF™ or CAVF™ will receive credit for the 10 sessions submitted to certify, as long as the application for CMF® or CMLF™ is submitted within the required time frame.
Facilitators who have received the Certified Professional Facilitator™ designation from the International Association of Facilitators receive credit for 10 sessions for CMF® and 7 sessions for CCF®.
- What is the Valid Duration of Experience?
The experience requirement can be met based on sessions completed over the three-year period immediately preceding the date of your application.
- What about Virtual Sessions?
If more than 50% of the attendees are not in the same room as the facilitator, the location listed on the application should indicate “Virtual”.
Virtual sessions will be considered for those applying for CMF®, CCF®, CSF™, CMLF™, CLF® and CAVF™. Only 15 of the required 30 sessions submitted by the candidate may be virtual. If applying for CCF®, CSF™, or CLF® 4 of the required 7 sessions may be virtual. For CAVF™ applications, ALL of the sessions are required to be virtual.
A virtual session is defined as:
- Involving at least 5 people in addition to the facilitator.
- Including both audio AND video, in which all participants are observable for the full length of the video session.
Virtual sessions must meet all other requirements of a “distinct” facilitated session
- What is the Definition of a Primary Facilitator?
- A primary facilitator leads 100% of the discussions/dialog with the client and contributes 100% to the design of the session.
- The primary facilitator leads the group for 100% of the facilitated sections of the submitted sessions.
- Session must meet the definition of “distinct.”
Primary Facilitator with Multiple Facilitators
In cases of multiple facilitators in a session, the candidate would be considered the "primary" facilitator if:
- The candidate is leading the group for 50% or more of the facilitated sections of the session.
- If there are more than two facilitators, the requirement is that 40% or more of the facilitated sections of the session must be facilitated by the candidate.
- The candidate leads the discussions/dialogue with the client and contributes 50% or more to the design of the session.
- The session must meet the definition of “distinct.”
A maximum of 10 co-facilitated sessions of the required 30 sessions is allowed for evaluation purposes.
- What is the Definition of a Distinct Facilitated Session?
Efforts have been made to provide parameters to consistently define whether a session should qualify as one session or multiple sessions. Though the parameters may appear arbitrary, an attempt has been made to establish criteria that in the typical case would define “distinct” sessions.
A distinct facilitated session must meet the following five criteria:
- last at least 90 minutes and
- include a minimum of five participants, not counting the facilitator and
- result in a shared deliverable (e.g., action list, decision, priorities, next steps) created by participants through collaborative interaction and
- involve the participants speaking at least 2/3rds of the time and
- involve the facilitator leading the session by guiding participants through each agenda item.
Example: a session with three people or a session lasting one hour would not be considered distinct facilitated sessions for the purposes of this certification process.
The typical presentation or training class would NOT be considered a distinct facilitated session because the participants generally speak less than 2/3rds of the time, and the participants generally don’t create a shared product as a result of the session.
One session - multiple days
A session with essentially the same participants over multiple days would be considered a single session, unless there is at least a 24-hour break between the end of one session and the start of another.
Example: a session from 8:30 to 5:30, three days in a row would be considered one distinct facilitated session. A session every Monday 8:30 to 5:30 for 3 weeks would be considered three distinct sessions.
Multiple sessions - on the same day
Multiple sessions on the same day – with similar or different agendas - would be considered a single session unless the new attendees in the subsequent session made up at least 50% of the audience.
Example: a session in the morning with 7 managers, followed by a session in the afternoon which included the 7 managers, and 3 employees (30% new) would be considered one distinct session. However, if the second session had the 7 managers and 13 employees (65% new), it would be considered a second distinct session.
- What is the Definition of a Project Sponsor and Organization?
A project sponsor is defined as the person of highest authority responsible for the outcome of the session.
- To achieve 10 different project sponsors, you must count only one sponsor per session.
- Project sponsors who are no longer with their organization can still be indicated if current contact information is provided.
- If the project sponsor cannot be located, a different contact name can be provided if that person (a) was a participant in the session or (b) is currently with the sponsoring organization and is knowledgeable about the session.
An organization is defined as a distinct legal entity. Facilitating sessions with five different departments or divisions of the same corporation would count as only one organization but would satisfy the requirement for “five different departments within one or more organizations.”
At the federal government level, each agency can be considered a distinct legal entity.
- What is the Mission and Purpose of INIFAC?
The mission of the International Institute for Facilitation is to advance mastery in facilitation that helps individuals, groups and organizations around the world achieve collaborative results.
We offer support to Fortune 500 companies, government organizations, nonprofits and others with our Partners in Facilitator Development program, which certifies internal facilitators at the highest level.
The Find a Facilitator section of our site allows anyone to search for and find all levels of our certified facilitators across the globe.
- What’s the benefit of getting your CVF®?
During this time of the world going virtual, the CVF® enhances professional credibility. You are letting others know you have demonstrated the skills, knowledge, and understanding to facilitate virtual meetings. With this certification, you join a growing group of facilitating professionals.
- What are the criteria for obtaining the CVF® credential?
The CVF® assessment scores against INIFAC’s six facilitator competencies, including; Presence, Assessment, Communication, Control, Consistency, and Evaluation. The candidate must score 57 out of 69 to pass.
- What are the virtual facilitation experience requirements for applicants?
There are no requirements or pre-work required for your CVF® application. To ensure you receive of 57 or more out of 69, we suggest having facilitated several virtual meetings and receiving a positive response for the participants who attended.
- What knowledge do I need to bring to the 30 min interview?
The CVF® assessment scores against INIFAC’s six facilitator competencies, including; Presence, Assessment, Communication, Control, Consistency, and Evaluation.
We measure your video quality and bandwidth against industry standards and ask you to show 1-2 slides that you might typically use during your virtual facilitation, confirming the level of quality of your presentations.
During the 30-minute interview will also be asked a series of questions relate to:
- The types of virtual platforms you use to facilitate meetings.
- How you manage technology and meeting tools for yourself and others during a meeting.
- Ground rules specific for virtual meetings.
- Your use of commonly used platform tools.
- Techniques for keeping people engaged during a meeting.
- Facilitation techniques for opening and closing a meeting and moving through an agenda.
- Facilitation techniques used during a meeting.
- When will I get the results of my assessment?
Within 1-2 business days, INIFAC’s Executive Director will email your score sheet, and if you score 57 or more out of 69, you will receive a CVF® digital badge to include in your signature line.
- Do I have to renew my CVF® after a year?
There is no renewal for CVF®. Once you pass, you are a CVF® for life.
- What do I need to bring to the interview?
First and foremost, your best self! During the 30-minute interview, you will be asked to show 1-2 slides that you might typically use during your virtual facilitation confirming the level of quality of your presentations. We recommend being prepared to demonstrate some of the tools typically used on the meeting platform, i.e., screen sharing, chat box, polling, whiteboard, and annotation (sketch in Google Hangout, Freehand in Microsoft Teams).
- Do I have to use a specific platform for the CVF® interview?
You can use any platform you feel most comfortable using. You send a meeting invite to your assessor, and the interview is conducted from your link. Some common platforms candidates are using are; Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Acrobat Connect, WebEx, Bluejean, and Skype.
- Is the certification process for the CMF® and CCF® similar to the CVF® process?
No, they are not similar. The CMF® and CCF® certification process requires references, an experience list, a completed written application, and a video assessment. The CVF® does not require any pre-work and only involves a 30-minute interview with an assessor.
- As a CVF®, will my name be listed on INIFAC’s website?
Yes. We want to help you promote your credential.
- How was the CVF® created?
CVF® was created based on INIFAC’s set of researched international facilitation competencies. Several Certified Master Facilitator®s, who regularly facilitate virtual meetings and advise others on how to facilitate, formed a committee to create the process.
- Is the CVF® assessment conducted in any other language?
CVF® is conducted in English and Chinese. We are hoping to have it offered in Spanish soon.