I have just completed my review for SFCT, the new professional body for SF consultants, coaches and trainers. This process is akin to an accreditation, but rather like a driving test – can you demonstrate competence at using SF ideas in your work? We have been trialling it since the launch of SFCT a couple of months ago, and the experience has been very interesting and positive for me.
The process starts by collecting documentation relating to a suitable piece of work – see here for the latest criteria. Basically it must cover at least nine customer contact hours – perhaps over a period of time. I chose a two-day workshop with a small art/craft-based business here in the UK, where they wanted to examine all kinds of aspects of their work. I collected information about the commissioning of the workshop, how we decided what to do, what actually happened, and some feedback from the customer. Most of this I already had – I added some personal reflections on how the event went, and also spent some time picking out ‘Clues’ – aspects of the work which showed it was solution-focused.
At this point I would have contacted the UK SFCT reviews co-ordinator – but that’s me! So, in my role as review co-ordinator, I identifed two suitable independent reviewers, Shaun Lincoln (UK) and Yasuteru Aoki (Japan). As lead reviewer, Shaun took over the process at this point. He and Aoki studied the documentation, and we have a telephone meeting where they asked me some supplementary questions. After that, the main part of the review was carried out – Shaun and Aoki had a ‘resource gossip’, where they discussed the work, what they liked about it, how it could be seen to be SF, good practice and other comments. They recorded this conversation and sent it to me. I listened carefully (basically a nice experience!) and added my comments on their reflections. The whole thing was then put up on my page at the SFCT website (http://www.asfct.org/markmckergow.php), where you can see it now, read about my work and the reviewers comments. And now I’m a full member of SFCT.
As we had hoped, this is an excellent learning experience for all involved, the candidate AND the reviewers. It does take some time and effort, but only needs to be done once in the first instance. It’s possible that, over time, people will want more than one piece of work reviewed, to show multiple aspects of their work. Having also been a reviewer, I can vouch for the fact that one learns a lot, and that a lot work has to be done by the reviewers as well!
We think that this process has some important advantages over more conventional training time based accreditations:
- It allows for lots of different interpretations of ‘what is SF’ – to fit different circumstances.
- It looks for competence in action, rather than simply training time
- The list of ‘SF Clues’ is a living and updating document – it is not, and can never been, finished
- The list of SF Clues is not a checklist – not all the clues need to be (or could be) observed in the same piece of work
You can read about the process in more detail at http://www.asfct.org/review.php. And when you’re ready to submit a piece of work to review, please contact me (if you’re in the UK) for an initial discussion. SFCT is also offering reviews in German, Swedish, Norwegian, French and Russian, with Japanese, Lithuanian, Dutch, Italian and Romanian coming soon, so you can be reviewed in your own language.