Facilitation is a profession rapidly taking its unique place in the world of management, consulting and training. More and more people facilitate or do their work in a facilitative way. I got into the world of Facilitation in 1994 doing my first RAD-projects. Workshops were a corew technsique in the approach and I stepped into the role of facilitator of those workshops not knowing really what to do. Over time I did hundreds of sessions in RAD and DSDM-projects and also outside projects or the IT-area. This part together with end user participation is the area I focused on in my Agile work.
The International Association of Facilitators was formed by a group of professionals desiring an avenue for interchange, professional development, trend analysis and peer networking. A formal association was proposed and adopted at a networking conference in Alexandria, Virginia, in January, 1994. More than 70 people signed on as charter members. Since then the IAF has grown to… over 1200 members in more than 63 countries. IAF-members work in government, non-profit, education, community, and corporate environments and hold positions as consultants, teachers, in-house facilitators, negotiators, organizational specialists, mediators, coaches, and more.
As a participatory organization, the work of the IAF is reliant on volunteer leadership and the contributions of its members. The IAF encourages and supports the formation of local groups of facilitators to network and provide professional development opportunities for their members. Regional groups from around the world are invited to become affiliated with the IAF to help promote the profession of facilitation as a critical set of skills in the global society of the 21st century.
If you like, check www.iaf-world.org and find the way to your local representative of the IAF. Also you can also find related information about becoming a Certified Professional Facilitator, a title I earned in the summer of 1998 in Edinbrough, Scotland.