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Welcome to Facilitation Stories, where we discover how facilitators ended up in the profession, and how facilitation methods, principles and techniques are used more widely. Brought to you by IAF England and Wales. For more information on our chapter, click here.

Nov 9, 2021

In this episode, Pilar interviews Helene Jewell CPF about her experience of going through the CPF Certification Process as someone already experienced in facilitation.

Helene has been working for 7/8 years as a freelancer, with a background in international development and Speech and Language Therapy where she started doing training and working with groups.

Pilar asks Helene what she did to develop and continue learning before becoming certified. 

Helene talks about the ICA UK training courses and other training courses she has been on, networking with other facilitators, IAF meet ups and conferences (Helene is the Chair of the IAF England and Wales board), structured learning and finding out from others and watching other facilitators.

Helene talks about a growing awareness of what CPF is, that initially cost put her off and that being around others who have done it have nudged her forwards. She was encouraged by Simon Wilson, and Trevor Durnford (who mentored her through the IAF mentoring scheme). She also talks about her growing confidence that she would be able to do it and initially being scared she wouldn’t pass.

Pilar asks what Helene's commitment to the process was.

Helene explains how she didn't have an accreditation as quite a generalist facilitator - while this wasn’t something clients had ever asked about, she felt more and more like she needed to “get on with it”.

Helene explains the online certification process. She went through it in July 2021. The process included pre-work before the assessment day, forms to fill in and detailed reflections on past pieces of work.

The process helped Helene to think about things she could’ve done better, and about tackling things that had gone wrong and how she dealt with it. She also talks about having to focus on the IAF competencies and what they all mean and working through them to understand them better.

Pilar asks about the other aspects of the assessment

Helene talks about the dedicated assessor acting as a client doing an interview and then the practical assessment and the further interviews on the day. There were participants who were CPFs from all around the world which was one of the benefits of it being online.

A few months on, has anything changed?

Helene talks about sharing the fact she is a CPF with people, the feeling of responsibility of doing a good job, the recertification in 4 years and monitoring herself against the formal framework. She has recently done some work with Lee Button CPF and they both gave each other feedback with this in mind.

To wrap up, Helene talks about co-facilitation and doing more co-facilitation and collaborating with other facilitators in the last 18 months being online, and how this is important for developing facilitation practise.  Pilar suggests that in future Facilitation Stories could do an episode on co-facilitation - what do you think, dear listener/reader?

You can find Helene at helene@jewellfacilitation OR

Contact Facilitation stories on Twitter: @Fac_stories or visit our website:

You can find Pilar on twitter @PilarOrti