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Online SF Professional certificate

Online Solution Focused Business Professional course


The next online SF Business Professional, presented with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, will start on 21 March 2021.  The course runs over 16 weeks. It contains all the material covered in our flagship face-to-face training, including the latest developments in Mark's new 'SFBT 2.0' as well as our six Solutions Tools, working in individual, group and organisational settings, coaching practice and a project.  We've now run nine online programmes over since 2011, and the format has been a huge success, with some recent courses totally sold out. 

Download the PDF brochure

This course appeals to relatively experienced coaches, change agents, facilitators and consultants as well as managers who are seeking to build progress in tough situations (without hiring a consultant!). Our participants come around the globe, and you will end up with a new network of trusted colleagues as well as the very best in elegant change-building processes.  The course helps you really build an understanding not only of SF tools and techniques but also of how and why these ideas are effective, how to introduce them and the subtlities of combing these simple-looking tools in the complexities of real life organisational work. This is also currently the leading programme aimed at supporting you towards full membership of ASFiO, the professional body for SF coaches, consultants and managers in organisations.

"My confidence in using SF in organization setting has moved up significantly. I feel that I have all the skills and tools to handle assignments in demanding situations such as team coaching and organizational consulting."

Mark himself will be the course tutor, and places are limited to 20. It's a great way for managers, coaches and consultants worldwide to work with Mark and learn SF the very best way possible. Course fee is US $1595 (early bird - book at least a month in advance) or $1795 full price.  For booking go to the UWM website at http://uwm.edu/sce/courses/solution-focused-business-professional-certificate/

Each week there will be:

  • a topic to study and discuss together
  • one or two core readings (sometimes from our core text The Solutions Focus, sometimes from other places)
  • an exercise or activity to do - either with a cyber-partner, a friend or colleague, or even both
  • some addition optional readings or study material
  • several key questions to discuss in the course forum

We will also hold live telecalls for questions and discussion, about every fortnight on Sundays at times arranged with the participants. The first of these will be held at the start of the programme, to allow you the chance to say hello in person and discuss your hopes and goals for the course. Don't worry if you can't make it - the call will be recorded and you can listen later.

“I had not expected online learning to be so enjoyable! This has been my first experience and a really high standard of support is apparent - the relevant content, access to materials, opportunities to apply the learning, forum contributions, the regular meetings and facilitation by Mark have all contributed to such a positive learning experience.” - Spring 2017 SFBP participant

“You have many opportunities to apply the learning with fellow participants and in so doing develop closer friendships across an international community. Regular meetings with a world leader in SF and the course facilitator, Mark McKergow, is the icing on the cake.” - Spring 2017 SFBP participant

Course Project

As the course progresses, we will lead up to you doing a ‘project’ – something which you’re doing at work, or you are interested in, to really use and demonstrate your SF skills. Your 2000 – 3000 word report on this will constitute your final submission and completion of the course. The final submission date will be no later than two weeks after the formal end of the course. Many people find that, although it looks a bit daunting at first, this is a very achievable goal, and many find they write more than is strictly required!

Everyone on the last course managed to write something suitable. You may also be interested in taking your project forward for SFIO accreditation via peer review. There is no extra charge for this for SFIO members, details at the SFIO website http://sfio.org/home/be-involved-with-asfio/route-to-full-member/

“I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to amplify their understanding and practice of coaching, leading or managing, particularly if they wished to adopt a flexible, creative, positive and constructive approach to achieving positive change. The level of challenge and support, new ideas and practice is very effectively pitched.” - Spring 2017 SFBP participant

“One thing I noticed is how cleverly the course is constructed. The design allows you to build understanding and confidence in using the specific tools and through the coaching work to draw from that experience what the tools can achieve.” - Spring 2017 SFBP participant

Outline Program

Week 1: Introduction, what do we mean by Solution Focused
Week 2: SIMPLE principles and Tools introduction, what elseing and Affirm tool,
Possibilities from Past, Present and Future
Week 3: Future Perfect tool, and the difference between Future Perfects, goals and targets
Week 4: Platform tool and the Customer for Change
Week 5: Scaling and Counters tools
Week 6: Small actions and tougher platforms - where people don’t know or disagree
about what they want (plus start full-on coaching relationships between participants)
Week 7: Tools for teams
Week 8: SF and OD - organisational change contexts

Halfway check in and project setup, also change coaching relationships – over halftime break

Week 9: Inbetween, not individual - the Interactional View
Week 10: SF and Performance reviews/appraisals
Week 11: Solution Focused Reflecting Teams format
Week 12: SF and Leadership: Leader as Host
Week 13: Wittgenstein and narrative emergence
Week 14: Connections/differences with other approaches - NLP, Appreciative Inquiry, Positive Psychology, etc
Week 15: SF Evaluation
Week 16: Closing review - what’s better

Previous participants said...

"I have better knowledge and understanding of SF, both theoretical and practical, feel more confident in using the SF approach. Work seems less "heavy" when using SF, spending less time talking about problems"

“I’d say, ‘Don’t delay!’. I really found the course stimulating and endlessly fascinating. I was inspired by the brilliance of my fellow participants. The opportunity to read each other’s posts was invaluable.”

“I thought that I was quite good at coaching but now I feel more confident about how I can ask questions in the specific moment, jump between all the tools, and have also a deeper understanding about SF in general and compare to other ways of working with coaching. “

Requirements for the course

The course is open to all. This is a management course, and so some kind of position where you are managing, coaching, coaching managers, managing coaching, facilitating, consulting and so on will mean that you can put the learning into practice straight away.

You will need a copy of The Solutions Focus: Making Coaching Change SIMPLE by Paul Z Jackson and Mark McKergow ƒnd edition - purple cover). This is easily available from Amazon, and all other book sellers, via our books section. All other readings and materials will be provided.

You will need a computer connected to the internet. A Skype connection will also come in very useful for the coaching activities. The course telecalls use the GoToMeeting platform so there are no dial-in charges.


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