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Attendees of the ICP Open Forum primarily discussed two major topics: the affordability and availability of assessments for lower level instructors and the difference between a regular certification and a provisional certification.
The cost of the workshops and assessments plus the cost of travel may be deterring many lower level instructors from participating in the program. One suggestion given was to offer Level 1 workshops and assessments at a reduced cost. Another suggestion was to offer scholarships for lower level instructors. The flip side of this argument was “if the program is going to keep validity and value, an investment must be made.” It was said that the costs incurred participating in the ICP program is significantly less compared to continuing education and certifications for many other professions.
What if a person makes the investment but does not do well at the assessment? Many attendees in the room admitted to being intimidated during their own assessment. Robin Walker said an evaluator must be able to look at the person in front of them and make a judgment call as to whether they have real depth of knowledge. He said he takes the sympathetic approach without dropping below the standard.
There was a suggestion to offer co-teaching clinics with certified instructors to help prepare non-certified instructors for assessments. Certified instructors were encouraged to get involved locally as hosts or as clinicians to make workshops, assessments, and clinics more widely available which would assist in offsetting travel expenses.
To get certified, an instructor must have three past or current students sign a document stating the instructor trained to the level they are trying to get certified. Because some instructors may have the knowledge and skill sets at the level but not the students, a provisional certification was made available. It was agreed that the term “provisional” misrepresents the purpose of this option and the title should be revised.
The provisional certification also does not stop a participant from teaching their friends a lesson and having them sign off. One evaluator said it is very uncomfortable when an instructor shows up with the paperwork signed, but the evidence of the skill level is not what they see during the assessment. There was also discussion as to whether proof of current students at the level is really needed. One person said education after the fact seems illogical while another said they would hate to see the checks and balances that come with experience get overlooked.
The room was reminded that what the program communicates to students is the key, and Co-Chair Sue Hershey expressed pleasure that people believed in the program itself and wanted to promote it.