ICA USA ToP Network Celebrates 25 Years of Facilitation!

2f95fff1-d009-4c12-ba91-bc91eb01674aOn January 8-10th at the ToP Annual Gathering the ICA USA ToP Network celebrated its 25th year. Held in Phoenix, Arizona the event allowed attendees to take stock on how far the Network has come since its inception and discuss where they would like to see it go in the future.

The gathering began and ended with a ToP Historical Scan, looking at all of the milestones of the previous 25 years. Each day as participants added more memories to it, the wall began to tell the story of the Network’s journey. The Scan created a way for old and new Network members alike to create a shared history. It also allowed closure on some parts of the history and set the stage for the Network and ICA to embark on a new journey together.

Sessions offered at the gathering were plentiful and thought-provoking. They centered around adding to one’s facilitation toolbox with innovative new facilitation techniques /application, or reporting on and moving forward the work of the Network. View a comprehensive list of the sessions offered in the programme.

920ee74e-4f2d-4817-919b-12349e38dd8cMany of the local practitioners in Arizona came and shared their use of the ToP methods in community -grounded work. This exciting new energy coupled with a plenary session leading Network members through an Image Shift exercise created a sense of a new chapter unfolding for the Network and the ICA.

Other highlights included a night out on the town in Phoenix, a celebration dinner that featured a performance by a network members band, a session led by colleagues who came in from Russia, and The Maricopa County Department of Public Health receiving the ToP Champion Award. ICA commends the conference organizing team and hosts in Phoenix for a wonderful and productive gathering.

Each year more people embark on the journey of becoming a Certified ToP Faciliator (CTF).  CTF is a rigorous certification for facilitators and assesses that the applicants meet or exceed these competencies. Applicants submit an extensive facilitation portfolio and are interviewed and assessed by a CTF assessment team. This year 7 new ToP practitioners received their CTF.

Becoming a qualified trainer is different than receiving your CTF. A CTF denotes ones competencies to facilitate using ToP methods, while becoming a trainer denotes your ability to hold courses and train others on how to facilitate using ToP methodology. The process is also a rigorous one and interested parties join as Apprentice Trainers, and are coached by a Mentor Trainers through the trainer journey, until they become a Qualified Trainer. This year, ICA and the ToP Network are excited to welcome 8 new Qualified Trainers.

This post was written for ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz, February 2016.