What do I need for certification?

“The solution-focused model is easy to learn but hard to do, not because it is complicated or difficult to learn, but because it requires a disciplined mind-set and skill to remain simple.”

Insoo Kim Berg

Guidelines for Examination by Member Institutes

Trainees’ examinations can be incorporated into the training process and scheduled during the training schedule; however in this case, the time needed for completing exams must then be added to the 150 hours of training required for the certification at each level. Examinations may also be conducted separately from the scheduled training schedule.


For each level, the examinee shall be able to demonstrate a level-appropriate degree of understanding and skill regarding the Solution-Focused skills and specific techniques listed below.

The trainee shall be able to use those techniques within the wider Solution-Focused framework of working with the client’s own understanding of their situation. The trainee will always strive to form a working alliance, hold a respectful attitude and show curiosity and interest for the clients’ situation and circumstances.

Solution-Focused Specific Techniques

1. Understand, demonstrate and apply principles of Solution Development.

The trainee will be able to demonstrate knowledge and aptitude in the principles of SFBT, including not-knowing, focus on solutions, being interested in resources and believing in the client and their possibility of change.

2. Understand and use Solution-Focused Questions and interview techniques.

The Trainee will be able to demonstrate competence in using and following up a variety of Solution-Focused questions including:

  • Scaling questions
  • Solution-Focused Coping Questions
  • Exception Questions
  • Goal Development Questions
  • The Miracle Question
  • Solution-Focused Safety Question – Trainees will be able to demonstrate the solution-focused safety question as described, for example, by de Shazer & Dolan, 2006, in More than Miracles
  • Questions aimed to follow up and amplify change happening between sessions, for example using the EARS model

3. Solution-Focused compliments, acknowledgment and validation.

The trainees will be able to formulate and deliver contextually appropriate compliments, acknowledgment and validation.

4. Solution-Focused homework assignments

The trainees will be able to formulate and deliver situation appropriate homework assignments and follow up on changes during further sessions.


The bigger picture and background to the Solution-Focused model
Trainees must demonstrate the ability to differentiate the Solutions-Focused model from other approaches and also to relate it to other approaches. The trainee must be able to differentiate the Solution-Focused model from other relevant theories and approaches in the context of the trainee’s professional circumstances and demonstrate the ability to integrate both into the Solution-Focused framework.

Attitude & Context
Trainees must demonstrate an ability to create and work within a respectful, non-blaming, creative and co-operative relationship. Including the use of positive reframing.

Relationship & Interaction
Trainees must be able to use systematic, dialogical, creative and situational (carpe diem) interaction that opens different perspectives and possibilities (co-construction).

Trainees must be able to appropriately utilize and enhance hope, engagement and positive emotions.
Trainees must be able to activate and mobilize client’s and other local skills, resources, knowledge and experiences, demonstrate an ability to focus on what already works and what is already achieved in relation to clients goals and visions.

Ideals & Goals
Trainees must be able to ask into the visions, hopes and ideals of the client in order to help clients form well-formed goals. Trainees will be able to support the client’s progress by defining small actionable steps, providing appropriate tasks and suggestions.

Problems & Safety
Trainees will demonstrate an ability to allow appropriate time for clients to express worries and troubles. Trainees will also be expected to explore serious danger, harm and risks and ensure safety for all involved in these situations, and to help clients do something different in problem situations to progress towards their goals

Ending work & Evaluation
Trainees will be able to demonstrate an ability to reflect, evaluate and end the working process appropriately. They will be able to develop own Solution-Focused work and skills and the specific techniques for this.