Solution-Focused Business Professional Certificate

The powerful and pragmatic Solution-Focused (SF) approach, originally developed for therapy, is now being used by organizations around the world. SF is a radically simple, effective and proven approach to change. SF is all about building on what’s working, not fixing what isn’t. It can help build progress in the toughest situation, even where other problem-solving methods fail to give traction.

In this 16 week online course, you’ll work directly with Solution Focus pioneer Mark McKergow. Through his expert instruction, you’ll gain full understanding of the SF approach, necessary tools for adopting SF practices and real-life applications for your new skills.

Important Note: This is an instructor-facilitated, online asynchronous course. You are required to have routine access to a computer with Internet (we highly recommend a high speed connection such as DSL or cable modem). Each week you will be given activities to complete, however within that scheduled week you will be able to complete the activities at your leisure. The required textbook is listed below and can be purchased at most local and online bookstores. All other course materials will be provided online.

Required Textbook:
The Solutions Focus: Making Coaching and Change SIMPLE
Paul Z. Jackson and Mark McKergow. London: Nicolas Brealey, 2007.
Note: Please ensure that you have the SECOND edition (purple cover) and not the older first edition (black cover).

This course can be applied to the Solution-Focused Business Professional Certificate.

Who Should Attend

  • Managers – learn how to quickly build positive change in a wide range of work settings, using the practical Solutions Tools model
  • Coaches – learn how to effectively use dialogue to build motivation, clarity and rapid action with even the most difficult customers
  • Consultants – be able to base everything from team challenges to strategic reviews in the positive and pragmatic power of what’s working already
  • Facilitators – find processes and tools to use with the most challenging groups

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Gain real insights into the SF approach at both practical and conceptual levels
  • Quickly build positive change in a wide range of work settings, using the six Solutions Tools
  • Know where to concentrate your efforts to be most effective by using the six SIMPLE principles
  • Tackle projects and difficult assignments with confidence as a manager, coach, consultant or leader
  • Demonstrate your competence in building solutions in one-on-one and group settings
  • Practice a methodology with wide applicability – to individuals, teams and whole organizations, in all kinds of contexts
  • Build on your coaching skills and tackle a real workplace project using the SF approach
  • Develop a ‘piece of work’ for international review and accreditation from SFCT (optional)

Course Outline/Topics

  • Week 1 (3.5hrs):  Introduction: What Do We Mean by Solution-Focused?
  • Week 2 (3hrs):  SIMPLE Principles and Tools Introduction: Elseing and Affirm Tool, Possibilities from Past, Present and Future
  • Week 3 (3hrs):  Future Perfect Tool, and the Difference between Future Perfects, Goals and Targets
  • Week 4 (3hrs):  Platform Tool and the Customer for Change
  • Week 5 (3hrs):  Scaling and Counters Tools
  • Week 6 (3hrs):  Small Actions and Putting the Tools Together (Plus Start Full-On Coaching Relationships between Participants)
  • Week 7 (3hrs):  Tools for Teams
  • Week 8 (4hrs):  SF and OD: Organizational Change Contexts / Mid-Point Check-In
  • Week 9 (3hrs):  In Between, Not Individual: The Interactional View, Emergence and Complexity
  • Week 10 (3hrs):  SF and Performance Reviews/Appraisals
  • Week 11 (3hrs):  SF Reflecting Teams in Action
  • Week 12 (3hrs):  SF, Leadership and the Leader as Host
  • Week 13 (3hrs):  Wittgenstein and Narrative Emergence
  • Week 14 (3hrs):  Connections/Differences with Other Approaches: NLP, Appreciative Inquiry, Positive Psychology, etc.
  • Week 15 (3hrs): Solution-Focused Evaluations
  • Week 16 (3.5hrs):  Closing Review: What’s Better?


You will receive an email the week prior to the start date of the class with instructions for setting up your username and password for the online course.

I discovered new materials and writings, six new training exercises and I developed some of my own, too.

— SFBP Participant

I now have all the skills and tools to handle assignments in demanding situations like team coaching and organizational consulting.

— SFBP Participant

Online, course available Oct. 25, 2015-Feb. 28, 2016

Location: Online

Instructor: Mark McKergow


$1,495 if you register by Sun., Oct. 11.
$1,795 if you register after Sun., Oct. 11.

CEUs: 5

Enrollment Limit: 20

Program Number: 7710-8303

Note: Approved for 50 (HR (General)) recertification credit hours toward California, GPHR, HRBP, HRMP, PHR, and SPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute

Registration Deadline: Sun., Oct. 18

Register Now