Advanced Facilitator Credential

Take your systems thinking skills to the next level

The Waters Center for Systems Thinking Advanced Facilitator Credential program is an intensive 1-year program that will advance your systems thinking skills, and develop your ability to facilitate systems thinking learning and utilize a systems thinking approach to coaching. Candidates are expected to enter the program with foundational systems thinking background and experience. Participants completing the program will have the opportunity to achieve two possible outcomes.

  • Waters Center Advanced Facilitator Credential indicates successful completion of all program expectations and a demonstrated advanced competence in all three competence areas: systems thinking, facilitating and coaching.
  • An Intern Facilitator Certificate indicates successful completion of all program expectations with some progress toward advanced competence.

The program design of the Advanced Facilitator Credential has three interdependent components:

  • Content: You will build your systems thinking capacity through content that includes the advanced knowledge and skills with the Habits of a Systems Thinker, tools and concepts of systems thinking.
  • Connections: You will connect systems thinking content to the advanced development of facilitator and coaching roles that deliver benefits to others eager to learn and develop as systems thinkers.
  • Community: You will be a member of a community of learners who will support, collaborate and hold one another accountable for ongoing learning, progress and outcome achievement.
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Program Expectations

  • Commitment to scheduled times including Professional Learning Workshops, Learning Team sessions and one-on-one scheduled coaching sessions
  • Commitment to regular ST application and practice throughout the credential process
  • Willingness to learn from and support one another
  • Willingness to share both successes and missteps with others
  • Commitment to utilize rubric assessment and reflection journal to monitor development of credential competencies

Credential Program Pricing

  • $3,200 per person
  • A limited number of partial scholarships are available.

Individuals who successfully earn a WCST Advanced Facilitator Credential will

  • Receive a certificate and digital badge ready to post on resumés, CVs and social media sites.
  • Have access to all WCST digital training materials and assets including slides, images, templates, agenda and other professional learning resources.
  • Maintain log-in access to the Credential Platform for facilitator and coaching resources.
  • Be able to request references or letters of recommendation from WCST team members for new work-related positions and promotions that support systems thinking facilitation and/or coaching.
  • Be eligible to work with WCST team members on shared contracts, grants and collaborative projects.
  • By request, receive marketing endorsements for their own systems thinking-related projects or grants.

All benefits of this credential will be in place for 3 years. After 3 years, individuals will be encouraged to participate in a 1-month renewal process to ensure the credential is up-to-date.

Credential Competencies

Systems Thinking Competencies

  1. Ability to introduce or explain systems thinking to a novice
  2. Ability to provide examples and apply all 14 Habits of a Systems Thinker to teaching, facilitation and coaching
  3. Ability to introduce/teach ST tools within a relevant and appropriate context
  4. Ability to spontaneously and appropriately apply a ST tool that models systems thinking connections during conversations in group meetings, dialogue sessions or professional learning workshops.
  5. Ability to address systems thinking misconceptions through effective reteaching, examples and modeling

Facilitator Competencies

  1. Ability to pose questions to groups that inspire reflection, challenge existing mental models and open up collaborative space for new perspectives and possibilities
  2. Ability to interact with groups of learners with respect, connectedness and appreciation of diverse needs and learning styles
  3. Ability to modify and adjust based on the needs of systems thinking learners
  4. Ability to use words and maps to accurately capture responses to questions, and debrief contributions
  5. Ability to incorporate or relate previously shared participant comments or ideas into instruction
  6. Ability to plan and develop online webinars, workshops, presentations and materials (resources) needed to support all learners

Coaching Competencies

  1. Ability to establish a coaching relationship that ensures trust, confidentiality and openness
  2. Ability to develop and pose well-timed, open-ended questions that help individuals apply the Habits of a systems thinker to an identified situation or focus
  3. Ability to listen with intent, resist the urge to chime in, and be able to accurately paraphrase what was said
  4. Ability to make conversations visible with systems thinking tools when appropriate
  5. Ability to plan for and evaluate progress based on specific coaching session outcomes
  6. Ability to design and apply reflective protocols to group coaching sessions that build collaborative coaching skills in others

Credential Program Activities included

  • Schedule of Professional Learning Sessions with embedded Learning Team Coaching time (each Professional Learning Session will incorporate team time with a Waters Center coach for reflection, planning and peer collaboration). Participants will be expected to share in the facilitation throughout as part of their credentialing preparation. A list of sessions can be found on the Agenda Page

    Fill out the Application to apply to Cohort 7 (October 2024 - September 2025) or the upcoming Australia/Asia Cohort (June 2024 - June 2025).

  • Learning Team membership for peer collaboration, critique, reflective coaching embedded time during scheduled scheduled workshops
  • One-on-one coaching sessions to be scheduled with your coach
    • A one-on-one coaching session will be scheduled each month with your Waters Center assigned coach (same as Team coach)
    • These sessions will include the development of a customized learning plan to help track progress toward successful achievement of program outcomes.
  • Readings, learning assignments & reflection journal
  • Assessments using the Waters Center for Systems Thinking Competency Rubric, paper-pencil assessment video submission and observations
  • Performance-based coaching, feedback & assessment – two evaluative sessions

Learning Support Materials & Resources

  • Toolkit will include:
    • Manual (includes assessment rubrics and protocols)
    • Habits cards (2 sizes)
    • Laminated Habits matrix
    • Facilitation manipulatives (slinky, frames, rubber band)
    • Laminated reusable templates with dry erase pen
    • Waters Center Journal
    • Post-it pads / mini post-its
  • Free access to Waters Center Online Workshops
  • Log-in to Cauzality
  • Access to Advanced Facilitator shared Google file and Padlet

Highly Recommended:

  • Thinking in Systems, Meadows
  • Systems 1, An Introduction to Systems Thinking, Draper & Morgan Kauffman
  • The Art of Coaching, Aguilar
  • Systems Thinking for Social Change, Stroh
  • The Systems Thinking Playbook, Meadows & Booth Sweeney
  • Articles on



  1. Baseline proficiency in systems thinking as evidenced by at least one of the following:
    • Documentation of in-person or virtual systems thinking course completion of at least 30 hours
    • One or more years actively applying systems thinking
  2. Recommended:
    • Completion of all Waters Center Thinking Tools Studio Courses

Application required to assess eligibility for participation.

Fill out the Application to apply to Cohort 7 (October 2024 - September 2025) or the upcoming Australia/Asia Cohort (June 2024 - June 2025).