SD Certification

Certification means more than simply attending a seminar

Certification to legitimize competency in the models covered in SPIRAL DYNAMICS® programs is important. The material, including assessments, theory and applications, is too complex and difficult to be acquired through superficial glimpses or wishful thinking. Merely sitting through a seminar is no assurance of understanding, so we have instituted a process for students to demonstrate their understanding of the model and underlying theory. This is a relatively new approach and, while inconvenient for some, is the only way we have of cross-checking competence with the point of view.

There is a growing number of people who claim to be “experts” with the Graves Theory or in “Spiral Dynamics”, often based on reading the very limited publicly available publications or attending an abbreviated introduction. Spin-offs have diluted the material and distracted from its refinement. While some of these people are doing useful work, others are not because their sources are so far removed from the original work so as to be almost nonsensical, their reinterpretations baseless, and many claims absurd. The potential client seeking help with SPIRAL DYNAMICS® tools needs a way to tell the difference and not to fall into the trap of slick talk, mighty egos, and grandiose promises.

People who want to represent themselves as authorities on Graves’s models and the Spiral models need to understand the specifics of this point of view in some depth before they begin flying the flag—even when they have strong credentials in other areas. We have found that a background in other fields, even in psychology-related ones, is no guarantee that this point of view makes sense to someone, or that they can convey it reliably to others. The theory predicts that people at different levels will understand and apply it accordingly, regardless of their intelligence or experience.

Thus, many of NVCC’s SPIRAL DYNAMICS® resources are available only to people who have completed our certification courses so as to protect the work from abuse, misuse, and exploitation. Too much bizarre stuff and nonsense is now trying to lay claim to Gravesian roots in places ranging from consultants in the Netherlands to spiritual cults in the U.S. Some items are further limited to those who have completed the certification process.

Even though we can’t monitor the performance of independent practitioners, we do make an effort to ensure that our materials are provided only by people who have sought out a basic level of theoretical understanding and agreed to certain ethical standards. We wish we could say that is universally true, and appreciate being informed if there is questionable use.

We will be listing many of the people who’ve completed full certification training on the People page of the Resources section. If you have a question about whether a specific person claiming to be affiliated with us has attended our training or a certification course, please call or email us for confirmation. A more rigorous path to certification is now underway and will be noted soon.