1999: Beginning of the Project

Finding movement

Photo: © Rosalie O'Connor 2005-2007. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission, courtesy of FGNA.

June 28, 2005 - 1:51pm -- Rob Black

The IFF began developing and evolving the ideas of developing practitioner Competency since the Assembly in Baltimore in 1999. In the years prior to this Assembly, the IFF investigated many practitioner issues which came together into the intent of developing Competency and Quality. The Assembly identified the following:

Articulate core of competencies

1. Move quickly forward to unify a good organized community with high standards;

2. Develop a common form that acknowledges that there needs to be variation in different countries;

3. Clarify whether competence is or involves: levels, essence, minimums (base level), or all three.


  1. IFF start now in collaboration with all the Guilds to complete a competence development process. (Go fast but don't hurry).
  2. Look at other professions, approaches.
  3. Utilize the resources identified in this Assembly; for example: "Berufsbild" (vocational profile developed by the German Gilde), IFF Standards of Practice, Moshe's books and training materials, and trainers.
  4. Explore how the process can take formation in a Feldenkrais way. Specific examples for a process of developing competencies:
    1. Gather all the ideas that came out of the process that pertain to competencies: find ways of measuring or observing and assessing — what are the important elements, work out different possibilities and processes for assessment at different moments.
    2. Develop a list of measurable or observable sensory adjectives for competence.
    3. There are several philosophies to assessment:
      1. Do we treasure only one way?
      2. Do we have several forms of assessment that are equal?
      3. Can they be integrated or are they separate?

(from: 1999 Assembly Report. printed in IFF Newsletter)

Following the Assembly, the Board of the IFF began drawing resources together to work on these ideas in order to inspire interest and awareness in IFF representatives as well as practitioners. Among other activities, a cornerstone paper was written by Cliff Smyth titled, "Competence in the Feldenkrais Community: An Introduction" (printed in the January, 2000 IFF Newsletter). This paper continues to be an excellent introduction to the questions. Other considerations regarding developing Quality were also in development, for example "QUALITY: Competency's sister: Giving Competency a Bigger frame" by Daniel Clénin (also in the January, 2000 IFF Newsletter)