IFS Certification Policy

IFSI Certification Map 5-1-23Internal Family Systems Certification Policy (May 1, 2023)

The Revised Certification Policy was created with the assistance of a full Certification Committee consisting of a panel of experienced IFS-I Trainers. Our goal was both to modernize the Certification process (goodbye physical mail!) and also to ensure clear, and globally-applicable standards for IFS expertise. This change brings additional benchmarks to ensure applicants have enough time after their Level 1 Training for IFS skills to be fully integrated.
Download PDF at this link - IFS Certification Process Mapped (CLICK HERE).

If you're looking to move forward with Certification, make sure to reach out to us at [email protected] to establish candidacy and purchase all materials after your Level 1 Training. You can begin the process after Level 1 Completion, but pre-screening is required.



Certified IFS Therapist

To apply to become a Certified IFS Therapist an applicant must attest that:

  1. The applicant has earned a Masters degree in a Human Services field or any other appropriate mental health degree as defined by their country of practice, and
  2. Is licensed, registered and/or certified for clinical practice in their country of residence.

Certified IFS Practitioner

To apply to become a Certified IFS Practitioner requires:

  1. An individual is registered or certified in their own field of practice. Professional scope of practice is determined by the individual’s professional background prior to IFS certification, including for applicants located in countries without registration systems.



The applicant must fulfill all five requirements listed below.


Requirement 1: Successful completion of either

One (1) Level 1 and (1) Level 2 IFS Training Program OR

One Level (1) and completing (1) Level 1 as a Program Assistant 

(Completion defined as having earned the relevant Certificate of Completion.)


Requirement 2: Documentation showing minimum 2 years and 200 hours of post- IFS Level 1 regular IFS practical application in applicant’s relevant field of practice.

This must be confirmed and signed off on by your IFS-I Approved Clinical Consultant. IFS-I Approved Clinical Consultants may request that you ask for a note confirming your practice from a supervisor or co-worker if additional verification is required. 

Note: 200 hours and 2 years is the minimum time, not maximum time.

Requirement 3: Documentation of 30 hours of IFS Continuing Education and IFS Clinical consultation, as noted below:

15 hours of IFS Continuing Education Credits AND

15 hours of IFS Clinical consultation with an IFS Approved Clinical Consultant (7 hours must be individual consultation; 6 participants per group max)

Requirement 4: IFS-I Approved Clinical Consultant Recommendation

IFS-I Approved Clinical Consultants- Find an updated list of current IFS Approved Clinical Consultants on the IFS Directory.

Applicant must arrange for Consultant(s) to:

  • Sign off on 2 years and minimum of 200 hours of IFS direct hours 
  • Confirm completion of the required consultation hours
  • Observe the applicant in live or recorded session, demonstration or role play
  • Complete the required consultant forms and make a recommendation for certification

Requirement 5: Recorded Session Review or Live Session Review 

Recorded and Live Session Certification Reviewers

Recorded and Live Sessions are reviewed by currently active IFS Lead, Co-Lead, or AT Trainers who are Certification Reviewers and are also qualified to review video and live sessions

Find an updated list of IFS Certification Video Reviewers here: https://ifs-institute.com/trainings/ifs-certification/ifs-certification-reviewers 

  • Applicants must send to a Certification Reviewer a good quality recording of a session approximately 45-60 minutes with an individual in the framework of an IFS work session OR schedule a time when the Reviewer can join for a live IFS session of the same length. 
  • Flat rate of $200 for up to 60 minute video session review to be paid to Certification Reviewer directly.

For both the Recorded and Live Session Reviews, the applicant must provide:

  • A One-page summary describing the context and/or contract about the scope of the IFS work process/session
  • A One-page summary detailing the skills and aspects of the IFS model exemplified
  • A One-page Self-evaluation of the applicant's own growing edges as well as their strengths in the session(s). This could take the form of a Self and Parts self-assessment to describe how the applicant maintains and identifies their own Self energy in the session, and how they work with their therapist parts that may be triggered

Video Review Details:

  • If video exceeds 60 minutes, additional fees will be prorated to $200 rate. Applicant must confirm additional fees with Certification Reviewer prior to sending video over 60 minutes
  • If the recorded session takes place in a language other than English, Applicant must ensure video includes English subtitles (Happyscribe recommended for subtitling) unless Reviewer is fluent in language of applicant
  • Dual personal relationships are not permitted between the applicant and their Certification Reviewer (applicant cannot use their consultant as their Video Reviewer)
  • Feedback of the video session will be provided by the Certification Reviewer in the form of a brief note in writing listing strengths and growing edges
  • Additional requests for debrief will be charged at Certification Reviewer’s agreed hourly rate

Recorded and Live Session Evaluation and Feedback

  • The Certification Reviewer will assess the skill level of the applicant according to the lists of competencies below with the required evaluation form provided in the application materials. If the applicant does not satisfy the required competencies, they will be required to submit another video session or do another live session with the same Certification Reviewer. If the applicant is assessed on two occasions to not be ready for Certification, the Reviewer will make recommendations for additional consultation or training, according to certification standards. For the 3rd review, applicants have the opportunity to choose a new Certification Reviewer. After the 3rd attempt, we recommend applicants determine a 1 year learning plan based on feedback received prior to their next video review.
  • All decisions of the Reviewer are final. A new video must be submitted for each new review.

Recorded or Live Session Review Competencies List

An applicant is required to demonstrate the following competencies for successful Recorded or Live Session Review (See Certification Review form for full list):

  • Therapist demonstrates Self Energy throughout session(s) and claims own parts’ interference if needed
  • Listens to presenting problem and identifies key parts involved
  • Contracts to work on target part(s)
  • Extends /increases client’s Self Energy to target part
  • Demonstrates the 6 “F”s
  • Direct Access, if needed or development of relationship between Self and part
  • Addresses fears of protectors
  • Identifies and attends to all active protectors
  • Facilitates client to unblend  
  • Acknowledging and building relationship with Exiles
  • Progresses in the Six Steps of Healing at least through to Witnessing the Exile 
  • Unburdening encouraged, but not required due to time constraints*
  • Facilitates expression of appreciation to parts from Self
  • Closes the session safely
  • Applicant must progress through 6 Steps of healing at least through to witnessing the exile (unburdening, invitation not always required if time does not allow) 

The Reviewer will also be cognizant of the demonstration of any of the following, or of any unspecified competencies within the model:

  • Assesses external constraints
  • Contracts with Exiles to not overwhelm (if needed)
  • Switches to new target part if necessary
  • Introduces the model (if applicable)
  • Works with Polarized parts


Recertification is required every two years. Proof of completion of 20 hours of IFS Continuing Education OR 10 hours of IFS Continuing Education Credits plus 10 hours of Clinical Consultation within the two year time period is required, as well as the Recertification payment.

For more information on Recertification see the Recertification Requirements page.

A Certified IFS Practitioner or Therapist must recertify within 30 days of the expiration of his/her original expiration date as listed on his/her Certification.

  1. When an individual’s Certification expires, all the privileges of certification as listed are discontinued.
  2. Individuals who also meet requirements as an IFS Approved Clinical Consultant must maintain a valid Certification to maintain their designation as an IFS Approved Clinical Consultant and for their Consultation hours to meet Certification requirements for any Certification applicant.
  3. If an expired Certified IFS Therapist or Practitioner does not apply for recertification within one (1) year of the expiration of his/her prior Certification, then 30 hours of IFS Continuing Education Credits are required     
  4.  If an individual has not recertified within 2 years of expiration, they must submit a new Certification application that meets the current Certification policy requirements as defined above.


  1. Priority listing on the IFS Institute Directory
  2. Authorization to call oneself a Certified IFS Therapist or Certified IFS Practitioner on business cards, flyers, biographical sketches, curriculum vitae, resumes, etc.
  3. Can request for advanced IFS programming to be reviewed for IFS Continuing Education Credits towards recertification
  4. Certain rights and responsibilities of use over IFS Intellectual Property within the framework of IFS-I policies and with respect to IFS-I trademarks 
  5. Potential for growth with the Institute- For IFS Certified Therapists: First step on pathway to becoming an Approved IFS Clinical Consultant or moving towards the Trainer Track


  1. Fees are subject to change.
  2. Certification Fees: $200 fee ($50 application fee; $150 Certification fee)
  3. Video and Live Session Review Fee: $200 for a session up to 60 minutes and prorated to $200 rate if longer than 60 minutes, plus any applicable Certification Reviewer travel expenses or video subtitling translation fees (Happyscribe Recommended) if applicable, payable for each session reviewed and payable directly to Certification Reviewer 
  4. If additional feedback is requested by applicant for the video or live session review beyond a brief note, Certification Reviewer’s professional hourly rate will apply
  5. Recertification Fee: $150, payable each time recertification occurs (required every two years)


This IFS Certification Policy shall become effective on May 1, 2023. 

New fees for Certification Reviewers will go into effect May 1, 2023 for all individuals who are seeking Review.

There will be a one year window (May 1, 2024) from the date of the new policy provision where individuals who’ve previously purchased a Certification packet and have already begun the Certification process can complete the process with the previous packet although the new Certification Practitioner definition clarification and new certification video review fees still apply. For those who've already purchased the previous packet, you can find the previous Certification Policy and all relevant transition information HERE.  

Any application for Certification submitted after 1 year (after May 1, 2024) must comply with all requirements of the updated policy in order to be approved.



The educational offerings of the IFS Institute may include interventions or practices that are beyond your scope of practice. As a professional in your given field, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined by applicable law as beyond the boundaries of your practice, and applying your learning in compliance with your professional standards.