2018 IFF Assembly in Oaxaca, Mexico
Friday, July 27, 2018
by: 2018 IFF Assembly

Section: IFF News





Thank you to the Mexican Feldenkrais® Association for planning and hosting the 2018 International Feldenkrais Federation Assembly. We were housed in a wonderful little hotel, painted in bright colors with amazing flowers and friendly staff. All of the logistics for 25 people to arrive, transport to the hotel, be able to schedule local tours and provide the amenities necessary for everyone to focus on the meeting topics and our time together was executed with perfection. We are extremely grateful and appreciated our group adventure to the pyramids of Monte Alban (the White Mountain) where our hosts took us for a traditional outing. Whether your interest lies in nature and wildlife or history, archeology and local culture, you will find something there. Several of the local practitioners joined the meetings to participate in group process as it was in their home territory and a viable experience.

Representatives from 12 of the 21 Guilds and Associations came together in Oaxaca, Mexico to discuss the future of the Feldenkrais Method® internationally. With the time and distance of travel, up to 30 hours from departure to arrival, we did not waste a moment of time. Conversations began at 7:30 am over the breakfast table while eating traditional Oaxaca fruits and fares. We gathered in small dialogue tasked groups until late in the evening to develop potential guidelines to be recommended to all the Associations, Guilds, and Training Accreditation Boards. 
 
We worked with a full agenda of items from the percentage of dues per organization to the development of clear pathways for international collaboration and communication. Candy Conino and Jenni Evans led group activities with the competency profile as our platform of learning. 

Ethical standards, complaint processes and the consequences of ethical misconduct were a primary consideration for the Assembly this year. There was much work done in this area, as evidenced by the motions and voting report below. Governmental Relations is becoming a prominent topic in several countries with regulations and legal issues for practitioners coming to the forefront. Policy development and review relative to these issues were urgent topics across all of the organizations. The newer Guilds are beginning the process of development, and the other Guilds are reviewing their current policies and protocols to update and meet current standards and legal expectations.
 
Each Guild and Association has different challenges within their structure and while we have many areas of common agreement, it is difficult to create a statement that will remain consistent through the various translations and cultural differences.

There are two new members of the IFF, Slovenia and the German DTAB, and we received the news that Argentina is working to create LATAB. The three-year-old DTAB has offered their guidance and support to Argentina as they work through the complex issues of developing their own TAB.

The report about materials was exciting, starting with the Mexican Guild presenting the long-awaited Spanish translation of Master Moves. They worked together with IFF materials to obtain the rights to the book, and Spanish-fluent Feldenkrais practitioners worked together to ensure that the translation was true to the spirit and intention of the English version. 

Now Argentina is working on a project to translate Body and Mature Behavior into Spanish. This is a long-term project which may require IFF attention and perhaps funding in the future.

It wasn’t just Master Moves, however. The IFF also acquired the rights to The Elusive Obvious. Now this book can be published in all languages for the benefit of all international Feldenkrais Guild members.

Regarding the IFF materials, a member discount program was launched this year. There was some concern that guilds had not informed their members of this savings opportunity, with a request that all guilds spread the word. Also, many Amherst devotees know that on some of the DVDs, the sound disappears. That problem has been corrected. Guild members should be informed that the IFF will be sending out a notice with instructions about how to get a free replacement for the defective discs.

In addition, Jenni Evans noted that the quality of translations on the IFF website is very poor. She extended an invitation from the IFF Materials Committee to any members willing to take the time to translate one page. This act of service would be of great help and may serve as a template for other pages and projects.



Research was also a primary theme of the 2018 IFF assembly. The IFF Research Committee is not doing the research as much as setting up a coordinated and organized structure for others who are doing the research. The Research Committee proposal for the funding necessary to move forward with this was approved. Please see the voting report below about this project. 
 
There were many working groups laboring into the nights, sorting through ideas, goals, policies, and possibilities about the projects mentioned here, as well as many other related topics presented on Sunday at the Assembly for a vote.

Voting Report
 
1. Vote on an IFF Statement
May 27, 2018
IFF Assembly
Oaxaca, Mexico

 
The purpose of this Statement is to commit the entire Feldenkrais community to accountability, transparency, and effectiveness. 

Governing Bodies will add to the Training Accreditation Guidelines for all accredited training programs in all countries and all Training Accreditation Boards that any trainers, assistant trainers and all members of the training staff, including organizers, must be in good standing and working in compliance with our Ethical Guidelines.

All staff members in every accredited training must commit to and 
comply with
Ethical Guidelines and Procedures set by the Governing Body.

We strongly encourage all Guilds/Associations to abide by the decisions made by Training Accreditation Boards and Guilds/Associations with reference to ethical issues.

50 for. No abstentions and no one against. Motion passed.

2. Motion from the Working Group on Role of IFF had a number of proposals:
A Motion to add a seventh item to the IFF purposes: #7 To set shared standards for ethics and quality of education.

50 for. None against. No one abstained. Motion passed

3. Motion from Working Group on Role of IFF
Motion to establish InterTAB as a working group of the IFF.

50 for. No one against. No one abstained. Motion passed.

4. Motion from the Working Group on the Role of IFF
Motion to form International Working Group #2 to review and update the recommendations of International Working Group #1, and make new recommendations that have the capacity to be acted on by the TABs, governing bodies, and the IFF.

 
-The Inter TAB will recruit an internationally representative group of 3-5 for the International Group #2.
-Inter TAB will report to the IFF Board twice a year. Someone on IFF Board to be a liaison.
-Each TAB selects one or two reps to serve on the Inter TAB working group. The members will choose their own chairperson.

50 for. No abstentions, no one against. Motion passed.

5. Motion from the Working Group on the Role of IFF
Motion to form 
Working Group who will make a proposal at the 2019 Assembly regarding the establishment of highest and best standards for training programs and the potential creation of an IFF Certification.

46 for. No one against. Israel abstains.

6. Joint Motion from the Working Group on the Role of IFF and the Working Group on Ethics

 
Suggested Student Ethical Grievance Procedure, to be published on the IFF website.

Please see Addendum for the text

Students who are uncertain about how to file a complaint and with whom may email the IFF secretary, who will help the student contact the appropriate group or individual, and then follow up to ensure that the process is proceeding appropriately.

50 for. No abstentions. No one against. Motion passed.

7. Motion Upgrading the IFF Competency Initiative
   
Background: Ten years ago the IFF Competency Profile was completed and accepted. Over the last decade, 112 Competency Facilitators have been trained. Despite the initial enthusiastic responses to the CP and the Competency processes, in truth, little long-term progress has been made, and very few facilitators have been engaging with other Feldenkrais practitioners in Competency processes during the last five years. After assessing the situation in 2017, with a survey of Competency Facilitators, 13 dedicated facilitators met together in Chiusi, Italy to analyze the situation more completely and to generate solutions to the apparent disinterest and/or resistance to competency in the Feldenkrais community.

This group focused on materials, activities, and processes that work, and eliminated those processes that are consistently rejected by the community. They also included in their considerations how the culture and technology have changed in the last decade. The outcome of this meeting has generated the following motion:

 
-The IFF will acknowledge that after 11 years of teaching, training, experimenting, and experience, it is appropriate to revitalize, rename, repackage, and upgrade the training of those who choose to continue working with the competency materials and processes. Note: The Competency Working Group of Wolfgang Sackl, Anat Aviv-Yefffet, Dwight Pargee, and Candy Conino stated in their report that this analysis and refocusing should be done after five years.
-The next phase of Competency work move forward with a new name MY POTENT SELF and that the facilitators with the MPS upgraded training be named the MPS Team. We recommend that this phase should be re-evaluated and upgraded, if needed, after five years  
Jenni Evans, Sonia Amicucci, and Candy Conino be appointed as a new Competency Working Group, which will be named the MPS Working Group.
-The IFF support an upgrade in the IFF website, Budget: 1000€ 
-The IFF support an upgrade in the training of Competency Facilitators to become MPS Team members in Michelstadt, March 2019
Budget-Plan for the meeting of the MPS-Team in Germany/Michelstadt March 14th.- 17th. 2019
(Based on 12 Participants)
Administration and room fee: 950,00€
Group lunches/coffee breaks, 4 lunches, and 8 coffee breaks: 380,00€
Group Dinner: 450,00€
Materials/Supplies: 100,00€
Total: 1.880,00€
-The MPS Working Group will convene the meeting and design the training
-The MPS Working Group will draft a competency profile for MPS Team members and conclude the training with an assessment process based on that profile. A report of this pilot MPS training/assessment will be provided to the 2019 IFF assembly, with recommendations for future training and assessment. 

46 for. Against: 4 votes from Israel. No abstentions.

8. AIIMF Competency  Agenda Item. Training program for Competency Facilitators in Italy.

 
-Budget request: 50% of up to a 3000 euro loss=1500 euros. If there is no loss – IFF pays nothing.
-The Italian Guild is willing to take a loss. Very keen on this project going ahead.

 
Comments from the floor. This is more of a national agenda. Not of International interest.

For 22. 14 against. Abstentions. 14. The motion did not pass.

9. 
Number of Board members.

Motion: That IFF BOD remains 5 people.

50 for. No abstentions. No one against.

10. Motion: That the membership fee remains at 9% for 2018.

Motion carried. 50 for. No abstentions, no one against.

11. Research Working Group

Proposal to hire an administrative coordinator to organize the research work.

Budget for 2018: for the first year 3000 euro for the admin. This is the normal amount for ten hours of work a month, for one year.

Motion carried. 50 for. No abstentions, no one against.

12. 2018 Budget proposal from Research Working group

The Research Journal should be moved till OJS format (Open Journal System). That transition will be a one -time cost. Will start with Research Journal nr 6.
Budget breakdown
Transfer of Journals to OJS
Formatting of Volume 6(to new OJS format)
Text editing, proofreading, Harvard referencing formatting etc. Volume 6
Communications, Zoom or similar
In total 3.500 euros

Note: For the Research Journal, there are 3000 euros already in the budget for 2018. This motion need not be voted on. However, the assembly chose to vote so the project could receive the additional 500 euros requested.

Motion carried. 50 for. No one against, no abstentions.

13. IFF Budget 2018

With newly voted budget requests put in.
Research Journal changed from 3000 to 3.500
Research List ( new admin person)
Website changes 1000 /Jessica Taylor/MPS pages
Reconnecting Facilitators
Vote on the budget.

Motion carried. 50 for. No abstentions. No one against.

14. Positions on the board:
President: Diana Sternbach prepared to step into past president Gwendolyn Scwhinke’s shoes for a year
Unanimous – 17 for.
Vice President nomination: Ivo Mentens. 17 for, None against
Treasurer nomination: Tsippy Sara Ganan . 17 for. None against
Substitute Board members: Lesley McLennan, Nancy Haller, Jenni Evans
Mediation Committee: Maria de la Paz Villalonga, Corinna Eikmeier
Mediation substitutes: Jeannette W and Roberta Perlman.
Search Committee: Vesna Puric, Corinna Eikmeier, Caryn Truppman
Finance Committee: David Sullivan and Lena Brännström stays. Vesna Puric voted in.

Addendum:
Student Ethical Grievance Procedure

Motion: That the following suggestions developed by the participants of the 2018 IFF Assembly, for a Student Ethical Grievance procedure, be sent to the Governing Bodies of the TABs and the TABs. We strongly encourage them to develop and implement the procedures as soon as possible. 

Suggested Student Ethical Grievance Procedure


If a student has an ethical issue that they are unable to resolve with the person concerned they may:
-Approach a member of the Educational faculty with whom they feel comfortable. Eg Training organizer, Assistant Trainer, Trainer.
-If the student is unable to resolve the issue within the Training, the next approach would be to contact the local Guild. (Students must be provided with contact details for this person as part of their initial contract documents)
-The local Guild Grievance/Ethics committee will deal with the complaint, according to their grievance protocol, if it involves someone who has been certified by them (or for whom this is their home Guild if certification is not available). If the person is certified by another Guild, the matter will be referred to the certifying Guild.
-The local contact person will follow the progress of resolution and ensure that the matter is formally concluded.
-The certifying Guild may request the local Guild to assist with the initial 
inquiry. The IFF mediation committee may be requested to assist if the local Guild is unable to handle the matter. (eg very small Guilds)
-In the event that the complaint is about a Training organizer or related person who is not a member/practitioner of a Guild, the local Guild will refer the matter to the accrediting TAB who will resolve the issue or may suspend or cancel the Training accreditation.
-If the Grievance/Ethics committee, determines that disciplinary action is required, they will inform their Board, who will take appropriate action. This may involve reprimand, suspension or revocation of certification (or membership).
-The Accrediting TAB must then be informed of what action has been taken so that they can take action on any matters pertaining to the Training.
-The certifying Guild must also inform all Governing bodies and other Guilds that disciplinary action has been taken. They may request the IFF secretary to arrange for email distribution.
-In the event that there is no local Guild then the contact details for the accrediting TAB will be provided to the students.

Requirements of TABs  
-The TABs will ensure that local Guilds understand the responsibility of accepting a Training program in their community. This means that the Guilds must have an ethical grievance protocol and nominate a point of contact for Student ethical grievance complaints
-TABs will ensure that students are provided with a copy of the Student Ethical grievance procedure which includes local contact details (or TAB), as part of their initial student agreement.
-TABs will require that Training organizers have a contract with all staff, agreeing to abide by a code of Ethical conduct and make them aware that in the event of an ethical disciplinary action the result will be shared with all TABs and Guilds.

Requirements of Guilds
-Guilds must agree to take local responsibility for Ethical complaints and must nominate a contact person for such complaints.
-Contact details are to be listed on Guild website and IFF website.
-Guilds should have a requirement to abide by a code of ethics as part of certification (or membership) requirements. Required for New 
Trainings. Recommended for current Trainings.
 
All Participants of the IFF Assembly 2018
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Comments (2)
Marcela Bretschneider
7/29/2018 10:11:18 PM
Thank you !!!!

Súper clear !!!!!


R Murnaghan
7/29/2018 5:42:09 PM
Thank you for the detailed information on the IFF Assembly. It was both valuable and timely.


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