Appreciative Inquiry Coach Training (AICT)


Appreciative Coaching is a revelatory and generative conversation that expands people’s capacity to perform by channeling their strengths and abilities for the greatest impact. Grounded in Appreciative Inquiry, this approach to coaching takes clients from good to great because it fosters personal transformation through innate talent and inherent strength and inspires action – increasing the likelihood of producing longer lasting results quickly.


The Appreciative Inquiry Coach Training (AICT©) looks at discovering and co-constructing the client’s positive core – what it is that connects them to life and the possibility to thrive. Through the affirmative framework of Appreciative Inquiry, discover how to deepen and enhance both your personal sense of yourself as well as your skills for generative one-on-one conversations in a small group learning environment.

International Coach Federation Continuing Coach Education Logo_This logo signifies that that Appreciative Inquiry Coach Training is an approved course and offers 32 hours towards ICF renewal requirements.This course is an approved ICF (International Coaching Federation) Continuing Coach Education (CCE) program. Students who complete this program can apply 32 hours toward renewal requirements or as part of an application for an ICF credential.

This advanced-level certification course provides participants the opportunity to apply to Core Competencies of ICF through the lens of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and is designed for individuals who understand and embody a strengths-based AI paradigm. For the best learning experience and meaningful engagement, we welcome up to sixteen (16) participants.


The Appreciative Inquiry Coach Training (AICT©) is ideal for:

  • Individuals who understand and embody a strengths-based AI paradigm, who want to deepen their ability to relate one-on-one in bringing out the best in individuals (including themselves). It is therefore useful to leaders and managers in business and corporations, community development, educational organizations, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations, and consultants, coaches, facilitators, educators, pastors/priests, etc;
  • Individuals who desire to enhance their systems thinking in order to engage individuals in a holistic and integrated way;
  • Experienced Appreciative Inquiry Facilitators who would like to strengthen and practice their individual communication skills;
  • Experienced coaches who seek to strengthen their life-enriching ways of coaching.


To enroll in this advanced-level course, participants must meet one of the following three prerequisites:

  • Experienced coaches who seek to strengthen their life-enriching ways of coaching. OR
  • Successful completion of an approved Appreciative Inquiry Foundations course (with a minimum of 26 classroom hours) OR
  • Successful completion in an International Coaching Federation accredited course within the past 2 years or hold a commensurate professional coach credential AND verified completion of the Self-Directed Appreciative Inquiry Introduction offered by the Center for Appreciative Inquiry.


The Appreciative Inquiry Coach Training (AICT©) consists of 33 hours of synchronous (live sessions hosted through Zoom) and asynchronous (assigned reading and activities outside of class time) learning over the course of 12 weeks. During the training, participants will meet weekly for two hours to engage in a training session designed to guide you through the full range and depth of what it means to be an Appreciative Inquiry Coach.

Click the session titles below to learn more about each session’s overview and learning outcomes.

To ensure all participants are off to a strong start, the AICT trainers host a live Foundation Session to give participants the opportunity to connect with the trainers, engage with participants, become familiar with LearnDash (our online learning platform), and ask questions about reading and activities prior to Session 1.

In this session, the group will build community collectively in order to function as a strong AICT learning community. Together, they will uncover the Positive Core of AI Coaching, with bold ideas guided by the ICF Core Competencies.


  • Build a community of practice by getting to know one another and creating Appreciative Agreements.
  • Understand the framework and tools that we will use in the AICT.
  • Become familiar with the 5 Generic Processes of AI.
  • Understand the difference between coaching and facilitating.
  • Uncover the Positive Core of AI Coaching.
  • Clarifying the Core Competencies from the ICF as they apply to AI Coaching.
  • Experience AI with a 5-D inquiry to refresh prior learning and “mining” the collective knowledge & skills present.

We look at how Defining the Positive Topic creates the foundation of AI Coaching.  Following a demonstration of an AI Coaching session, we will debrief and begin practice in Define.


  • Defining the Topic of a coaching conversation using Reframing.
  • Understanding the 4 Levels of Listening.
  • Observing and debriefing a coaching session.
  • Examining Core Competencies:
    • Establishes and Maintains Agreements, and
    • Listens Actively

During this session, we will review the power of AI interviews as the cornerstone of an Appreciative Inquiry. We will highlight the key processes and points to define an appreciative inquiry topic for a coaching conversation.


  • Understand how to establish the coaching agreement and become familiar with examples of coaching contracts.
  • Become familiar with the three levels of contracting.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with the client to define the coaching topic using Reframing.
  • Understand the Appreciative Inquiry principles and how they are applied in the coaching relationship.
  • Understand how to modify the Generic Interview Guide to meet client needs.
  • Examining Core Competencies:
    • Establishes and Maintains Agreements, and
    • Cultivates Trust and Safety.

Through the lens of the ICF Core Competency of Maintaining Presence, we begin to practice the transition of Discovery into Dream.  We look at the power of the Preferred Future and how we, as coaches, remain present to support our clients.


  • Distinguishing Discovery to Dream in a coaching session.
  • Creating images of a Preferred Future.
  • Practice coaching and feedback.
  • Examining Core Competencies:
    • Maintains Presence, and
    • Listens Actively.

In this session, we examine the AI Principles that apply to the Competency Evokes Awareness.  We utilize these principles through powerful questioning, silence, and metaphors to enable our clients to come to their own insights.


  • Applying the Core Competency Evokes Awareness by using the tools of coaching.
  • Use of powerful questions, silence, metaphors, and analogy.
  • Applying “Big Picture” Systems Thinking.
  • Exploring the AI Principles that apply to this competency; Anticipatory, Constructionist, Simultaneity and Positive principles.
  • Practice coaching and feedback.

To maximize your personal strengths and enhance your professional skills, it is helpful to understand the styles of communication. In this session, we will introduce Social Style – a helpful tool to help you gain insight into your behavior and the behavior of others. Social Style can serve as a foundation for building on your strengths and the strengths of others to develop productive, positive relationships.


  • Understanding the Social Style Framework.
  • Gaining insight about why you find some relationships more productive than others.
  • Better understanding of how Social Style can assist you to consider their behavioral needs and preferences of your clients.

In this session we will be integrating the learning and focusing on the Core Competency of Evokes Awareness to develop the Provocative Proposition. The Design step of the Appreciative Inquiry emphasizes the coach’s role of being focused, observant and responsive.


  • Understanding how to work with clients to develop meaningful, bold, and affirmative provocative propositions using Reframing, Generic Interview Questions and reflecting on High Energy Themes.
  • Understanding the SCARF model and the five domains of human social experience.
  • Becoming familiar with Systems Thinking and the factors that may influence and inform Design.

Participants receive group coach mentoring, trainer observation, and feedback to contribute and deepen the learning in this course.


  • Applying all aspects of the coaching conversation in practice with feedback and observations.
  • Experience both coaching and being coached.

In AI Coaching we see that it is not just the five generic processes because it is flexible and non-linear, and the order is applied as appropriate to best serve the client.  As we look to the Competency of Facilitating Client Growth, we see how AI Process and SOAR model can ground the actions to move forward in an appreciative way.


  • To focus on helping the client ground their dreams in the present.
  • Completing the coaching session powerfully to expand the client’s capability to create their dream.
  • Processes and tools to end a coaching conversation.
  • Examine Core Competency: Facilitates Client Growth.

This final session is all about Celebration and Completion. In this deep dive we will review the AI Coaching model, the requirements for program certification, and celebrate your success.


  • Become familiar with the value of gratitude interventions and the value that they bring to the coaching relationship.
  • Understand the requirements to complete the Practicum and obtain the Appreciative Inquiry Coach certification.
  • Provide feedback on the AICT experience.
  • Take the opportunity to demonstrate gratitude to members of the AICT class.

Please note that the synchronous portions of the AICT are highly experiential and will not be recorded. The AICT Trainers will be utilizing breakout rooms to develop the community and trust among the participants, paired coaching practice, and small group discussions and reflections.



Your trainers will assign readings from these two books throughout your training. You will need to purchase the textbooks prior to the start of this course. The books are available in electronic or printed versions. Please select the version that is in alignment with your learning style and preference.

Book Cover of Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change by Sara Orem, Jacqueline Binkert, and Ann L. Clancy

Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change (2007) by Sara Orem, Jacqueline Binkert, and Ann L. Clancy.

Book cover for "Flourishing Together: Guide to Appreciative Inquiry Coaching" by Miriam Subriana. The cover consists of a watercolored field filled with bright orange and red flowers.

Flourishing Together: Guide to Appreciative Inquiry Coaching (2016) by Miriam Subriana.



In order to qualify for certification as an Appreciative Inquiry Coach with The Center for Appreciative Inquiry, each participant must:

  • Actively participate and successfully complete the Appreciative Inquiry Coach Training (AICT) in its entirety, including all online coursework.
  • Coach an individual using all five generic processes of Appreciative Inquiry: Define, Discover, Dream, Design, and Destiny.  Your AICT trainers serve as an advisor to you during your practicum – at no extra cost.
  • Complete and submit a practicum (narrative) of your Appreciative Coaching experience that is suitable for publication. Practicums must demonstrate your understanding and practice of Appreciative coaching in a one-on-one client engagement.

All submitted practicums are reviewed by a panel of seasoned appreciative inquiry practitioners. At least one trainer from your AICT will also be part of the panel that reviews your practicum. The Review Panel may contact you to engage in a conversation about your work once you have submitted your practicum. Typically, they will respond with questions, to deepen their and your shared understanding of AI. The practicum review is therefore a dialogical and interactive process.


Once certified, your Appreciative Inquiry Coach Certification lasts for 2 years and includes:

  • An Appreciative Inquiry Coach Certification document for your records;
  • Permission to use of the Center for Appreciative Inquiry Certification logo to embed on your website or include in your email signature;
  • Exclusive access to content and events reserved only for certified AI Community Members.
  • A free profile listing on our Appreciative Inquiry Directory for the duration of your certification. Learn more about the benefits of our AI Directory here.


Do you have questions about this training? Please email your questions to Kelly Stewart at


The AICT can be delivered privately to a team, department, organization, or community and can be delivered in-person or virtually. We encourage a minimum of ten (10) members from any organization, group, or community participate. Please complete the CONTACT US form to learn how to bring a closed AI program to your team and organization.

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