Becoming a Myers-Briggs Type Practitioner
By Sandra Lim, CPRW, CCM, CECC, Cert. Cybercounseling.
Has your interest in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) been piqued with Freddie Cheek’s multi-part article, What ‘Type’ of Resume Writer are You?, appearing in Résumé Writers Digest? This complementary article addresses how one becomes qualified to administer and interpret the MBTI®.
This topic of the MBTI® is also timely since the official professional association for MBTI® users will be holding its international conference in Toronto in July. Look for future synopses of conference sessions.
The MBTI® is a very versatile tool, which is used not only for career exploration, but also in such areas as improving communication, decision making, conflict resolution, team building, understanding managing style and the effect of this style on others, understanding organizational culture, and time and stress management, just to name a few.
The First Step: Becoming MBTI®-Qualified
What does it mean to be MBTI®-qualified versus being MBTI®-certified? (Read on the find out!) And how does one become MBTI®-qualified? Many people have read books on the MBTI® (such as the ones mentioned in Freddie Cheek’s first article) and gained a pretty good understanding of the 16 psychological types that make up the MBTI® – and have probably guessed their own type, as well as those of their friends, spouses, and coworkers.
However, the MBTI® is a psychological instrument that requires in-depth training in order to be able to purchase the testing materials and interpret the results. The MBTI® is a “B Level” instrument, restricted to users who have appropriate training and credentials – earned either by successful completion of the MBTI® Step I Qualification Program, or by “qualification through education.” Once you are MBTI®-qualified, you can purchase the testing materials and scoring forms, which can either be hand-scored or sent in for fee-based computer scoring.
MBTI® Step I Qualification Program
To become MBTI®-qualified, you must:
- Complete the 3-day training workshop (with 30-40 hours of pre-workshop self-study), which consists of two parts: an evaluation of MBTI® interpretation and feedback skills, and a multiple-choice examination. Those achieving 80% or more on the multiple-choice exam will not be required to complete the essay questions distributed after the workshop.
- Have a 4-year degree from an accredited college or university
- Have taken the MBTI® and received feedback from a qualified professional, such as a career counselor, psychologist, or vocational testing professional
In Canada, qualification programs are offered by:
Career/Life Skills Resources:
Psychometrics Canada: http://www.psychometrics.com/default.aspx?ID%3d86%26testcode%3dTRAIN
For other countries, check out https://www.cpp.com/Internationaldistributors/internationaldistributors.aspx for qualification programs in your area.
Qualification Through Education
If you have a degree from an accredited college or university and have satisfactorily completed a course in the theory and interpretation of educational and psychological measurement, you may be able to purchase the instrument without undergoing the training program (however, this requirement is not satisfied by completing a course in statistics, research, or test design). In such a case, you would be considered “qualified by education” – it is understood that such a person would be able to read and understand the MBTI® manual before administering and interpreting the instrument.
A Note on Ethics
MBTI®-qualified professionals adhere to a code of ethics that prohibits use the pseudo-MBTI® “tests” that have proliferated on the Internet and in print, since these do not meet standards for validity. One such popular un-validated assessment is the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. The Myers and Briggs Foundation website, www.MyersBriggs.org is a resource site that points to websites related to the MBTI® instrument worldwide. The Official Web Partner sites listed have been screened and found to be reliable sources of information.
MBTI® Step II and MBTI® Step III Qualifying Programs / Advanced MBTI® Workshops
Once MBTI®-qualified, you may choose to enhance your knowledge by taking a MBTI® Step II Qualification Workshop to learn an advanced method of scoring the MBTI®. Step III Qualification also exists, which is only necessary for clinical use.
A number of Advanced MBTI® Workshops exist for those already MBTI®-qualified; some of these are:
- Type and Careers
- Using Type with Teams
- Using Step II with Teams
- Designing and Delivering an Introductory Workshop
- Type Development at Mid-Life
- Type: Teaching/Learning Styles
Any qualifying MBTI® practitioner with at least one year of experience using the MBTI® instrument may apply for certification. The designation “MBTI® Certified” is reserved for those practitioners who are committed to continued learning (they must complete 20 continuing education credits every three years), understand the importance of the ethical use of the instrument, and can demonstrate six instances of use with type in at least two of the following four areas:
- use of the instrument with groups
- use of the instrument with an individual
- the presentation of an MBTI® workshop
- the completion of a thesis or dissertation using the MBTI® instrument or the publication of research using the MBTI® instrument
Association for Psychological Type (APT)
The Association for Psychological Type is the official professional association for MBTI® users and those interested in psychological type. APT provides opportunities for sharing type information through publications, international and regional conferences, local chapter meetings, and various training programs.
APT’s biennial international conference draws individuals from around the world interested in networking and enhancing their skills and knowledge, while accumulating CEUs for MBTI® Certification. The 2004 International Conference, to be held July 21-25, 2004, in Toronto, Canada, features a panel of speakers from around the world. Look for follow-up pieces in the next issue of the Résumé Writers Digest capturing conference sessions on:
Type and Coaching
- Using the 5 Elements of Success to Augment the MBTI®’s Effectiveness in Career Planning
- Career Counseling: The Easy-to-Use Type Model
- Using Your Non-Preferences as Your Career Development or Mid-Life Guide
- MBTI® Preferences/Personal Identity in an Online Learning Environment
To download the conference brochure in PDF format, visit . As an added bonus, non-members that register for the full conference will receive an automatic one-year APT membership!
Sandra Lim, CPRW, CECC. CWPP has been MBTI®–qualified and a member of APT since 1997. She is the President of A Better Impression (www.abetterimpression.com) in Toronto, Canada, and uses the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® with career counseling clients. Sandra can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published 2004 in the Resume Writers Digest. Reprinted by permission by Career Professionals of Canada.