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Exam Code: OG0-081 TOGAF 8 Certification for Practitioners techniques November 2023 by Killexams.com team

OG0-081 TOGAF 8 Certification for Practitioners

Exam: OG0-081 TOGAF 8 Certification for Practitioners

Exam Details:
- Number of Questions: The test consists of approximately 40 multiple-choice questions.
- Time: Candidates are given 60 minutes to complete the exam.

Course Outline:
The TOGAF 8 Certification for Practitioners course is designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and skills required to apply the TOGAF framework in enterprise architecture practice. The course covers the following topics:

1. Introduction to TOGAF
- Overview of TOGAF and its purpose
- Understanding the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM)
- TOGAF certification levels and benefits
- Navigating the TOGAF documentation and resources

2. Architecture Development Method (ADM)
- Phases of the ADM and their objectives
- Understanding architecture viewpoints and stakeholder engagement
- Developing architecture artifacts and deliverables
- Applying the ADM guidelines and techniques

3. Architecture Content Framework
- Understanding the TOGAF Content Metamodel
- Defining architecture principles and requirements
- Creating and managing architecture building blocks
- Mapping business goals to architectural solutions

4. Architecture Capability Framework
- Establishing an enterprise architecture capability
- Defining architecture governance and compliance
- Managing architecture maturity and change
- Building an architecture skills framework

5. Architecture Views, Viewpoints, and Tools
- Understanding different architecture views and viewpoints
- Selecting and using architecture frameworks and tools
- Applying architecture patterns and reference models
- Communicating architecture using standard notations

Exam Objectives:
The test aims to assess candidates' understanding and proficiency in the following areas:

1. Knowledge of the TOGAF framework and its purpose
2. Ability to apply the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM)
3. Competence in using the Architecture Content Framework
4. Understanding of the Architecture Capability Framework
5. Familiarity with architecture views, viewpoints, and tools

Detailed test Syllabus:
The test syllabus covers the following topics:

- Introduction to TOGAF
- TOGAF framework concepts and purpose
- TOGAF certification levels and benefits

- Architecture Development Method (ADM)
- Phases of the ADM
- Architecture viewpoints and stakeholder engagement
- ADM guidelines and techniques

- Architecture Content Framework
- TOGAF Content Metamodel
- Architecture principles and requirements
- Architecture building blocks

- Architecture Capability Framework
- Enterprise architecture capability
- Architecture governance and compliance
- Architecture maturity and change

- Architecture Views, Viewpoints, and Tools
- Architecture views and viewpoints
- Architecture frameworks and tools
- Architecture patterns and reference models

Candidates are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of these courses to successfully pass the test and demonstrate their proficiency in applying the TOGAF framework in enterprise architecture practice.
TOGAF 8 Certification for Practitioners
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TOGAF 8 Certification for Practitioners
Question: 194
What is the highest level of architecture maturity.
A. Optimizing
B. Managed
C. Defined
D. Under development
E. Initial
Answer: A
Question: 195
A project to deploy an enterprise product data management system needs to adjust its
architecture contract to address resource constraints. Based on TOGAF, what level of
governance would be most appropriate to respond to the request?
A. Architecture governance
B. IT governance
C. Corporate governance
D. Implementation governance
E. Technology governance
Answer: D
Question: 196
In TOGAF, what level of governance is responsible for defining architecture processes?
A. Implementation governance
B. Corporate governance
C. Technology governance
D. IT governance
E. Architecture governance
Answer: E
Question: 197
In the conceptual TOGAF Governance Framework, content and processes related to
governance are influenced by the ____.
A. Process flow controlmechanisms
B. Context
C. Content
D. Processes
E. All of these
Answer: B
Question: 198
In TOGAF's Architecture Governance organizational structure, which group is chiefly
responsible for deployment and operations?
A. Domain architects
B. IT service management
C. Chief Information Officer/Chief Technology Officer
D. Program management office
E. Technical support
Answer: B
Question: 199
According to TOGAF, an enterprise architecture imposed without appropriate political
backing is _____ .
A. Needed to assure rapid deployment
B. Difficult to enforce
C. The prerogative of IT management
D. Simpler and more cost effective
E. Bound to fail
Answer: E
Question: 200
Effective governance should provide all of the following characteristics to the
organization except ____.
A. Discipline
B. Overt control
C. Transparency
D. Fairness
E. Accountability
Answer: B
Question: 201
To state that a proposed architecture specification will be implemented ____ the
standard specification, it is implied that it will adhere to the stated standards.
A. Consistent with
B. In view of
C. In accordance with
D. In a similar fashion to
E. Outside of
Answer: C
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Customer relationship management (CRM) takes customer service to a whole new level. Modern CRM software uses technology and automation to find and interact with leads and customers. Leveraging CRM software can help a company engage with its customers to build trust and provide necessary products and services.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right CRM solution for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Current CRM certification courses are available through academic institutions, professional affiliates and massive open online courses. courses can include CRM optimization, automation, marketing strategies, product management, business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C) and networking. According to certification course provider Simplilearn, IT professionals with one Salesforce certification on their resume can expect as much as a 40% pay increase.

What are CRM certifications and training?

CRM certifications and training

CRM certifications can enhance your skills by requiring you to complete advanced CRM software training. Some certifications are built with courses and require you to pass exams; others are for status only. Completing CRM certifications and training can demonstrate commitment, present new job opportunities and increase pay.

Why are CRM certifications and training necessary?

To compete globally, companies benefit from increasing their digital presence. Utilizing a CRM tool improves the B2C and B2B relationship and allows companies to engage and thrive. Because companies are encouraged to focus on detailed digital strategies in which CRM is vital, businesses are looking for CRM-certified employees to help them move forward in the e-commerce space.

Companies look to CRM software to automate daily tasks, deepen engagement with customers, and consistently promote products and services.

Who should get CRM certified?

While all departments can benefit from CRM training, it is especially relevant for sales, marketing and IT team members. In addition, recent high school graduates and college students can stay competitive in the job market by becoming CRM certified.

Recent high school graduates and college students

Want to score a higher-paying job quickly? As CRM specialization jobs are in high demand, high school graduates and college students can get a competitive edge by learning CRM before entering the professional workforce.

Sales professionals

Sales teams work with a CRM platform for lead tracking and follow-up. Detailed customer data gathered and stored by a CRM improves lead scoring and speeds up conversions.

Marketing professionals

Because marketing requires quality leads to drive a return on investment, a robust CRM is crucial to a marketing team’s success. The CRM can help marketing professionals quickly visualize data, as well as identify lead patterns, potential customers and pain points that your business’s products or services may solve.

IT professionals

IT can work with sales and marketing to customize the CRM to specific needs, industries or internal policies. Using a CRM, IT teams can onboard, maintain and provide professional support to employees. CRM certification is often required for IT professionals, as the training is standard for the industry.

CRM certification can supply recent high school graduates and college students a competitive edge when they enter the job market.

CRM certificate vs. certification

Though a CRM certificate and a CRM certification sound like they may be the same, there is a difference. A CRM certificate is earned in a school setting, whether in person or remote, and resembles an academic degree. A CRM certification, by contrast, is earned through industry-based performance tests, regardless of where you learn the information.

7 best CRM certifications

The following CRM certifications are found regularly in job listings and are globally recognized and easily accessible for most people:

Microsoft Dynamics 365

As a top competitor to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers certification levels ranging from fundamental to advanced. The platform can provide courses on sales, finance, operations and customer service. Professionals can choose to complete a CRM certification or an overall fundamentals course. For CRM certification, IT professionals must pass test MB-910: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals (CRM).

Who is it for?

Dynamics 365 is for IT consultants who specialize in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and material requirements planning (MRP).

Skills needed

  • Describe Dynamics 365 Marketing (10% to 15%)
  • Describe Dynamics 365 Sales (15% to 20%)
  • Describe Dynamics 365 Customer Service (15% to 20%)
  • Describe Dynamics 365 Field Service (15% to 20%)
  • Describe Project Operations (15% to 20%)
  • Describe Shared Features (15% to 20%)


Pricing starts at $99.

Length of certification

Microsoft certifications don’t have a hard expiration date. Instead, the certification is valid as long as the product is available on the market.

HubSpot Academy

HubSpot offers multiple certification courses, including in CRM, CMS, sales and reporting. Lessons can take approximately one hour to over six hours to complete.

Who is it for?

HubSpot has a proprietary CRM certification program in which you watch online course videos with periodic quizzes. Most certification exams also require you to complete additional practical marketing exercises.

Skills needed

  • HubSpot CRM-specific training
  • Practical marketing experience


Certifications are free, but some advanced options require a HubSpot Professional or HubSpot Enterprise account. A HubSpot Professional account starts at $800 per month.

Length of certification

Certification length varies from 13 to 25 months.

Marketo Engage by Adobe

Marketo Engage is a tool designed to help marketers create and implement personalized emails and media. The platform is part of the Adobe Experience Cloud.

Who is it for?

Marketo Engage is a good fit for professionals who work in marketing automation, such as email marketing professionals, media managers and marketing managers.

Skills needed

The required skills depend on the level of certification you are seeking.

Entry level:

  • Basic knowledge of marketing automation
  • Three to six months of marketing experience
  • Three months of experience using Marketo software

Advanced level:

  • One to two years of marketing experience
  • One year of hands-on experience with Marketo
  • Completion of the Marketo MCE Prep Course


The entry-level certification is $95, and the advanced level costs $225.

Length of certification

The test is valid for two years.

NetSuite Administrator

As a customizable CRM, Oracle’s NetSuite is geared toward large businesses and includes multiple tools, such as ERP, financial management and inventory management capabilities.

Who is it for?

NetSuite certification is for professionals who routinely work with Oracle’s customer database. NetSuite’s consultants can gain additional clients with the NetSuite Administrator certification, especially those who help customize enterprise CRM and ERP. IT professionals can also benefit from a NetSuite certification.

Skills needed

  • CRM customization
  • ERP customization
  • Financial management
  • Inventory management


This certification costs $250.

Length of certification

Individuals who complete the NetSuite certification will need to get recertified by passing an test every three years.

Salesforce Administrator

Salesforce Administrator

A Salesforce certification is a globally accepted credential. You can use the certification to compete for jobs and promotions as a Salesforce expert, stay informed about Salesforce feature updates and climb the corporate ladder.

Who is it for?

Any business professional who uses a CRM regularly can benefit from a Salesforce Administrator certification. These roles may include benefits administrators, developers, architects, marketers and consultants.

Skills needed

Salesforce Certified Administrators:

  • Administrator (six to 12 months’ experience recommended)
  • Advanced Administrator (12 to 24 months’ experience recommended)
  • Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder (three to six months’ experience recommended)

Salesforce Certified Architects (more than five years’ experience recommended):

  • Application Architect
  • Data Architecture and Management Designer
  • Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer
  • Identity and Access Management Designer
  • Integration Architecture Designer
  • Mobile Solutions Architecture Designer
  • Sharing and Visibility Designer
  • System Architect
  • Technical Architect

Salesforce Certified Consultants:

  • Community Cloud Consultant (two to five years)
  • Field Service Lightning Consultant (two to five years)
  • Marketing Cloud Consultant (12 months)
  • Pardot Consultant (12 months)
  • Sales Cloud Consultant (two to five years)
  • Service Cloud Consultant (two to five years)

Salesforce Certified Developers:

  • Commerce Cloud Digital Developer (three to six months)
  • Platform Developer I (three to six months)
  • Platform Developer II (two to four years)

Salesforce Certified Specialists:

  • CPQ Specialist (six to 12 months)
  • Marketing Cloud Email Specialist (six to 12 months)
  • Marketing Cloud Social Specialist (six to 12 months)
  • Pardot Specialist (three to six months)


Pricing ranges from $100 to $6,000.

Length of certification

Professionals must maintain Salesforce certifications annually to keep up with the software’s new feature releases (three updates per year). You must complete a Trailhead maintenance module every year to maintain your certification.


Zendesk provides certifications for CRM and available support tools. Certification options include Zendesk Support Administrator, App Developer I, Guide Specialist, Explore CX Analyst, Chat Specialist and Talk Specialist.

Who is it for?

Zendesk certification is for sales professionals, customer support staff and small business administrators. Zendesk also encourages its users, partners and employees to complete certification.

Skills needed

For the most common certification, Zendesk Support Administrator, you need to have at least three months of experience as a Zendesk Support Administrator and complete the relevant practice exam. Zendesk lists the specific skills and training needed for other Zendesk certifications on its website.


Pricing starts at $350.

Length of certification

A Zendesk CRM certification lasts one to two years. After that, Zendesk will notify you when you need to recertify. For every recertification, you must take a new test and pay an additional fee.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM offers a Certified Consultant certification; Zoho offers this free designation for users who exemplify excellence with clients while working within Zoho’s CRM. While the certification does not have the same recognition as Microsoft, HubSpot or Salesforce, it can be an avenue for Zoho users to generate revenue by providing CRM consulting.

Who is it for?

Zoho CRM certification is best for Zoho users who are interested in providing CRM consulting services for small businesses.

Skills needed

You should have proof of expertise in consulting with small business clients and hands-on experience with the Zoho CRM platform. You need at least three consulting clients that pay for Zoho CRM and pay you for Zoho CRM consulting. Once you have met this requirement, you can fill out this online form. When Zoho approves your business, Zoho’s website will list your business as a Zoho CRM Certified Consultant.


Zoho CRM certification is free.

Length of certification

Once you are approved as a Zoho partner, your certification lasts as long as you are in good standing with Zoho.

Although some CRM certifications are free, expect to spend a few hundred dollars for training and exams. CRM certifications are available for all experience levels.

Is CRM certification right for you?

Although the seven certifications above are great options, you will ultimately need to align your credentials with the career and promotion opportunities that interest you. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether CRM certification is right for you:

  • Will a CRM certification benefit you? If you are investing your own time and money, weigh the pros and cons of a CRM Will the accreditation make you more competitive in the job market? Is a promotion available after you become certified?
  • Which CRM platform would you be using? First, choose a CRM if you have not done so already. If you are already using a CRM, start with a certification for that specific platform. Not sure where to start? The top certificate is Salesforce Administrator. You will also have multiple job opportunities by getting certified with HubSpot, Zendesk CRM or Dynamics 365.
  • How much time and money are you willing to spend? Make sure you can invest both money and time in a CRM certification. If you are already working with a CRM, will your employer help with the cost as a business expense? Before starting a CRM certification program, you should research the requirements and prepare for additional expenses, such as training, study guides and recertifications.
  • Are you in need of new, marketable skills? If you become certified, you can seek out opportunities that allow you to use your advanced CRM knowledge. Increasingly, CRM skills are becoming a requirement among relevant job listings, so getting certified helps vet your expertise to recruiters. If you are in a dead-end career or haven’t been successful in the job market, certification in a popular CRM can provide lucrative opportunities.
  • Do you already have hands-on experience? Although CRM certification is becoming an increasingly valuable credential, remember that companies still prefer to hire employees with hands-on CRM experience. Therefore, rather than being just a line on your resume, CRM certification should supplement your real-world experience.
Sun, 12 Nov 2023 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/16187-crm-certification-and-training.html
Best Unified Communications Certifications

The need for today’s organizations to share information, along with proliferation of high-speed broadband, has driven the global unified communications (UC) market for the past decade, if not longer. UC streamlines communications so that geologically-dispersed employees can interact digitally as if they’re in the same office, even if they’re located thousands of miles apart.

Centralized administration also makes UC popular with IT managers because it reduces the time and effort needed to support and secure corporate communications of all kinds. Because of a need for specialized skills to make large-scale UC implementations run their best, top UC vendors offer certifications to buttress and boost workforce capability and quality.

Simply Hired lists $91,623 as the average salary for a UC engineer’s role, with highest salaries reported at $139,737. Glassdoor lists UC salaries as high as $166,000 for senior and UC engineer positions. UC engineer salaries declined slightly from previous years with the average down from $94,354 to $91,623 (a dip of just under three percent). While this dip could just represent normal market fluctuations, it is a trend worth watching because we also observed a slight salary decrease last year.

We dug into various job boards to see how many UC jobs are available, specifically targeting jobs that called out one or more of our top five certifications: Avaya ACSS, CCIE Collaboration, CCNP Collaboration, IBM Sametime and MCSE: Productivity.

ACSS: Avaya Certified Solution Specialist

For IT professionals supporting Avaya products, the ACSS is a must-have credential. The company updated its certification programs in late 2015 and currently offers two separate professional certification tracks:

Sales and Design – this track offers three credentials:

  • Avaya Professional Sales Specialist (APSS)
  • Avaya Certified Design Specialist (ACDS)
  • Avaya Professional Design Specialist (APDS)

Services – this track is aligned with Avaya engagement solutions and products, so you’ll see two flavors for some of the certifications depending on which solution track (product or engagement solution) is targeted. Avaya currently offers the following Services credentials:

  • Avaya Support Professional Specialist (ASPS)
  • Avaya Implementation Professional Specialist (AIPS)
  • ACSS: Avaya Certified Solution Specialist (ACSS) (engagement solution) and Avaya Certified Support Specialist (ACSS) (product)
  • ACIS: Avaya Certified Integration Specialist (ACIS) (engagement solutions) and Avaya Certified Implementation Specialist (ACIS) (product)

The advanced-level ACSS cert targets more experienced Avaya practitioners both in support specialist and product specialist roles, covering 19 individual credentials. Candidates should possess technical skills sufficient to configure, install and administer Avaya products. Also, they should be well-versed in Avaya product maintenance, and in testing product implementations and troubleshooting issues. Successful candidates typically possess at least two years’ direct experience supporting Avaya products and four years working with the chosen Avaya technology. Each certification is valid for two years.

Requirements to obtain the ACSS certification depend on which credential one chooses to pursue. For information on prerequisite skills, curriculum maps, required training and the number of exams for individual credentials, visit Avaya’s credential program webpage. (Click the Services Credentials tab, then click on the ACSS button to view the full Catalog. Additional program information appears in the Avaya Professional Credential Program Overview.)

ACSS Facts and Figures

Certification Name Avaya Certified Solution Specialist (ACSS)
Prerequisites & Required Courses Minimum of 4 years’ experience in the relevant technology plus 2 years’ experience supporting the Avaya product. Training is required and available in multiple formats (classroom, virtual classroom and on-demand); depending on solution track. Expect to pay between $3,500 and $4,500 per classroom course, or $1,400 per 16-hour course, and $2,100 per 24-hour course in the virtual classroom or on-demand.
Number of Exams One test per credential
Cost of Exam $125

Exams administered by Pearson VUE

URL https://www.avaya-learning.com/lms/#/credentials/credential-program
Self-Study Materials None

CCCIE Collaboration: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Collaboration

Cisco offers its CCIE Collaboration certification, which identifies expert skills in unified communications, video and telecom. Only the cream of the crop earns the CCIE, and CCIE Collaboration is no exception.

The expert-level CCIE Collaboration credential recognizes seasoned collaboration and UC architects, as well as voice and video network managers, who design, deploy and troubleshoot enterprise collaboration solutions that are moderately to highly complex. Although the certification requires no prerequisites or specific training, Cisco designed the CCIE Collaboration for individuals with true expertise and lots of relevant experience (three to five years, minimum) with UC solution integration, configuration and troubleshooting.

Like other CCIE certs, the certification has a written qualification test and a hands-on lab exam, both of which are rigorous and often take multiple attempts to pass. Cisco includes emerging technologies in its assessments. A great value-add available through the Cisco 360 Learning Program for CCIE Collaboration is remote access to an online environment that contains equipment to practice hands-on for the lab exam.

CCIE credential holders must recertify every two years or it will be suspended. It’s the responsibility of the credential holder to keep track of their individual recertification deadline. You can apply for a one-year extension to complete re-cert requirements, but if you miss that deadline, your certification is lost forever.

Recertification involves passing a single exam. Currently, acceptable recertification exams include any current CCIE written or lab exam, or a current CCDE written or practical exam. Credential holders may also recertify by passing the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview and board review. Alternatively, credential holders may recertify through participation in the Cisco Continuing Education Program (CEP). To recertify through the CEP, credential holders must earn 100 continuing education credits, pay a $300 administrative fee, and agree to CEP terms and conditions.

CCIE Collaboration Facts and Figures

Certification Name Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Collaboration
Prerequisites & Required Courses No course prerequisites. In-depth understanding of test courses plus three to five years of job experience recommended.
Number of Exams Two exams: Written qualification test (Exam 400-051 version 2.0: CCIE Collaboration), 90 to 110 questions, 120 minutes.

Hands-on lab test (Version 2.0), 8 hours.

Cost of Exam Written exam: $450, test 400-051

Lab exam: $1,600 per attempt

URL https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccie_collaboration
Self-Study Materials Written exam: The CCIE written exam website maintains a list of Cisco Press resources, reference and design guides, training, self-assessment tools, and more. Additional self-study resources are available from the Cisco Learning Network Store.

CCIE Lab Exam: The Cisco Learning Network maintains a list of self-study resources for the CCIE lab exam.

CCIE Practice Exam: Udemy offers a practice test with weekly-updated mock test as the final prep for the CCIE.

CCNP Collaboration: Cisco Certified Network Professional Collaboration

The intermediate-level CCNP Collaboration recognizes network engineers who are well versed in Cisco Voice and UC devices and applications in enterprise networks.

Four exams are required to qualify for the CCNP Collaboration credential. A certified candidate designs, implements, configures, manages and troubleshoots Cisco UC applications, networks and devices. Candidates should have in-depth knowledge of all facets of unified networking, including gateways, IP phones, quality of service (QoS), voice, video and presence applications, and utilities for configuring Cisco routers and switches, in addition to one to three years’ experience with these technologies.

Training is recommended but not required. Cisco offers in-depth training courses, both in the classroom and online, for each exam. Depending on the training provider, classroom live and virtual classroom live courses cost approximately $3,795, while online self-paced courses start at about $1,100. Training courses typically last five days.

The CCNP Collaboration, like all Cisco professional-level certifications, requires recertification every three years. To recertify, you must pass one Cisco test before your cert’s expiration date. Acceptable exams include any current 642-XXX professional-level exam, any 300-XXX professional-level exam, any CCIE written exam, any CCDE written or practical exam, or passing the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview and board review.

CCNP Collaboration Facts and Figures

IBM Certified System Administrator: Sametime V9.0

The intermediate-level IBM Sametime administrator credential aims at systems administrators with existing skills and hands-on experience in IBM Sametime 9.0. Candidates must understand architectural considerations when running IBM Sametime within an IBM WebSphere environment. They must also demonstrate their knowledge of Sametime deployment and audio/video configuration within Sametime, along with management, troubleshooting, performance monitoring and optimization techniques.

The certification requires candidates to pass a 78-question multiple-choice exam, to be completed in no more than 105 minutes. IBM emphasizes the need for hands-on experience before tackling this exam, stating that “direct application of the skills learned cannot be substituted” with any of the self-study materials. The test measures a candidate’s knowledge of task performance rather than memorization of features and functions.

In addition to the Certified System Administrator credential, IBM also offers two related certifications:

  • IBM Certified Associate – Sametime 9.0: This is an entry-level certification for professionals with knowledge regarding the use and administration of an IBM Sametime environment. Successful candidates should possess a basic understanding of UC concepts, databases, and IBM WebSphere and IBM Domino V9.0 environments.
  • IBM Certified Advanced System Administrator – Sametime 9.0: This is an advanced professional-level credential for system administrators, application, infrastructure and solution architects. It requires an understanding of the WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment and Liberty Profile environments. Candidates must first obtain the Certified System Administrator credential and then pass an additional exam.

The IBM Certified System Administrator – IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5 credential is still available for those working in Lotus Sametime 8.5 environments.

While IBM certifications are evergreen and don’t expire, the same cannot be said for technology. Credential holders should plan to move up and recertify on new technology as it becomes available.

IBM Certified System Administrator – Sametime V9.0 Facts and Figures

Certification Name IBM Certified System Administrator – Sametime V9.0
Prerequisites Basic IBM Sametime administration knowledge plus hands-on experience with IBM Sametime V9.0
Number of Exams One exam: Exam C2040-413: IBM Sametime 9.0 Administration (78 questions, 105 minutes, 52 questions required to pass)
Cost of Exam $200. Exams administered by Pearson VUE.
URL https://www.ibm.com/certify/cert?id=14011704
Self-Study Materials IBM maintains a list of test objectives, Technotes, product documentation and web resources for the exam.  Also, candidates can purchase a web-based sample/practice test (number A2040-413 Assessment: IBM Sametime 9.0 Administration) from Pearson VUE for $30.

MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert): Productivity

The MCSE: Productivity certification targets professionals supporting enterprise-grade hybrid and cloud solutions for Microsoft Office. Key technologies include Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Office, Exchange, Skype for Business and SharePoint.

To obtain the MCSE: Productivity credential, candidates must first obtain the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Office 365, MCSA: Windows Server 2012 or MCSA Windows Server 2016 certification. Then, they must pass one additional test from an approved list. Currently, there are eight different exams to choose from. In addition, Microsoft recommends three to four years of experience.

The Microsoft Certification Program underwent extensive changes in September 2016. Once you earn one of the latest MCSE credentials, you do not have to recertify within three years as was the case in the past. However, by passing an elective test each calendar year, you add an entry to your transcript that indicates your commitment to staying current on technologies and expanding your skillset.

MCSE: Productivity Facts and Figures

Certification Name Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Productivity
Prerequisites & Required Courses MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows Server 2012 or MCSA Windows Server 2016 certification

Three or more years of experience recommended.

Number of Exams Candidates must pass one of the following exams:

Exam 70-345: Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016

Exam 70-339: Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016

Exam 70-333: Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015

Exam 70-334: Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015

Exam 70-331: Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

Exam 70-332: Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

Exam 70-341: Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013

Exam 70-342: Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013

Cost of Exam $165 per exam. Exams administered by Pearson VUE.
URL https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/mcse-productivity-certification.aspx
Self-Study Materials Microsoft provides links to training, practice exams by third-party vendors such as Mindhub and MeasureUp, case studies, test study groups and more. Links to community support forums and other resources are listed on each test web page. Microsoft also offers various training options through its Microsoft Official Courses On-Demand (MOC On-Demand) program.

Beyond the top 5: more UC certifications

The UC certification landscape is not as crowded as the pool of general networking certs or the increasingly popular cloud and mobile credentials, but UC is on the rise nonetheless. In fact, traditional UC is increasingly offered through the cloud, forcing certifications to take on a new flavor to accommodate the latest technologies and techniques.

In addition to the top five certs covered in this article, many colleges and universities offer courses in unified communications or certificate programs aimed at workforce training. Note that most of those programs incorporate Cisco equipment and applications. Other programs are available, though. We conducted a simple Google search that revealed several interesting choices, including the Information Technology: Network Specialist Concentration at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Another consideration is Mitel Networks. Although the company doesn’t offer its own IT career certifications as of this writing, Gartner considers Mitel one of the leaders in the UC market, and the company name appears in job board searches for “unified communications” with great frequency. That means there’s an abundance of open positions that call for Mitel experience and/or knowledge. When evaluating UC certifications, and especially certificate programs through colleges or universities, consider if the required skills and knowledge might transfer to a job working with Mitel technology.

Thu, 09 Nov 2023 10:01:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10845-best-unified-communications-certifications.html
3 Best Life Coach Certification Programs (2023)

Life coaching continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and it’s no surprise why. The world around us is now changing at a staggering pace, and many of us are struggling to keep up.

Finding the perfect training program to kickstart a coaching career, though, is not so obvious.

In this guide, we’ll be covering the three programs that we believe provide the best first step toward establishing yourself as a certified life coach. Whether you’re looking to provide coaching as part of a company or looking to start a coaching practice of your own, each of these programs will provide the skills you’ll need to support others as they enact positive change in their own lives.

That is, after all, the essence of coaching.

The 3 Best Life Coach Certification Programs

  1. Coach Training Alliance - Our top pick
  2. iPEC - Good choice for higher budgets
  3. CoachU - Long history of excellence

As we take a deep dive into these three programs, we’re going to examine what sets each one apart from the others. We’ll provide valuable insights into the program costs, the curricula, methods of delivery, and much more.

Whether you’re just starting your journey into the world of life coaching, or seeking to enhance an existing practice, the information you find here will help make that journey much smoother and more predictable. By the end, you should be ready to select a life coach training program that fits your unique needs.

Coach Training Alliance

(Ascend Agency)


Renowned in the life coaching industry, Coach Training Alliance has established itself as one of the leading voices in coach training. Over 10,000 coaches in 50+ countries have completed the CTA curriculum and earned their coaching certification.

First and foremost, CTA’s key value proposition is their affordability. As we’ll discuss a bit later, no other ICF-accredited life coach certification matches the value of a CTA education, with CTA’s tuition coming in at half of that of the competition.

Another key advantage is CTA’s business-minded curricular focus. While most coach training programs focus primarily on the art and skill of coaching, CTA’s balances their curriculum by placing a unique emphasis on the business side of your coaching career, especially if your goal is to run a successful private coaching practice. More on this later on, as well.

Let’s dig deeper to understand why Coach Training Alliance is a popular choice among student coaches and what you can expect upon enrollment.

ICF Accreditation

CTA holds accreditation from the International Coach Federation (ICF) – the gold standard in ethical coach training. As such, Coach Training Alliance educates students on the core elements of coaching, like advanced communication strategies, ethical standards and practical guidelines, cultivating professional trust, and active listening.

This is critical for molding you into a competent and professional coach, who not only has the skills to make a lasting impact on your clients, but the ethics to do it properly.

Course Content

The Art of Coaching

CTA offers comprehensive training for prospective coaches that helps to equip them with the tools essential for success. From the basics of understanding effective communication to practicing empathy and active listening, the CTA program dives incredibly deeply into the specific, complex techniques that help to define a truly proficient coach.

Business Side of Coaching

Where CTA stands out is its dedication to the business aspect of life coaching. Creating your basic office setting, determining a rate structure, getting referrals, and even how to market yourself and your practice effectively are all elements that are covered in the CTA program. This results in students who are far more well-prepared to coach clients as well as run a sustainable business positioned for strong growth over the years.

CTA’s innovative program benefits include a ensure of obtaining at least two paying clients before the student’s graduation. This is indicative of the CTA’s commitment to making sure student coaches are well-prepared for the entrepreneurial side of coaching since they’ll need to run their businesses.

CTA recognizes that being a skilled coach is only one-half of a successful plan. Building a sustainable coaching business that can attract clients is just as critical to the long term viability of a coaching career.

Anyone interested in learning more about Coach Training Alliance is encouraged to sign up to CTA’s free coaching workshop – a no-cost opportunity to ask any questions you may have and meet Lisa Pisano, CTA’s Director of Admissions. You’ll even be given the chance to participate in a real coaching session with a mentor coach.

Click here to sign up to CTA’s free workshop!   

Method of Delivery: 100% Remote

(Ascend Agency)

CTA’s program is completed entirely online, which provides a level of flexibility and accessibility to students around the world that is challenging to find in other accredited courses. This versatility means CTA is a great option for individuals who want to pursue life coaching while still being able to keep other commitments, like holding a job or maintaining family responsibilities.

The program’s digital format means that quality life coach education is available at your fingertips, no matter where you are, as long as you’ve got stable internet connectivity.

Program Duration: Six Months

The course is designed to be completed in just six months, which strikes a reasonable balance between in-depth coverage and a more manageable timeframe. This helps coaches-in-training start their profession as quickly as possible while still making sure they get the education and training they will need to be successful in the long term.

Cost: $3747

CTA is an excellent value for an ICF-accredited education, with a course price of $3747. In fact, we haven’t found an ICF-accredited life coach certification program on the market today that comes in at this price point, and with the rate of inflation being what it is today, unfortunately it doesn’t appear any other program will come close anytime soon.

Pros & Cons


  • The curriculum addresses both coaching skills and business skills
  • Online delivery for flexibility in learning
  • Guarantee of paying clients before graduation


  • Lack of in-person learning may not be ideal for all learning types
  • May not be suitable for those looking for highly specialized or niche life coaching

CTA’s commitment to helping cultivate the skills of life coach and entrepreneur within students makes it a good choice for those hoping to open their practice following certification. With a heavy reliance on the real-world application of coaching skills, practical business knowledge, and an ICF-recognized curriculum, CTA offers a robust coaching education.

For individuals who are determined to cultivate a successful career in coaching, while also mastering the intricacies of running a business, CTA is one of the best courses available. Click here and get started.

(Ascend Agency)


iPEC (formerly known as The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) has become a comprehensive and highly respected training program. With a blend of online and in-person training, iPEC offers an immersive learning experience that has set the stage for many life coaching careers.

About the Founder: Bruce D. Schneider

iPEC was originally founded by Bruce Schneider. Bruce experienced a life-changing car accident at age 18, which fueled a profound transformation, resulting in his dedication to coaching. His beliefs in personal growth and empowerment are at the core of iPEC’s philosophy and approach.

Course Content

Comprehensive Training

iPEC’s ICF-accredited curriculum contains almost 400 intense training hours, both online and in-person. This highly comprehensive approach results in students receiving an in-depth understanding of all facets of coaching, from core principles to advanced techniques.

Hands-On Experience

The foundation of an iPEC education is its face-to-face training sessions, held at one of their 20 training locations around the world. These intensive, three-day sessions include a myriad of activities like group work, various types of role-playing, creative writing, watching videos, simulated coaching opportunities, and professional technique modeling.

The chance to practice coaching and even be coached by peers offers unparalleled hands-on experience that prepares students for real-world practice.

Niche Specialization

iPEC takes a personalized approach by encouraging students to choose a niche specialty. Upon completing general training in coaching, students have access to a massive assortment of resources on 15 different specializations, such as sports coaching, couples or relationship coaching, and more. This targeted approach allows coaches to create unique programs that cater to specific client needs.

Method of Delivery: Online and In-Person

iPEC takes a blended approach to learning, which combines the convenience of online modules with intensive in-person sessions. The face-to-face sections of the program are held at 20 training locations around the world. This provides learning accommodations for potential coaches on a global scale. The innovative hybrid format of the course leads to a robust learning experience that balances technology with personal interaction.

Program Duration: 7 to 9 Months

The iPEC program has tremendous flexibility in the program length, which can range from 7 to 9 months. This versatility allows prospective students to learn at a pace that aligns with their personal and professional abilities. This blend of in-person and online training creates a dynamic learning experience that provides comprehensive coverage without overwhelming the students or compromising curriculum content.

Cost: $11,450

Since the iPEC program is so in-depth and intensive, it’s among the more expensive options out there. However, considering the depth of training, the unique niche specializations the course offers, and the live, hands-on experience students can benefit from, the program is an attractive option for students with larger budgets.

Pros & Cons


  • Extensive levels of  hands-on training
  • The opportunity to specialize in niche areas
  • Offers a blend of online and in-person learning
  • A renowned founder with an inspiring story
  • More than 20 years experience in training coaches


  • Much larger financial investment required, compared to other programs
  • Less accessible to those with budget constraints

iPEC offers an enriching blend of comprehensive training, hands-on experience, and specialization opportunities. Its clear emphasis on personal growth, blended with the backstory of the inspirational journey of its founder, makes it an attractive choice for those looking to get started in the world of life coaching.


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Recognized as the pioneer of coach training programs, CoachU stands as a benchmark of excellence in the life coaching industry. Founded in 1992 by Thomas Leonard, CoachU’s training legacy is cemented in innovative and foundational coaching programs that cater to both beginners and experienced coaches.

Thomas Leonard’s Vision

The founder of CoachU, Thomas Leonard, is frequently celebrated for bringing life coaching into the professional spotlight. His core belief in the power of life coaching to transform lives has been the guiding principle of CoachU, making it the original and one of the most reputable coaching programs.

Course Content

Core Essentials Program

The CEP or CoachU Core Essentials Program is an ideal gateway to the world of professional coaching. This 77-hour course provides comprehensive coverage of the essentials of coaching, encompassing all ICF’s core competencies. Offered as a telecourse or remote learning program, CEP provides an accessible and robust foundation for aspiring coaches.

Core Essentials Fast Track Program

For individuals seeking a more intensive, personalized experience, CoachU offers the Core Essentials Fast Track Program (CEFTP). This course variant includes a 6-day face-to-face program that adds an immersive, in-person dimension to the core training.

Advanced Coaching Program

CoachU recognizes that different students have varying needs and goals, and offers the Advanced Coaching Program remote learning course as an option for further development. This 77-hour program provides advanced skills training, opening avenues for niche-specific coaching and enhancing business acumen.

International Reach

Reaching students from more than 50 countries, CoachU’s impact extends far beyond local boundaries. Its international presence is indicative of its ongoing commitment to inclusivity, as well as its role in shaping the global life coaching community.

Method of Delivery: Hybrid

CoachU offers flexible delivery methods, helping them to cater to the type of learning their students require or simply prefer. From entirely online programs to in-person intensive options and options in between, students can choose the method that aligns with their schedules and learning styles.

Program Duration: Six to Fifteen Months

The length of the CoachU’s program can vary depending on the chosen path and can range from 6 to 15 months. This flexibility accommodates different commitment levels and career goals, allowing students to progress at their own pace.

Cost: $3195 to $9290

The cost of CoachU’s programs reflects the diversity in their offerings. Ranging from $3195 to $9290, students can select the program that suits both their budget and their educational aspirations. The choice of online or in-person learning, foundational or advanced courses, allows for a tailored investment in one’s coaching career.

This price range puts CoachU right in the middle of the price points of the top 3 Training programs.

Pros & Cons


  • Established reputation as the original coach training program
  • Variety of courses catering to different skill levels
  • Flexible delivery and length options
  • International reach with students from over 50 countries


  • May require additional investment for specialized training
  • Longer programs may not be ideal for those seeking rapid certification

CoachU, as the trailblazer of professional coach training, offers an array of programs that cater to different stages of a coaching career. Its legacy, diverse offerings, and international presence make it an appealing option for those seeking a comprehensive and adaptable path in coaching. CoachU is ideal for both the beginner exploring the fundamentals and the experienced coach seeking advanced specialization and has programs that are designed to meet diverse needs. This has no doubt solidified its position as a leader in the life coaching field.

Choosing The Right Life Coach Training Program

Each program is going to offer a different, unique set of benefits and drawbacks that you’ll need to consider before deciding which is the best life coach certification program for you. This can be overwhelming for many, so we’ve narrowed down the criteria to some of the most important aspects that you should consider.


(Ascend Agency)

This is probably one of the most important things to think about before you choose a coach training program. Accreditation is the biggest sign of a high-quality, reputable life coach training course. Accreditation is more than just an endorsement, it’s a way of ensuring that the program meets specific standards of both education and ethics as determined by the recognized regulatory body, the International Coach Federation.

By making sure you choose an accredited program, you can have the confidence of knowing not only the content, but the educational methodologies, and most importantly the ethical guidelines that are being taught in the course. All three of the courses featured here are accredited by the ICF.

Mode Of Delivery

Choosing your mode of delivery may be a matter of necessity, but it may also be a simple matter of what you prefer. While in-person training has a long list of advantages, remote learning also has significant upsides. There are typically three options here, you’ll usually face choices of in-person, remote, or hybrid.

Some students will thrive in a purely digital format, while others will need at least some in-person time to reach optimal results. Hybrid options are sometimes available, which can provide a balanced and sometimes more flexible approach to certification.

Program Duration

Selecting the right program length for your needs is another incredibly important step in choosing the right program for you. Shorter programs will offer a quicker route to general certification, but may not have the same depth of content and training intensity as longer courses can provide. The other side of that coin, however, is that more time-intensive courses will supply a much deeper exposure to niche coaching areas which can help develop mastery, but also require a much more substantial initial time commitment.

Cost Considerations

You won’t just be investing your time in a coach training program, you’ll also need to invest in the cost of the program itself. Even though your decision shouldn’t rest entirely on the program cost, it should be something that you consider when you are weighing one program against another. Also, consider the cost in the context of the reputation, quality, and content of the course.

High-cost programs will generally offer more extensive training resources and individualized mentorship, but more financially accessible options can still supply you robust foundational training. If you feel that a particular program features a good balance between cost and content value, that program may be the best option.

Primary Focus Area

Despite all ICF-accredited programs abiding by an established list of Core Competencies, programs will differ on their primary focus area.

The primary focus area of the course you choose will ultimately shape the direction of your coaching practice, so having a clear understanding of a course’s focus is critical to making sure the training aligns with your personal goals or career objectives.

Some programs focus intensely on deep, niche coaching training (of which the ICF has fifteen subcategories), and some programs will supply you a solid foundation of coaching, while also preparing you to start, run, and maintain your coaching practice as a functional business. Identifying a program that fits your goals will ensure that the training itself resonates with you, and helps you navigate a path to success as a life coach.

Culture Compatibility

This is one of the more subjective aspects to consider since it’s admittedly difficult to determine a cultural fit from a website tour or other promotional or marketing materials. While it’s difficult to discern, finding a compatible culture is no less important than any other aspect of your training.

Some programs will have a more relaxed pace, while others will be incredibly dense with material. Instructors will have varied backgrounds and qualifications as well, which can make them a better or worse fit for your needs. The culture of the course also includes its size, and with larger programs, you’ll find you have more independence, while smaller programs are more collaborative and intimate.

Wrapping Up

The field of life coaching is incredibly dynamic and rewarding, but while many overlook it, getting certified is more than just getting a piece of paper that says you can do what you say you can; it’s a physical testament to the effort and dedication you have to excellence, professionalism, and ongoing growth.

In summary, the program we recommend to most aspiring coaches is Coach Training Alliance, as it offers an ideal balance of pedigree and cost.

If you’re not restricted by budget and are willing to travel for in-person coach training as well, iPEC is a great option.

And lastly, Coach U is a solid choice as well, with a long-standing history of excellence in coach training.

The three programs we’ve discussed stand out from the rest due to their reputations, ICF accreditation, continuous innovation in pedagogy, and overall reputation. These courses are not only recognized for helping you learn critical coaching skills but also for preparing coaches to become entrepreneurs in the thriving coaching space.

No matter what course you end up choosing, make sure that you stay focused on the core purpose of becoming a life coach, which is to help people become the best version of themselves, and that includes you. Stay motivated and determined, and before you know it, you’ll proudly join the ranks of certified life coaches around the globe.

Thu, 09 Nov 2023 06:20:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.dallasnews.com/marketplace/2023/11/09/3-best-life-coach-certification-programs-2023/
Training Bartenders, Barbers and Divorce Attorneys as Counselors Could Reduce Gun Suicides

Historically, suicide prevention has focused on the mental health risk factors that might lead an individual to want to die. But while such an approach is intuitively appealing, it isn’t working. That is the opinion of Michael Anestis, executive director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center. In 2022 the gun suicide rate in the U.S. reached an all-time high: it increased by 1.6 percent from a year earlier and resulted in 26,993 deaths. Our history of leaning on risk factors hasn’t made us any better at predicting who will die, Anestis says.

That’s why researchers and suicide prevention advocates have taken a new approach: making the surrounding environment safer so that those at risk (whether they know it or not) are less likely to die by suicide. A similar policy in Israel brought about a 57 percent reduction in the suicide rate within the military. It was not just the increased mental health awareness at work but also the behavioral measure of not allowing people to take their guns home when they were off duty, observes a 2016 article in the journal European Psychiatry.

Anestis thinks that we could see comparable results in the U.S. From 2012 to 2020 he lived and worked in southern Mississippi, a state with the fourth-highest rate of gun deaths. Spending eight years in the Deep South made him realize that he had to find a way to reach those whom he cared for deeply, even though their views about guns were much different from his own.

People who own firearms don’t want to accidentally get hurt or hurt others, he says, but they view the risk that firearms pose to their owners as one worth taking. Still, Anestis contends that common ground for widespread secure storage measures is possible. Research that Anestis published in the February 2021 edition of the American Journal of Public Health showed that “lethal means counseling” for gun owners resulted in a wider adoption of safe storage methods.

Scientific American spoke with Anestis about a new training program that he’s leading called Project Safe Guard, which provides neutral figures—such as military unit leaders, barbers and faith leaders—with the tools to educate firearm owners about safety measures storing their weapons, especially in times of despair.

[An edited transcript of the conversation follows.]

People who weren’t trained as psychologists have long spoken to callers on suicide hotlines, but now a new, broader approach to suicide prevention involves training them to do what’s called “lethal means counseling.” Can you explain the program?

It’s called Project Safe Guard, and it’s about training not only clinicians but also community members to talk with firearm owners about the ways that they can store their firearms securely and the circumstances in which they should consider doing so. The idea behind it is to make the environment safer so that when someone is in a difficult place, they’re less likely to have click-and-ready access to their firearms.

The training involves peer-to-peer counseling where individuals such as barbers and faith leaders talk with people who may be more likely to open up to them in a moment of crisis. The training may also involve police and military leaders training their subordinates on how to safely store a firearm either in their homes or using outside storage facilities. We’re trying to change social norms both on a micro and a macro level using credible messengers. At the same time, we’re strategically training those who tend to talk to people in their most difficult moments, giving them the tools to have a reasonable, persuasive conversation with those in need.

How do you choose the types of people to train in the program?

In our first go-around this year, we’re planning on training faith leaders and barbers. These are folks who are generally not seen as having political agendas. They’re well-suited to talk to people in moments of distress, and they’re often trusted with personal information. Even people who are more likely to keep their pain to themselves may open up to a faith leader or a barber. In the future we’re hoping to train divorce attorneys and bartenders for many of the same reasons listed above.

We want people to learn to have conversations about this that don’t feel awkward or political and don’t resemble a public service announcement. It’s all in an effort to shift social norms for how people think about their firearms. For this to happen, they need to encounter the message of secure storage from a number of convincing sources in multiple contexts in order for there to be an internal shift in beliefs. We’re normalizing changes using people who don’t feel like outsiders coming in and telling gun owners what to do.

What are some of the techniques that can be used to connect with gun owners and open their eyes to the importance of safe storage?

We use an approach called motivational interviewing, an intervention that works within a person’s value system to leverage their intrinsic motivation and make positive changes in their life. Some people don’t want to change, and you can’t make them, but the idea is to avoid conflict, which is really important for a cultural and political issue such as firearms.

Individuals are taught to ask open-ended questions to initiate a conversation around firearm storage. For example, asking questions such as: “How do you store your firearms?” “What do you use or not use, and what are your reasons for it?” “Are there any circumstances in which you think it might make sense to not have as quick access to your firearms?” If they respond with “I haven’t really thought about that,” you might say: “What if there are kids in the home, or what if you’ve been drinking, or what if you haven’t been feeling quite like yourself lately? Are those situations that you might consider storing your firearm a bit more securely?” It’s about opening up a conversation and seeing the places where a firearm owner might be willing to make changes.

You write that those who die when using firearms are less likely to engage the health care system. Can you discuss this?

The data are pretty clear that those who die by firearms are less likely to have sought mental health care at the time of their death compared with folks who die by suicide using other methods. It’s very common for those around that person to say that they never saw this coming because the person who died kept their feelings to themselves. We’ve got this problem in the U.S. where those who are most likely to die by firearm suicide aren’t telling anyone what they’re thinking, which makes it more difficult to help them. Project Safe Guard is an opportunity to reach this group in a way that mental health services seem to be falling short. We don’t have a whole lot of data on why these people don’t seek care, but we think it comes from traditionally masculine ideas about solving your own problems and not openly discussing feelings, as well as a certain level of distrust in the health care system and mental health care in general.

What are the next steps in training people?

We’re planning on doing large-scale training sessions in New Jersey in the coming year with faith leaders and barbers. And we also have plans to integrate the Army and the National Guard. Additionally, a former student of mine, Claire Houtsma, a suicide prevention coordinator at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, is training veterans to engage in these conversations with their peers. There are also other approaches to lethal means counseling beyond our program, such as Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM), which is a training course directed at health care and social service workers. Our end goal is to take this as far as it will go by getting it in front of people’s eyes enough times that it has the potential to develop its own momentum.

If you or someone you know is struggling or having thoughts of suicide, help is available. Call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or use the online Lifeline Chat.

Sun, 05 Nov 2023 23:03:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/training-bartenders-barbers-and-divorce-attorneys-as-counselors-could-reduce-gun-suicides/
The Transformative Power of Coaching: Insights from Apex Coaching Partners Founder Rick Barnes
Screenshot 2023 11 13 at 2.16.53 PM

Apex Coaching Partners Founder Rick Barnes

Coaching has emerged as a powerful tool for personal growth and development in recent years. For over two decades, Apex Coaching Partners has provided specialized coaching services to help high-achieving clients obtain positive transformation.

Apex Coaching Partners Founder Rick Barnes’ Journey

After overcoming his own multi-year struggle with addiction in his early 20s, Rick Barnes found purpose working in the entertainment industry. He helped manage musicians through their tours and supported celebrities facing similar challenges to those he had endured.

Through these formative experiences, Barnes discovered his true calling – empowering others to find healing and betterment through coaching. The phrase “NO MATTER WHAT” became a motivating mantra during his recovery that fueled his desire to guide others through adversity.

“I knew firsthand the pain that dysfunction can cause and the joy that growth can bring,” Barnes has commented. “My vision was to create a company focused on guiding people through transformative coaching.”

In 2001, Barnes founded his coaching business to provide personalized support services aligned with this mission.

Specializing in the Entertainment Industry

What sets Apex Coaching Partners apart is their specialty in working with high-achieving artists and creatives, particularly those in the entertainment industry.

The entertainment world poses unique stressors and temptations that can derail careers. By understanding these dynamics, Apex can provide customized holistic support tailored to clients’ needs.

“We know the entertainment industry and culture inside and out,” Barnes has stated. “We understand the complex challenges our clients face. That allows us to help them thrive personally and professionally.”

Techniques for Transformation

Apex utilizes diverse techniques to promote lasting transformation. These include integrative wellness practices like yoga, meditation and fitness training, 12-step programs, somatic and trauma release body therapies, and mindfulness practices.

“Transformation requires digging deep, so we pull from a wide toolkit to support our clients physically, mentally and spiritually,” Barnes has commented.

Apex carefully assembles a client “transformation team” comprising agents, managers, assistants, intervention specialists, coaches and clinicians. By surrounding clients with support, Apex provides integrative care.

The company also maintains strategic partnerships with treatment centers, retreats, and a global network of wellness professionals. This allows them to build comprehensive client teams.

Leading with Innovation

Apex Coaching Partners stays on the cutting edge by continually integrating the latest clinical approaches. All Apex coaches undergo rigorous training in techniques like DBT and trauma-informed care.

DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) provides research-backed tools to address addiction, depression, emotional dysregulation, and other behavioral challenges. Trauma-informed care helps clients safely process trauma.

“We invest heavily in training our coaches in innovative techniques,” Barnes has emphasized. “It allows us to make a real impact for clients struggling with deeply entrenched issues.”

Commitment to Continuous Improvement

Apex remains dedicated to continuously improving their services. They solicit ongoing feedback through client surveys and coach exit interviews. This allows Apex to assess coaching effectiveness and client satisfaction.

“As leaders in coaching, we owe it to our clients to keep getting better,” Barnes has asserted. “Our commitment to evolving through feedback sets us apart.”

Based on client input, Apex regularly fine-tunes their approach, integrates new modalities, and matches clients to optimal coaches. Their agility and client-centered focus have led to extraordinary results.

Expanding Their Reach  

As Apex Coaching Partners expands into Las Vegas, a burgeoning hub for entertainment, their vision is to have the same positive impact on clients there as they’ve had in Hollywood. Vegas brings fresh risks that Apex is equipped to help clients overcome.

The company now also works with business leaders, politicians, and other high achievers beyond entertainment who can benefit from Apex’s specialized coaching.

“We’ve seen the immense value our services provide to entertainers for over 20 years,” Barnes has commented. “We look forward to supporting more diverse clients across sectors who share a drive to Improve and thrive.”

Upcoming Retreat: MotoClarity

An upcoming motorcycle wellness retreat called MotoClarity encapsulates Apex’s holistic philosophy. This 5-day exclusive camping retreat combines scenic rides, integrative practices like breathwork and meditation, and group bonding.

“MotoClarity is designed to help riders decompress, reflect, and tap into the restorative power of the open road,” Barnes has said. “It represents a new frontier for Apex in bringing transformation beyond our core clientele.”

Whether supporting an actor through crisis or guiding self-discovery, Apex continually finds new ways to connect with clients’ desire for growth.

The Path Forward

Apex Coaching Partners has delivered transformative results for over 20 years. Their understanding of clients’ needs, team-based approach, and innovative techniques like DBT and trauma-informed care enable meaningful change.

Apex’s impact shows the power of coaching. By evolving and expanding their reach, Apex remains committed to helping diverse clients pursue fulfillment.

“We meet people where they are and guide them to realize their potential,” Barnes has stated. “There’s nothing more gratifying than watching our clients thrive. We look forward to serving new clients with the same care, passion and excellence that’s defined our work for the past two decades.”

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

Mon, 13 Nov 2023 05:17:00 -0600 In partnership with Bizitron text/html https://www.laweekly.com/the-transformative-power-of-coaching-insights-from-apex-coaching-partners-founder-rick-barnes/
Eric Stinton: This Is What It's Like Training For How To Respond To A School Shooting

Imagine if people rallied around their local schools the way they rallied around guns.

There was no morning bell when teachers and staff filled the cafeteria at 8 a.m. It was a waiver day, so there were no students on campus, only a lack of noise and friction in the hallways. 

But their absence was a good thing, since we adults were learning what to do in the case of an active threat – a school shooter – and there’s evidence to suggest active shooter drills have profound negative psychological impacts on kids.

Such drills may also inform would-be shooters about how their school would respond, potentially giving them insider knowledge on how to maximize their killing spree. 

Fun thoughts to start your morning, but these are the kinds of things we have to think about and prepare for now.

Welcome to teaching in 2023.

The training was led by a group of former police officers called Blue Line Solutions. They began by stating unfortunately undeniable facts: if a school shooting occurs it’ll likely be carried out by a former or current student, and virtually every community that experiences a mass shooting thought it would never happen there. 

I can’t imagine a mass shooting taking place in Kailua, and I don’t believe any of my students are capable of something so unspeakably heinous, but how many other teachers have thought the same things only to be horrifically proven wrong? The default posture of suspicion that is necessary for police officers follows a paranoid logic that is hard to shake once it seeps into you. 

Typical, nondescript USA empty school hallway with royal blue metal lockers along both sides of the hallway.
There is evidence to suggest that active shooter drills can have a profound psychological impact on children. The training by former law enforcement only involved adults. (iStock/Getty Images)

The training was straightforward: the best option, if possible, is to evade the shooter(s) and flee to safety. If that’s not possible, the next best plan is to lockdown in a classroom.

If all else fails, fight back. 

We drilled evasion first. Whistles filled the open air and echoed through the hallways in specific patterns, alerting everyone else that there’s a shooter on campus. If they’re over there, we were instructed, then we need to quickly find the best way to put distance between us and them. That means finding angles and paths that will either provide solid cover from gunfire, or at the very least visual concealment. Whistles blew, heads poked around walls, footsteps scurried across concrete and dirt.

Next, we moved on to the lockdown section of the training: fortifying a classroom in order to make it as difficult as possible for a shooter to enter. I’ll spare the specifics, since the instructors mentioned how one school shooter knew what the lockdown procedure looked like and was consequently able to “create casualties,” as he euphemized.

“We started doing this,” he said about one of the lockdown techniques, “after Parkland? Or was it Nashville? I forget which one.”

Parkland, Nashville, Uvalde. There’s something cruel and semiotic about how random place names come to mean something else entirely, once a warning sign but now increasingly a told-you-so. 

It’s even more dispiriting how they all blur together. Columbine was when I first learned that these things happened. Sandy Hook is when I learned they’d never stop happening. No amount of pint-sized corpses can convince us to supply up our guns. The people have spoken: every bloody backpack is a testament to their will, every teenage life cut short a victory of American democracy. 

Active school shooter drills include learning how to weaponize existing items in the classroom. (Screenshot: Blue Line Solutions)

After a brief primer on recognizing home-made explosives, we moved to the “engage” portion of the training. This, of course, is the last resort, meant only for the most dire circumstances. We discussed which classroom items could be weaponized, and how they could be used: to throw at an attacker, to use as a blunt striking instrument, to stab. I half-expected we’d use “Home Alone” as a tutorial.

We practiced using different objects to strike a prosthetic arm, then moved to what I like to call the student-stabbing station: a stuffed box representing the student or former student shooting up the school, which we repeatedly stuck with scissors. 

It was all pretty bleak stuff when you think about it. Imagine if people rallied around their local schools the way they rallied around guns. What if every time the Legislature demanded teachers do more work for no extra money and with no extra time, or proposed outright cuts to school funding — if people decried it as a breach of their fundamental rights? Because that’s what it is, whether or not a dozen people enshrined it on a legal document 300 years ago. 

We all gathered back in the cafeteria at the end of the training, which by then felt depressingly necessary. The instructors, who were thorough and thoughtful, gave us a parting message: “A lot of teachers say they don’t feel comfortable attacking someone, even if their lives are at risk. But we’ve seen that they’ll do anything to protect their kids.” 

The room applauded what was meant as a specific compliment, but sounded to me like a broad indictment. If only the rest of the country was willing to do the same. 

Civil Beat’s education reporting is supported by a grant from Chamberlin Family Philanthropy.

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Wed, 15 Nov 2023 01:33:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.civilbeat.org/2023/11/eric-stinton-this-is-what-it%ca%bbs-like-training-for-how-to-respond-to-a-school-shooting/
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