Certification Requirements

ISM Certification is the next step for those interested in deepening their understanding of the Integrated Systems Model and perhaps getting an ISM case report published!  If you are a graduate of any Discover Physio Series (word-wide) or the ISM Series with Diane Lee you are qualified to begin the certification process.

Certification does not require travel or attendance; this is a home study course.  The following outlines the process for those interested in becoming certified in the ISM approach along with examples of what is expected.

The online platform and case study format is fantastic. It is a great interactive medium providing unique opportunity for participants’ reasoning to be explored and feedback provided. Well done and thanks for allowing me to have a look.

Mark A. Jones

Program Director
Master of Advanced Clinical Physiotherapy
School of Health Sciences
University of South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

From Leigh Fortuna on her experience doing the ISM certification.

I can’t thank you enough for all your time on this Diane.  It has been a great experience.  I definitely am thinking more clearly about many things such as actor/reactor and how to assess feet. I saw another person with feet like yours today and it is just so much more obvious now.  Previously it was just confusing how it looked pronated (talus) and supinated (calcaneus) at same time!  Language is flowing better and I am trying to chart more clearly with updated language as well.  Even some of the simple questions asked, like tests done on a primary driver (active, passive mobility and active, passive control) just hammered home basics.  I know I will continue to get better and better as I get more experience seeing and feeling things, and now I have a better thought framework of sorts to build my clinical skills/expertise in.  THANK YOU!! I was definitely intimidated about starting but you made it all about learning and even when I literally slapped myself in forehead at times thinking “duh” never felt anything but support for improving the way I was thinking.  It is really the final step of doing the Series, and an important one.  It helped me to integrate parts 1-3 in a very clinically meaningful way.

Leigh Fortuna

Vancouver, BC

Step 1: The Series

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  • The ISM Series 

    Clinical Mentorship in the Integrated Systems Model

    We will come together for 3 sessions of 5 days over a period of 8 months with lots of practical/clinical time to focus on acquiring the skills and clinical reasoning to put the ISM model into practice. Hours of online material are included to allow you to learn the theoretical concepts of the ISM...

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  1. Completion of the ISM Series (Discover Physio (2007 – 2013) or with Diane Lee (2014 – current)) with at least 6 months of clinical practice using the ISM approach after completion of your Series.
  2. Completion of the online quizzes and two ISM referral letters and Clinical Puzzles related to the current ISM Series Prep and Support.  One of these letters and Clinical Puzzles should be of the case report you intend to submit for certification. Past Series and Discover Physio grads will have access to these quizzes and the new ISM referral and editable Clinical Puzzle templates as part of the certification process.  70% correct on each quiz is required to move on between parts.
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  • ISM Series Update

    For Series Grads Only

    This 3-day highly practical course will update your skills for finding complex drivers, revisit the articular system to show how traditional mobility tests are integrated into the ISM and then apply the principles of ISM to Yoga for movement training.

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If you have completed The Series in the past but feel rusty or in need of review, consider taking the ISM Series Update course. This course is held annually in Akasha Studio, which is in South Surrey, BC (see schedule).

Step 2: Case Report (Written)

Written ISM case report to illustrate ISM skills. This is not the same as an ISM letter that was part of the Series completion homework. The written case report is a full narrative report (full sentences) and should include the following:

  1. Patient’s story (history of events leading up to the current presentation)
  2. Meaningful complaint
  3. Meaningful task(s)
  4. Cognitive and/or emotional beliefs
  5. Screening tasks derived from the meaningful task
    1. Include the sites of non-optimal alignment, biomechanics and control. Effective 2018 – please avoid the use of the ISM term failed load transfer (FLT) since it is not widely understood, instead please explain how the body region is failing, not simply that it is and how the driver(s) were determined for each screening task – detailed clinical reasoning is expected in this report.
  1. Further analysis of the driver(s) (active and passive mobility (including vector analysis), active and passive control) to determine the underlying system impairment
  2. Initial treatment session (RACM)
    1. Release/align – what techniques were chosen for release/align
    2. Connect/move – how did you retrain a better strategy for their goals (meaningful tasks). How did you determine whether a connect cue was needed?
    3. Home exercise practice plan
  3. Followup treatment sessions
    1. Outline response to treatment and if the driver(s) were noted to change
    2. Briefly describe the highlights of subsequent treatment sessions (RACM)

Example Case Report

We are looking for a detailed report (not a summary like the ISM letter). To give you a sense of the scope of this step take a look at an example case report written by Cathy Rogers by clicking the button below. After submitting her case report, Cathy was asked Clinical Reasoning Questions.  Her answers are in the boxes. Submissions that contain insufficient detail or clinical reasoning will be returned for further development before any clinical reasoning questions are asked.

Cathy’s Case Report

Step 3: Skills Demonstration (Video)

Three short videos (no longer than 5 minutes each) in either .mp4, .mov or m4v format to demonstrate your acquired ISM skills as they pertain to your written case report OR in another case.  If another case is chosen, please provide a brief ISM synopsis to explain the videos.

  1. How you determined the driver(s) during any of the treatment sessions (choose one that highlights that you have the skills necessary to determine the influence of one site of impairment on the other.
  2. How you determined the underlying system impairment of the driver (include vector analysis using a variety of listening techniques)
  3. One other video of your choice that highlights your understanding of the assessment/treatment principles of the Integrated Systems Model

Example Videos

Take a look at these 4 example videos to get an idea what we’re looking for.

Skills Demonstration
Finding the Driver
Skills Demonstration
Vector Analysis PD
Skills Demonstration
Release Technique of Primary Vector
Video Preview
Secondary Driver Hypothesis After Release

Step 4: Case Review

This case report will be reviewed by Diane Lee and clinical reasoning questions will be asked at certain points in your reports.  This is to be followed by answers that illustrate your knowledge of the theoretical concepts presented in your case. We may go back and forth for up to 4 versions of your report until it is completed.


If your case is inconsistent with an ISM assessment and not deemed ready for certification after 4 re-writes, you will be asked to continue to practice and to try again later in 1 year. The annual update course would be a good idea if this occurs for you! There is an expected standard for certification, it is not a given that merely submitting a case report will result in certification.

Benefits of Certification

After it has been determined that you have the required ISM skills and clinical reasoning for certification:

  • Your name and workplace will be added to the special list of world-wide certified ISM practitioners
  • You will be permitted to use the special ISM logo on your letterhead and receive a certificate of ISM certification!
  • Your report will be published on the learnwithdianelee.com website for future learning of ISM Series students
  • You can apply to assist us when we teach courses near you!

Where do I start?

In order to sign up for certification you must be logged in to your account on this site.  Your account must also be registered as a graduate of any Discover Physio Series (word-wide) or the ISM Series with Diane Lee. If you did the ISM Series prior to 2014, it is highly recommended that you attend an ISM update course – much has changed!

Registered grads will see a button below to sign up.  If you are signed in and you are a graduate but do not see the button below, please contact adminLDL@dianelee.ca with your Series Grad year/location.

Start your Certification!

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