The Subject-Object Interview Certification Program

What is the Subject-Object Interview?
The Subject-Object Interview (SOI) is a reliable and finely-tuned instrument designed to explore and identify the complexity of a person's meaning-making and current position on the developmental continuum of adulthood as described by constructive-developmental theory¹. Seen as the gold standard of assessments, the SOI is acknowledged as "theoretically the most elegant, and methodologically the most differentiated, of the theories and measures"² of adult development.

The Subject-Object Interview Certification Program
Our program is unique in the field. We provide expert guidance and a learner-centered context for you to develop the expertise, confidence, and competence to use the SOI successfully in your work. We start with interactive training sessions in which you will acquire foundational knowledge, develop scoring skills, score real SOIs, and have a first-hand experience of the SOI. We then offer interactive mentoring sessions in which you will deepen developmental reasoning, increase scoring competence, and conduct the end-to-end SOI process. You will receive targeted feedback and have the time to ask the questions that are important to you. After the mentoring sessions, you can start the Reliable SOI Scorer certification process.

You will learn the SOI with its foremost expert and master trainer and certifier, Dr. Nancy Popp. Dr. Popp has been applying constructive-developmental theory in both research and practice since the early 1980s when she began her work with Dr. Robert Kegan at Harvard.

The learning and experience gained through your participation in this program will give you sufficient background to start engaging in the field of adult development. When you have met the criteria for becoming a Reliable SOI Scorer, you will have access to our expert, reliable scoring services and support. This access allows you to immediately put Subject-Object Interviews “to work” in your practice or research.

Ongoing Learning
This program is also the foundation and prerequisite for becoming certified as an official "SOI Reliable Scorer" allowing you to use the SOI in your work. Becoming an "SOI Reliable Scorer" will also allow you to join our:
  • SOI Lab: A community of SOI reliable scorers and individuals who have completed training and guided mentoring in our program dedicated to deepening their knowledge of the constructive-developmental theory, their expertise and rigor on the SOI scoring process, and finding new ways to bring this powerful lens to the forefront of both practice and research of other fields.
  • Masterclasses: Expert-facilitated, 3-session, live, online classes connecting you with other SOI program alumni and SOI reliable scorers for in-depth learning on the applications of constructive-developmental theory and the SOI.

“Nancy's encyclopedic knowledge and experience of the theory; Ljerka's practitioner perspective — a very powerful combination. Continuously making links between the academic and theoretical, and actual practice. Being in a group of like-minded coaches, each with a wealth of experience they put at everyone's disposal. Witnessing other participants' learning — lost count of instances where someone else summarised exactly what I was figuring out myself there and then.”

Graham Ward Ph.D., FRSA
Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour
INSEAD Business School
London, United Kingdom

“This was deep learning. The process was humbling. Typically, in business, you pay for it and get it, whether or not you have the ability. Certifications are typically dummy proof; the SOI is definitely not dummy proof. You have to have a deep level of understanding. Challenging. Deep. Thoughtful. It’s hard in the best possible way. In this, there are layers and depth that don’t exist elsewhere.”

Dr. Cameron Potter, Ph.D.
Manager Employee Success, Human Resources
Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, Texas, United States

Refreshed and refocused important aspects of my coaching practice. Developmental coaching requires constructive-developmental theory, so going deeply into this theory which I had already studied was really essential. Setting the agenda with the client, contracting, where they want to focus, and negotiating that, as I may see things they are not seeing. It helps me ask different questions, which you can do with this theory under your belt. Scoring these interviews gives you a whole bank of developmental questions, it's like a cheat sheet in a way. My radar was sharpened. You hear things while studying in the course, and you see it develop in a coaching conversation; you get paths of inquiry you can choose from and ask the client about what matters to them.” 

Flo van Diemen van Thor
Leadership Development Coach and Mentor
Oxford, United Kingdom

This course  has been the single most impactful experience in my personal and professional development. I started the SOI certification with the hope of improving my coaching by understanding the ways in which my clients make meaning of their world and the challenges they face. I believe this was achieved. However, I was not prepared for how much the process challenged and supported me in understanding my own meaning-making and what it both enables and constrains - in my coaching but also in my life. This course has been the single most impactful experience in my personal and professional development.”

Kevin Sinclair  Principal Consultant and Executive Coach 
Newcastle, Australia

For more information about the program or anything else please contact us at

¹Kegan, R. (1982). The evolving self: Problem and process in human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
¹Kegan, R. (1994). In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
²Torbert, W. R. (2014). Brief comparison of five developmental measures: The GLP, the LDP, the MAP, the SOI, and the WUSCT. Retrieved from: