MI Skills Demonstration Recordings

MI Skills Demonstration Recording Evaluation

CCMI uses the Motivational Interviewing Competency Assessment (MICA) developed by Jackson et al, 2015 and updated in 2019 (version 3.0). The Motivational Interviewing Competency Assessment (MICA) was developed to provide a way of monitoring and guiding MI practitioner skill development. It draws on current evidence-informed and evidence-based tools to provide concrete feedback on progress in using MI. This validated coding instrument will be used by MICA coders to assess a recording submitted by the trainer candidate.

You will be evaluated on your ability to demonstrate MI verbal interventions and indicators of an MI-based conversation (also known as MI Intentions)

MI Verbal interventions

  1. Reflection : Question Ratio
    • All reflections are counted (simple or complex.) Affirmations are not counted as reflections. Reflections that all express the same thought and are stated together are counted as one.
    • All questions are counted (closed or open).
      • The way in which the reflections, questions and other MI skills (affirmations and summaries) are used in the conversation is captured in the rest of the MICA.
  2. MI strategies: coded on a 1-5 scale
    • Strategically responding to Sustain Talk: The helper understands the role of sustain talk and successfully responds to it to the degree necessary in the conversation.
    • Strategically responding to Change Talk: The helper identifies and responds to change talk in ways that strengthen it over time.

Indicators of an MI-based conversation, all coded on a 1-5 scale (seeMICA Descriptors)

  1. Partnering: The interaction takes place between two equal partners, working together toward goals that the person chooses. The person’s expertise is acknowledged.
  2. Evoking: The helper draws out the person’s own thoughts, ideas, knowledge, perspective, goals, values and solutions.
  3. Guiding: The helper organizes the conversation in a way that helps maintain a clear course without a hidden agenda or an agenda not of the person’s choosing.
  4. Empathy: The helper listens with an open mind and works to understand the person’s feelings and experience so that the person feels heard and understood.
  5. Supporting Autonomy and Activation: The helper actively affirms the person’s freedom to choose and encourages the person’s own actions to achieve their goals.


The goal is to demonstrate the following level of competency:

  • Greater than a 1:1 Reflection : Question ratio (more reflections than questions).
  • ≥ 7 total MICA score (learn more about scoring by downloading the MICA manual here)
  • No lower than 3 on any item on the MICA

The following options are encouraged to practice MI in preparation for skills demonstration:


The MICA was developed by Casey Jackson, Susan Butterworth, Ali Hall, and John Gilbert. For more information, visit micacoding.com.