07 Mar

NLP Associations and Credentials

by Jules Collignwood – Inspiritive Australia

In the world of NLP training, there is no regulation of standards, syllabus content, duration of training nor levels of competency. At the same time, there are plenty of groups of people purporting to be professional or other NLP associations representing the interests of their members and offering cut price insurance. This has become possible because John Grinder and Richard Bandler, in the best tradition of revolutionary activity, failed to identify and define the parameters for standards and training practice in NLP when they were in a position to do so. At that time, the Society of NLP could have become the “official” organ and developed in due course into a statutory body. How bourgeois then, but how much better for the field in the long run.

Instead, we have, for example, the ABNLP, BBNLP, INLPTA, NLPTRB, ANLP, AINLP, Society of NLP, Professional Guild of NLP and others from time to time, all of which are non-official, non-accredited bodies with the authority of a puff of hot air. These bodies endorse NLP trainers and the certification of so-called “Practitioners” and “Master Practitioners” and in some cases “Trainers” and “Master Trainers”.

 

American Pacific University, which is associated with an NLP training organization and an NLP association, has no charter, no Act of Congress, and is not accredited as a university ( see www.ossc.state.or.us/oda/unaccredited.html ), nor is it recognised in the Academic world. This kind of organisation is known as a “Degree Mill” and is illegal in much of the developed world. As a counter example, NLP University, to its credit, does not claim to be a university and states in its literature that it does not offer educational qualifications.

 

Many NLP organisations claim “international recognition or accreditation”. The Australian government describes this kind of program as a “hobby course” and requires GST to be paid on their fees. Here are some definitions:

 

“Accreditation” means that a government has approved the program and training organization and has included them in its list of qualifications and approved institutions. Universities are accredited under Royal Charter or Act of Parliament or Congress. Registered training organisations in Australia are accredited nationally, through state training bodies, to offer nationally accredited training.

 

“Endorsed” means that a non-official, non-government organisation or person approves of a trainer and or their program. Endorsement may be worth more or less according to the expertise and standing of the endorsing entity and the subject of the endorsement. It has no official standing. “Internationally recognised” as used in NLP promotional literature, means that the proponent is trying to make a non-accredited program or organisation look accredited. What they mean is that some non-official person or body has endorsed it.

 

“Internationally accredited” means the same as “internationally recognised” and neither carries any authority.

 

You, reader, have the right to designate yourself a master practitioner right now, if you so choose, and no one can stop you. On the other hand, if anyone claims to have a degree when they do not, the full process of law is available to stop them. To have that privilege in NLP, we need worthwhile standards, accredited qualifications and a statutory body.

 

Twenty years ago, the associations were doing their best to keep NLP training in the hands of experts and to restrict membership to those who had completed 21 days of live training as practitioners and a total of 40 days to become master practitioners and been assessed as competent by association approved assessors. For a while, self-regulation seemed to work. Then the duration of practitioner training started to slip until the lowest was seven days with a distance learning component and scripted formats instead of patterns. The purveyors of short training programs marketed them aggressively, and from 1990 on, the seven day practitioners sought full membership of the associations, which needed members to stay in business. As these people acquired voting rights, the standards fell.

 

At Inspiritive, before we became a Registered Training Organisation and chose the route of government accreditation, we had involvement with three associations. Each one was taken over subsequently by a majority of people who wanted lower standards. In the first case, it was to boost membership, in the second, it was to allow members to compete in the now debased market place and in the third case, it was ignorance of the distinction between patterns and content that prompted the change. One or more of these interests has reduced the capacity of any non-official body we have encountered, not just the above three, to promote accurate, comprehensive NLP that conforms to the descriptions in Grinder and Bostic’s “Whispering in the Wind”. Until there is one that does, we shall not be seeking their endorsement.

 

Instead, Inspiritive has become a Registered Training Organisation and has had a 40 day, 330 hour Graduate Certificate in NLP accredited by the Australian government. We also have the honour to be endorsed by Dr. John Grinder, the co-originator of the field. Our course is all NLP, taught in a New Code framework to facilitate unconscious uptake of the patterns and natural, spontaneous behaviour with NLP thereafter. We distinguish between patterns and content, teach patterns and only identify content models that have been placed, erroneously in our opinions, in the field of NLP so that our students can learn to place learning materials in their proper context.

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