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Certification levels - FAQ

The Indian & International Professional Association of Neuro-Linguistic Programming are often asked the same questions by multiple people.  Compiled here are the most often asked questions about Certification levels.  

If you have a question which is not answered here please send your question via the Contacts page.

Questions answered below are:

  1. How does IPANLP address classical flaws?
  2. How is IPANLP Certification different?
  3. What are the IPANLP endorsed Certification levels?
  4. What are 'Meta' and 'Agent of Change', are they new?
  5. As a Master Practitioner can I add more days at Practitioner?
  6. Can I attend the same short seminar many times for certification?

How does IPANLP address classical flaws?

IPANLP do not certify, certificate, accredit, verify or recognise. It is the trainer alone who evaluates and certificates their participants at the training.

IPANLP endorse certifications based on the number of days, face to face NLP Training received rather than organisation, standard, trainer or syllabus. We suggest that a training day is 6 face to face hours and rely on the integrity of IPANLP endorsed Educators & Trainers to calibrate their participants ability to work for more hours on a given day.

IPANLP advocates that certification is the start of the journey rather than the end and actively encourage members to continually seek to update their knowledge, skill and ability in NLP. To this end we take into account the quantity of training by enhancing the certification level we endorse. See below.

IPANLP endorsed certificates carry all the number of days, number of hours training and the level, date, course & trainers names. i.e. if you have attended 3 different practitioner courses, all these details can appear on your new certificate.

IPANLP views NLP Educators and Trainers as 'serious students' and expect them to also view themselves as 'serious students' rather than guru's, experts or God forbid, 'Masters'!

IPANLP encourages continued professional skill development by endorsing meta levels of certification as outlined below.

How is IPANLP certification different?

Virtually all of the NLP Membership bodies are effectively "clones" of each other with very little to distinguish between them.  Their standards and codes of ethics are by and large the same, minimal, rigid and yet, more often than not, each will not accept participants from other organisations to join theirs without undergoing their whole program. 

The traditionally accepted NLP certification levels of "Practitioner" and "Master Practitioner" are throw backs to the late 1970's and because of the great difference in the quality and standard of training, experience of the trainer and the number of days training, one "Practitioner" level of certification is not necessarily equal to another (even within the same organisation). This is something we have noticed and specifically addressed within the IPANLP.
IPANLP provide its associates the opportunity to easily gain certification at a "Practitioner" level and increase the quality of that certification and, more importantly, application of NLP skill, to a truly professional level. With IPANLP, certification is the start of the process rather than the end result of attendance at a training. We believe this focus on practice & application, results in a better and more rounded NLP Agent of Change.

IPANLP distinguishes between solely Classic Code NLP Practitioner and New Code NLP Agent of Change and are moving toward government accredited NLP Graduate qualification.

What are the NLP certification levels?


NLP Diploma - For those who have attended introductory NLP based face to face training
NLP Practitioner - between 3-25 days face to face NLP Practitioner level training 
NLP Master Practitioner - between 5-25 days face to face NLP based Master Practitioner level training 
NLP Trainer - between 5-25 days face to face NLP based Trainers training

The above are based on NLP membership organisations industry wide standards.  It means that entry at Practitioner level NLP training is now readily accessible to almost everyone in India & UAE.        

NLP Basic/Diploma/Introduction - at least 1 days face to face NLP based Practitioner level training
NLP Agent of Change - at least 20 days, face to face NLP based Practitioner level training
NLP Meta Agent of Change - at least 20 days, face to face NLP based Master Practitioner level training

NLP Trainer - at least 7 days face to face NLP based Trainer level training by an IPANLP Meta Educator.
NLP Educator - For those with face to face New Code NLP training, an NLP Trainer certificate & at least 2 years experience running quality NLP Programs.  

The above number of days need not be taken consecutively and not all days with the same trainer or training organisation. IPANLP encourage getting multiple descriptions from multiple perspectives.

META EDUCATOR LEVEL:  (way beyond the old 'Master Trainer' level)

NLP Meta Educator - an NLP Educator that is responsible for the quality of new NLP Educators & Trainers endorsed by the IPANLP a position of service rather than significance.

Number of days training, means days of face to face training.  The IPANLP DON'T approve of 'Pre-Course' learning material to count towards number of days training.  It was introduced at a time when there were few books around about NLP. See here for more information.

The IPANLP DO approve of 'Pre-course preparation work', 'Post Course review & practice materials', and NLP Practice groups, to lock in the learning and skills gained during training.  However this too is not counted as a part of the number of days training.     

What is 'Meta' and 'Agent of Change', are they new?

The NLP certification levels of Practitioner and Master Practitioner are a throw back to the late 1970's.  Originally Bandler & Grinder modelled excellent Therapists and taught these models of therapy to other practicing therapists.  Hence the courses were named as (therapeutic) Practitioner and subsequently a follow on course, Master Practitioner was created to include newly discovered models and enhancements of previous models.

NLP is generative in that it can be applied across contexts, so not only in the context of therapy, but also the contexts of business, sport, relationships etc etc.

"Agent of Change" is a title which we think is more appropriate across contexts. i.e. Business Agent of Change is a more acceptable title than 'business practitioner'! We believe it was John Grinder (co-creator of NLP) who coined the term 'Agent of Change'!

At the end of a New Code Trainer Training, John Grinder concluded the session by addressing a high quality group of NLP Trainers.  He said "Remember, none of you have yet reached Mastery.... and I join you in that!" 

An appropriate way of describing the course that extends Practitioner is Meta Practitioner.  "Meta" meaning 'above' and also the orginal name for the technology that subsequently became named NLP!!

Hence IPANLP are proposing an update as follows:
NLP Practitioner --> NLP Agent of Change
NLP Master Practitioner --> NLP Meta Agent of Change
NLP Trainer --> (re-focused to 'NLP Education' as opposed to inexperienced 'business presenters')

NLP Master Trainer --> NLP Educator (NLP Trainer with at least 2 years quality NLP facilitation experience)
New Level - NLP Meta Educator (responsible for maintaining the quality of NLP Educators & Trainers)

Both the Classic format and New format will appear on the IPANLP certificates.

As Master Practitioner can I add more days at Practitioner?

Yes you can!

This structure provides the facility for a low cost way to train and thus to evaluate the trainer before proceeding to more training days with that trainer.  If the training style doesn't suit you, you are free to go and train with someone else to complete the structure of that level of training as fully as possible, even after attaining a seemingly higher level of certification.  

This allows you to become a fuller, more rounded NLP Practitioner / Agent of Change.  It also means that you can train towards a particular advanced NLP level as and when money and time permit. And gives you plenty of time in between to practice without missing out on the interim certification.

Can I attend the same seminar many times for certification?

Yes you can! Any seminar or training can be viewed at different levels and from different perspectives so that new learnings can emerge each time it is attended.  In fact on obtaining an NLP Educator or Trainer endorsed certification the participant is actively encouraged to re-attend multiple Practitioner & Master Practitioner level courses to observe them again, this time from the perspective of a trainer.

IPANLP encourages its associates to attend multiple trainings with the same trainer IF that trainers varies the exercises and descriptions of patterns. Or to attend multiple trainings with multiple trainers to experience the different subjective perspectives and various descriptions of similar patterns.

The focus is on the comprehensive development of NLP patterning and skill rather than fulfilling a minimum standard syllabus.  Continually practicing a skill over and over leads toward mastery of the patterns and observation of flaws.  Our attention is on a Practitioner who is able to intuitively apply NLP patterning rather than on one who fulfills content criteria by 'ticking the boxes'! 

As a professional, when they have mastered one skill an IPANLP associate would seek out training in other NLP patterns and skills.  At IPANLP, certification is the START of the journey rather than the end and marks the member out as being a professional who is seeking Continual Professional Development (CPD).