Is it time to get rid of all NLP certifications and start again?

I recently posted on FB about some of the terrible communication form some (but not all) NLP folks. I was surprised by the amount of likes for this post and the amount of engagement in the thread. This led me to think about the following question
“Is it time to get rid of all NLP certifications and start again?”
This makes sense to me on so many levels, that I genuinely think it’s a good idea for the following reasons
1. There are no uniform standards so a certification is not (although it’s often framed this way” “a qualification”
2. The “standards” are so low for some certifications that you may as well print your own certificate
3. Getting rid of all these often status driven titles would then pave the way for a refocusing on skills and evaluation of skills
4. The fast food NLP type concerns which reply on this status seeking behaviour would soon go out of business
5. Its ecologically sound for the planet (I actually think edible certificates would be better)
6. The previous certifications could be recycled into a giant papier Mache statue to remind us that “the certificate is not the skills set”
7. Another possibility is to create a “Burning Man” style occasion, BUT the actual number of certificates may create the size of a small country, so this would require some thinking
I’m totally serious about this suggestion and in removing all titles the focus could move onto something more meaningful. It also removes the whole hierarchical nature of NLP which has created so many problems.
I am hosted by many NLP concerns and I’m pleased that the standard of the students from my hosts is very good. This year in both London and Japan, it was clear to me that the workshop attendees had been trained to think and use their discrimination. One host pointed out that when he trained to get Master Trainer status it involved extensive work, not just attending a course. Another view from Richard Bolstad whom I rate greatly as a trainer commented that the term “Master Trainer” could be seen to actually make NLP trainers look like second class citizens. I think as with all discussions there are pros and cons, but I see more cons than pros, hence the question. I stopped teaching NLP back in 2008 but even then I became concerned about the issuing of “titles” and have of course blogged on this before.  I attained the lofty heights of NLP Practitioner, Master Practitioner, Meta Master Practitioner (that only took 5 days) and NLP Trainer. In most instances there was no evaluation process whatsoever…
This has led me to think very carefully about my own PCW work. Yes, I have a practitioner certification, but currently I can maintain some quality control as I am the only one teaching. Unlike NLP there’s just one creator of PCW, so it’s simpler. Frank Farrelly the creator of Provocative Therapy and a big influence on my work insisted there would be no certifications in Provocative Therapy and this is shown on one of the videos I have for sale. Frank though it ludicrous that anyone could be “a master” of anything in a few weeks. I appreciate that people want some form of recognition for work, but when it comes to NLP, is it time to start again and if so what would be better as a replacement?
Nick and bear

2 Responses to Is it time to get rid of all NLP certifications and start again?

  1. Maritza August 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    I agree with a lot of what you say. Having done NLP to Master Prac level and coaching a number of years ago at the time seemed fantastic. Yes I still use a lot of the skill sets that I gained but looking back now with more life experience and working with people at the more vulnerable end of the scale it now seems ridiculous to me that a few weeks training, a few certificates later that would merit working with potentially vulnerable people with big issues without any kind of supervision or CPD required. I am now going to do a 2 year CBT therapy course which has rigorous requirements, minimum no. of client hours and supervision to increase my skills knowledge and experience.
    There is definitely a place for NLP type courses but it seems to me that whatever type of therapy, counselling or coaching there should be some kind of minimum training requirements across the board.

    • nick kemp August 7, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

      I know this post is fairly provocative BUT I think it’s an important discussion if the field is to be taken seriously in this day and age.

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