When is an NLP Master Trainer not an NLP Master Trainer?

2013-07-27 18.05.17 smallerThis might sound like the beginning of a joke; sadly it is a challenge facing the unwary when looking for NLP Training. There has been a trend in recent years for some NLP Trainers to ‘declare’ themselves as NLP Master Trainers.

In the accepted NLP qualification route, NLP Trainers can only be qualified by an NLP Master Trainer. Many students of NLP are unaware of the accepted routes to becoming an NLP Master Trainer and may choose an NLP Trainer’s Training which they later discover is not widely recognised.

So how do you check out the credentials of a NLP Master Trainer?

Reputable NLP Master Trainers are open about how they gained recognition. There are some generalisations that you are likely to hear regularly.

Some people have been granted NLP Master Trainer status directly from the two key founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder. This was usually based on a form of apprenticeship, particularly in the early days before more formalised systems. NLP Master Trainers can usually detail their lineage or links back to either Bandler or Grinder. For example:


Others will have been recognised by either an independent Accreditation organisation such as the ANLP (UK) http://www.anlp.org/criteria-for-becoming-an-nlp-master-trainer or a major training organisation such as ABNLP (Internationally). There are other bodies across the world.

Most schools of NLP have a transparent process for anyone wishing to become an NLP Master Trainer with minimum standards that need to be met including running a set number of courses, assisting, co-training plus making a contribution to the field.

As you can see there are many things to take into account. Joe, Julie and I take the credibility of our NLP Master Trainer status (and the credibility of the field of NLP) very seriously. We are equally serious about how we mentor prospective NLP Master Trainers through the recognition process.

I sit on an advisory group for the ANLP made up of representative NLP Master Trainers in the UK. As a group we are committed to ensuring that NLP students at all levels are informed and aware of the questions to ask when choosing an NLP Training provider at any level.

We are all part of the NLP Leadership Summit set up several years ago to provide a forum for NLP senior trainers, leaders and researchers to create a collaborative network focused on maintaining and raising standards in our field. Find out more from the website





  1. As well as thoroughly endorsing what you are saying with regard to the importance of transparency of Master Trainers’ credentials, I believe there is an equally (if not more) important factor on deciding on the calibre of a Master Trainer: who they are – as people. For years I have had the good fortune to have met and trained with many fine NLP Master Trainers, all of whom in various ways have been credible predominantly via their calibre as people. Whilst the efforts to raise the standards across NLP in practice and in trainings is highly laudable, I hope that at least the same degree of focus is placed on the lived values of those presenting as ‘Masters’. Too often, sadly, have I been in the presence of some renowned NLP ‘gurus’ who clearly do not embody core NLP values but, instead, seem to have lost the humility and self-awareness that I can only hope was once available to them when they were setting out on their journeys……Master Trainer status should only be granted to those that ‘know their stuff’ and, at the same time, are a living role model to the compassionate heart that I believe should be at the centre of NLP practice.

    1. Thanks Ed It is always lovely to hear from you. Some very important points. I heartily agree with your point about living as a role model. This is how we walk the talk, as Master Trainers I see this as a prime responsibility