The Value of Accreditation

The first time I ever heard of the term NLP, I was attending Unleash the Power Within 2004 by Anthony Robbins in Singapore.

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The Value of Accreditation

The first time I ever heard of the term NLP, I was attending UPW 2004 in Singapore, where Anthony Robbins introduced some of the techniques of NLP during the 4-day seminar. I was mesmerised and told myself that I must immerse myself in this amazing field.

It wasn’t until 2011 when I officially attended an NLP Practitioner course and discovered how powerful NLP truly is. I started applying what I’ve learned to create breakthroughs in my life and to help others. The following year, I attended the Master Practitioner course and I was determined to go all the way to becoming an NLP trainer. 

Yet, that didn’t happen. My bold ambition came to an abrupt stop, as if someone jammed his feet on the brakes and the resulting whiplash brought me back to reality.

You see, in my mind, I was worried. There were already many NLP trainers in my country who were well-established. I mean, who am I to declare to the world that I am also an NLP trainer. Would I fall flat on my face? Would I be investing my hard-earned money in an NLP Trainer course only to get a fancy title after my name? Sure, that would please my manly ego, but the last time I checked, ego doesn’t put food on the table.

I deliberated for a long time before I felt the call again. This time, it was stronger than ever. I knew that if there was ever any regret in my life, it would be that I didn’t pursue my dream to become an NLP trainer. So, in 2016, I took a leap of faith in my NLP journey when I registered myself to attend an NLP Train the Trainer course in Auckland, New Zealand. 

I flew over 11 hours from my home in Malaysia to the land of Hobbiton, filled with both excitement and anxiety. I was excited that I would finally be on my way to becoming a certified NLP trainer. And anxious at the prospect of how I was going to market myself as an NLP trainer in a country that wasn’t exactly new to NLP.

The 21 days spent learning with Dr Richard Bolstad was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life for I was learning from a modern-day wizard of NLP. My understanding and skills in applying NLP went up to a whole new level.

As we neared graduation, again the voice in my mind started to remind me. “How are you going to start your first batch of NLP Practitioner course when you get home?” The voice got louder and louder until I decided to share my concern with one of the teaching assistants.

It was he who introduced me to the Accredited Trainer programme of The Association of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (ANLP). I went online and searched for ANLP and it was a godsend. I never realised that I could apply for an external third-party accreditation for my NLP programmes. 

Just why was I so excited about accreditation and why does it matter to an NLP trainer? While I was lecturing in Curtin University, Malaysia campus, I witnessed the accreditation process first-hand and how much the university valued it. People literally lost sleep over it. And when we were finally awarded the accreditation status by AACSB, the feeling was as if we had won the World Cup. 

So, I knew the significance of becoming an accredited NLP trainer. Now, you might be thinking, what’s the big deal? After all, once you have been certified as an NLP trainer by your Master Trainer and the NLP body that awards you the coveted trainer certification, you are qualified to be an NLP trainer. 

That’s true. But I have a slightly different opinion about this. If being certified as an NLP trainer by the NLP body that I studied with was good, wouldn’t it be even more prestigious when I am awarded an accreditation by an independent third-party NLP organisation, whose main objective is to uphold the quality and standards of NLP worldwide? 

So, I started the application process for my accreditation. I braced myself, knowing that it was going to be tough. There were a lot of documents and I also had to show evidence of my teaching quality via video and student evaluations. The chief of the accreditation team interviewed me via Skype to find out about my beliefs of what NLP is and what I intend to do as an NLP trainer. In short, I finally understood why my ex-colleagues in the university lost sleep over the accreditation process. 

So, imagine my shock when I was referred…or in my mind, failed in my first attempt. I had prepared all my documents as per ANLP requirements and I was confident that I had even aced the interview. Although the failure hit me hard, it also made me more resolute to become accredited by ANLP. 

You may be wondering why I still bothered with it because the truth is, I was already certified as an NLP trainer. I mean, I was good to go. But, the fact that ANLP doesn’t just accredit any NLP trainer who applies with them tells me that this is a serious matter and it would be an absolute honour for me to become accredited with them.

So, with my tail firmly tucked between my legs, not to mention my bruised ego, I requested the accreditation team to arrange an interview for me to find out what I needed to do to improve. I received precious advice which I acted upon promptly. The result was I realised there were many blind spots in my original plan to becoming an NLP trainer. Now, on hindsight, had I bulldozed through, I would have encountered many problems which were unnecessary in the first place.

I was finally awarded accreditation at the end of 2016 but only for my NLP Practitioner course. Although that meant that I had to reapply for accreditation for my NLP Master Practitioner course in due time, I was over the moon. I wore my accreditation status like a badge of honour. And indeed, it was. 

I’m writing this article in August 2018 and since being accredited, I have conducted 8 batches of NLP Practitioner courses and 1 batch of NLP Master Practitioner course in East Malaysia. Yes, I received my accreditation for my Master Practitioner course earlier this year, thank you very much. My NLP preview seminar has been attended by over one thousand participants in these 2 years. 

So, what’s the value of an ANLP accreditation? I would tell you that it enabled me to stand tall as an NLP trainer as I go about empowering people with powerful NLP skills. I am more confident than ever, knowing that my NLP course meets the stringent standards of ANLP. 

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Luke Bong
Luke Bong (member article)

The 1st Accredited NLP Trainer in East Malaysia