Certification in NLP is a contentious subject.

NLP was created back in the 1980s by a team of people, including Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Since then, a series of disputes over intellectual property have led many of NLP's early pioneers to distance themselves from the specific term 'NLP', creating a number of competing disciplines such as Grinder's 'New Code NLP', Bandler's 'DHE', Tony Robbins' 'NHR', Michael Hall's 'Neuro Semantics' and so on. Furthermore, since the Society of NLP, the original 'licensing' organisation disintegrated, trainers with an investment in NLP's IP have formed their own certifying businesses, including PGNLP, ABNLP, ANLP, INLPTA, INLPA, IANLP and more. This fragmentation of the field in the early days opened the doors to trainers all over the world designating themselves as certifying bodies, printing their own certificates, and driving down the quality of training from that originally intended by the SNLP.

The current state of the NLP market is that there are hundreds of 'certifying bodies', the market is completely unregulated, and no certificate holds any intrinsic value. Organisations such as SNLP issue their certificates as a license, but it is not a license to practice, it is a license to use their trademark. Since these businesses are not adding any value as professional membership bodies, the value of that trademark continues to decline. In reality, these businesses exist only to sell certificates. This is not, in itself, the problem; the problem is the value that those certificates hold, or more specifically, the representation that is made to students about the value in those certificates. To present them as a license to practice is highly misleading.

What we are left with is a dilemma. The body of knowledge called NLP is undoubtedly valuable, yet the commercial vehicle presenting that body of knowledge to consumers has questionable credibility. Trainers need to make a living, and the deregulated nature of the market has led to a decline in standards due to competitive pressures. Emerging markets such as India represent a 'wild west' where trainers are offering 2 day Practitioner certifications, delivered by trainers who have never attended NLP Trainer Training.

Clearly, the reality of the market threatens the credibility of NLP, and makes it more difficult for trainers to maintain quality and differentiate their services.

The IBNLP does not exist to rectify any of this history, nor to restore the credibility of NLP unilaterally. The IBNLP's specific aim is to champion the business applications of NLP, which have long been overshadowed by therapeutic applications.

The IBNLP therefore does not issue certificates, the IBNLP is a professional association for trainers, coaches, consultants and other business professionals who use NLP in their course of their work. Those professionals may, as part of their membership, issue certificates bearing the IBNLP logo. 

IBNLP is a not-for-profit organisation and therefore exists only to raise the credibility of NLP's business and professional body of knowledge, which in turn raises credibility for its members and the consumers of its member's services.