Assessment is a very important part of the learning process. Without assessment, you don't have any external validation for the quality of your work with your clients. I take assessment very seriously because my reputation as a Master Trainer is based on the quality of Practitioner, Master Practitioners and Trainers who I train, and the impact that they have on their future clients and students.

The assessment process is slightly different depending on whether the training is taking place with a group in a physical classroom or online with each student in their own separate location. In either case, I am looking for the same criteria; that you keep your client safe, that you make some progress and leave your client in a better place than you found them and that you pay attention to and respond to your client rather than sticking to a script. In addition to that, there are technical criteria which I need to assess which you'll find here:

Classroom Training

For each session you’ll be told who you are working with and the pairs are drawn up on a random rotation so that everyone has an equal share of being practitioner and client, and everyone ideally works with a different client each time.

In order to give you as much high quality practice as possible, the timing of this last day is very important. The session start times will be displayed in the room and at the start of each session you’ll be told when to be back in the room.

It’s easy to get carried away in these sessions and want to carry on all day with one person. If you don’t follow the times given, you are denying yourself the quality practice that you need in order to fully integrate the skills you’ve learned throughout the course, and of course you are also affecting the sessions that follow. Staying on time is one of the most obvious signs that you are in control of the session.

It’s very common that at the start of the day, students have a list of tools and techniques that they know how to use, but they don’t know how to choose. This is one of the key outcomes of the day. As you work through the sessions, you will probably find yourself talking much less and listening much more.

Remembering that the client will tell you everything you need to know in the first few sentences, you’ll soon find that listening to the client and getting a sense of the structure of the problem or situation will give you all the information you need to choose your approach.

During the assessment day, I will move from group to group and observe as much as possible for each Practitioner. At the end of the day, I will share the outcome of the assessment process and students can ask for individual feedback.

Online Training

After the end of the main Practitioner training, you will arrange a date for your assessment session. For this, you will find a client to work with, who can be a friend or colleague, or another student from the training. The assessment session can be conducted either in person or online, and I will observe the entire session. At the end of the assessment session, I will share the outcome of the assessment process and give detailed individual feedback.

Pass or Fail?

It is important to note that the assessment process is ongoing throughout the Practitioner training. If you needed any feedback or direction, you would already have received it.

Many students worry about whether they will pass or fail. In fact, it’s not possible to fail, it is really only a matter of when you pass, whether that is immediately after your assessment or at a later date. This is true of every assessment in life.

If you meet the Practitioner certification criteria, you will receive your certificate. If not, I will give you specific feedback to help you to develop your approach to working with clients. You can then repeat the assessment at a future date, when you feel ready.


As a client, you have the opportunity to work on some issues that are really important to you. You may have a fear that you want to tackle or a problem to solve. Many people who come to the Practitioner course are running their own businesses - or thinking about it - and this is an ideal opportunity to do some serious planning with the help of a talented group of coaches.

You can spend some time planning the issues or opportunities you are going to explore during the sessions so that you can get the most value from the time. You will learn as much about the process as the client as you will as the Practitioner, so both roles are equally important.


At first, many people find they are so busy thinking about which technique to use that they miss what the client tells them. After a while, they find that spending at least half the time just listening and exploring the issue is time well spent.

As a Practitioner, perhaps your most important job is to maintain an outcome oriented state. You can use all of your rapport skills to lead your client and in many cases, all the Practitioner has to do is sit there and look confident while the client finds their own solution!

A technique will be less effective if you concentrate only on the technique. Use the whole time available and let the techniques do the work for you.

State: Choose a resourceful state

Outcomes: Set a direction

Rapport: Get into rapport

Questions: Learn about the problem

Intervention: The technique!

Future pace: Create a future where the problem is solved

Test: Check to make sure the intervention worked

There may be times when you get stuck and don’t know where to go next - that’s fine. It happens when you’re focusing on the technique and not on the client. Here are some ideas for what you can say to get moving.

  • That’s right
  • What would be a good outcome for you in this?
  • Where do you believe you are right now on this?
  • What would you like to do next?
  • Or you can sit quietly and wait!

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is no right or wrong course of action and what I am looking for is that you are able to help the client move in the general direction they want to go. It doesn’t matter if a technique appears to work or not - what I’m looking for is you acting in the interests of your client, maintaining your state and making the most of the chance to develop your skills.

NLP’s techniques are each built around a particular structure, so by exploring the structure of the problem, you’ll be able to choose the most appropriate technique.

Here are a few examples of techniques that you can use and situations where they might be relevant.

Anchoring To capture useful states or integrate states, and to control and test responses
Collapse anchors To generate a new state in order to disrupt a strong, undesired emotional response
Fast phobia cure For a situation where the client’s undesired response is too strong for them to explore with other techniques
Future pace Creating the possibility for change
Meta model Always vital when exploring and mapping out the issue being presented
Milton model To gently guide the client towards their desired outcome
Outcomes To find out what the client wants!
Pattern interrupt To interrupt an undesirable state
Pacing & Leading To non-verbally guide the client to an outcome
Perceptual Positions To bring balance to a past interaction or to explore a future interaction
Rapport To guide the communication process
Six step reframe For long-term repetitive patterns of behaviour
Squash To resolve decisions and integrate undesired emotional responses
Storytelling To change state or shape an outcome
Strategies To map the internal process that drives a particular behaviour
Submodalities Exploring and changing perceptual distortions
Swish To interrupt habitual behaviours and reactions
Timeline To explore a future decision or set goals, and to ‘fill in the gaps’ in a long term plan
Trance To help the client explore in a relaxed way, free from distractions
Utilisation Pacing, to connect the client’s real time sensory experience with a desired outcome