NZANLP Supervision Policy

If you would like a copy of this document, please download the pdf file here NZANLP Supervision Policy


Along with professional development, supervision is an essential element of being a professional in any field. Supervision ensures practitioners are supported to increase their skills through self-care, introspection and reflection. It is key vehicle for practitioners to develop confidence in their abilities and provide the best and most ecological care they can to themselves and their clients and provides a place to explore ethical dilemmas that may arise within practice.

NZANLP considers supervision an essential part of maintaining the standards of professionalism for those practising NLP in New Zealand. Hence, these guidelines serve to clarify what we mean by Supervision, what responsibilities there are in this relationship, and what effective Supervisors will be bringing to their role in order to support a Practitioners’ growth and development.

NZANLP Requirements for Supervision

NZANLP requires its Professional Members to complete supervision. Supervision may be on a professional basis, an individual basis or group basis. It may be in person (i.e. face to face) or by telephone (or other ‘live’ means of communication). NZANLP uses the following definitions in this document to cover the range of supervision possibilities:

Professional Supervision

One-on-one supervision sessions with a NZANLP Approved Supervisor or an appropriate Supervisor recognised by other professions, or one who holds a formal qualification in Supervision.

Peer Supervision

One-on-one with another practitioner with a similar level of experience and NLP qualification. The peer acts as a supervisor to the individual (as opposed to a general chat between the two practitioners).

Consultative Support

(sometimes called Peer Support). A group of practitioners hold a structured and facilitated meeting to discuss individual cases and issues and provide professional advice/support.

NZANLP requires Professional Members to complete supervision on a regular basis, meeting the following requirements:

Peer Supervision and/or Consultative Support are recommended to all membership levels.

Supervision is a term often used in the ‘helping professions’, and NZANLP recognise that there are many different applications of NLP. As a Professional Member, if you are already involved in a professional relationship of this type, you may already be receiving ‘supervision’. Consult the NZANLP Registration Board for advice or assistance.

Professional Supervision – Approved Supervisors

As indicated above, NZANLP requires new Professional Members to complete professional supervision. This is likely to be (though not necessarily) with an Approved Supervisor, an experienced Professional Member of NZANLP.

Note Members generally elect to have professional supervision from an NLP trained Supervisor but they may choose a professional supervisor who is qualified in a different modality, eg a psychologist, counsellor, or psychotherapist and this will count for Supervision logs.

In order to provide adequate opportunities to have professional supervision, NZANLP holds a register of “Approved Supervisors”, who meet the following criteria:

Note: To maintain professionalism we prefer that referees are neither spouses nor family members.

Dual relationships

  1. Committee members and Registration Board members may be Approved Supervisors and should one of their supervisees apply for Professional Membership they must declare a conflict of interest and withdraw from the decision making process.
  2. Post training a Trainer may provide supervision for their trainee.
  3. Members who are in a life-partnership with an NZANLP member who is a supervisor must have Professional Supervision or Peer Supervision from a supervisor other than their partner. This does not prevent life-partners from participating in the same Peer Support group. (This is In line with similar organisations.)

What makes a good NLP Supervisor?

One of the principles that NZANLP is aiming to maintain as part of its membership process, is a recognition that Professional Members are applying their NLP to many different environments, only one of which is one-on-one NLP consulting. Other applications may be in training, education, in business, life coaching, sports coaching, and many others.

In an Approved Supervisor role, however, you are in a one-on-one consulting role, and you are supervising someone else who is mastering their use of NLP. The person being supervised will be modelling your skills consciously and unconsciously. Understanding this, it therefore essential that you are continuously demonstrating and modelling sound NLP changework skills as part of your supervision skills.

As an Approved Supervisor, therefore, it is important that you have the necessary skills and experience in one-on-one consultations. As an Approved Supervisor you will be demonstrating your skilled use of NLP tools and change techniques, within a context of a wider frame of a strategy for the session. It also means that you are able to demonstrate full integration of the NLP presuppositions, as well as consideration for the ethics of professional practice (e.g. NZANLP Code of Ethics and Code of Practice).

It is also important that you receive regular supervision from a competent supervisor yourself. In receiving supervision, you will have consciously and unconsciously developed an understanding of the supervision process. One of those skills, for example, is the ability to hold a variety of metapositions that allow wider considerations and bigger picture outcomes. For example recognising the skills of the supervisee and how they develop over a series of sessions, not just that one session. You are also aware that you are demonstrating the very skills in one to one NLP consulting that the supervisee is modelling and mastering (see the appendix on guiding principles, for example). Being a good NLP supervisor is more than being a good NLP consultant, with these responsibilities to the person being supervised.

Appendix – Responsibilities within the Supervision Context

Practitioner/Supervisee is responsible for:

Supervisor (in the role of Approved Supervisor) is responsible for:

Practitioners and Supervisors are jointly responsible for:

Appendix - Guiding Principles

This is a very brief article; it is highly recommended Approved Supervisors gain further training in supervision.

In his article Consultative Support, Te Ruru comments that Heath and Tharp (1991) found six typical responses from those attending supervision:

Hence supervision is not about oversight, it is not about ‘monitoring’ competency, and is not about evaluation, or identifying where things go wrong. It is a structured relationship where the Supervisor provides the environment and context that:

The last point requires some explanation. The practitioner will have different levels of skills, competence and experience, placing them anywhere between ‘novice’ and ‘expert’. At each level, supervision may require a different focus.


Practitioner Focus: Little experience with situations in which training will be utilised. Concerned with rules, guidelines and techniques.

Consultant Focus: Supports practitioner's discovery and utilization of skills and guidelines.

Advanced Beginner:

Practitioner Focus: Recognises guidelines and has some experience of what usually happens in consulting situations.

Consultant Focus: Helps practitioner when guidelines from their basic training need to be applied more fully.


Practitioner Focus: Manages complexities of actual client situations and has ability to combine processes and design interventions.

Consultant Focus: Guides practitioner to deepen understanding of the unique relationship with client.


Practitioner Focus: Unconsciously skilled and aware of the most unique aspects in order to decide what to do next. Able to access and utilize vast array of experiences.

Consultant Focus: Enhances practitioner's proficiency through examination of case studies and practitioners own process.


Practitioner Focus: Has an intuitive grasp of situations and zeros in on issues that need attention. Able to challenge rules and guidelines based on such intuition.

Consultant Focus: Promotes excellence and professional development through peer consultation and encouraging practitioner to supervise him/herself and become supervisor for others.

(Taken with permission from Consultative Support – Supervision for NLP Practitioners by Te Ruru.)