Complementary Therapy Qualifications Explained
The complementary therapy qualifications can be very confusing. Here at Brighton Holistics, we offer three types of qualifications; FHT, ITEC and VTCT, to suit everyone’s needs and requirements. Listed below we have tried to explain what the different qualifications are and what they mean. All three qualifications follow the same coursework, it is only the assessment process which differs.
We offer four routes for qualifications, ITEC, VTCT, FHT, and IFPA.
ITEC and VTCT are the Government approved Awarding Bodies. ITEC and VTCT and now the same company.
FHT qualifications taught at Brighton Holistics follow the National Occupational Standards and Core Curricula in the UK, and the largest and leading professional association for complementary, beauty and sports therapy.
IFPA is the largest aromatherapy specific professional practitioner organisation in the UK, involved in supporting aromatherapists and improving standards of education and practice in aromatherapy.
The reason for working with four very high-profile organisations is to give you the learner the best options to suit your requirements.
The courses follow the same format, but the final assessment process is different.
To answer the question simply…. Nothing!
Under new legislation all Awarding Organisations for NVQ type qualifications offer the same credit value, same course content, same GLH and same purpose. Therefore, each qualification using these criteria should be exactly the same for each Awarding Organisation.
The Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT) announced that, as of 8 November 2016, it has acquired EMS Limited which trades as ITEC.
Currently, VTCT’s assessment model is based on the competency model and continuous assessment, meaning that the centre provides the assessors. This means that the centre has more control over the assessment process and total input into the assessment decisions. An internal verifier quality assures the process and VTCT externally samples 10% of the assessments.
The VTCT model is based on trust and is reliant on the integrity of the centre and their assessors. VTCT and education centres work in partnership to quality assure the course.
ITEC is 100% externally examined and so the centre has no input whatsoever in the assessment decisions which are made based on practical and written examinations at the end of the course, conducted by an ITEC External Examiner.
As of October 1st 2015, Ofqual, the regulator, have made changes to the framework that regulated qualifications. Regulated qualifications, will have RQF (Regulated Qualification Framework) on the end instead of QCF (Qualifications Credit Framework).
All RQF qualifications are written collaboratively by all awarding bodies and VTCT and ITEC work very closely together, so our qualifications are identical.
The assessment model is the defining factor (i.e. if you want continuous assessment) – VTCT or if you want an end loaded external examinations – ITEC.
Many centres choose to offer both VTCT and ITEC as they complement each other very well.
So really it is down to your preference, it’s a bit like the Coke and Pepsi scenario.
Some people like Coke and some like Pepsi, some people like ITEC and some VTCT.
Both qualifications are internationally recognised.
The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) is the largest and leading professional association for therapists in the UK and Ireland.
Brighton Holistics recommends joining the FHT and taking out their insurance as they are the largest professional association for complementary therapists and will cover you for multi disciplines, and allow you to be registered on the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) accredited register.
The Professional Standards Authority is an independent body accountable to Parliament, and oversees the UK’s nine statutory health and care regulatory bodies, including the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council. It launched its Accredited Register programme under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to accredited voluntary registers of professionals working in a variety of health and social care occupations that are not statutorily regulated, such as complementary therapy.
The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA) is the largest aromatherapy specific professional practitioner organisation in the UK, involved in supporting aromatherapists and improving standards of education and practice in aromatherapy. We are now growing internationally by encouraging and supporting aromatherapy training in many other countries.
All the prices shown on the Brighton Holistics website include VAT and one FHT final assessment.
If you choose to go down the ITEC or VTCT assessment route, an assessment fee of £200 will be charged per therapy discipline. This is to cover all the additional costs incurred for registration and the assessment.
Please note these fees only apply to practical assessment NOT online courses.
Diplomas and certificates are awarded by accredited schools and colleges, to students who complete a course of study. These documents certify that the candidate has successfully completed the course, but they differ in a few aspects.
Certificates are issued by a school after attending an accredited course.
Diplomas provide more in-depth knowledge of the course you are studying and are of a longer duration than certificates. This normally entails completing case studies or reflective practice, attending an assessment etc.
When it comes to course fee, usually diploma fees are a little higher than certificate fees. That is because the diploma course takes longer and contains more admin i.e. marking, than a certificate course.
When it comes to employability, diplomas are more widely accepted than certificates. Sure, a certificate says you have some knowledge about a field, but diploma says you have an extensive knowledge about a field. Therefore, employers prefer diplomas to certificates.
However, the situation becomes confusing when some schools name their certification programs as diplomas. When faced with such a situation, it is important to make sure that your professional body and insurance recognise the course. Also, you can check for the duration, fees, and course work of the course to decide which path best suits you and your therapy portfolio.
Please note that one-day courses or online courses in Sports/Body Massage, Reflexology, Aromatherapy etc. are not recognised qualifications. This means they do not meet the National Occupational Standard or Core Curriculum, this means that you will not be able to use the online course for professional practice.
If you have any questions regarding the clarification on the different qualifications we offer here at Brighton Holistics please telephone Brighton Holistics on 01273 672 690.