Hypnotherapy Training Accreditation Explained

hypnotherapy training accreditation explained
If you are trying to decide on a hypnotherapy training course, there is so much variety in the accreditation and the qualifications on offer that it's very difficult to know which ones are reputable. I'm going to very briefly take you through this minefield, and feel free to post or email questions if I haven’t covered them here.

Why the confusion?

I think there are three main reasons…
  1. hypnotherapy in the UK is under a voluntary regulation scheme - and because it’s voluntary there is no way to compel hypnotherapy schools to follow it.  This means that with some you take around a year to qualify, others will tell you a weekend is enough.
  2. there isn’t one professional body for hypnotherapists but a number of them. Some are more professional, reputable and independent than others, but all of them seem to accredit training.
  3. finally, the names of the Diplomas and Certificates given at the end of a course vary. This is because they are generally privately issued qualifications, so each school or professional body can choose what to call them. A few will be externally monitored but this may not affect what they are called.

What should I look for in an accredited hypnotherapy course?

Assuming you want to train within the voluntary regulations, your course should offer around 450 hours training, with at least 120 of these being face to face tuition. The rest is 'independent study'; in other words, homework.
You should be assessed on theoretical knowledge, on written work and on your practical use of the techniques you are being taught. This usually means you will be working with other students in class, and you will be expected to role play so they can practice on you. Some courses have exams, most seem to work on continuous assessment.
Any course accredited within the voluntary regulations will say so, or they may say the course is 'compliant with the National Occupational Standards and hypnotherapy core curriculum', or that it has learning targets are based on these. If in doubt about the terminology ask the school to explain.

How do I find out which courses are properly accredited?

  • Look at the hours and assessment methods - do they match the ones above?
    The face to face tuition hours are the easiest to check, ask how many days of training you get and what hours you work each day. The exact number of hours spent on homework will vary since everyone reads, researches and writes essays at different speeds. If you are worried about this, ask to speak to current students or recent graduates and ask how long it took them.
  • Then check out the accrediting body. Do they only accept graduates of one school or are they run by the school? It's not illegal for trainers set up a professional body and accredit their own courses, but this is hardly the kind of independent validation you are looking for.
  • Has the course has been accredited at the level you want? If you have done a practitioner level course, you should be accepted by the accrediting body as a practitioner level member.
  • Has the accrediting body genuinely accredited the course, and is the accreditation being claimed still current? Take the time to go onto the accrediting body's website and make sure the school is listed.
  • Some courses are offered in an 'intensive' format where you get your 120 classroom hours over, say, three months. If you choose one of these you would have to study almost five hours per day to hit the target 450 hours in that time. At least one of the UK professional bodies (the BIH) will not accredit intensive courses because of this.
  • It's useful to ask if you have the option of joining the CNHC at practitioner level once you are qualified, in addition to the accrediting body of your course. The CNHC is the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council; they are the regulatory body for the industry and only accept graduates of courses which have been found to comply.

Is all this really necessary?

Legally speaking, no. The regulations are voluntary and you could simply read a book on hypnotherapy, or go to a weekend course, and then set up your business.
But I wouldn't recommend it.
Put yourself in your client's shoes and ask if you would choose to see any professional - doctor, solicitor or therapist - who had rushed through their training so as to start charging as soon as possible?
Or would you prefer someone who had invested time, money and effort in training which adheres to a framework overseen by someone other than those who are taking their fees?

What next?

For more on choosing a specific course see HERE
If you have questions I haven't answered here, email me or post them in the comments and I'll answer them.


Author: is Senior Tutor At Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training, which offers multi accredited hypnotherapy practitioner training in Wakefield and York, along with taster days and foundation levels. YHT also offers supervision and continuous professional development (CPD) courses for established hypnotherapists. Please contact Debbie to find out more.