Complementary Therapists Association - Forums
Posted by Mike Colquhoun, Nov 2 2007 4:42PM

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Research, Regulation & Trust

Hi John
I hear you are coming to Exeter to give a talk at the University gathering. While you are in the area I would love to come and meet for a coffee if you have the time.
Reading through all you have sent out with regard to regulation and looking at the connections you are making I am concerned that you are not reading around the subject well enough.
Exeter publish the 'Fact' you have recommended for us to read as a source of research.
A couple of points to do with that.
Back copies are to be found at present at
http://www.medicinescomplete.com/journals/fact/current/index.htm
and if you go to fact 'contents' there are all the back copies and under volumes you will find 'short reports' and there you will find Chiropractic recurring in issue after issue, read the ones on neck manipulation [practically every one] and you'll never let a Chiropractor touch your neck. As you go through notice how few reports there are on Osteopathy and those are supportive mostly.
No metion at all of The British Institute of Muskulo-skeletal Medicine http://www.bimm.org.uk/ British Doctors using Manipulation
or the Manipulation Physios organisation and their research into the subject. http://www.ifomt.org/ifomt
or http://www.jaoa.org/ where you can read the American Doctors of Osteopathy research, DO being a full medical qualification held by about 8% of American Doctors. Now recognised in this country.
Now all these groups use an identical manipulation for correcting a neck to that of Chiropractors.
All Politicallly immensly powerful groups.
Go to http://journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/ymmt and there is the origin of most of the Chiropractic abstracts published and commented on in Fact.
They don't read quite the same somehow.
Integrative Medcine ring any bells try researching it a bit.
Arizona University - The Princes Trust - Exeter University (under the lead of the Peninsula School of Medicine)
Google Scholar will find and give the CV of all prominent members of boards and publications.
Practically No Complementary Therapists of any sort in positions of influence or power. Nearly all Doctors of Medcine.
In Arizona University find 'Integrative Medcine: the evolution of a new approach to Medcine and to medical education'. - Tracey W. Gaudet M.D.
I know British Doctors are not keen to lose NHS funds to us for treatments, Ms Gaudet's excellent??? piece is very revealing about the billions of dollars per annum involved over there.
Maybe I'm paranoid but I see from your answers to questions that we will have a voluntary regulator that may later become compulsory and that they may later set standards and that they will have large majorities of board members who are not Complementary therapists.
That wouldn't be code for Doctors would it? Integrate us out of existance? NO. NO.
Just because I'm Paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get us. Look at the evidence for it and tell me I'm wrong to suspect that those well intentioned people working so hard on our behalf and giving both their time and energy free to setting all this up are not paving us a high road to hell, which we will be required to fund!

I sincerely don't trust 'Political Doctors' [I like my local 'working' lot] but I am in my sixties and will be long retired by the time they actually implement the restrictions I fear they intend for us all.
Both Osteopathy and Chiropractic had large numbers of practioners who refused to sign on to their respective regulatory bodies. But us oldies retire and newly qualifieds all join. There comes a point when there are so few left able to resist you can change the rules to whatever you want if you controll the board.
Do we have an absolute right in perpetuity to total controll over our regulating bodies?
If not why are even considering setting up anything at all? Legislation could not be forced through against our total opposition on this single and essential point. The British Public have a great sense of 'Fair' and controll of our regulators is only 'Fair'.
I know I'm a bore about this but I do think it matters, without us the public has only alopathic and if academic qualifications were all it took to be a good therapist we would have died out years ago. It is our other skills which are never tested for in education that decide who survives in the competative world of Complementary Medcine, and that is why Therapists with poor educational qualifications often have waiting lists so long that it has the ring of Dead-men's-shoes.
If we have a coffe I promise not to bend your ear further on this point then, Have fun in Exeter anyway it is a great city.
Yours Aye
Mike
John Dent
Nov 2 2007 5:03PM
Hi,
Oh I agree. I have not "read around" at all. All I tried to do is to suggest the members that THEY get into research and inform the membership. I provided a "Starter for 10" in the hope of some reaction. At least you have reacted!
Over the years I asked for members to make suggestions....!

I have now "bowed out" and retired from CThA so my successors are those to whom this should be addressed.

On regulation I am still (just) representing CThA in the last stages on the proposed system. We have won a good number of concessions from those who seemed to want to control all the therapies (not just the therapists)through a lay persons controlled stucture. The final proposals will be out soon and then it wll be decision time.

I hope we have represented that the therapies should be developed and standards set by national bodies made up of those who know most about them (the specialised associations ) while the regulation of practitioners should be in relationship to these standards.
If the final proposed scheme meets this and is generally practical then I would suggest to CThA to support it.
In the end no one will have to join.

John Dent
Angela Rawlins
Nov 2 2007 5:21PM
Hi Mike

You are NOT alone in your thinking! Others including myself think the same.

However, I think the consultation is all a waste of time. I don't think the time and effort many made in filling in the form will be taken into account - I think it's all going to be rubber stamped as it is.

John - have you had any response to your comments on our behalf?

My husband who is in corporate business - a massive organisation says 'it's rubbish' you have to have at least 4 professionals at the top.
John Dent
Nov 4 2007 10:40AM
Hi
We await the minutes but reports say that now professionals are to be included in the Council. Not yet clear if this body regulates the therapies or if this is done by what they are calling "Professional Forums" - the new name for the bodies now representing therapies.
There has been some change. The finances look very uncertain and are being recalculated.
It is still a case of "wait and see" what the final proposal is.
Several big meetis in the coming week!
John
Mike Colquhoun
Nov 4 2007 12:01PM
Hi John
First many apologies for not having thanked you and your co-workers for your efforts on our behalf, I do realise that you have not just been taking on Everest but the whole Himalayan range with peak after peak to be scaled. And succeeding.
Personally speaking I have failed to respond to much of what you have been doing because until recently I was totally focused on another project and perfectly happy with all I saw going on with the exception of this one niggling point.
‘Integrated medicine’ seemed at first such a good idea but I was soon disillusioned by what I saw behind the 'Front' of Co-Operation when I had the time to look at it more closely.
Oddly [I was once described as a ‘management challenge’] I am ‘for’ the introduction of a Regulatory body, but who is to elect or appoint our regulators? And do we [practitioners] have the power to dismiss any who we consider are abusing that power or taking more power to themselves than we wish them to have?
Regular re-election.
How does a new Therapy apply to join and who sets the standards for such a new Therapy. In the last Twenty years so many new and now acceptable ideas and Therapies have emerged and all contribute to our understanding and development and one of the strengths of Complementary has always been the alacrity with which a new idea that works has been taken up and developed in our community whereas it has taken decades for the more strictly regulated Allopathic to accept those same ideas. Oh, and so they should, they’re doing life and death stuff. We don’t.
To give an existing example of what concerns me here Chiropractic has in the last hundred years developed in three distinct directions and until their enforced regulation all three branches were at war. If one published the other two immediately responded with a rebuttal. Now they’ve been forced into bed together the war has ended and all is comparative peace, but no further development will ensue for that war they waged drove the development of thinking and practice within the profession along at a tremendous pace, whereas now new ideas are strongly frowned upon, and there certainly won’t be a fourth discipline joining the first three, they wouldn’t tolerate it.
The kings of a castle never want change they might lose power. The strength of a democracy is that there are no Kings let’s not create them or worse import them from a group that have a vested interest in destroying us.
I suspect that you feel you are not appreciated for all your work on our behalf, please this is far from the case, you hear so little but complaint because all those who are happy with your work remain silent and busy with other things. We have appreciated your representation of our views [which you have done faithfully even when they weren’t necessarily your own] and have truly earned my sincere wish that you enjoy a long and happily active retirement.
Yours aye Mike
Angela Rawlins
Nov 6 2007 8:39PM
John

I have heard a rumour that CThA is merging with the FHT, can you confirm or rubbish this?
John Dent
Nov 6 2007 9:09PM
Rubbish!
Now, have you heared the one about X going out with Y?
John
Edith Maskell
Nov 15 2007 1:40PM
Dear all

Have been reading all of the above with interest.

Fully take on board all that has been said about whether or not professionals should be involved at the "top table" within the regulation of CAM - statutory or voluntary. The Government White Paper suggested that 50:50 / professional:lay was acceptable. As we know White Papers are merely guidelines - not obligations AND they were giving those guidelines for statutory regulated professions. However, the members of the Federal Working Party took it upon themselves (driven by a representative from the smallest profession in the debate and heavily supported by representatives of the Prince of Wales Foundation of Integrated Health - who keep reminding us that they are merely facilitators and administrations - whilst "supporting" these strong views that we should be "innovative" and go for 100% lay - under threat that unless it was a 100% lay council that profession would walk away"!!

It does of course create lots of jobs for the boys and girls - in particular, those lay people who have previously been hand picked by the PFIH and various others with personal agendas. Oh sorry - I mean - those who have already gone through an "independent and competitive selection process".....

The model developed by the FWG will cost a fortune to run - in the region of half a million a year. The DoH have agreed to fund it for the first year and a maximum of 3. The fact that, ultimately, it has to be self financing and paid for by the practitioners - US - who don't all work full time at our jobs, and don't earn fat salaries and pensions seems to be of no importance. Without registrants - it won't be self financing in a million years!!

From the 12 professions - 3 have been excluded for daring to express opinions that did not "fit". Two have said they don't know what they will do yet. At least four professions are not ready to be regulated yet because they have not met the criteria and done all their paperwork. Then when it was realised that actually there wouldn't be enough professions on board to have a discussion, they changed the rules and let them in. That leaves 3 professions who are ready to be regulated. Hardly meets the remit of the FWG?

At the end of September - a Progress Report was sent out to various stakholders. They called it a "sharing process" and it lasted 28 days. Consultation periods normally last 3 months. HPS are currently in a consultation period and it has lasted 12 months!! Apparently, the FWG received 150 responses. The 39 page documenty evidences that the MAJORITY of the feedback was NOT in agreement with the proposed model. Most thought it was cumbersome, overly populated with lay members and too expensive. But guess what - at the meeting of the FWG in October - it was decided that they should IGNORE the feedback. I was there. I wrote down some of the comments verbatim. I was proverbially gobsmacked by some of the beligerent and arrogant remarks of some representatives. eg (1) "you don't have to take any notice - who says they're right and you're wrong" (2) "respondents don't understand our work and why we have come to particular decisions, therefore, I don't see why we should change anything"; (3) "people don't understand the model - it is not top heavy". (4) "if you make any changes, they will need to be significant and you agreed you would not make any significant changes" and so and so on. That's BEFORE we're regulated. What chance have we got further down the line when there will be no professional input. Only 9 lay people (one of which spends 85% of the meeting asleep) and a lay chair. This model will cost a multi disciplinary practitioner anything from £45 - £100 to register. Until, that is, the Department of Health money runs out and then if there insufficient registrants to sustain the financial burdens - the price will go up - massively.

When I asked the accountant how it will meet the costs - he said "it will have to have an enhanced income". Like what? Charging to accredit schools, courses and teachers!!

Also - with this model, CAM practitioners will need to have a minimum insurance level of £2m. Why? We aren't doing anything dangerous? Where is the risk for say, Reiki practitioners in comparison to acupuncturists or chiropractors and osteopaths?

Meanwhile, the professions of Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Reiki (the 3 largest professions around the table) were all EXCLUDED from the debate because they dared to express different opionions. They had and still do have, such serious reservations about the future of CAM if this model is thrust upon us. They developed their own models (all very similar) which were more streamlined, more realistic for the CAM profession and more cost effective - but they were REFUSED the right to have a hearing.

When I was Chair of CThA - John and I had a meeting with the Foundation and presented a model - almost identical to the GRCCT, because we felt it was the most appropriate for CThA members who, as we know, are overwhelmingly multi disciplined. They didn't listen to us then either. So why are some people continuing to kid themselves that with 100% lay membership on a CAM regulatory council, WE - the professionals - will be heard in the future!?! The rationale defies logic or at least is way beyond the capabilities of my small brain!

Worse still, bad enough that those professions have been pushed out. Now insult has been added to injury because the simpler models they developed are being publicly "rubbished". Individuals are being accused as having their own agenda and the GRCCT which HAS now been launched isn't getting the fair hearing it deserves. It is NOT a model which has been developed by one person. It is NOT a commercial organisation. It IS legitimate. The fact is - at the end of 2008 - the model with the most registrants WILL be the ONE regulator that we all aspire to have. At £45 in TOTAL to register in FOUR therapies who do you think has more chance of surviving? I know where my money is going.

If practitioners and professional associations continue to sit on the fence and advise their members to do nothing (as many are doing). In my personal opinion, we'll all be losers. Both models will be dead within the year. Then what do you think will happen? Regulation will go away and they'll leave us alone?

Don't kid yourselves. The Government has decided that the CAM professions WILL be regulated. If we don't voluntarily register with one of the models (DH doesn't actually care which one we register with - they have said, and I quote "practitioners will choose". The DH will not persist in funding a defunct Regulator developed by the FWG. The GRCCT is already up and running. It is fully self financing. If we all sit on the fence, it can not survive in the long term either. We will then find ourselves with enforced statutory regulation very quickly afterwards.

It's also a myth to believe that it's better to go with the FWG model because they will be supported by the DH and that equates to GP referrals. Not going to happen. I quote (again from the last FWG meeting - a PFIH representative commented "it is yet to be seen from the DH or anywhere else whether referrals would be made to anyone on registers, unless they were statutory". So what's in it for me and all the rest of us if we decide to take the plunge and register - regardless of which one? It will mark us out to the public as the ones in whose hands they would be safe..... "Corgi Registered" plumbers are a good example.

So - yes some professions have been "de-railing the process" as we have accused of but not without good reason. Not because their representatives have big egos or because are rude but because they are passionate about YOUR future and the future of their professions.

I note John D states there was change at the last meeting. Where John? They are still only allowing 4 professions on a profession specific board - NO professionals on the lay council. Yes, there will be a combined professions board whose role will be to "advise" the Council but those people will NOT have a VOTE!!

The accountant stated that he had based the second draft of the business plan on "guesswork". Even then, it did not include the cost of the combined professions board OR a caseworker who would be employed to deal with complaints.

John and I are long in the tooth, together and separately, we've been around this buoy many many times - we both know that the business plan needs AT LEAST 9 000 practitioners to register within the first year for it to survive. With so many professions not supporting the model; from a potential market of around 120 000 registrants, their target market is a maximum of 5 000. So can we please stop pretending that we should stay with the process till the end and see what happens? I'm no rocket scientist or mathematician but trust me - on these figures - IT AIN'T GONNA WORK!!

Edith Maskell
John Dent
Nov 16 2007 6:38PM
As the now "retired" CThA representative I would just suggest to members to do nothing until all the various proposals have been finalised and then each member can decide if they want to join any of the schemes at all or select one or more.
Not all schemes are covering all therapies yet.
There is no hurry! The FWG version does not start until April 2008 if it is all concluded by then.
No one has to join anything it is all voluntary.
I am sure CThA will publish a full outline of all schemes when these are all available.
When the time comes each member has to decide what is in her/his best interest.
John Dent
Angela Rawlins
Nov 16 2007 7:46PM
Sorry, from what I've seen and heard. I'd rather join the GRCCT. And I prefer to be registered with an organisation who is professional and has experience of the therapies.

No, we don't have to register, BUT, if no therapist or very few register - 'they' will bring in statutory regulation - then we will have to be registered, AND we may not like the out come.

Thanks Edith for you exceedingly informative talk last evening.

Come on John - we therapists should be given ALL the options so we can choose.
John Dent
Nov 16 2007 9:10PM
Of course you should - that is exactly my point. I am suggesting, just wait until you know what is exactly on offer and what benefits professionally and economically are available to you: it will always be your choice no one else's.
Edith Maskell
Nov 18 2007 1:06PM
Dear all

But we DO know what's on offer John. TWO models. The GRCCT is not going away. It is a legitimate option.

The FWG model as it stands, will not change. They made that very clear at the last FWG meeting. They do not meet again now until the middle of December and this will be to sign it all off. They were so congruent with what "they want" that they decided to ignore the feedback - feedback in which many people, including CThA members - invested a lot of their time in assimilating the facts to express valid opinions. This is supposed to be a democratic process. In the words of the Independent Lay Chair, Dame Professor Joan Higgins - "there is no point in asking for feedback, if you are then going to ignore it".

Nevertheless, some representatives within the FWG, including the representatives from the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health concluded that ......QUOTE "like it or not, this is what we have decided" UNQUOTE.

The only work the group are focussing on now is in finalising procedures and policies for Grandparenting, CPD, Complaints etc and this will all be done by email!!!! It has taken the professional forums years to agree CPD, Grandparenting and Complaints procedures - not because they are incapable of making decisions but because EVERYBODY has had an opportunity to have their views considered in the process. But the FWG have decided these very important issues can all be agreed by email in a matter of weeks?!?!

The FWG structure IS set. It is highly unlikely - is it not - you have seen the Business Plan John - that the fees will come down? It is highly unlikely that there will be anyu acceptance that professional expertise remains where it belongs within the lead bodies of each profesison, ie the Reflexology Forum, the Reiki Regulatory Working Group, the General Council for Massage Therapy etc. The 100% Lay Council of the Federal Regulatory Council and the 4 professionals on their profession specific boards will have ALL the control and ALL the responsibility with each profession. We are being controlled now. Our views are not being heard now. What chance will we have further down the line if we register with this model?

Practitioners are not stupid. They will vote with their feet. Financial sustainability is key. In a self financing structure the one with the most registrants will win. Do we want to pay £45 (in total) to be registered in 4 core therapies or £100 plus? It's a no-brainer. And that's only the first year when the FWG model is being funded by the DoH. What happens if we trust and sign up to it - then 12 months down the line they realise they can't afford to run it at those fees and increase them. Meanwhile, the GRCCT may well have not had a fair chance because professional associations have advised their members not to sign up to it? Is that responsible?

I repeat - advising practitioners to sit on the fence only serves to unnerve us - as it is a voluntary system. Practitioners decide not to register at all because they are too scared to make a decision. If we sit on the fence - both models could then fail. I agree with Angela - we know that in those circumstances, the Government has decided we will be regulated. If we don't follow their advice and regulate ourselves. They WILL regalate us and we will have a Statutory system of regulation in a very short space of time.

So - sorry John, I don't understand the advice that we should wait. Members should be advised as soon as possible about the FACTS relating to BOTH models to enable them to make up their own minds. What exactly are we waiting for? Regulation has already arrived.

By the way, for those members who pre-date CThA - I found an old newsletter dated Summer 2000 in which John Beney outlined all the pitfalls of an inappropriate regulatory system for CAM. The FWG model - in my view - is everything John Beney fought against. There speaks a passionate man. As a professional, he understood the pitfalls. As a representative of GCP in the regulatory process - John enlightened me on what I should be fighting for on behalf of GCP members. I know we are no longer GCP. I know I no longer represent CThA but I have never and will never lose that passion, loyalty and determination John Beney taught me all those years ago.

We are all entitled to our opinion. John and CThA have theirs. Personally and professionally, my view is that FWG model has - or will - stitch up the professions and the professionals. Therefore, as long as I have breath in my body, as it stands, I can not support it. I should also say, that neither am I advocating that everyone should sign up to the GRCCT. However, my gut feeling is that the GRCCT has the professions and the professionals at its heart. THAT's been our goal over the last 10 - 15 years.

At the end of the day, we must make up our own minds and we can only do that if our professional association supports us in demonstrating that it has OUR best interest at heart and transparently provides us with ALL the available information - warts and all!

Kind regards
Edith
John Dent
Nov 18 2007 2:37PM
Hi
I fear I do not agree that "regulation has arrived". At present GRCCP has set out its "stall" and anyone can join it who wants.
The FWG scheme may or may not change at the last minute (recent email interchanges do show that some movement is being contemplated although it may not happen). Initially it is to cover only 4 therapies.
BCMA is going to announce its scheme.
We do not yet know the final DoH position.

Nothing is yet final.

Rumours exist as to what the Dept of Health will support and recognise and what view it will take. Until a Minister at DoH makes a statement it has no official policy just the statement of a (senior) mananger.

Edith may very well be right that the FWG scheme will not work, it has grave limitations, or may not be the best. Will GRCCP? Will BCMA? Which of these are "best"?

It has to be for individuals to decide when all the facts are known. Hence CThA suggests that members wait until all the facts are set out in prospectuses from each -unless they are convinced that joining GRCCP is to their best advantage.

However this is not statutory regulation, no one is under any obligation to join any of the schemes.
John Dent
David Sowden
Nov 18 2007 10:52PM
Hi ya

Just been reading John's and Edith's replies.

If the GRCCT is to be taken seriously, it needs to explain itself a bit more. Who or what is running it; how it is going to make professional decisions, for example is it going to liason with the current working groups and forums; it says on its website that is you are a member of blah blah association (i.e. CThA) it will recognise your professional status. So how will it do that. Does it have connections with those associations?

Look at this from a practitioner's point of view: why would we join any organisation that doesn't explain itself? As a small business I have to keep my overheads low. I don't mind spending money if it benefits my business and career.

In all due respect, I don't even know what the CThA is or who runs or owns it. I wasn't asked if I wanted the GCP (member since 2000) to merge with the ITEC professional register, and that silly title IGPP (thank you for having the sense to dump it). Isn't it a business supplying services to other businesses (like me). Please enlighten us!

I carried on my membership was three good reasons: 1. good insurance policy, 2. I liked the idea of the Reiki Standards which fitted into the way I taught Reiki, 3. The idea of a single register being a multi-therapist and I agreed with John Beney's stance.

Best Wishes

Dave Sowden

Edith Maskell
Nov 19 2007 9:35AM
Hi

For information, I know that the GRCCT has a Business and Operational Plan which is available for all to see. I understood it had been circulated to professional associations, so no secret. Hence, I think it's a shame that some people are still of the view that the GRCCT is a commercial organisation run in a similar way to a professional organisation.

It's not run by any "people" in the same way as a professional association. For example, we know that CThA (as are the majority of professional associations) commercial organisations with a Board and an Executive whose aims and objections are the same as any profit making organisation.

A Regulatory Council is quite a different thing. Their aims and objectives are to be self financing - non profit making. Its running costs are derived from registrant fees. Hence both models will fail if registrants don't sign up. John's right. Regulation is voluntary but if we don't volunteer - rest assured we WILL be regulated.

I note from the FWG model the FWG accountant (who happens to be the Foundation accountant) suggests it should have an "enhanced income stream" and proposes that fees should be collected from accrediting teachers and courses. Most unusual for a "regulator". Anyway, the self financing principle will apply to the FWG model,the GRCCT and the BCMA model. The only difference is that the FWG model will rely on DoH sponsorship for at least the first year, possibly the first 3 years - tax payers will pay for tha. So we get stung both ways!! The only winners will be the 100 or so lay members and professional council members on the FWG being paid upwards of £150 a day.

At just under half a million pound annual running costs it stands to reason (initially)- relying on fees from CAM practitioners paying between £45 and £100 per annum - it will need some help! It will also require THOUSANDS of registrants. I believe we reckoned on 12 000 in the first year wasn't it John? Of course, we should not forget that the Foundation accountant said the business plan was based on "guesswork". So who knows (in reality) what it will cost to run and what the eventual cost will be to practitioners!?

On the other hand, the business plan of the GRCCT was planned by professionals who know how much it costs to run organisations - who have a far better idea how many practitioners might register. They are also realistic about how much practitioners can afford to pay. They have taken all of this information into consideration in building the Business Plan. ie it's NOT based on guesswork.

According to the Business Plan, the GRCCT Council Members will be paid £100 for each day they work (on an ad hoc basis)whereas the FWG model will be emmploying and paying OVER 100 permanent positions annually. Hence it will cost just under half a million pounds to run against the GRCCT model which (I believe is about £80 000) - you can see why the FWG model will require DOH funding. On the other hand, the GRCCT will require no such funding from the DOH or any other sponsor. It is ALREADY self financing, ie it has sufficient registrants to cover administrative costs thus far and I understand the numbers are growing on a daily basis.

Personally, even as a multi disciplined practitioner, I have enough trouble earning sufficient money to sustain myself in the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed. The last thing I want is to spend my hard earned money in keeping lay people in jobs throughout their retirement. Especially when those people are making decisions about MY future - and adding insult to injury - especially when I know (from experience)that some fall asleep for the majority of those key decision making meetings!! Why wouldn't they? They have no interest. No passion. Basically, the majority couldn't carealess.

The model for the GRCCT was launched by the Reflexologists (in conjunction with the Aromatherapy, Massage and Reiki professions) AFTER they were excluded from the FWG process. The massage profession was not excluded for political reasons I will not go into here.

The GRCCT is the model of those professions within which the majority of multi disciplined practitioners reside. If as John says, these will NOT be included in the FWG model - why are we being advised to wait? Hence why I do not understanding why CThA is giving its members this advice? All thesee major professions asked for was the right to this model on the table for full discussion with all 12 professions. They were refused the right to be heard. Is that democratic?

After the October meeting when the FWG agreed to IGNORE the feedback from interested parties, the Reflexology profession (ie 10 reflexology professional associations - representing 35 000 reflexologists - made the decision (all except CThA and FHT) to launch their model. Hence the GRCCT was born. It should be noted that this model is so close to the preferred models of the other professions, as to be virtually identical - namely massage, aromatherapy and Reiki. Since that time other professions have shown interest in supporting the GRCCT and I understand discussions are taking place this week.

I note that John has stated - the FWG will only be supported by 4 professions when it is launched - I wonder how many practitioners between them will be represented? I would suggest, if you take massage out - about 500 and I understand massage are split about which model they will support! If the FWG is dependent on sponsorship from the DoH based on how many practitioners each profession represents - they are not going to get a lot of funding! I also note that John mentions that from recent emails, it looks as though they MAY be making some changes - I wish I had a pound for every time I've heard that one. When I saw the feedback (allegedly) 150 responses from interested parties to the document the FWG "shared" in October - I thought it looked like the FWG would be forced to make significant changes because there was very little support.

Indeed, I was advised and encouraged by many to return to the FWG table (representing the Reiki profession) and participate in the discussions because the "evidence was overwhelming that people did NOT agree with the FWG model as it stood". But we all know the outcome - no significant changes were made. Indeed, I would go as far as to say only "lip service" was paid to the small changes that were made. When comments are made by one representative like "can I suggest, you don't focus on the criticims - who says they're right and you're wrong" - do I believe John that sufficient change will be made to encourage me to support it? No is the short answer. Been there, seen it, done it and have the video.

There are not only professions but individual professional assocations (one in particular) who agree that the GRCCT was the most sensible model for multi disciplined practitioners. That particular PA actually made a presentation to the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health about 2 years ago with a very similar model of its own! The PA in question was told "thank you very much but no thank you". So the foundation and the FWG haven't turned .... changed .....They weren't listening to the professions then either.

For information, I understand that the GRCCT is to have an Inaugral Meeting in December - after which its Council Officers will be voted on (one professional per professions and one lay member ie 50:50 representation). At that meeting, the criteria for an independent Registrar and independent Lay Chair will be agreed and then recruited. At the same meeting, roles and job descriptions will be published.

The BCMA has not produced its business nor operational plan yet - I believe it will be published in January. It has been stated that its main function will be to help organise and regulate those professions which are NOT to be included in the CURRENT regulation programme of 12 major professions. So no purpose in waiting for them.

I also understand that the way legitimate registrants are identified on the GRCCT is by their professional association membership numbers. Professional associations already vett their members - so the trust is that if you are a current member of a PA (you will obvioulsy have insurance because you can't have one without the other) and in the same way as CPD is periodically audited - so will applicants who register on the GRCCT. From time to time, a batch will be drawn down and the professional associations will be asked to confirm or otherwise that those members are current members. There are no data protection issues here. Another way to do it would be for the Registrar to check the PA websites. All current professional association members are listed there. Please don't take this for "gospel" - it is only my understanding. All procedures are outlined in the GRCCT operational plan so the information should be checked.

We know, because John has told us often enough, that CThA is run on a very sophisticated computerised system which does away with the need for a lot of clerical and administration costs. Some of you may remember that this was one of the positives that John Beney outlined to us when GCP was taken over by ITEC. The GRCCT uses a very similar system, hence running costs are minimised. The end result is that fewer people are required to run the Register and in turn, equates to cheaper registration for us.

The other plus - provided you are a current member of a PA who is listed on the GRCCT website which has checked and verified all your qualifications and insurance - there is no need to send in documents, no need to put together a portfolio - am told it takes 8 minutes to register on line in 4 therapies.

Professional associations do not have to approve or support the GRCCT. By accepting the qualificiations of certain PA's the GRCCT acknowledges the excellent and tireless work of professional associations. It also recognises the credibility of their members ie that they serious enough about their work to become members of professional associations in the first place and committed to continue to develop professionally ecause they know from the outset that gaining CPD is part of the criteria for continued membership.

The GRCCT therefore is a simplistic, realistic model, developed from the bottom up, which has no intention of re-inveting the wheel. The logic of which is - why attempt to carry out all those costly, time consuming administrative tasks when reliable organisations such as CThA has already done it?

The bonus for practitioners is that WE do not have to continaully keep jumping through hoops providing the same information time and time again to different people. It has the knock on effect that if we can prove that we are REGISTERED GRCCT - employers or the public only have to check ONE place in the UK for proof we are who we say we are.

Kind regards
Edith
Edith Maskell
Nov 19 2007 9:54AM
Hi

John said "....I do not agree that regulation has arrived". - Regulation HAS arrived. John also said "At present GRCCP has set out its stall and anyone can join it who wants". In which case regulation must have arrived?

The GRCCT has not set out it's "stall" as you say. Like it or not, it IS a legitimate regulator. It is the ONLY regulator we have .. agreed, at the moment .... however, I understand it has many hundreds of registrants already and that's without any spending on PR. Unlike the FWG which plans to spend a vast amount in publicising its existence to the public. Sorry John but I have to say again, regulation IS here.

If, as you suggest, the FWG model (when it is launched) will only represent 4 professions and those professions exclude aromatherapy, reflexology and Reiki .... in fact, I am guessing it will only represent the smaller minority therapies. This then prompts me to ask ... what use will the FWG be to us multi disciplined practitioners who in the main, practise those core therapies? And more importantly, what does it say about the legitimacy of the FWG when in January this year, discussions started out with 12 professions and at the end of 12 months, it can only muster up 4 to launch ?!?!

Whereas, the GRCCT is already accepting registrants from the 4 major professions PLUS I understand some of the professions who are not supporting FWG are now in discussion with the GRCCT to see whether their professionals can be included on GRCCT register?

Kind regards
Edith
David Sowden
Nov 19 2007 11:06AM
Hi ya Edith

Thank you for your reply. If the GRCCT sold the itself with the words that you have used on their website, I wouldn't be so critical!!!

As a member of both the AoR and CThA I do feel devoid of information. Most of my colleagues don't know what's going on and quite frankly got their heads in the ground.

I did actually send feedback to the FWG on the form that was sent out in October, and I'm disappointed that this was disregarded. As one of my colleagues said to me last week, "When am I going to have time to read a 13 page document and feedback my comments in two days". She is a full-time teacher and massage therapist, mum and the main breadwinner for her family.

I'm a bit more happier about GRCCT. If its claims were support by the CThA and other organisations, then I will take it more seriously.

Best Wishes

Dave Sowden
David Sowden
Nov 19 2007 11:20AM
As a quick added note.

If a regulation body (like GRCCT) can be self funding, I think this would be a good idea, because we are regulating ourselves, and not have so much interference by the goverment. As we all know that the "knifes are out against CAM" by the established science and medical system. If we are too regulated and controlled (I'm looking into the future, not so much the here and now) this will suppress CAM. May be there is a secret agenda for this, who knows. Divide and conquer or would it be better to unite and win!
Angela Rawlins
Nov 19 2007 4:24PM
Hi David

Well - I've read with interest all the comments and thanks to Edith, my group, those who attended last week have the information.

I as a co-ordinator think it is very important for us 'Complementary' therapists to support each other - hence the local groups. Numbers count. Unfortunately I think people are being complacent. I also belong to the AoR and yes, feel not a lot of information is being given.

I like to be informed well in advance, as I don't like to make quick decisions. It would be nice if the CThA could have put out in, perhaps the magazine ALL the prospective options in advance of the FWG model and let us look and decide.

That consultative form took me hours AND I only had a couple of days to do it. I just had to shelve any thing else because I believe I can not moan about the out come if I didn't give my opinions.

Be united.
John Dent
Nov 19 2007 4:55PM
Hi
Yes I am sure CThA will set out in full all the options when all are finalised. It is not for CThA to decide anything: each individual will need to decide.
John Dent
Edith Maskell
Nov 20 2007 8:22AM
Hi David

Am pleased to read your comments. As a full time practising therapist who has nothing to gain from this process - I don't teach, I don't own a school - I don't have a paid role within a professional association - I have no ambition to get a paid job in any new xtructure - my only purpose in my passion and persistence about this stuff is that it culminates in all of us being treated with the respect we deserve.

Our futures depend on us supporting the model that is most appropriate for the work we do. What we want from regulation is credibility not to have our hands tied and our mouths gagged.

In my view, the reason the aromatherapy, reflexology and Reiki professions were excluded from the FWG process is because they were not prepared to sit around the table and nod through a model that WILL be detrimental to our future. Of that I have no doubt.

In my book - hats off to those professions and their elected representatives for risking the vicimisation they have received because they were brave enough to stand up and be counted in the best interests of ALL of US. There have been no personal agendas as we have been accused.

I can not tell anyone what to do and I fully appreciate that neither can CThA or any other professional association. However, as we have all agreed - we do deserve to be informed of the REAL truth of what has been happening - instead of the selective information that has been published from all corners over the last 12 months.

What I do believe (and will continue to keep expressing) is that I think it IS time for us to take action. We need to vote with our feet and demonstrate to those who aspire to control CAM that we are not going to roll over and that we are NOT the stupid therapists they seem to believe we are.

There is nothing to fear from regulation - well, not if we support a model that supports us. Yes - it is voluntary - John is right - we don't HAVE to do anything. But we all know what happens when we don't volunteer - we escape for so long and then get volunteered!!!

If any co-ordinators of local groups or any Body of people would like to hear my personal perspectives - I will not be expressing any party line - by that, I mean, I will tell all - the facts about this regulation process - please let me know. Have car, will travel - cost nought (within reason!). Doing this solely because of my passion that multi disciplined CAM practitioners are not "stitched up" over regulation.

We NEED to get involved. The purpose of regulation is to protect the public. There is no way out for us now. The Government WILL eventually deem that the public aren't protected if there are more practitioners outside of the system than in! Over and out

Kind regards
Edith Maskell

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