EDITH MASKELL'S EMAIL RE REGULATION
I AM COMPLETELY BAFFLED BY WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE AREA OF REGULATION. THE DISCUSSION SEEMS TO BE INFLUENCED BY HIDDEN AGENDAS AND INFIGHTING THAT DO NOTHING TO ADVANCE THE STATUS OF COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES ON ANY LEVEL. I FEEL TOTALLY REMOTE FROM THE DEBATE AND, QUITE FRANKLY, NO LONGER HAVE THE ENERGY TO KEEP TRACK OF EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING. VERY, VERY FRUSTRATING.
I totally agree. The whole thing is fast descending into farce! I, too, am thoroughly fed up with all the in-fighting, egos, and hidden agendas that have nothing to do with the interests of the wider membership - whatever the therapy. I have that jammy vu feeling (haven't we been down this unholistic road several times before?) and I would not be happy for us to break off into splinter groups. If this is the future, it's grim, a damned shame, an opportunity lost, and I vote we stay just as we are.
Personally, I wish we could erase everything and start again. I don't think I even know exactly what the current position is. Does anyone else have the feeling they are working in a vacuum?
Pleae don't despair, Jane. I think it's time we members took ownership of our profession(s) and made our voices heard. Speaking for myself, I have been happy for others to take the lead, for "personalities" to dictate and issue dictats, and apathy set in (the very poor response to Forum postings is one indication of this). May I suggest we all, individually, respond to both the Reflexology Forum and the FIH. Here is my response for your information. I also copied it to Kim Lavely (FIH) and said I would definitely NOT support any splinter group. I would have sent it to our CThA chair as well but we are still waiting for a name and contact details from the CThA (which doesn't help matters).
The Regulation Group
The Reflexology Forum
To whom it may concern:
I received an email copy of your letter dated 3 September, addressed to all practitioner members of reflexology professional associations, which was forwarded to me, at your request, by the British Reflexology Association. Here is my response to you:
I am baffled, ashamed, embarrassed and feel very let down by those on the Reflexology Forum claiming to represent members' interests. This whole situation is fast descending into unholistic farce!
Furthermore, I am thoroughly fed up - as are many members I have spoken to - with all the in-fighting, egos, and hidden agendas that have nothing to do with the interests of the wider membership, whatever the therapy they claim to represent.
I have that jammy vu feeling that, yet again, personalities may have disrupted things (haven't we been down this road several times before?) but I may be wrong. Perhaps we are not being given the full story by both the Forum and the FIH! Who knows and for those of us who've had enough - who cares anymore!
If this is the future, it's grim, a damned shame, an opportunity lost, and I vote we stay just as we are. I think it would be silly for reflexology, aromatherapy and reiki to form their own joint regulatory group with FIH setting up another one for other therapies.
What a shame there seems to be confusion as to who the Reflexology Forum are representing which is raising questions about in whose best interests the lead body in reflexology are working.
You may or may not be aware that the members of the Reflexology Forum is made up 10 professional associations : All these PA's have financially supported their existence for many years and still do.
AoR - Association of Reflexologists
APNT - Association of Physical and Natural Therapists
BABTAC - British Association of Beauth Therapy and Cosmotology
BRA - British Reflexology Association
CAR - Clinical Association of Reflexology
FHT - Federation of Holistic Therapists
IFR - International Federation of Reflexologists
NIRI - Northern Ireland Reflexology Institute
SIR - Scottish Institute of Reflexology
Each of those professional associations sends 2 representatives to all meetings and sub committee meetings to represent the interests of their respective members. Those reps are mandated by their PA to promote and VOTE for what they feel is best for their members.
At recent meetings of the RF - the overhwelming majority has voted that the model of regulation for reflexologists (and multi disciplined practitioners) that is being processed at the level of the Federal Working Party, supported by the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health, is NOT in their best interest of practitioners. If any member of those organisations is not happy or disagrees with that view, it is to their professional association that they need to make their views known. Otherwise, those members are being misrepresented at the level of both the RF and the FWG.
The "in fighting" is coming from a perspective that the Federal Working Group is supporting a Regulator made up of entirely LAY Council with no or very little professional input. Some professions are arguing that this is detrimental to the future of professionals and professionals. From my perspective, I want the professions in which I am qualified to fight tooth and nail to protect our future AND to keep the cost down as low as possible so that I don't have to choose a therapy in which to be regulated because it is too expensive to register in all. I find the prospect of Government quangos on fat salaries (which WE will pay for in fees), responsible for and controlling our professions in the future, more than a little worrying. But that's a personal view but what which happen to be passionate about because it will affect me.
As a member of the British Reflexology Association, I am perfectly happy that the BRA is accurately representing my views and that of it's membership. Certainly, I know for a fact that the BRA is not in favour of a splinter group separate from the FIH.
More to the point, the letter that we practitioners received, and I have referred to, was from the Reflexology Forum and not our professional organisations.
It is a bit disingenuous to now suggest that our individual professional organisations are the "problem" or causing problems.
We are all passionate about our therapies and professional status and but thoroughly fed up with the way we/our views are being manipulated - and not by our professional organisations.
Well I'm not a reflexologist, but I AM a multi-discipline therapist and this IS my professional association, or so I thought.
I still don't understand what the heck is going on. Surely we should be defending our professional standards against people who practise without qualifications, rather than as it seems to me) battling between bodies representing different therapies?
Yes John Dent continues to represent CThA in regulation.
It is very understandable that people are confused as what is happening is that a group - the Federal Working Group (FWG) - which is made up of one person from each therapy body and a number of others has since January been trying to get together a scheme that all therapies approve.
We have not reported each and every discussion and rumour/disagreement (the minutes of each meeting run to very many pages) but have consistently stuck firmly to what we have defined as the interests of multi-disciplined practitioners.
This is that there should be one single scheme covering all complementary therapies.
I have put a long article in the magasine to set out the current proposals asking for comments/questions to come to this forum. (You can rad the article on this website now.) I will update this with the final
The FWG has moved a considerable way from its initial suggestions and at the last stages (it has to cease this month) it has moved further towards what CThA belives is acceptable.
A race is not won or lost until the finishing post and CThA is urging all involved to stay in the process until that point.
Yesterday there has been a letter circulating from some members (associations) in the Reflexology Forum asking people to join a new regulatory scheme that it has set up outside the formal scheme being devised by the FWG. CThA did not approve this as it goes against our criteria for there to be one single scheme.
We appreciate that not every "body" in the FWG is happy, indeed some are very unhappy as Edith Maskell has indicated above, but we feel that no decisions should be made until the FWG has issued its final proposals and each therapy body can then make a decision to join or not.
At present there is a great deal of angst with some "bodies" but this is perhaps understandable where passions on all sides run high and then mis-understandings occur. CThA believes that taking precipative action before all the final details are set out is not wise.
The final FWG proposal will be published in October with 21 days for comment.
It is then voted upon by the bodies representing each therapy. It could be that an insufficient number approve and at that point a new stuation will have to be faced.
At that time CThA can be in a position to advise its members.
In any of these schemes success will only occur if practitioners actually join what is an entirely voluntary scheme.
The choice will be yours. We suggest you decide when you have all the alternatives available to you.
CThA remains fully active in the final discussions.
By the way, Mariette - I am a reflexologist registered with the CThA and I never received any kind of letter - either from the Reflexology Forum OR the CThA......
CThA did not circulate the letters from Reflexology Forum about the GRCCT as it had not agreed with the proposition which effectively could lead to competing regulatory bodies when the policy in CThA has been that there should be only one "official" scheme.
However of course individual members are free to make up their own minds and can join if they wish.
As the FWG process is not yet quite complete (the date for responses to the Progress Report is today 25th Oct.) CThA view is that members would be best advised to wait until all the options are published before they decide how (and if) to spend their money.
The GRCCT scheme will no doubt still be available in 2008 and the proposed FWG scheme is not due to start until April 2008.
CThA is not opposing or approving any scheme yet but working to try and have one that meets the needs of the majority of our members: at present none do.
Many thanks, John. I had already decided to "hold fire". As you say I think we need to adopt a "wait and see" policy at the moment.
My local CThA group had an extremely well presented and informative presentation yesterday evening from Edith Maskell herself on the whole history of the regulation issue and the parties involved.
I now understand the reasons for the frustrations that have been expressed with the FWG scheme and why there has been an impetus to set up an alternative.
The evening was very instructive and, as a result, I (and I am sure many of the other therapists who were present)will be joining the GRCCT.
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I am sure Edith did a very thorough and accurate presentation.
As the now retiring CThA representative I would just repeat that I would suggest no one joins anything (unless they want to) yet.
There are now 3 possible schemes in sight:
The FWG one due to start in April 2008
GRCCT which has started
BCMA is suggesting it will have one too.
All may (or may not) be "recognised" by the Dept of Health.
CThA always argued for ONE single National Register officially approved.
The existence of 3 new ones (one of which may be the "official" one) means that no member of the public and no medical person will know which one to refer to.
It has also argued that to be valuable to members the Dept of Health has to support it by telling the medical profession (and others) only to refer patients to those on the regulator's register(s) it approves. (This is not the same as saying the NHS will necessarily pay or the treatments.) So far the DoH has not said that: it might in the future.
The point about a Regulatory register is that it is just to look up to see if a practitioner that a member of the public is considering using is regulated. You, the practitioner, will not be "found" there by any search - the inquirer has to know your name and town.
CThA and Embody have registers that promote members to the public. CThA also regulates it members who have voluntarily agreed to be bound by its Code of Practice.
I would urge members to "wait and see". CThA is not supporting or decrying any of the registers until the process is complete.