when voluntary regulation is imposed to those who want to join, will this mean the title eg aromatherapist/massage therapist become protected, as it is within the health professions?
Sorry - don't often visit the Forums - just saw this.
1. Voluntary regulation is not being imposed on us. It is voluntary (at the moment). There is nothing to say it will not be imposed on us at a later date. The arguement has always been that if you register whilst it is voluntary, WHEN statutory comes into being, the process of transferring from one register to another MAY be easier. But as ever, we are being kept in the dark about future plans. Technically, it would only need a change of mind within the Government/DoH for the switch to occur. Voluntary registration is here because WHEN the switch comes - it will be a lot easier to administer if the majority are already on a register rather than have a mad dash at the end. THAT would be the time our right to work would be affected.
2. Regulation is only imposed on those who are statutorily regulated, ie regulated by law
3. Hence practitioners in complementary and alternative health can currently opt in or out and still be allowed to work.
4. Only those who are statutorily registered have the right to protection of title. Hence, voluntarily registered or not, we can still call ourselves, aromatherapists, reflexologists etc.
5. Whilst the DoH are ADAMENT that there are no plans AT THE MOMENT to statutorily regulate us, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out that that must be the ultimate goal - otherwise why bother ? Regulation is about "protection of the public". The public are not protected if the majority of practitioners remain unregistered, therefore unregulated (in their eyes).
6. We know that if we are members of professional associations we are regulated ... to a degree. But we should not bury our heads. There are thousands who are not. A great many of those do not even have insurance. No one checks their credentials, EVER. Yet, they are out there in the workplace calling themselves aromatherapists, reflexolgosits etc. They may well be doing a good job but how can the public tell the difference ? There are also hundreds of professional associations - they ALL have different standards and criteria for entry. WE know that some are more difficult to gain entry to than others. So suggesting that we are all regulated because we belong to a professional association is not necessarily true. BBy whose standards are we regulated ? Most professional associations are commercial organisations. That means, the more members they have, the richer they get and the more insurance they sell. They also approve courses. If they turn down too many potential members and courses because their standards are too low - the organisation can not survive.
7. A regulatory body on the other hand, be it the GRCCT, the CNCH has NO commercial interest. eg it is not profit making, has to account for itself to non professionals. It is entirely independent. It has ONE standard for entry and regardless of where your training was carried uot, ALL potential registrants have to meet one standard.
8. The majority of professional associations have been set up from training schools. ie if you trained with them you can join their professional association. Very incestuous. Our training is superior to everyone else etc etc. A regulatory body steps outside of that and judges everyone, regardless of when they trained or where they trained by the same agreed yardstick. That is the only way the public, the medical profession or anyone else can be confident that their therapist is working to a code of ethics or training standard as all the other therapists in the market place.
9. So unless we register voluntarily and it makes no difference which regulatory body we register with OR the Government decides we are to be statutorily regulated, our credibility will not change.
10. I have heard debates that the CNCH is more justifiable than the GRCCT. Why? It is believed that because the CNCH is Government backing that it is more worthwhile. That it means we will be integrated into the NHS. That is a complete nonsense and propaganda. No where is that written down. NOWHERE. In fact, if you ask the question out right - you will be told by the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health AND the DoH that there are NO plans for the Government to recommend complementary practitioners to the medical profession, regulated or not. It's a myth. It's true that's why we began this route of regulation - because we were led to believe we would be INTEGRATEFD. But at the end of the day, that is not the case.
11. To register or not is not about being recommended by the medical profession it is about credibility in the eyes of the public and the sooner practitioners and professional associations alike understand the difference, we will continue to go round and round this political hot potato till kingdom come.
12. If WE don't take responsibility ourselves and REGISTER voluntarily, it won't be long before it IS imposed on us and then we won't have any choice which register to go with.
13. The DoH (and I have seen this written down) have said that "if there is more than one regulatory body (which there is), practitioners will choose. The fittest regulatory body is the one that will survive". So all this nonsense from some professional associations about advising their practitioners not to do to do anything yet, is just that. A nonsense. Political manoevering. There is an arguement that professional associations may have the most to lose from regulation. If there is no requirement of practitioners from the regulators to be a member of a professional association - who will be the losers ? NOT the practitioners. So why am I not surprised that some professional associations are saying to their members "don't do anything yet"?
Regrettably, WE, the people whose future is affected most by regulation are yet again mere pawns in this highly political chess game. As one who has been involved in the regulatory process for more than 12 years, my personal and professional advice to any practitioner is take the time to understand what is going on and make up your own mind. Regulation does and will affect you, eventually. Sitting on the fence serves no purpose at all. It we don't register ourselves VOLUNTARILY, without doubt, we WILL be regulated by law and sooner rather than later.
Too late to complain when it has all been taken out of our hands.
Whilst I agree with most of what is said here, i disagree with the comments about CNHC. It is not my understanding of it, as it the only regulatory body that is approved by the Dept of Health. The CNHC cannot state this if it untrue. I have attended meetings where this has been discussed, and if it were untrue, they run the risk of action being taken against them. They would not risk it. It is my belief that the GRCCT comprises of organisations who did not want to get involved in the CNHC.
Unfortunately for GRCCT, it is the CNHC that was funded, and is approved by the Dept of Health, and should recognise this.
I have copied this from CNHC website:
'Launched with government backing through the Department of Health, the setting up of the CNHC was facilitated by The Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health. A Federal Working Group, chaired by Professor Dame Joan Higgins, undertook the preliminary work during 2007.
The CNHC is now a separate, independent organisation (Company Limited by Guarantee), with its own Board of Directors. It has a number of component parts which support the work of the whole body'.
As far as statutory regulation goes, if it were ever to happen, it would be many, many, many years away. The Health Professions Council are struggling to regulate the 10 or so professions that they have currently approved, and some of these are looking at their profession not being regulated for at least 10 years. Complementary Therapy regulation by the state is probably not going to happen, hence the reason we need a recognised regulator to help us with voluntary regulation.
May I first direct you to a response to the CNHC from GRCCT upon receiving the CNHC's refusal to attend a meeting to 'talk' about the status of the various regulatory bodies that are in existence ? http://www.grcct.org/media.htm
Whilst I am intrigued by your views, again, may I suggest that there is some very clever wording being used in a lot of statements being made by CNHC. I suggest however, that we should perhaps be asking the CNHC to provide evidence of these statements? Did they provide evidence for their claim in January that they would soon be regulating Osteopaths (incorrect) and Homeopaths (wrong)? What about (at the recent meeting hosted by CNHC) when their Co Chair made a statement that the regulator for Architects (the ARB) is the one other regulator without professional expertise on their board ? Again wrong. OR another recent claim from them that the Nursing and Midwifery Council will soon be following the CNHC's lead and getting rid of voting professionals from it's board, Not correct.
Additionally, they continue to make meaningless PR statements. One was headlines in all the newspapers that we were going to be "legal". Not so. We are being regulated voluntarily. All these incorrect statements only serve to embarrass the more professional therapist and provide ammunition to the media which has already labelled CNHC 'offquack'. And that was by their own admission !!! When has the Department of Health stated it 'approved' or for that matter 'disapproved' of any regulator? If you have seen this written down somewhere - I should be much obliged if you could direct me to it.
But whatever, OK lets play the PR game. Department of Health 'approval' - what does this mean to the Practitioner? What do you think it means ? From where I sit, it means NOTHING! There is NO promise of NHS referrals from GP's. No assurance under National healthcare provision. No credibility from anyone or anywhere. Zip, naught, nothing for the practitioner. If you read all the information that is readily available. The medical profession will NOT refer to us because they say there is insufficient evidence that what we do is effective. Of course W know that not be true. WE see the evidence every day in our practices. However, THEY say they need evidence first. The likes of our "friend" Edward Ernst is the biggest instigator of pouring water on those coals. Going back to the House of Lords Report in 2000. It makes the point quite clearly. We will NOT be integrated. We will NOT get the referrals until we provide the evidence and it is recommended that this is where we put our efforts. There are many therapists who will say they are doing the research. What do THEY say> We haven't done it under random controlled trials - therefore they are worthless. I was at a Conference at the Royal Society of Medicine last year. That was exactlty the point they made. WE are not doing the research under controls which they approve. Therefore, it is disregarded.
So what does DoH approval mean in terms of voluntary regulation? NOTHING! No access to Government decision making. No special status. No role in any statutory regulatory process.
As no one yet has been able to point me in the right direction to validate any approval by DoH - as far as I can see the only advantage of this CLAIMED 'approval' by CNHC is in the pockets of the 110 or so individuals who are paid (whilst the 'start-up funds last - and that's a VERY important point) by this gargantuan of a regulator that more than 70% of practitioners do not want and will not support it. The DoH funding (so called approval) was originally planned to be for the first 3 years. But wait - that was before the majority of the professions walked. After that, seems to me the DoH got cold feet and withdrew two thirds of the funding.
So no wonder the vast majority of professionals are backing the GRCCT. Who in their right mind would hand the regulation of their profession to a 9 member board of LAY individuals (5 of which just happen to work for the NHS - God forbid, with the responsibility in their hands, CAM doesn't end up being medicalised - is that what we want?) WITHOUT a SINGLE therapist's vote in sight? Does it not give us a clue when there is not one single other voluntary or statutory regulator in the FIELD OF MEDICINE, EDUCATON OR LAW that operates in such a manner? I wonder why? Yet WE are expected to buy into it ?
The Department of Health has stated that it would like to see only one regulator; well, as far as I can see, there is only one - and that's the GRCCT. The others are still a figment of someone's imagination. They do not exist. The CNCH has not yet been launched !! Has no one noticed ? The DoH HAS also acknowledged that IF (and at the moment, it's a big "if"), there is more than one it will be up to the practitioner to chose which is the most appropriate for them. That is a statement that IS written down. That is a FACT.
The 'CNHC' announced in the National Press that it was launching in January (2008) that it was launching in March 2008 - then it announced that it would be June 2008. The latest news is that it can not begin regulating anything or anyone until March 2009.
At that time, it will require MORE THAN 9000 practitioners to register within 12 months in order to cover its annual running costs of 370,000 in order to break even. Well - just ask any professional organisation what they think about the prospect of sourcing that many members in 12 months. Most haven't managed to do it in their entire existence and many have been in aroun d for a long time !! It's a complete nonsense. WE (some of those representatives who sat around the Federal Working Group table) tried and tried and tried again to get them to see sense that this was a ludicrous target but would they listen ? Of course not. Time will tell. The only way that would happen is if each professional association automatically assigned their entire database over to the regulator - and they ain'g going to do that because it would put them out of business. In any case, that would create data protection problems. So, each therapist would have to register themselves. Have you ever tried to organise 9 000 people to do something in that space of time ? It's a joke.
I am aware that the Department of Education is currently working with GRCCT in reviewing the National Occupational Standards for Complementary Therapies. Do you suppose this means the GRCCT is 'approved' by one government department but not another?
I would suggest it's a mistake to read more into this claimed "approval" that the CNCH spin doctors are perpetuating that the Government/DoH approve CNCH over GRCCT or any other regulator. It's a myth. Just like the one the professions were duped with 12 years ago when the complementary health professions were led to believe that by going down this regulatory route we would be ultimately be "integrated" into the the national health system.
The only thing regulation does is give those who register more credibility in the public eye. It demonstrates that we are ALL acknowledged as having reached a basic national occupational standard. One that is common to all on the register.
That's the bottom line. It doesn't matter whether practitioners are registered with the GRCCT, CNCH or A N Other because ALL the regulators will be recognising the SAME standard ! Simple as that. The difference is on the GRCCT - there will be 50 : 50 professional/Lay people making the decisions about our future. On the CNCH - there will be 100% LAY and mostly medical people making decisions about OUR professional future. If the CNCH don't reach their target of 9 000 registrants after the first year - what then? Will the DoH continue to fund it? If not, how will it continue ? Who funds the DoH - let me think now? Oh yes - that's it - me and thee.
To be honest, I can think of far better ways to spend tax payers hard earnings - ESPECIALLY the hard earned cash of the complementary health practitioner.
So our choice is do we want to pay £45 per therapy with a ceiling of £100 to register with the CNCH OR would we prefer to pay £25 to register with the GRCCT plus £5 per therapy with GRCCT? By the way, I understand THIS Regulator is ALREADY funding itself and it has only been up and running since October 2007. Bearing in mind when wemake that decision, NEITHER is going to give us direct access to NHS referrals.
You say they wouldn't say it if it werent' true? You'd think so wouldn't you?
It's own board of directors!!! Yes, with NO therapists on it! My husband read the proposals and, being high in financial circles says 'it's all a load of twaddle - you need at least four professionals experienced in this field.
I noticed that you do not have a listing - what do you practice??
Hi Angela, thanks for pointing that out, I did have a listing on here, so not sure where it has gone?
I am primarily a sports therapist, and have seen the disruption regulation has caused in the ST industry, and can see the same thing happening in CAM.
Its no wonder we are all known as quacks, we cant seem to get along can we?
We arent quacks, but we do need to get our house in order.
I dont care who regulates us, as long as it doesnt affect my right to work, and practice the therapies im trained in.
'Not caring who regulates us'! Well, it really does make a difference - look at the medical profession!
Can the public REALLY TRUST a regulatory body who 'throw out' the opposition???? Just what is their agenda???? Money i'm sure.
And as for that person who keeps slating off the Complementary Therapy practitioners and therapies - well, do some research.
It IS very important that we get the right Regulatory body who can make intelligent and informed decisions and not just what they think. Just HOW do they think they can run this business without professional therapists on board??????????????
I know what my husband thinks about that!
I meant, I dont care what they are called, or who they are, as long as they do a good job.
Can I ask if your husband is a CAM practitioner? If not, then surely you are taking the advice of a 'Lay Person'??
My business turns-over 7 figures annually, so you may guess that im not just a practitioner. I also have a training company (training in CAM). The reason for this is I have my finger on the pulse, and am a very keen businessman.
I would NEVER allow any organisation to spoil what I have built up. I have researched CNCH, and know that they would not do this.
CNHC are advised by their PSB's, which are made up of the Professional Associations involved in the regulatory process.
These PA's represent many many thousand therapists, so there is no way they would advise their members to join CNHC, if they thought they were not working in their best interests. It is how PA's operate. They need members, so to give them bad advice would see them lose members in their droves.
CAM practitioners are not sheep, they have teeth, especially when it comes to financial matters, and they know where to hit, if they need to.
I know through work I have done myself, that CNHC ARE advised by the CAM industry. Q
No..... not in CAM - just a huge financial institution with many many years of experience and qualifications.
Obviously you have your opinions and other have theirs. Perhaps you could represent the CThA members? Take over from where John Dent left off?
and that is my point. These people have experience in running organisations such as CNHC, I agree that they are not practitioners, but this is why organisations such as CThA are involved, because they are the ones advising about the therapies.
I have no financial involvement whatsoever in CNHC, not that there can be any financial involvement, however, I would like to see who the board of GRCCT are, because I can imagine they are also either on the board of Professional Associations or training companies, (and if you are on the board of GRCCT and I am wrong, then please correct me).
If this is the case, then surely it could be seen as a conflict of interest? Promoting companies or organisations?
Im afraid I already represent an organistion, that is involved in both self regs and stat regs, and believe me, I have their interests at heart. If I thought they were going to get ripped off, or badly represented, then I would deal with it.
I think that my postings may look like im against GRCCT, when in fact im not, I just feel that to have two regulatory bodies in CAM is doing the industry a huge dis-service.
It has now become a political hotbed, and the only people that can ever lose out are therapists themselves.
What sort of 'CAM' training do you do? Any Post Grad courses or CPD qualifying courses??
I feel there is a serious lacking in good CPD courses so one can get more experience.
I have recently been talking about Reflexology, Massage with cancer patients and other serious illnesses.
Well. This debate gets more and more interesting. I should like to challenge Mr Johnson on a few statements?
I'm very pleased (for you) that you earn a 7 figure salary - though unsure how relevant that fact is to the debate and unsure what you mean though by "not JUST a practitioner". Does that perhaps mean that people who ARE "just" practitioners are lesser beings or perhaps you are suggesting that those who are JUST practitioners are incapable of or unable to earn 7 figure salaries? The fact that you felt the need to state that you are a "very keen businessman" - does this also suggest that "just" practitioners are not keen business people? Confused.
I'm fascinated that for someone who believes he has his "finger on the pulse" could be so misinformed as to state : "I would NEVER allow any organisation to spoil what I have built up, I have researched CNCH, and know that they would not do this". WHAT is that all about? I would be interested to know how a Regulatory Body (any Regulatory Body) could destroy what a business person has achieved and where in Mr Johnson's research has be been able to conclude that CNCH would not do this. ????? With respect - that's gobbledegook.
The biggest boo boo if I may say so is in your statement - "CNCH are advised by their PSB's". Followed by "... which are made up of Professional Associations involved in the regulatory process". Perhaps you could point me in the direction of where you have seen that written down?
If I were you, may I suggest that you go back and read the paperwork again. Do you really understand the structure? There is a Board of Lay People. 4 of the 9 people on that table are ex Lay Chairs of the various professional lead bodies. Those Lay People were originally hand picked by the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health. So no "independence" as you suggest.
The next layer is 5 Boards - each with 7 members - again all lay. Off to one side is something called a PAP (professional advisory board). May have a different name, it has changed so often. This PAP will consist of one representative from each PSB. One person from this Board will be entitled to attend Board Meetings. However, they will NOT be allowed to vote. ie potentially be able to effect changes. OR stop something happening. The documentation also clearly states that whilst the Main Board has a responsibility to HEAR the views of the professionals - it is not OBLIGATED to take any notice of it!? That's precisely the position the majority of the professions found themselves in at the Federal Working Group. They were invited to sit around a table and give their professional views but NOBODY took any notice. So forgive me if I'm not as trusting as you that "CNCH would not do this". One of my concerns is that there will be an Education Board - ALL lay. The Lay Educationalist on the Federal Working Group was of the view that once the CNCH is up and running they should start focussing on LEVELS of training and suggesting that we should be more focussed on ACADEMIC qualifications like PhD. What use is that in the treatment room I wonder ? But with no professional input, who knows what will happen in the future?
As for the PSB's - again with respect, you are TOTALLY incorrect when you state that the PSB's are made up of Professional Associations who are involved in the regulatory process.
That is not that case and THAT has been our arguement. In the CNCH the professional associations are OUTSIDE of the regulatory process. The professional lead bodies were told over and over again, if PA's were involved, that would be incestuous. There wouldn't be any transparency, they said. Regulation is about protection of the public. The role of professional associations is to protect the PRACTITIONER, they said.
The fact is that PSB's will be made up of INDIDIVUAL REGISTRANTS. There will be 3 on each PSB and each will have an independent lay chair (one of the members of the main Board). It is these PSB's from where the CNCH will get its professinal advice NOT professinoal associations. So serious professional advice from 3 "Joe Public" registrants, who potentially may not have any relevant knowledge, skills or background to "advise"? The majority of professions felt this was outrageous because the professional LEAD BODIES is where the professional expertise lies and it is from within those organisations that the CNCH should be seeking advice, they felt. These Bodies are such as Reflexology Forum, Aromatherapy Consortium, General Council for Massage Therapy, Reiki Regulatory Working Group, Shiatsu Regulatory Group etc.
The next point is that you state "These PA's represent many many thousand therapists, so there is no way they would advise their members to join CNCH, if they thought they were not working in their best interests". You would think so wouldn't you? Hence the MAJORITY of professional associations are NOT recommending that their members join the CNCH. Had you not noticed ? There are THREE professions who are in support of CNCH - from the original 12? Those professions are Bowen, Massage and Nutrition (well half of them). Nutritionists have split into two camps over this political hot potato and it is only one half who are in support. There are only 800 Bowen practitioners on their register. There about 1 500 nutritionists and the GCMT has only 700 massage therapists on their register. In the UK there are in excess of 100 000 practitioners of CAM - so I fail to see any overwhelming support for CNCH ?
The majority of professional associations (those who represent thousands of practitioners) are sitting on the fence and advising their members NOT to register at all ... yet.
As for "I know through work I have done myself, that CNCH ARE advised by the CAM Industry" ? Hummm? I wonder which PART of the CAM Industry? It certainly isn't the majority and it certainly isn't where the professional expertise is ie in the LEAD BODIES in each profession and how do I know ? Because I still represent 2 different professional associations on TWO different lead bodies and none are recommending to their members to support CNCH .... and it isn't Skills for Health either because they're working with the lead bodies in each profession!
As for GRCCT. Firstly, I don't work for - neither am I involved in any way with the GRCCT. Again, with respect, your statement that "I can imagine they (the GRCCT Board) are also either on the board of Professional Associations or training companies) is again, TOTALLY incorrect.
Have you explored the GRCCT website ? There are some interesting documents up there. I happen to know that THEIR Board is totally independent. I have seen the documentation, hence transparent. There are NO lay people who have been involved in the process thus far. Hence truly independent. None have any commercial interest either. It is a non profit making Body which is self financing - hence no requirement for external funding. Hence no conflict of interest as you suggest. No promotion of companies or organisations either.
Finally, this has "BECOME a political hotbed" ?! My goodness me - again for someone with their "finger on the pulse" surprised about that statement. The REgulation of CAM has never been anything BUT a political hotbed. THAT's what we, the professiOnals are SO unhappy about. It's what we have been fighting all along. We are practitioners within a healthcare setting. There should be no place for politics. However, when OUR future becomes a "project" with all that goes with it - targets, deadlines, jobs on the line if it isn't delivered within the timeframe, responsibility, accountability and DoH funding - "politics" is what is foisted upon us. So it matters not a jot what the professional wants or needs - the therapist will get what can be delivered in the time. So that is another point over which I agree with you. The only losers will be us, the therapists. The Lay People or non professionals involved in the process don't care, especially if they're either retired OR on paid contracts or honorariums, it's not their future on the line - it's not their passion. If it all goes belly up, they can get another contract tomorrow to project manage.
The point about the importance of having only one regulator is also true. But there is only one at the moment. The GRCCT. To date, the CNCH remains a figment of someone's imagination which is costing the tax payer. Surpise surprise, DoH money isn't free. WE are paying for it.
The importance of practitioners VOLUNTEERING to register is that it has been decided by the powers that be that we SHOULD be regulated. If we don't volunteer, the choice will be taken from our hands. If say, in 5 years time - time is irrelevant - if too many remain on the ouside, we will be VOLUNTEERED and over night we could find ourselves going from Voluntary to Statutory Regulation. If we don't organise ourselves. We will be organised. No Government will put up with years of investing and supporting a profession and then let it all fall by the wayside. It is foolish to think otherwise. I know that they are stating NOW that they are not planning on statutorily regulating us but I think we must face up to the responsibility that we will give them no other option if we don't organise ourselves now?
My personal view is that any practitioner who chooses to register with CNCH will be shooting themselves in the foot. The structure that has been set up by the minority will be professional suicide for the majority because I believe it is totally inappropriate for CAM. No other profession in the world has opted to exclude professinal input to this level - why CAM, the profession with the LEAST risk to the public ? It breaks my heart that the carrot is being dangled and the way it is being interpreted that practitioners should buy into it because they believe DOH funding and so called Government "support" means that by registering with the CNCH we will be integrated into the medical profession. SOoooooooooo not so. Next time you get the opportunity, ask questions - If I register with CNCH - will it mean that the Government will encourage doctors to refer clients to me? Will I be promoted to the public by the NHS?; listen VERY carefully to the answers. Read between the lines.
The House of Lords Report advised that we "organise ourselves" and work hard to provide the evidence that CAM is effective and then we could be "integrated".
Very difficult when we have people like Professor Edward Ernst and others in such high places knocking all the British reseach that we're trying to accumulate. And whilst that is allowed to continue, CAM services will take a very long time to be acknowledged, established and integrated into the NHS. Regulated or not, voluntary or statutory will not make any difference. So frankly, the CNCH being "supported" by the DoH means diddly squat. The only difference is our right to work. Voluntary regulation won't take it away but statutory will. It therefore doesn't matter WHICH regulatory body we register with - or how many regulatory bodies there are - so long as we register. That act demonstrates that we are being responsible and accountable and that's ALL we are being asked to do - that's ALL they want - for the moment at least !!
The political "hotbed" is suggesting to practitions they should not do anything which creates confusion. The only purpose that serves is that the GRCCT will fail. The CNCH will fail and sure as eggs is eggs that no-go situation WILL end in statutory regulation.
So the debate continues. I have still not joined either register. I went on to the GRCCT site and looked up various places to see how many people had registered. I live in Devon. One person from Exeter and none from Plymouth so far. I looked up under Birmingham - about 7 have registered. Methinks that most of us are still on the fence at the moment. Has anybody ever been asked by a client whether they are on a register? I certainly haven't. I am sure that at the moment it all means absolutely nothing to them. Meanwhile all this in-squabbling between the GRCCT and the CNHC is going to make us look as if we don't know our ***es from our elbows. So what's the answer? Also by the way - do we REALLY want integration into the NHS? I would hate to think that I would be closely monitored in the Reflexology treatments I give to clients (would we have to call then "patients"?). How do you measure intuition? Would we have to have regular "supervision" and "team meetings"? Yuck! Well that's just my opinion.... Any comments?
Everything you say is true. But let me repeat a story that was told to me by a plumber.
Some years ago when "Regulation" was introduced and "Corgi Registered Plumbers" became known to us. From about 40 000 plumbers in the UK, 30 000 of them thought like you Elizabeth. Why should we do that? We're all right Jack. The public don't ask whether we're registered. They just want a job done and the cheaper we can get it done the better.
Besides, to become Corgi registered plumbers had to jump through a lot of hoops, sit a lot exams etc and it cost them a lot of money for the privilege. So only the ENLIGHTENED pursued professionalism.
That was fine until there was a massive story in the news about how a "cowboy" plumber killed a family because he didn't install a boiler properly. Because of the massive bad press, the public started to become more AWARE of the difference between a plumber who was REGULATED and one who wasn't.
Several years later, an MP happened to mention in a speech how Corgi registered plumbers were earning in excess of £100 000 p.a. The 30 000 plumbers who chose NOT to register started to think about that. Nothing like annual earnings to focus people's attention? Now why was that ?
BECAUSE the public had started to realise that if you wanted a "proper" job done - you called in a professional. Someone who knew what they were doing and someone who was accountable and responsible. They were learning the difference between the professional and the cowboy.
THAT is what will happen within CAM. Regulation will gradually be "sold" to the public. When THEY start choosing between those who are regulated and those who are not. THAT is when YOU will realise the purpose and benefit of registering.
We can sit and bury our heads and continue to pretend - "it's not going to affect us" for as long as you like. Meanwhile, I suggest you face the possibility that you will be left behind because those of us who can think outside of the box will be overtaking you abnd WE will be earing the dosh. We DON'T need the NHS for credibility. They pay only a pittance anyway, IF they pay at all.
Whereas the INFORMED Joe Public will be looking for SERIOUS professional practitioners who are prepared to work hard to gain their trust by taking responsiblity and REGISTERING - which means doing whatever it takes to have the credibility and recognition of being one step ahead of crowd. So forgive me, I DO think it's important that we register and I don't think it matters who we register with. The politics of GRCCT or CNCH is a nonsense. It comes down to numbers. Do you want to spend £25 or £100 ? BOTH give you the SAME credibility. I'm not daft. I know where my money is. You volunteer or you don't. If you don't - no point in crying once the milk is spilt and YOUR right to work is disrupted in xx number of years because the Government decide WE haven't been responsible and DICTAte to regulate us by statue.
Be assured - it won't matter at that point that your clients, Joe Public, aren't t asking "are you regulated". If you aren't YOU won't be allowed to work. Game over. Lights out.
Thanks, Edith. Once again a hard-hitting response. And I do actually agree with you. I was just testing the waters. I am leaning heavily towards the GRCCT at the moment (as predominantly a Reflexologist)and am notoriously bad at coming to decisions. Once made I usually do not regret them. If as you say it is simply the one with the most practitioners listed that survives, then we all ought to register right away. I bet you I'll be registered by the end of tnhe month! Thanks again for your very informative postings. Liz
Not only me who believes it is the fittest which will survive - ie the Body with the most names registered within a spceific time frame. With my own eyes, I have seen the very same words written in a document from a representative of the Department of Health. So all this talk of CNCH being "supported" by the DoH is a nonsense. The DoH is NOT saying they prefer one over the other. NOWHERE is that written down. The word is "funded" by the DoH. Quite a different thing.
The reason CNCH is funded by DoH is that the Governemnt want CAM practitioners regulated and so they are merely following through on their promises to help us get started in the process by providing initial funding. Pump priming I believe it's called.
The Princes Foundation for Integrated Health were invited to facilitate and co-ordinate the process. That's all. During that process the "wheel fell off" because the MAJORITY of professions (9 from 12) did not agree the model put before them was inappropriate for the work CAM practitioners do. ie it's a medical model. So a more approriate one was developed. GRCCT.
The DoH are not averse to GRCCT. They're disappointed the "wheel fell off" the process they funded. They simply don't want to get in the middle. Hence their comment "practitioners will choose which they feel is best for them and the fittest regulatory body will survive". That doesn't sound like or mean "support" for CNCH to me? Neither should it be interpreted by any of us that because the DoH has funded CNCH - those who register on it will be referred to the public or the medical profession. We're a million miles away from that. BUT I believe that unless we, the practitioner take the responsibility and register ourselves VOLUNTARILY sooner rather than later, we will NEVER get the credibility we deserve and they will never trust us. So I honestly can't see the prupose of sitting on the fence ? Do we want recognition or don't we ? If we do, let's move forward together as a cohesive group and demonstrate that we are serious about our work. There is nothing to fear but there will be if we don't show willing.
Nobody likes change. But regulation IS here. Everybody keeps saying, there should only be one Regulatory Body. There is only ONE CAM Regulatory Body and that's the GRCCT. As I said previously, the CNCH is STILL a figment of someone's imagination (104 people actually) all getting paid by us (taxpayers) whilst they deliberate. Launch date went from March 2008 to June 2008 and now March 2009. That's the first year of DOH funding gone for a start!! And it is documented that the DoH would only sponsor the first year - so then what ? How can it survive if it ain't even off the ground yet. Even if it does launch and gets another year of tax payers money to the tune of half a million pound? What if it doesn't get it's targeted 9,000 practitioners in the first year? If they want to continue, they will have to put up the fees - already £100 for the multi disciplined. If they can't get 9 000 on board at a lower fee - how can they reach their target at a higher fee ? How CAN CNCH survive ? That's my question no one has been able to answer so far. Meanwhile, the GRCCT continues to rumble forward. It's not a complicated issue. Common sense tells me which one will be the fittest, therefore which is the one which is going to survive - so long as we register. If they both fail, we're stuffed. We can wave goodbye to our right to work.
When I asked the PFIH accountant (also the accountant for the CNCH) what figures he had based the business plan on - his answer was "guesswork"! What do you think any Bank in the world would say to us if that were our answer to the question when we were setting up a business ?
Like I said earlier "it's a nonsense" so I genuinely don't understand why some professional associations are advising their members to wait. What are we waiting for exactly - to be statutorily regulated ?
I havent read all the responses, however the first point I noted was the fact that you bring up my earnings. The point that I was very clearly making was that I would not trust my business to incompetent people, hence the reason why I support CNHC.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
my last response on here, as, is usually the case in postings like this, we will go round in circles.
The reason I stated by business credentials is this:
I have my own legal, industry and financial advisors. They attend meetings, with various bodies, such as government agencies and the like. I also attend meetings, and indeed host meetings.
Professional indemnity is what protects me, and everyone else from wrong advice. If my advisors gave me bad advice, they know they would be liable.
I also spend time looking at website, researching and asking my own questions.
I make my decisions on the basis of this, and it is what I advise my own associates, students, and members.
Edith, please read my few brief comments again, I didnt say this is THE last, I said, this was my last response. However, I thought I would post this information, for viewing by the people using this forum.
Unfortunately, you have your figures wrong. GCMT does not support only 600 members, it supports somewhere in the region of 25,000, big difference here. Not sure which massage bodies do not recommend it?? Most that I know of, which are the main ones, are recommending it.
Also Maggie Wallace is not chair of GCMT.
Regardless of this, I do hope this matter is resolved speedily, as the CAM industry is desperate for regulation, and not just on paper, it needs a complete shake up, with the removal of the quacks, and those who train the quacks.
As I said in an earlier posting, I do not care what the new regulators are called, I just care about getting rid of substandard therapists, of which there are many many in the CAM industry.
1. I did not say Maggie Wallace was chair of the GCMT - though we all know she is the EX Chair of GCMT.
2. I wasn't aware that I said GCMT represented so few therapists. Please be aware, the I REPRODUCED the paper from a blog I came across on the internet - ie it was NOT written by me.
I remain intrigued that for one who thinks he knows so much about what the regulation of CAM and hisitory of where we are today compared to myself who represented CThA members (and other professional associations) on 5 different Voluntary Self Regulatory Forums including GCMT, Shiatsu General Council, Reiki Regulatory Wroking Group, Reflexology Forum and Aromatherapy Consortium over a period of 12 years and also represented the Reiki profession on the Federal Working Group (who were invited to CREATE an APPROPRIATE CAM Regulatory Body and I am STILL actively involved with one) - you are happy to debate with me the what you consider are the FACTS! I beg to differ because in the words of Max Boyce, "I know cos I was there"!
I know who said what and when and have copious notes to prove it. I regret to inform you Richard that you, on the other hand, have been duped by the fairy stories of which there are many. Maggie Dunn (Co-Chair of CNCH) was invited to the Reflexology Forum in September to update us on the changes which we were led to believe were "more favourable". She said that "they realised the model that evolved was NOT APPRORIATE". She told us that many changes had been made as a result". The outcome of the meeting between Maggie Dunn and the Reflexology Forum is that there are no changes. The Regulatory model developed (CNCH)by the MINORITY professions - remains unchanged despite the fairy stories that it has. It goes without sayint that Massage is supporting CNCH- Maggie Dunn chaired the GCMT for a number of years - it was driven by her. Maggie is of course now one of the Chairs of the CNCH. So no surprise that Massage is in favour of CNCH.
Maggie Wallace - the other Co-Chair was Chair of the Homeopathy Regulatory forum (CORH). They are both now salaried - Maggie told us they are each paid £6 000 p.a. Where is the transparency - the independence? And she told us (so straight from the horses mouth, so to speak) they are about to "take on more staff" and the CNCH doesn't even have a register yet? They "launched" it but after 12 months - it still doesn't have ONE registrant. It's a joke.
Perhaps you could answer a question for me Richard? Why is it that until now, I and many others have never heard of you? Your name has certainly never appeared on any CAM regulatory Council or in any debate and over 12 years, I would have thought we would have heard your name mentioned at least once? So forgive me - it's a bit galling for you to be telling me/us where we have got the facts wrong.
I noticed that one CThA member on this Forum said that she had checked out the GRCCT and it didn't have many registrants throughout the UK. Well, however many it has it is a lot more than CNCH. The GRCCT is LEGITIMATE. It is the ONLY Regulatory Body we have. It has a lIVE register of CAM practitioners. The CNCH on the other hand isn't, despite the fact it "launched itself last April or was it February? They've changed the date so many times I've lost track. A good number of CNCH Council members are already benefitting in their pocket from it though! That's costing us tax payers hard earned money.
One thing that you and I are in agreement about Richard is that what CAM needs a workable, robust, financially viable and sustainable, independent Regulator that meets ALL Government requirements and guess what? The GRCCT does all that and it is SELF financing and right now - it's the ONLY Regulator we've got. So why do we need an overburdened and expensive to run Regulator like CNCH which has the potential to benefit those who are carving out a niche for a nice little job in their retirement or worse still, others who are ambitious and self orientated - dare I say, people who think that by supporting this Council they might become the "preferred" provider of courses and insurance by CNCH? The CAM industry can not support this level of expenditure it is planning for us. The majority don't earn enough.
The GRCCT meets ALL Government regulatory requirements, meets the needs of the practitioners whilst protecting the public. Hence, in my knowledge and from my experience of the whole venture and the people involved, when it comes down to it, I am a practising therapist, and with all my probing questions of the CNCH, I have not received any satisfactory answers to reassure me that they have our best interests at heart in the desire to protect the public.
I continue to have grave concerns for the therapists coming up behind me. Hence the Regulatory body that still makes the most sense to me, is GRCCT.
£45 for the credibility and privilege of being independently regulated in 5 different therapies with the GRCCT as opposed to £120 plus on the CNCH? It's a no brainer.
Practitioners - PLEASE forget the clap trap that the CNCH is SUPPORTED by the medical profession /DoH. Or the carrot that's being dangled that you will be referred by doctors or whatever. The DoH has never made a statement of this kind. I asked Maggie Dunn the question when the Reflexology Forum met in September. Her answer directly to me "I would like to think so". Does that mean the DoH is supporting CNCH? Of course it doesn't. So don't buy into this fairy story.
On the other hand the Police and other stakeholders have started referring to the GRCCT for advice as and when issues arise - that means external professional bodies are ALREADY accepting of the fact that the GRCCT IS the independent regulator for CAM pracitioners. So the only people sitting on the fence are some professional associations who FEAR that if practitioners register with a regulator they may not renew their membership (hence loss of THEIR livelihood) - so do they care about us? And the other people sitting on the fence are therapists who have been confused about the politics and then buy into the information being publiced by the "spin doctors". Actually, we should not be confused, we should be insulted. There's nothing confusing. The assumption is that us "mere" practitioners are not clever enough to read between the lines. It's all very simple. Forget the politics. Take the common sense approach and follow our gut on this one is my advice and by that I don't mean taking no action! If we got more involved the power in our numbers would speak volumes. The only reason we are being manipulated is because of inertia and we only have ourselves to blame.
One other thought Richard. You quoted the GCMT representing 25 000 therapists not 600.
1. The GCMT has or had 20 professional associations among its members.
2. I think what you're saying is that 20 professional associations represent 25 000 massage therapists
3. I know that the GCMT had a register in preparation for the regulatory process. I believe it has less than 600 members on that register?
So if in x number of years ( a great many) - those 20 PA's having decided it was a good idea to have a register - between them they could only muster enough interest to inspire 600 massage therapists to register at a mere cost of £10 p.a - is that a particularly good track record ?
So where in heavens name can they (in supporting the CNCH) be so sure that they will be able to perusade 10 000 therapists in the FIRST year to sign up to a regulatory structure (CNCH) that is charging in excess of £120 p.a?
It's a nonsense and in my view those PA's are being irresponsible if they are recommending to their members that they register with CNCH. In fact, I know they are NOT doing that. Because many of those organisations sit on other Forums and I know they have concerns about CNCH and costs.
So sorry - I can't see where the majority of PA's on the GCMT are in support of CNCH, as you say.
One last question, if, as you say, GRCCT are the CAM regulators, what exactly are they going to be doing?
We ALL know 'who' Edith is and what she did for the CThA and members. How about informing the rest of us who you are. What is your Company name? What make syou think you have the right answers?
Me, you and anyone can read about me on the listings.
Yes you can have your opinions, however, why should you who knows less than Edith 'inform' other therapists.
and why shouldnt I Angela?? I have every right to my opinions. You choose whichever path you choose, yours I suspect will be whichever one your husband tells you.
My involvment in CAM is thankfully not as much as you people, I say thankfully, because you seem so full of anger and unpleasantness.
Yes I have my opinions, and I will be sticking to them, I came on here to show therapists that there is another organisation, that I have to say, if you people are part of GRCT or whatever it is called, are far more friendlier, and human!
ps, yes everyone does know Edith, im glad I dont have the same reputation!
I think you need to tone yourselves down.
This Forum was developed for CThA members (therapists) to share information and opinions. CTha Members are out there trying to earn a living from practising CAM therapies. We are talking about THEIR future here and our ability to continue to earn a living where "light touch regualation" has been suggested for us - which we embrace.
The CNCH model is NOT light touch. GRCCT is. So yes we are passionate.
Us therapists have found ourselves caught in the middle of a political hot potato which has resulted from bully boy tactics.
Speaking of bully boy tactics - with regard to your comment that "you need to tone yourselves down" - words like pot and kettle spring to mind Mr Johnson. Your remark to Mrs Rawlings was chauvinistic to say the least.
I can't speak for Angela but let me reassure you and anyone else, I am NOT in any way involved with the GRCCT. I am NOT paid to express my views. They are based on personal experience of the process and the individuals involved over a very long time - combined with a common sense approach that I apply to everything I do.
No personal agenda whatsoever. I am not earning any money about of it now - never have done and never likely to. The time I have put into the process over 12 years (thousands of hours) has been and still is - VOLUNTARY. Why? because of pure passion about the credibility CAM practitioners deserve. In an attempt to get us INTEGRATED into orthodox medicine. A promise long since forgotten. How about you?
Mark my words - with so many lay people emanating from the medical profession on the CNCH - how many years do you think it will be before they are advocating that only the medically trained can practise CAM- certainly within the NHS? THAT's where it's going practitioners. So yes our beloved professions WILL be integrated but it won't involve the non medically qualified ... and thereby lay another tale. So stand up and be counted now or on your own heads be it.
As for your comment about anger Mr Johnson. Our words come not from anger and bitterness but from the frustration of dealing with idiots.
Mr Johnson - whoever you are there is no need to take such a patronising and chauvinistic tone. This discussion is for anyone to join and to voice their opinion.
Quite frankly Mr Johnson, I shall treat your last posting with the contempt you quite rightly deserve.
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If you go to the GCMT website you will see Mr Johnsons name.
Mr Johnson - may I ask - are you a member of the CNCH Profession Specific Board for Massage or is it an ambition to be one perhaps? If so, that is a paid role I believe? Ladies and gentlemen - would that not be a vested interest in the process? OR would you SAY it was someone working on YOUR behalf? Over and out. Kind regards