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Posted by: Susan Quayle, 24 Jan 2010 8:28PM
Please do not use the forums to advertise courses.

Teaching Reflexology

Hi, Can anyone tell me how long, after qualifying, before a Reflexologist can become a level 3 diploma teacher? The AOR has a recommendation of 3 years for assistant and 5 years for teaching is this the standard requirement. I ask because it has come to my attention that a college in Plymouth has employed a reflexologist who has been qualified for less than a year which seems inappropriate for the students who are doing the course, reflexology teachers who have the required experience as well as reflexologists in general who have spent time and money and effort on becoming professionally respected. I am a reflexologist and if I had attended this course would have expected a refund. What guidance can such an inexperienced person give to future therapists and how can their qualification be taken seriously when gained under such limitations? If any one has any information I would greatly appreciate it if they would share it with me. Thanks


Mariette Lobo
24 Jan 2010 8:57PM

A very interesting observation, Susan and glad you raised it. This seems to be a growing trend within FE colleges, not just in England but in Scotland as well, due to the difficulties they have in recruiting tutors/lecturers who have both experience of working in industry as well as teaching/lecturing (2 different requirements). I suspect it is up to Awarding Bodies like VTCT, ITEC and Professional Bodies like the AoR etc to stipulate a minimum requirement for working in industry as well as a minimum requirement for prior teaching experience as part of their accreditation conditions before accrediting courses.
Cheryl Cole
24 Jan 2010 9:02PM

I am horrified too.... I am deeply concerned with the potential damage to the reflexology profession if colleges employ therapists who have not consolidated their individual practice first... I would not be happy on a course being taught by such a therapist.
Mariette Lobo
24 Jan 2010 9:55PM

Unfortunately, Cheryl, this is the case and, as I said, a growing trend. And the same Awarding Bodies are also accrediting one and 2 day practitioner courses claiming this is okay as they regarded as CPD! It would be interesting to know what the CNHC stance is on all of this now that they are our "regulatory body" (well, one of 3 at present as rival groups were set up). On a totally different subject that I had asked for comments/view on before: What do practising lecturers think about the new QCF standards vis a vis training within our profession? Apart from the very confusing Holistic vs Complementary Therapies Diplomas (a 2-tier system for starters as the latter professes to confer Foundation Degree status but the former does not), did those involved in writing the individual units, and stipulating the number of case studies for the unit, take into consideration the impact of this on students who do not do individual units but the composite diploma? And why Level 2 and Level 3 practitioner qualifications? Is one superior/inferior to the other? How do these different qualifications, at different levels, help both medical professionals and the public decide on the training/experience and other qualities of the therapist?
Tania Waller
24 Jan 2010 10:44PM

Hi Susan I applaud you for having the confidence to question this. As a previous Adult Education Tutor with 13 years experience of tutoring, who was severely criticised for expecting high standards of my students at the time (3 years ago)the criteria for an ITEC Tutor was 2 years post qualification experience and a Cert Ed (or working towards). It may be that the Tutor is already established as a Complementary Therapy Tutor within the College and has been given the opportunity to teach reflexology due to their previous teaching experience in, say, Holistic Massage with A & P. Whilst this may be a reason for this situation, it does not necessarily make this a wise choice of Tutor.
Mariette Lobo
24 Jan 2010 11:26PM

Gollyl Tania - glad to know you, too, were criticised for expecting high standards of your students. The "pressure" to dumb down in order to retain "bums on seats" for funding purposes is immense, as is the pressure to demand minimal initial qualifications and the most basic of recruitment interviews for the same reason. It takes a lot of courage to resist these pressures - with the implications for one's future job prospects. This might be one of the reasons that experienced HT/CAM tutors seem to be leaving FE in large numbers and very few of the same apply for their vacant posts, which brings us full circle to the original question posed by Susan!
Cheryl Cole
25 Jan 2010 5:15PM

Hi Tania, Both Sue and I know who this is and she is at the same college learning swedish massage, so this is the only contact she has had through the college prior to teaching the reflexology course. The advert on AOR email was for an experienced reflexologist! They are putting her throught cert ed at the same time as she is teaching. Hope this clarifies things
Kim Craig
16 Mar 2010 11:52AM

Hi there I too have had the misfortune to fight against the odds to deliver a high standard grade of qualification in Complementary therapies. I am of the old school of thought that you need to know your subject and have experience to pass on to the students. Dumbing down seems to be across several colleges these days to save money. So i know what you are all saying. Can we not do something about this, have some sort of say to what should be required. In one college, which i have since left as i could not fight any longer. I fought for the case studies to be changed from 2 to 6 at 6 weeks. This was what i did when i qualified many years ago. A comprimise was made of 5 c/s at 6 weeks. I heard afterwards that was changed back to 2 case studies again and still taught by someone that did this course with 2 case studies and had not had experience in the outside environment as she was already teaching beauty - it was a political thing. Happily I am teaching it at a college that allows the standards to be at a good level. Maybe some hope yet!
Gillian Kenyon
17 Mar 2010 3:07PM

The foregoing is all too worrying - I had thought it an exception that one year I assessed a student in May for her initial therapy Diploma and by the August of the same year she had been recruited to a therapy lecturing position (part-time) with continuance of her education at a part-time teaching certificate in the very same college at which I had completed her assessment. Never mind regulating the Therapists - whatever happened to ensuring that Tutors were of a suitably experienced standing ?. Allowing inexperienced qualified therapists to commence tutoring others will only devalue what we experienced tutors are trying to achieve in terms of Professional standards.
Gail Lowe
21 May 2010 1:35PM

We have recently contacted the Jobcentre in order to place a position for a part time teacher. when advisinng them of the fact we wanted a teacher with a minimum of 2 years experence the Jobcentre advised us that we were in breach of the Discriminations act and in making this request we were discriminating on the basis of age. Where on earth do you go from here
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