National UK Therapists Register
As more and more people choose complementary
practitioners alongside orthodox
medical treatments, the public and
medical profession are becoming more
interested in the safe practice and efficacy
of complementary therapies.
Regulation balances the interests of consumer
protection with the profession's
needs for agreed minimum standards and
continued innovation and development.
Unregulated therapies can be perceived
as less safe, for example, due to the lack
of nationally agreed training standards
and disciplinary procedures. The public's
only course for redress in unregulated
therapies is the Common Law - an
expensive and long-winded legal action
rather than the implementation of a professional
What is regulation?
1. To control by rules.
2. To keep in order.
1. The act of regulating.
2. A rule or order.
(Source: Chambers Paperback Dictionary.
Chambers Harrap Publishers, Edinburgh,
Regulation is defined as a process of
controlling something through rules to
keep it in order. It is often perceived as
negative - words such as "control",
"rules" and "order" do not sit comfortably
with therapies whose approach involves
an holistic view of healthcare.
However, regulation can be a positive
development for the complementary therapy
professions. In this situation, we can
replace the negative terminology with
positives such as "unifying", "professional
competence", "good practice" and "public
Statutory Regulation and
There are two categories of regulation
applicable to the complementary therapy
professions: voluntary self-regulation and
Statutory regulation is recommended in
therapies where there is a higher possible
risk to the public from poor practice. Most
complementary therapies choose a voluntary
self-regulatory system the most
appropriate route for their therapy.
See future information sheet "What is
the difference between statutory regulation
and voluntary self-regulation?"
What is Regulation?
Regulation acts as a framework for
good practice - outlining minimum
standards for accountable, safe
and effective practice within a complementary
In the healthcare environment, regulation
involves establishing rules
and standards for training, practice
and registration, as well as the
implementation of processes to
tackle complaints and deal with disciplinary
Led and agreed by the profession - it
requires openness within the whole profession
to work together to agree standards.
A framework for safe and accountable
practise of complementary therapy.
Helpful to the public when choosing a
practitioner. Helpful to practitioners by supporting
their daily work and identifies good training
providers for initial training and continuing
Government determined or imposed by
Europe - British Common Law applies to
the practice of complementary therapy.
The medical profession imposing it's
standards on complementary therapy
designed to undermine innovation and
development within complementary therapy.
Without help - complementary therapies
can access external support from
specialist agencies, for example, Skills for
Health, the Prince of Wales's Foundation
for Integrated Health and business support
Regulation Does it have to be a medical
Regulation for the complementary medicine
professions does not result in the
adoption of a medical model of regulation.
Each complementary therapy develops
it's own voluntary self-regulatory
framework, using the core features of
The aim of regulation in the healthcare
environment is to protect the public and
The purpose of regulation is to establish
a nation-wide, professionally determined
and independent standard of training,
conduct and competence for each
profession for the protection of the public
and guidance of practitioners and
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