UK Regulations for Reiki Practice in the UK
Background to Regulation
In February 1996, HRH Prince Charles proposed the Integrated Medicine initiative to encourage orthodox and complementary healthcare to work together within the NHS for the benefit of the British public. For this to happen, complementary therapies were required to be self regulated and to develop robust systems to ensure high standards of practice and levels of care, to bring them in line with other healthcare professionals who are also expected to hold nationally recognised qualifications.
The Reiki Council is an advisory body and is made up of Reiki Professional Associations, who provide advice about Reiki
The Regulator regulates the practice of Reiki (and other therapies/disciplines), primarily to protect the public. There are currently two Regulatory Bodies accepting registration from practitioners of Reiki and other complementary therapies in the UK.
The role of the regulatory body is primarily to protect the public in that it gives the public and employers quality assurance that the practitioner's qualifications and/or experience is such that it meets the minimum standard required for professional practice. It also gives the same quality assurance to doctors and all other health care professionals who may use a national register. Registrants will have to be insured and sign up to a CPD Policy (continuing professional development), disciplinary procedures and code of professional conduct and ethics.
Each practitioner should make their own decision as to which is most appropriate for their particular circumstance. It is important to note that currently no Reiki organisation or Regulatory Body can prevent any practitioner from conducting their business - practitioners are only subject to their requirements and any disciplinary procedures by having chosen to be so by registering with them.
In July 2008 the Reiki Regulatory Working Group (RRWG) announced that it had completed its work towards regulation and would now take on the role of Advisory Body for Reiki, representing Reiki Professional Associations. It was agreed that the Reiki Regulatory Working Group would be renamed the Reiki Council with effect from 15 July 2008, to reflect its new role.
There are currently a number of professional associations representing Reiki practitioners in the UK, of which the UK Reiki Federation is one of the largest. The Reiki Guild, of which Debi Barr is a member, is another Professonal Body.
A professional association's role is to represent its membership, looking after the needs of the professional therapist. A professional body will offer insurance, CPD opportunities, journals or newsletters, support groups, advertising leaflets, conferences etc.
In addition, professional associations have a public role as the 'faces' of the professions they represent - they receive innumerable enquiries from the public about Reiki, and for requests for names of practitioners and teachers. It helps to promote these through advertising and attendance at exhibitions and conferences.
National Occupational Standards (NOS)
NOS describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to undertake a particular task or job to a nationally recognised level of competence. They focus on what the person needs to be able to do, as well as what they must know and understand to work effectively.
They cover the key activities undertaken within the occupation in question under all the circumstances the job holder is likely to encounter.
This definition is supported by UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES)
What are the benefits of NOS?
NOS are tools to help individuals, organisations and training providers to improve performance. They are useful for carrying out a wide range of activities some of which are described below.
They describe the minimum standard to which an individual is expected to work in a given occupation
Set out a statement of competence which bring together the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to do the work
Provide managers with a tool for a wide variety of workforce management and quality control
Offer a framework for training and development
Form the basis of Vocational Qualifications (VQs) on the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).
Skills for Health have worked together with GRCCT and other experts from the sector to develop an extensive range of competences/National Occupational Standards (NOS) in a range of complementary therapies.
National Occupational Standards (NOS) are statements of competence and are written to measure outcomes. National Occupational Standards describe good practice. Essentially, standards describe what happens in the workplace -- not what people are like.
In 2009 the revision of National Occupational Standards for Complementary and National Healthcare was completed, under the guidance of Skills for Health. There was extensive consultation with the public and practitioners, and representatives from 12 different therapy groups worked on the revisions over a 12 month period
The National Occupational Standards for Reiki are included within these revisions, and are made up of three separate competencies, the first two of which are common to all therapy groups, and the third one being specifically for Reiki. The competencies, all of which would need to be achieved, may be downloaded from this website courtesy of Skills for Health who own copyright of the competences:
A full set of the standards are also available for download from the Skills for Health website at www.skillsforhealth.org.uk.