Written by Dr Kate Beaven-Marks
Does an accreditation ‘stamp of approval’ mean anything? Well actually, yes! By choosing a hypnotherapy training course which has been externally accredited (or externally certified) by a nationally or internationally recognised professional organisation can enhance the value of your training in a number of different ways. This blog explores what accreditation is and suggests some of the advantages of choosing an accredited course when you want to become a hypnotherapist.
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a formal confirmation that a course meets quality assurance requirements, meets an established educational and professional need (such as meeting a ‘curriculum’ or ‘syllabus’) and provides appropriate competency outcomes (proving that a course graduate is competent to practice after passing the course).
An accredited hypnotherapy course is one that has been assessed and approved by a professional body, either a hypnotherapy/talking therapy professional association, e.g. the ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists), or a broader therapy organisation which also accredits other complimentary therapies, e.g. the FHT (Federation of Holistic Therapists). For a hypnotherapy course to go through an accreditation process, it will be subjected to rigorous checks for the quality, content and robustness of the training syllabus and process.
Each training provider will have their own views on what knowledge and skills are needed for someone to become a hypnotherapist. Courses can range from a few hours to a few years, yet all hypnosis trainers and schools may say that their course is exactly what someone needs to become a hypnotherapist. However, I am sure you can imagine that there is a vast difference between a course that take a few hours to complete and one which is far more substantial.
An external accreditation process enables an independent assessor to check the course against established standards of hypnotherapy training and to find out whether the course is ‘fit for purpose’. The process will identify the standards adopted, together with the strengths of the training programme/processes and any gaps or areas for development.
Key areas for assessment
A hypnotherapy accreditation will evaluate a wide range of topics, including those directly related to teaching and more broadly, relating to the training provider. Commonly, assessment topics will include:
Curriculum/syllabus: Course content, practical skills (soft/technical), theory (knowledge), the ratio of theory to practical work, homework assignments and certification process.
Trainer/tutor qualifications: Are the trainers/tutors professionally qualified? Do they have relevant teaching qualifications? Do they engage in ongoing development (CPD)?
Methods of teaching: Whether classroom or online, lesson plans showing how teaching occurs (e.g. demonstration, lecture, practical), how each student is taught according to the development and needs (‘differentiation’), and use of visual aids and other media.
Methods of assessment: The course’s process for formative assessment (during course), such as observing student performance during practical tasks, and summative assessment (final exams), such as written or practical exams.
Teaching resources: The course resources; handouts, books, handbooks, videos and other material provided to a student and how provided (e.g. hard copy or electronically, on a website).
Teaching venue (physical/online): Suitability of the venue (such as sufficient sized room, for in-person teaching), and reliable online provision e.g. Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms.
Student interview: Checking the process used to evaluate prospective student eligibility (e.g., checking for health conditions and suitability).
What are the benefits of an accredited hypnotherapy course for you, the prospective student? Well, most people who want to learn hypnotherapy would like to receive first class training so that their investment provides the necessary skills and knowledge to be a competent and confident hypnotherapist. However, the process of selecting hypnotherapy training in the UK, and indeed, around the world, can be a minefield. There is so much training available, and of such varying content and quality, that it can be a challenge to know how to choose the right course. By choosing an accredited hypnotherapy course you can be reassured that someone who knows a lot about hypnotherapy (and knows what training is needed for someone to become a hypnotherapist) has checked out the training providers course. Also, an organisation that has been sufficiently organised to have their hypnotherapy course externally accredited is likely to have the processes in place to run their courses efficiently. That means the training is more likely to be well organised too, with systems to support learning and development. In addition, by choosing an accredited course that has been approved by a professional body, it is helpful for further development after qualification, when applying for or maintaining membership with that professional organisation.
Do clients care whether your hypnotherapy training has been accredited? It is true that some clients don’t care and may just shop around for the cheapest and easiest therapy option, which can then be reflected in how much or little they engage in the therapy process. However, more and more clients now aware of a need for due diligence and are more selective in their selection of a hypnotherapist, including seeking qualifications that they can verify. An accredited course offers a client the assurance that the hypnotherapist’s training has been independently evaluated, and has met accepted standards established by/within the profession, and that the course syllabus covered the essential skills and knowledge needed to do the job as a professional hypnotherapist is expected to.
Advantages for the training provider
By pursuing an accreditation process, a hypnotherapy trainer/school will likely need to take a detailed look at their training provision, educational and administration processes and even the overall company philosophy. Once accreditation has been achieved, work does not stop there, as to keep the accreditation, those same standards and processes will need to be maintained and updated as needed. This can support a positive culture of high quality training, high standards and professionalism.
Accreditation of hypnotherapy training not only benefits training providers and students, but it also benefits the hypnotherapy profession as a whole, by supporting and developing professional standards and ensuring that as many hypnotherapists as possible are properly trained.
How can you tell if a course is accredited?
Achieving course accreditation is an accomplishment for a training provider so they are likely to be shouting it from the rooftops, or, more realistically, posting the accreditation ‘badges’ on their website or including information about it within their course details/prospectus. Remember, for added reassurance you can check out the accreditation organisation’s website as well to ensure that your chosen training provider is listed there and that their accreditation is active.
Our Live Online Hypnotherapy Certificate Course is now accredited by both the ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists) and the FHT (Federation of Holistic Therapists). This means that you can be reassured that when you choose to train with us, you’re getting the best quality hypnotherapy training that we offer, proven by the fact that our course has been thoroughly examined and evaluated and considered to be of the high standard required for hypnotherapy training.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog on accredited hypnotherapy courses, and if you have any more questions about this topic, or anything else for that matter, do please get in touch, because we’re always happy to help!
– written by Dr Kate Beaven-Marks