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Accreditation / Awarding Bodies

This page was posted originally on 14th October 2007 and was updated on 21st November 2009 as part of the restructuring and reformatting of this website.


The objective of this page is to give some helpful guidance about recognised qualifications to energy healers who might like to work for an employer in the healthcare sector.




In the UK there has been some recognition in recent years of the role that complementary therapies can play in healthcare on the peripheries of the National Health Service and other public sector and charitable organisations. Such organisations have a public duty to ensure that they recruit adequately qualified and experienced therapists. One of the ways in which they do this is to recruit staff with accredited qualifications. This situation will have relevance also for private sector healthcare organisations in the years ahead.

There are a number of accreditation or awarding bodies in the English education sector.
They assess on behalf of the Government the quality and grading of courses offered by training organisations and educational institutions. A course which has been accredited by one of these bodies effectively has a Government quality control stamp on it which will be recognised by employers and institutions in the healthcare sector. The accreditation system is a way of ensuring that quality control can be exercised over private sector training and educational organisations as well as those in the public sector.


At the time of posting this page, the general picture for energy healers is that there are a number of training courses available in energy healing that are accredited by or are recognised as meeting required training levels by trade associations within the complementary therapies sector such as the Complementary Medical Association and the British Complementary Medical Association. However, the accreditation offered by such trade associations does not fall within the Government system of accreditation and might not be recognised by potential employers. It is most important to understand that the courses offered by these trade associations have not been assessed within the Government accreditation system.


At the date of posting this page, I can find only one Reiki course in the UK that is accredited within the Government Accreditation and Awarding system. The course is accredited by ITEC to NVQ Level 3. A prerequisite is an NVQ Qualification to Level 3 in Anatomy and Physiology. Some explanation about NVQs is given further down this page. Please click here to go to a page on this website which gives further information about the ITEC accredited Reiki course. I would suggest clicking through to the ITEC accredited Reiki page after you have read this page fully.


Apart from this, there are no other Reiki training courses or courses for any other healing energies that are accredited within the Government Accreditation and Awarding scheme.


One of the possible routes open to an energy healer to improve the chances of gaining employment as a therapist in the healthcare sector is to study for qualifications in related health areas such as anatomy or counselling which are recognised within the Government accreditation system. I give some examples of the kinds of such accredited training courses which might be of interest to energy healers in the External Training section of the Information Centre on this website.

If you are thinking of taking a course because you need it for future employment such as working in the National Health Service, it is a good idea to check out with potential employers first what sort of accreditation they will accept and what level of qualification they will be looking for. Some of the introductory courses will not be at the level needed for employment purposes.

If you might just be looking for a basic introduction to a particular skills area, consider taking a course which is accredited anyway as it might help you to take a higher level accredited course some years in the future, even if you might not be thinking of this at present.

Whilst not the main focus for this page, the issue of accreditation for energy healing courses is relevant also in the context of self regulation within the Complimentary and Alternative Medicine sector for those energy healers who might be working for themselves.





Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA)


The QCDA was originally the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) which was established by the Government with two main roles:

        involvement in the development of courses and the subsequent application of the qualifications grading scheme to these courses

        acting as a Regulator to ensure that qualifications grading scheme was operated appropriately.


The QCA worked with course developers and providers to ensure that the structure and content of courses would be meet the requirements of the qualifications grading scheme.


The Government subsequently took the view that as Regulator there was a potential conflict of interest in the QCA continuing to regulate courses where it had input to the development of course content. On 26th September 2007, proposals were announced to transfer the regulatory role of the QCA to a new independent regulatory body (Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator or Ofqual) that would be independent of the Government and of the QCA, and that the main role for the QCA in the future would be to continue its work relating to the development of course content and the application of the qualifications grading scheme to courses. This initiative was not directed at changing the structure or application of the qualifications grading scheme. The QCA became the QCDA.


The QCDA website is at www.qcda.gov.uk where you can read more about its work.


The QCDA has established a framework for measuring the level of advancement of the teaching courses and follows a numerical grading system for work related National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).  These Levels relate to the QCDA framework and grading system which you can read about on the following webpages:








Level 1 is the lowest Level. My understanding is that often something around Level 3 or Level 4 will be needed for somebody to be regarded as having adequate entry qualifications for employment in many organisations. There can be variation in course content between different course providers for courses at the same Level so it is best to do some thorough research into what is on offer from different providers.

If you start to look for healthcare related courses such as counseling for example you will see that a course might be described as Level 1 or Level 3 or some other Level. These Levels relate to the QCDAs NVQ grading system.




Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual)

The role of Ofqal is to ensure that the various awarding bodies have the necessary systems in place to enable them to deliver courses to required national standards in an effective way. This covers all aspects of the work of the awarding bodies from the initial concept for developing a course through to the submission of course content for approval and grading and for the subsequent delivery of training to students. You can read more about the role of Ofqual at http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/.


Ofqal has an online National Database of Accredited Qualifications which you can find at http://www.accreditedqualifications.org.uk/index.aspx. If you type nutrition or counseling or reiki, etc., into the search box, you will be shown the relevant accredited courses on the database.


You can browse the directory of awarding bodies on the National Database at





Some of the awarding bodies giving accreditation to healthcare related courses that energy healers might be interested in are given below. If of interest to you, you can do some browsing on the websites of these organisations to understand better how the Accreditation and Awarding system works and what kind of healthcare related courses these organisations give accreditation to.

ABC Awards



Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA)

City and Guilds

Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body





NCFE, formerly the Northern Council for Further Education




External Courses


This website has a number of pages giving suggestions about external training in healthcare related disciplines which might be of interest for energy therapists wishing to work for an employer. You can find them by going to the External Training section of the Information Centre.



Government Regulation for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine


As noted already above, the issue of accreditation for energy healing courses is relevant also in the context of self regulation within the Complimentary and Alternative Medicine sector. Please go to the Regulation section of the Information Centre for the latest situation on this.






Original date of posting 14th October 2007


Updated 21st November 2009