Governing Council

Council members of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) are volunteers who are elected by the members of the association or co-opted by the existing FHT council.

The FHT President, Paul Battersby, chairs the board meetings with his fellow council members, who act as Vice Presidents. Each council member is duty-bound to act in the best interests of the FHT and its members, which means putting aside personal interests and opinions when performing council duties.

Governing Councils

PACT - Professional Association of Clinical Therapists
Paul Battersby - President

HBEF – Health and Beauty Employers Federation
Maria Mason - Vice President

ATL – Association of Therapy Lecturers
Jonathan Hobbs - Vice President

ICHT – International Council of Holistic Therapists
Mary Dalgleish – Vice President

ICAT – International Council of Acupuncture Therapists
Christopher Byrne - Vice President

HFST – International Council of Health, Fitness and Sports Therapists
Herman Fenton – Vice President

IFHB – International Federation of Health and Beauty Therapists
Cheryl Cole - Vice President
Gerri Moore – Vice President

Lay Members
Helen Chambers
Peter Wren

Governing Council members have many different responsibilities. During their term of office, they may need to adopt a number of different roles, including:

Policy maker

To be an effective policy maker, the council member needs to have an understanding of the association's past, and knowledge of the present and vision of the future. This can be clearly demonstrated by the council members' representation on the FHT sub-committees. For example, the FHT Education and Training Sub-Committee sets policy on therapy and qualification membership criteria, which requires the highest levels of knowledge in therapy, education and standards.

Enforcer and arbitrator

At times, council members may have to enforce the association's rules, regulations, policies or guidelines in accordance with FHT's governing documents. This requires a fair, firm, consistent, honest, concerned and empathetic approach. There will also be times when agreement on a topic cannot be reached, at which point the council member will get involved. The council member's goal is to help find an equitable resolution to the disagreement. This requires the board member to be a good listener, have a calming influence, and the ability to make fair decisions.

Strategic planner

As a strategic planner, the member's objective is to maintain the association's assets, prevent a recurring problem, and to avoid a future problem developing. The entire Governing Council is often involved in this sort of planning. The final solutions will be a product of education, debate, and negotiation. Sometimes the proposed solutions are submitted to the membership for comment.

Expert adviser

As a source of knowledge and advice, the FHT council member plays a key role in providing professional therapy and industry support to the association's management team, staff and members. Examples of this may include:

  • Writing articles for International Therapist
  • Answering members professional therapy queries
  • Representing the FHT on therapy lead bodies, councils and committees
  • Campaigning and lobbying in the interest of FHT members and the industry
  • Attending FHT exhibitions and events
  • Acting as an FHT Accreditation Inspector
  • Sitting on FHT sub-committees
  • Performing PR activities.

A council member is not expected to be an expert in each role but collectively their expertise provides vision, direction, knowledge and professionalism to ensure that the FHT continues to be the UK and Ireland's leading authority in the profession of complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapies.

The FHT Governing Council, in conjunction with the staff, is here to support its members with knowledge, advice, public affairs and industry representation, and probably most important of all, to provide a voice in the profession we are all passionate about!