About FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register

The FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register has been approved as an Accredited Register by the Professional Standards Authority. But what exactly does this mean to therapists? Here you will find some Q&As that will hopefully answer most of your queries…

Q. What is the Professional Standards Authority?

The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care - or ‘Authority’, for the purposes of this article - was formerly known as the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE).

The Authority oversees statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK, including the General Medical Council (medical doctors), Nursing and Midwifery Council (nurses and midwives); General Chiropractic Council (chiropractors), and Health and Care Professions Council (arts therapy, chiropody/podiatry, nutrition, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, practitioner psychologists, and others).

The Authority also sets standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations that are not statutorily regulated, such as complementary therapy, and accredits registers that meet these standards. These accredited registers are referred to as Accredited Registers.

There may be more than one Accredited Register representing the same occupation, ie. counsellors may be on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy register and/or the National Counselling Association register.

Read a report about the Accredited Registers programme (March 2015)

The Authority has produced the following information video:

Q. I’m a member of the FHT. As the FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register has been accredited by the Authority, am I also accredited by the Authority?

No. The Authority does not accredit individuals. It assesses and approves voluntary registers that meet its demanding standards.

If you are a member of the FHT and eligible to be on to the FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register, you are on an Accredited Register that has been approved by the Authority.

Q. Who is currently on the FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register?

Around 98 per cent of practising FHT Members and Fellows are eligible to be on the FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register. This is because they hold at least one qualification that is considered a form of complementary therapy that is widely practised and accepted as a form of healthcare. 

Currently, the following therapies are on the FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register:

  • Alexander technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Body massage
  • Bowen technique
  • Cranio sacral therapy
  • Healing
  • Homeopathy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Kinesiology
  • Microsystems acupuncture
  • Naturopathy
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Reflexology
  • Reiki
  • Shiatsu
  • Sports massage
  • Sports therapy
  • Yoga therapy.

All of these therapies have national occupational standards (NOS) that have been set by Skills for Health or SkillsActive – the Sector Skills Councils responsible for setting standards for these particular therapies in the UK. Over time, we are hoping that other therapies that have relevant NOS can be added to the FHT Register, where it can be demonstrated that these are widely used and accepted as a form of healthcare.

Q. Do I need to pay to be on the FHT’s Register?

There will be no additional fee to appear on the FHT Register, if you are an FHT member.

If you are not a member of the FHT and would like to appear on the FHT Register*, please visit for www.fht.org.uk for information about joining the FHT.

*Only qualified FHT members and fellows will be eligible to appear on the FHT Register. FHT student, affiliate and associate members will not appear on the FHT Register.

Q. Do I have to appear on the FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register?

From 1 July, 2014, it became compulsory for all members who hold qualifications that meet the requirement of the FHT Register to be listed. The compulsory listing is limited to your name, location (town), registration number, and the complementary healthcare therapies on the FHT Register that you are qualified to practise (that we have on record). This information enables the public, employers and other interested parties to verify that you are on the FHT Register.

No contact details are included unless you decide to opt in to the FHT Directory.

If you have a bona fide reason why should not appear on the FHT Register, please contact FHT's Registrar at registrar@fht.org.uk

Q. Have all of the complementary therapies on the FHT Register have been approved by the Authority?

No. Having a voluntary register accredited by the Authority in no way ‘approves’ or validates the efficacy of any of the complementary therapies listed on that register. The Authority does not ‘test’ whether or not a particular therapy has better results than other therapies.

Q. As well as having a qualification in massage, I hold qualifications in Thai massage, stone massage and Indian head massage. Why are these not on the FHT Register, as separate disciplines?

These are classed as ‘post-graduate’ qualifications or ‘specialisms’ and are underpinned by your massage qualification, which is listed on the FHT Register. Please note, however, that while these therapies will not be listed next to a member’s name on the FHT Register, they will be listed on the member’s FHT Directory listing.

Q. As the FHT’s Register is accredited by the Authority, do I still need to be registered with the CNHC?

The FHT and CNHC hold their own registers, which have been independently accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. This means that both organisations have been assessed by the Professional Standards Authority and meet the same exacting standards required under its Accredited Register programme. In addition, both registers list the same complementary therapies (except kinesiology, which is on the FHT’s Register but not the CNHC’s). 

Being registered with the CNHC is very much a decision for the individual, based on whether they think there is a benefit to being on the CNHC register. 

Q. The FHT is no longer a verifying organisation for the CNHC. Why is this?

Until November 2016, the FHT had spent a number of years acting as a verifying organisation (VO) for the CNHC. The role of a VO is to verify (check) a therapist’s qualifications, to see if they are eligible to be listed on the CNHC’s register. The verification process can be very lengthy, depending on the number and type of qualifications an individual therapist has, and when and where these qualifications were obtained. Following a careful review of several services provided by the FHT – to both members and non-members - the FHT’s Governing Council concluded that acting as a VO on behalf of the CNHC was both time consuming and not cost effective for the FHT. As a not-for-profit organisation, largely funded by membership fees, it was felt it would be more appropriate for the FHT to instead focus this time and effort on further supporting and promoting its members and the benefits of the therapy services they provide.

Q. What are the benefits to me, as a therapist, being on an Accredited Register?

The public, employers and commissioners can choose to use professionals who are on a register that has been assessed and approved by the Authority, an independent, government-approved body accountable to parliament.

The Authority provides assurance to these people and organisations that an Accredited Register is well run and that its registrants are required to meet high standards of personal behaviour, technical competence and business practice.

The Authority has recently been highlighting the benefits of its Accredited Registers programme to various government departments, organisations, major charities and individuals, including:

  • NHS England - which has introduced the Accredited Registers programme to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), consisting 200 clinically-led groups made up of the 8,000 GP practices in England, responsible for the commissioning of healthcare services and around sixty per cent of the total NHS budget.
  • NHS Employers - which is fully supportive of the Accredited Registers programme and is disseminating information about it to all stakeholders. This includes an article about the programme being published in an NHS Employer newsletter sent to approximately 10,000 people, including human resource managers and communications managers in the NHS.
  • Health and social care information gateways across the UK - already NHS Choices, Health in Wales and the Scottish Government have posted information about the programme on their websites.

The Any Qualified Provider (AQP) scheme in England also recognises that being on an Accredited Register will provide additional assurance for its standards of patient safety and service quality. The AQP scheme allows NHS patients to choose from a range of approved services, whether from hospitals or high street service providers, based on factors such as distance, waiting times, and preferred outcomes.

Certain private health insurance providers, such as Bupa, are also supportive of the Accredited Registers programme.

Q. Would being on an Accredited Register guarantee me work in the NHS?

No. Being on an Accredited Register, or indeed any register, will not guarantee you work in the NHS. However, as you can see from above, the Authority is working hard to promote the benefits of the Accredited Registers programme to those who provide health and social care, and health and social care information. As more doctors, charities, organisations - and even patients themselves - become aware of Accredited Registers and the high standards demanded by the Authority, the more inclined they may become to use practitioners who are on an Accredited Register.

Q. Can I use an Authority or Accredited Register logo if I’m on the FHT’s Register?

Members who are eligible to be on the FHT’s Register can download a special FHT/Accredited Register logo by logging in to the Members Area on our main website, www.fht.org.uk (select ‘Your membership benefits’ option). Please note terms and conditions apply when using this logo.

Q. Am I able to use letters or names relating to the Authority after my name, such as ‘PSA’?

No, however you would be able to state that you are on an Accredited Register (or the FHT Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register), which has been independently assessed and approved by the Professional Standards Authority. Using the letters MFHT after your name will also help to increase awareness, as all Accredited Registers are listed on the Authority’s website, and the programme regularly promoted by the Authority and FHT.

Q. Who can I contact if I have more questions?

If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us, or you can visit the Authority’s website direct at www.professionalstandards.org.uk