The Qualification Process
For qualifications to be formally accredited they need to meet certain criteria, including linking to the National Occupational Standards ie for Reiki.
An Awarding Body (or a Training Centre) is an organisation which is allowed to offer qualifications, such as BTEC, OCR, ITEC, VTCT, private trainer etc, but before they can do this they need to go through an approval process. Qualifications are the main currency for the measurement of skills and knowledge and as such are a central component of workforce planning, recruitment or more commissioning, training, progression and service delivery.
Skills for Health
For qualifications within the healthcare sector, such as Reiki, a submission has to be made to Skills for Health to endorse the qualification. Awarding bodies or other applicants need to make application to Skills for Health for endorsement of their proposed qualification. The proposed qualification needs to meet strict criteria, before Skills for Health will give them an endorsement.
Skills for Health will only endorse qualifications that are to be included in the national qualifications framework or the qualifications and credit framework.
Once the qualification has been endorsed by Skills for Health the proposals are submitted to OfQual (see below) for final approval. Approval is usually given for a period of three years.
A professional organisation, such as the UK Reiki Federation, is not able to formally accredit qualifications which meet these criteria, this can only be done by OfQual, however, individual organisations may approve qualifications which they accept and which may also be acceptable to insurers.
The UK Reiki Federation does, however, offer a Directory of Approved Courses, which lists Practitioner Training courses which have been checked and assessed by qualified Assessors against both the National Standards for Reiki, and against the Core Curriculum for Reiki. This Directory is an invaluable resource for those wishing to ensure that their training will include all recommended criteria for professional training in the UK.
The UK Reiki Federation also provides a list of Reiki Teachers, who will offer training for non-professionals, and many will also offer courses which meet the recommended standards. It is up to the student to check that what is being offered meets the full recommendations - one quick check is that courses must be of at least 9 month duration.
Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation: Ofqual
(England & Northern Ireland)
Approval for accreditation is given through OfQual.
Ofqual is responsible for maintaining standards, improving confidence and distributing information about qualifications and examinations. It regulates general and vocational qualifications in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
It gives formal recognition to bodies and organisations that deliver qualifications and assessments. It also accredits their awards and monitors their activities (including their fees).
OfQal is not directly controlled by the government but reports to parliament.
Note: OfQal used to be part of the Qualifications Curriculum Authority (QCA), which has now closed.
Scottish Qualifications Authority
SQA is the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland.
In its accreditation role, SQA accredits vocational qualifications that are offered across Scotland, including Scottish Vocational Qualifications and approves awarding bodies that wish to award them. As an awarding body, it works with schools, colleges, universities, industry, and government, to provide high quality, flexible and relevant qualifications. SQA's functions are set out in the Education (Scotland) Act 1996 as amended by the Scottish Qualifications Act 2002.