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Integrated Reflexology Consortium logo

Integrated Reflexology Consortium
The Home of Level 5 Reflexology

Integrated Reflexology Consortium logo

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Frequently Asked  Questions (FAQs)

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There are many courses and organisations, all offering different qualifications and styles of training - this can be very confusing when trying to choose the right Reflexology course for you.

Firstly, ensure that you don't enrol on a distance learning or correspondence course - none of the membership organisations listed on this website will accept these kind of courses.

Secondly, please be aware that there is a huge variety of standards in the level 3 training market (this is why we don't teach it). We even know of a school where you can train on a level 3 course that lasts for just 6 half-day lessons, but can occasionally find a good level 3 school that will teach you over a full year. Most of the level 3 courses now seem to be a combination of distance learning and 5 or 6 days learning practical Reflexology in class. We really don't think you can learn to be a proper clinical Reflexologist after just 5 or 6 days training.

IRC only offer the best in Reflexology training: Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology. Agored is an awarding body recognised by CQFW one of the regulators for qualifications in the UK. This qualification is the highest level of Reflexology training you can undertake in the UK.

Find out if the school you are proposing to study with, enables you to join the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC - the UK complementary healthcare regulator), via the professional organisation it is linked to. For example, IRC is linked with the Association of Reflexologists, the UK's largest and longest running Reflexology Association. Also be aware that some of the level 3 'practitioner diplomas' don't meet the CNHC entry criteria.

Then, find out if the course is delivered entirely by the college you are thinking of training with. Some training establishments will 'farm out' part of their training (particularly Anatomy and Physiology) to online training providers - you may then not get the necessary teaching support for this element of the course. IRC centres train all its students for 100% of the course, giving dedicated contact teaching.

Finally, if the course provider describes their course as "Level 5 equivalent" (or anything else that sounds like "equivalent"), it will be nothing of the sort. A level five course is either just that, or nothing at all. There are no other Reflexology courses that are officially recognised at Level five, and there is no Reflexology course that is currently higher than this level in the UK. (You can get a degree in Complementary Therapies [Level 6], but the university will use an awarding body for each of the component therapies on the course).

The diagram below identifies Level 5 as a Foundation Degree. This levelling chart is representative for all qualifications in England, Northern Ireland (QCF) and Wales (CQFW) . (Please note the levelling grades are different in Scotland [a level 8 in Scotland is the same as a level 5 in England and Wales]).

So in short the Level 3 = an A-Level and our Level 5 = a Foundation Degree.

  • Use of the letters MAR, mFHT, CHP or CThA (dependant on the organisation - all these organisations accept the Agored Cymru Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology)
  • All associations have a very useful "Find a Reflexologist" register
  • Use of the organisations logo on all your advertising literature
  • Peer group support from local area groups
  • Latest industry information via newsletters and journals
  • Access to research papers
  • Access to "Members Area" on their website
  • Reflexology advice
  • Low cost, high cover, insurance policy from top insurance company
  • Fully accredited CPD events and international speakers

A Practitioner Reflexologist is someone who has been trained to the highest standards and can create a treatment protocol for many different conditions. Unfortunately, there are too many people who have taken a short course (sometimes as short as just 2 days!) or un-accredited and then call themselves Reflexologists. As these courses are so short, they cannot possibly equip a therapist to competently treat conditions.

To succeed on this course, it is more about determination and hard work (since the course is intensive), rather than previous qualifications. A GCSE in Biology will be helpful, but it is not essential. You certainly don't need to have studied previously at Further or Higher Education level to successfully qualify on this course.

You do need to be able to speak and write in English, to be able to use Microsoft 'Word' or Apple 'Pages' and submit work via e-mail.

Our courses start at various times each year, depending on the venue chosen. To view the course dates, click on the preferred venue.

For details of the course dates, click on the preferred venue for more information.

Level 5 courses normally run for one calender year. However, some students may require longer. This can be discussed with the tutor as appropriate.

The answer to this does very much depend on the individual. As a rule of thumb, we suggest 4 hours of home study for every hour in class. (We have 160 hours of classroom time, so this gives a guide of 790 total qualification time). These hours include case study practical work and written work. If you are a fast worker, then these times may be on the generous side. Conversely, if you like to take your time, you my want to spend more time on home study.

You will qualify with the UK's highest award in Reflexology: Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology. You will also get a level 4 in Business skills for Reflexologists and in Anatomy and Physiology. This can be used, not only to become a professional reflexologist, but also as 'accredited prior learning' towards a degree in health sciences.

You will be awarded 79 Credits by Agored Cymru and these can be used for entrance to HE and University courses.

Credits are more important than most people realise, as they also signify that this is a 'real' qualification and not a course that isn't registered or recognised by any organisations or other teaching establishments. If you are researching which Reflexology school to attend, ensure you ask about credits - if the school can't give you this information, they might not be offering a 'real' qualification.

No - many Further Education colleges will tell you that you need to do an entry-level Reflexology course first (such as a level 3 diploma) - this is completely unnecessary.

Please see our course fees guidance page.

Please follow this link to course fees and the note on Additional Costs.

Yes you can. This is done by Standing Order and is arranged at the beginning of the course.

Unfortunately not. Although the level of training is the correct level for student loans, because we are a private college our courses do not qualify for funding. To help spread the cost of the course, extended payments terms are available for the duration of the course. Please liaise with the specific training school.

Each course is booked direct with the venue of your choice. All venues can be seen on our Venues page.

No, this is not possible, for several reasons. A Level 3 is equivalent to an A Level, and Level 5 is the 2nd year of a degree. Having an A Level in a subject does not give you any exemptions from studying a degree in the same subject, as the depth of content and standard of work required is completely different.

In addition, the Skills Sector Council locates reflexology under Skills for Health, but the Level 3 reflexology qualification is located in the sector: Health and Social Care and the Level 5 qualification is located in Nursing and Subjects and Vocations Allied to Medicine.

However we welcome anyone who has studied at Level 3 onto the Level 5 course, where you will learn new skills and deepen your understanding of reflexology.

The Level 5 course is more in depth and academically demanding than a Level 3 course. It is also longer, and requires more home study. All of these may be reasons why the Level 3 is more suitable for some people. Others choose to study Level 5 because they want to learn reflexology to the highest standard available to them, and ensure that they have gained the most thorough training possible so that they feel completely confident in their knowledge and skills as they launch their reflexology practice. If you have any concerns about your ability to study at Level 5, please do seek the advice of a reflexology tutor at your nearest venue, who will help you come to the right decision for you.

Answering the following questions may help you come to this decision:

  • Were you completely happy with the content and knowledge received from your Level 3 course?
  • Was it a face to face course with at least 10 full days in class?
  • Does your qualification allow you to become a member of the AOR?
  • Have you been regularly practising reflexology since you trained, and keeping your knowledge up to date through further reading and attendance on CPD courses?
  • Do you know how to offer individualised focused treatments to each of your clients so that no treatment routine is exactly the same?
  • Are you comfortable, confident and knowledgeable about working with clients presenting with more complex issues?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions then it is worth having a conversation with the reflexology tutor at the nearest Level 5 venue to you to discuss how studying at Level 5 may enhance your previous knowledge.