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GHR options to join

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The General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR) is one of the UK’s largest and most prominent organisations within the field of hypnotherapy, and works towards the protection of the public and the provision of practitioner credibility and services.

This page will outline the GHR membership options as an Online Diploma trainee, and how our new Contact Hours Calculator can help you with this.

[Please note that if you are taking the Diploma by Webcast (or live in person) then you automatically meet all the requirements for joining both GHR and CNHC. However if you are taking the Diploma via the Online or Blended formats then please read more to understand your membership options with GHR.]

Background and history

The GHR together with The General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC) has been at the forefront of raising and agreeing standards within the profession.

Individuals who have taken a GHR Accredited Training can apply for GHR membership once they have qualified.

In addition, GHR acts as a Verifying Organisation for The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), whereby GHR verifies that individuals have met the criteria for membership of the hypnotherapy section of CNHC.

These criteria include a Core Curriculum and 120 Contact Hours (simultaneous presence of trainer and learner).

ISSUE: The Status of Distance Learning & 120 Contact Hours

Although the GHSC recognises the relevance of quality distance learning programmes, we nonetheless concur with the generally accepted view that a significant level of practical instruction is vital before a person would be ready to commence actual practice as a hypnotherapist.” (GHSC statement on distance learning)

“Although the GHSC recognises the relevance of quality distance learning programmes, we nonetheless concur with the generally accepted view that a significant level of practical instruction is vital before a person would be ready to commence actual practice as a hypnotherapist.”

GHSC statement on distance learning

The element of practical, in-person instruction for hypnotherapy training has always been deemed critical – and an industry-wide agreement of 120 “contact hours” (simultaneous presence of trainer/instructor and learner) has been in place since 2011.

Contact Hours definition expanded during the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic moved all training online and the 120 contact hours requirement for both GHR and for CNHC (GHR acting as verifying organisation) was expanded to include “electronic simultaneous presence” of trainer and learner – via such platforms as Zoom live meetings.

So ‘contact hours’ now includes all of the following when they take place via Zoom or another webcast platform:

  • live training/lectures,
  • 1-to-1 coaching,
  • practice sessions with other trainees facilitated by a trainer,
  • live webinars and live Q&A with trainer/s,
  • and any live CPD courses or sessions, offered by the same training school as your main hypnotherapy training.

However, in addition several training schools and organisations have been looking carefully at the strict necessity of the 120 contact hours compared to more asynchronous learning formats and a modern understanding of “Contact Hours”.

A key concern has been that the 120 contact hours, while essential for a profession like massage therapy, may be an unnecessary requirement for hypnotherapy. And while some amount of contact time and simultaneous learning between trainer and learner is essential – the full 120 hours may actually be both restrictive and possibly discriminatory against those who, for example, care for others (parents, carers etc.) and do not have the time or means to train through 120 hours of ‘simultaneous electronic presence’.

A Modern Understanding of Contact Hours

A more modern view of ‘contact time’ is for example: “Contact time refers to any series of structured, integrated, scaffolding, tutor-designed learning activities that enable students to meet learning outcomes within specific times frames.” 

Therefore, well-designed training programmes can, for example, allow for students to watch lectures in their own time – and then ask questions later in a dedicated tutoring session.  Rather than a trainer observing perhaps 8 pairs of students doing a practical exercise – a student can record a practical exercise with a volunteer and then review that recording with their trainer in a focused 1-to-1 tutoring session. Thus the actual “contact time” can be concentrated and a far more tailored and focused learning experience can occur.

Important update: the 120 ‘contact hours’ requirement for GHR and GHSC

GHR and GHSC have always been focused on raising and maintaining standards, while being pragmatic and keeping an eye on developments in the field.

Therefore in considering all of the above, and especially the features of the Online Diploma offered by The UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, GHR/GHSC have agreed that an asynchronous distance learning hypnotherapy training that meets the learning objectives of the core curriculum, includes a rigorous assessment and includes a minimum of 30 hours of quality contact time between trainer/tutor and student can meet the criteria for GHR membership.

However, in acting as a Verifying Organisation for CNHC, the 120 Contact Hours is still a strict requirement, and therefore 30 Contact Hours alone would not allow for fast-track membership of CNCH via GHR, but would allow for GHR membership.

Questions about the New GHR Requirements

So can I join GHR if I take the Online Diploma?

If you complete the full Diploma training in the Online format, including 15 hours of tutoring, 2 hours of supervision and 9 Group Practice sessions (2 hours each), PLUS you complete your case studies, pass a written assessment and are awarded the qualification “Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy” from NCFE – then YES!
(As you will have met the Core Curriculum requirement + the new agreed GHR/GHSC standard of 30 hours minimum contact hours).

If I take the Online Diploma how can I get to the 120 hours to join CNHC?

The Online Diploma includes 35 Contact Hours, and the 120 Contact Hours requirement for CNHC may be met (made up) via additional workshops, courses, practice sessions, webinars etc – wherever there is the simultaneous presence of the tutor and learner, questions can be asked and individual instruction given (see our “Contact Hours Online Calculator” below).

Contact Hours and GHR Membership Options for each Diploma type:

Diploma by Webcast:

136.5 training course contact hours + 12 contact hours of supervised practise sessions + 2 hours of supervised case studies = 150.5 contact hours
You can join: GHR & CNHC

Two types of GHR membership available to Online Diploma students

GHR is now offering two different levels of membership to Online or Blended Diploma students who would have previously not reached the membership requirement:

1. GHR membership for Online Diploma students with a minimum of 30 contact hours

These 30 hours are already covered by Online Diploma course (no extra cost involved)

  • 5 hours of 1-to-1 coaching per Online Stage (3 Stages in total) = 15 hours
  • 2 hours of 1-to-1 case study supervision as part of assessment process = 2 hours
  • 3 two-hours group practise sessions included per Stage = 18 hours

= Total of 35 contact hours

2. CNHC membership via GHR as a verifying organisation with 120 contact hours

Those who take the Online Diploma will have the opportunity, after they are qualified, to “make up” their Contact Hours for the CNHC 120 hour requirement via a number of possible routes. If you are interested in membership with CNHC (in addition to GHR membership), you can use our Contact Hours Calculator form (see below) to work out the best way for you reach 120 contact hours.

Our new Contact Hours Calculator

We have now released a unique 120 Contact Hours Calculator which will provide you with a sum total of your contact hours according to your online/blended course format, and allow you to calculate how to make up the remaining hours to reach 120 with your chosen methods (e.g. group practice sessions, 90-minute webinars, CPD workshops). The form also calculates the price of the extra methods too.

If you have any further questions about GHR membership or accreditation, please contact us at