Choosing the best hypnotherapy course and training

How to Find the Best Hypnotherapy Course: Advice on Choosing a Hypnotherapy Training course

Which is the right hypnotherapy course for you?  Should take an online hypnotherapy training? What do you need become a registered hypnotherapist?

Find out what to ask, and learn what to check up on, when you choosing a hypnotherapy training. Learn how to choose the best hypnotherapy training that fits your requirements.

We’ve worked hard, developing our course since 2003, to ensure it’s the best hypnotherapy training programme available anywhere in the UK or elsewhere in the world.

The Diploma in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy qualification is a Level 4 award on the Government’s National Qualification Framework (NQF).  The UK College are currently the first and only training school in the country to offer this award to its students.
In addition this hypnotherapy training is one of the only training courses approved by The British Psychological Society as recommended continuing professional development for psychologists.

However this programme might not be the right match for you. The format, location or content might not work for you. Our advice is to become very well informed before deciding on a training course.
Do your research, talk to several training companies and ideally see if you can observe a course “in action”!

When choosing a hypnotherapy training course, therefore, we recommend that you consider the points below.


[Click here to read a selection of testimonials and student feedback.]

Choosing the best hypnotherapy training

British Psychological Society Approved
Has the course been approved by the British Psychological Society Learning Centre as appropriate CPD for registered psychologists?
The British Psychological Society is a registered charity which acts as the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK, and is responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in the science, education, and application of the discipline.
Therefore courses approved by the BPS indicate high levels of quality as training programmes suitable for professional psychologists.


Course Format – spreadout or intensive?

By dividing our training programme into three stages or modules we believe we have provided a route whereby students can get started with basic hypnotherapy techniques in the shortest possible time, while still fulfilling the all the requirements for professional registration.

The hypnotherapy profession is currently led by a small group of independent, self-regulatory organisations.  Contrary to speculation, there are no plans for it to be regulated by law.  The best guide to obtaining an authoritative qualification in hypnotherapy, therefore, are the National Occupational Standards, described below.

The National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy

Our training programme is based upon the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Hypnotherapy published in 2004 by Skills for Health, the Government’s Sector Skills Council for the UK health industry.  Hypnotherapy is classified as a “complementary therapy” (it is complementary to traditional medicine and psychology – and does not offer an alternative diagnostic system – like homeopathy or acupuncture). Therefore occupational standards have been developed generically for all complementary therapies and then a specific unit for each complementary therapy – in this case for hypnotherapy.

National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy
Unit CNH1
Assess the needs of the client
Unit CNH2
Develop and agree a treatment plan
Unit CNH23
Provide hypnotherapy to clients (Treat the client)

Many older courses run by other training providers do not meet these industry standards. 

Choosing a hypnotherapy training: who awards the qualification?

Many training schools internally award their qualifications (which means they print them off themselves).  Good training providers seek to have their qualifications externally verified by government regulating examining and awarding bodies.
This ensures that standards are being met, learners have truly evidenced that they have met the learning outcomes and ensures consistency from year to year, and from examiner to examiner.
And of course the qualification is verified being at an equivalent level to government regulated vocational or education levels.

Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy: Externally Verified Qualification: Level 4

By ensuring that our course meets these criteria, we are able to offer students the externally-awarded Diploma in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy issued by NCFE.  NCFE, formerly the Northern Council for Further Education, is a registered educational charity and officially recognised as a National Awarding Body by the Government’s Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). 

The Diploma is classed as equivalent to a “Level 4” vocational qualification on the National Qualifications Framework, defined as follows,

Level 4 qualifications recognise specialist learning and involve detailed analysis of a high level of information and knowledge in an area of work or study.  Learning at this level is appropriate for people working in technical and professional jobs, and/or managing and developing others.  Level 4 qualifications are at a level equivalent to Certificates of Higher Education.  (The Qualifications & Curriculum Authority)

By comparison, this is the same level as a Level 4 NVQ, BTEC Professional Diploma, or a university Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE).  The National Occupational Standard units have been correlated against the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) by Skills for Health.

This qualification is a customised award which the UK College had specially designed in conjunction with expert advice from NCFE. No other training college offers this externally.

[Note: previously we awarded the HPD (Hypnotherapy Practitioners Diploma) used by the National Council of Hypnotherapy. however we did not agree with the learning outcomes which, in our opinion, were insufficiently based on research evidence and insufficiently grounded in science. Therefore we arranged to have our customised qualification designed, in collaboration with NCFE. Our CBH qualification is accepted by the NCH as equivalent, for their purposes, as the HPD.]

“One-year Diplomas” & Course Length

Don’t be fooled by courses that advertise as being “one year” long.  Traditionally many therapy courses ran one weekend a month spaced out over roughly a year, totalling about 20 days of classroom training.  This format of training is less popular now than in the past, as it takes more time and means more travel for most students.  Spacing the training days so far apart helps some students take time to study while at home. However others may find it means they forget some of the material they studied the previous month and “lose momentum.”

Most of our students prefer to train in an “intensive” format, composed of three stages of seven consecutive days each, totalling 21 days of classroom training, approximately .  This means that our training programme is actually composed of more classroom attendance than most “one year” diploma courses, but takes place over a shorter period of time.  We are therefore able to offer a higher level of independently-awarded qualification than many courses which take place over a longer period of time.

Qualification: Diploma / Certificate / Advanced / Master!

Students often become confused by course titles.  It is important to realise that throughout UK education and training the terms “diploma” and “certificate” are not standardised.  Our certificate course, e.g., is of a higher level than many “advanced diploma” courses.  Likewise, terms like “advanced hypnotherapy”, “advanced diploma”, or “master hypnotist” is of no objective significance in the hypnotherapy field.

Many courses describing themselves as “advanced” are actually of a very elementary level.  Some “master hypnotist” training courses are only a few days long and teach hypnosis as an aside to other topics.  Also you can become an NLP “Master Practitioner” with a one week training course!  We’d advise you to think carefully about whether those titles really stand for anything.
Moreover we’d ask you to consider the ethics behind presenting, and offering, a “Master Practitioner” qualification in any area of psychotherapy or medicine.

For this reason, in an attempt to standardise qualification descriptions across the UK, the Government have introduced the National Qualification Framework (NQF) which consists of numbered levels against which the standard of a course can be measured.  You are strongly encouraged, when comparing courses, to ask course providers what level their training is classified as being on the national framework.  As explained above, our diploma is classed as a level 4 qualification, making it one of the highest standard hypnotherapy training courses available in the UK.

UK Register of Learning Providers

You should ensure that the company providing your training course is formally registered with the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP).  This is a database of legally constituted training organisations, maintained by the Government’s Department for Education and Skills.

External Course Accreditation

Hypnotherapy training accredited by The General Hypnotherapy Register

There are also several independent national bodies which provide a system of voluntary regulation for the hypnotherapy field. For example, a good indication of the standard of a training course is that it is accredited at ‘Practitioner’ level by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC), or at least meets the standards of such accreditation.  Our diploma training has multiple accreditation from the GHSC, the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) and The Register for Evidence-Based Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy.hypnotherapy course accredited by the National Council of Hypnotherapy

HPD (Hypnotherapy Pracitioner Diploma) Equivalency
The Diploma is recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), for accreditation purposes, as equivalent to the HPD which we previously awarded to students.

Choosing a hypnotherapy training: WARNING! – NGH Accreditation – is that really valid for the UK?
Beware of courses which are only accredited by overseas organisations, such as American registers like the National Guild of Hypnotherapy (NGH).  Hypnotherapy courses should be accredited by professional bodies in their own country.  Foreign organisations are not designed to serve the needs of UK residents or to handle the legal or professional issues relating to practice in this country.  They are often used to confer credibility on training courses which do not meet UK standards.

Stage I: Certificate in Evidence-Based Hypnosis
Seven Days

The Stage I, our Certificate, consists of one week of intensive study. Students at this level may also apply for ‘Student’ membership of REBHP and NCH.
This certificate course is not formally assessed. You will receive a certificate of attendance and can use the post-nominals, Cert EBH.

Stage II:  Certificate in Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Seven Days

The Cert CBH is an intermediate qualification designed to help students and currently trained hypnotherapists to integrate hypnotherapy with cognitive behavioural therapy. This certificate course is not formally assessed. You will receive a certificate of attendance and can use the post-nominals, Cert BH.

Stage III:   Certificate in Cognitive Hypnotherapy
Seven Days

The Stage III course, focusing on the integration of cognitive therapy with hypnosis, problem solving and mindfulness, completes the classroom training element.

Choosing a hypnotherapy training: Assessment and Qualification

Students then are required to complete a written assessment which leads to the Diploma in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy award issued by NCFE.  This is a Level 4 qualification on the qualifications credit framework. It is accepted as equivalent to the HPD (Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma) by NCH (The National Council of Hypnotherapy). The qualification allows you to register, as a fully accredited hypnotherapist, with NCH and GHR. Registration with NCH or GHR will allow graduates to also register with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) – a government accredited national register of hypnotherapists. Graduates may also eligible for registration with the REBHP as a ‘Licentiate’ Clinical Hypnotherapist.

Choosing a Hypnotherapy Training: Home Study & Distance Learning

People often ask us about “Home Study” or “Distance Learning” courses in hypnotherapy. We do not recommend that students undertake home study alone as a preparation for practice as a clinical hypnotherapist. In our view, hypnotism and therapy are both practical skills that are best learnt in a classroom setting through practical exercises and group interaction. As a new hypnotherapist it is important to both your self-confidence and professional credibility that you have received the highest quality experiential training.

Home study does, however, have an important role as an adjunct to practical, classroom training. Som element of reading and homework is a requirement of any professional training which seeks to meet the standard criteria for full, independent hypnotherapy accreditation.  Completion of a good quality home study course may be beneficial to those seeking a general understanding of hypnosis or as preparation for beginning a classroom training.

A true training school or college?
Or a part-time business from someone’s living room?

Many hypnotherapy training courses are run on a part-time basis with just 4-5 people taking the course which is held in the trainer’s living room. Often these courses don’t end up running because the trainer doesn’t have enough course registrations. We’ve had students who have tried to take several training courses (three in one case) and each time the course was cancelled due to low student registrations.

Is a small hypnotherapy course (6-8 students) a good learning environment?
Ask the training school how many students were in the last few courses?

While a small course of 6-8 people might sound ideal – infact it leads to a weak learning group as there is simply insufficient range of background, opinion and personalities to create a rich learning environment. As you will see in our video testimonials – the rich learning environment that comes from a group of 20 professionals, with a wide range of backgrounds from the UK and around the world, is regularly mentioned as one of the key benefits of our training.

Is the training run by a company or by a self-employed individual? Are they VAT registered?

Also you can ask if they are registered for VAT. (Once a company has revenues over £79,000 per year they have to register for VAT). If a training provider is VAT registered then you can be sure that they have successfully held several trainings in the last year – while it is no guarantee they are more likely to be running the training on a more professional basis.

Good luck choosing a hypnotherapy training or hypnotherapy course. If you have any questions or want any advice we are happy to help. You can email us or call us on 0207 112 9040.

The UK College of Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy.
Delivering evidence-based hypnotherapy courses since 2003.