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Home / Choosing the best training course for you

There can be a lot of confusion when you try to choose a hypnotherapy training…

  • Which is the right hypnotherapy course for you?
  • Should you take an “advanced hypnotherapy training”?
  • What do you need to become a registered hypnotherapist?

Find out what to ask and learn how to choose the best hypnotherapy training!

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 hypnotherapy courses approved by The British Psychological Society as recommended continuing professional development for psychologists.

However this programme might not be right 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”!

We have retrained many hypnotherapists who have taken courses with well known training schools but simply did not find the training was “fit for purpose” in terms of preparing them to set up in practice.

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 right hypnotherapy training for you…


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. The course operates on many levels from being a more basic hypnotherapy training for some to being an advanced hypnotherapy or advanced psychotherapy training for others.

See below for information about certification of this training course by the Chinese Psychological Society.

Course Format – spread out 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.

You might prefer to take a course spread out over many weekends, for example one weekend per month over 12 months. Or you might prefer the intensive format that we offer.

And of course logistics and feasibility for your life, schedule and work is essential to take into account.

The National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy

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.

Our training programme is based upon the new National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Hypnotherapy published in 2019 by Skills for Health, the Government's Sector Skills Council for the UK health industry.

National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy
Unit 1.1 (CNH1)


Assess the needs of the client

Unit 1.2 (CNH2)

Develop & agree plans for hypnotherapy treatment

Unit 1.3 (CNH23)


Provide hypnotherapy to clients

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 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 Hypnotherapy 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.

Moreover weekend courses nearly always dedicate some time to “remember, refresh and review” from the material covered typically one month previously. By offering 7-day intensive training blocks we avoid the need for so much “remember, refresh and review” time in the course. We cover more material and you get to absorb it more deeply.

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.  For example, a certificate course, could be 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.

Diploma length qualifications vs Certificate qualifications
According the government Qualifications and Credit Framework a diploma qualification should be a minimum of 370 hours total qualification time (made of Guided Learning Hours and study alone/at home). Typically a diploma will have 110+ hours of Guided Learning. A Certificate qualification has a TQT (Total Qualification Time) of between 121-369 hours.
Be aware that many, probably most, hypnotherapy training schools issue certificates and diplomas without any adherence to these qualification time lengths – and many offer “certification” without any assessment taking place.

Is this an advanced hypnotherapy training? What is an advanced hypnotherapy training?
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 Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) 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. Those in professional education  who taken our training programme have said it that operates on from level 4 (a good basic level) up to level 7 (Masters level) depending upon the learner.

Most hypnotherapists who have retrained with us would describe the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy as “an advanced hypnotherapy training course”.

What about “clinical hypnotherapy training” or “training in clinical hypnosis”? Is this different?

Once again it is important to know that the term “clinical hypnotherapy” has no objective meaning in the profession.  While “clinical hypnotherapy training” might indicate a focus on “clinical” issues (anxiety, depression, pain) it is much more likely that these are simply marketing terms to make the training or professional title (“Clinical Hypnotherapist”) seem more substantial.
(Unfortunately this loose use of professional titles for marketing purposes is all too present in the field of hypnotherapy and NLP).

The term “clinical hypnotherapy” (or “clinical hypnosis” or even “medical hypnosis”) would really indicate hypnotherapy for any conditions that a client might visit a clinic for; and so might apply more to utilising hypnotherapy to alleviate physical, mental or emotional distress (as opposed to using hypnotherapy for performance improvement or creativity). In this regard we do offer training in “clinical hypnotherapy” and “clinical hypnosis” (and much more than this too).

However, hypnotherapists need to be aware of their sphere of competence and the client issues that they are qualified and competent to help with and be aware of which issues need to be referred to someone with the proper level of medical or psychiatric training.

What about Cognitive Hypnotherapy vs Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy?

Psychologists and researchers into psychotherapy would understand these terms as being synonymous. However a training college with an NLP based approach has used this term as the title for their training programmes and publications.  Thus we'd encourage you to distinguish between “Cognitive Hypnotherapy/NLP” vs “Cognitive Hypnotherapy/Cognitive Therapy”.

The term “cognitive hypnotherapy” was first used in a 1994 Special Edition of The Journal of Psychotherapy, with a series of articles on “Cognitive Hypnotherapy” by leading psychotherapists including Daniel Aroaz and Dr Assen Alladin. Professor E Thomas Dowd used it as the title of his book Cognitive Hypnotherapy (with a forward by Aaron T Beck). And the term appeared later in the book “Cognitive Hypnotherapy for Emotional Disorders” by Dr Assen Alladin. Dr Alladin has said that the term “cognitive hypnotherapy” was used rather than “cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy” as the latter was considered too long and cumbersome. Therefore the CBH diploma course is a training in “cognitive hypnotherapy” – as far as this term is used by mainstream clinicians and researchers. However this is not to be confused with the use of the term “cognitive hypnotherapy” within the NLP and lay hypnotherapy community who have appropriated the term without reference to its origins and meaning in mainstream psychological research. Read this article on What is Cognitive Hypnotherapy? Where does Cognitive Hypnotherapy come from?

Registration with the 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. The UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy is registered with UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP). (UKRLPN: 10042163)

External Course Accreditation

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.

HPD (Hypnotherapy Practitioner 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.

Choosing a hypnotherapy training: Our Diploma Structure and Format

The Diploma we offer is split into three distinct modules – each of which builds upon the last:

advanced hypnotherapy training format

Stage I: Certificate in Evidence-Based Hypnosis (Seven Day Course)

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 Day Course)

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 Day Course)

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: Our Assessment and Qualification Process

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.

Read more in our FAQ on train to be a hypnotherapist


Choosing a Hypnotherapy Training: Home Study & Distance Learning Hypnotherapy?
Can you train with an online hypnotherapy course?

People often ask us about “Home Study Hypnosis” or “Distance Learning” courses in hypnotherapy.  With the development of the internet this has become a serious option for those who live far away from course locations – and simply cannot afford the time and money to travel for classroom training.

As a first choice we do not recommend that students undertake online hypnotherapy training 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.

However technology has improved and there has been a high level of training from around the world on our unique Hypno-CBT® training programme.

Therefore it is time to consider whether restricting hypnotherapy training to ONLY classroom training is out of date and restrictive.

This particularly comes to light if we consider the modern notion that “all hypnosis is self-hypnosis”.
Can we learn self-hypnosis online? For sure. Can we teach other people to do self-hypnosis online. For sure.
So once we abandon the notion of “hypnosis as trance” (with all sorts of slightly dangerous connotations)  – and consider “hypnosis as self-hypnosis”. Then a distance training programme makes a lot more sense as a viable and effective way to train hypnotherapists.

We've spent about 12 months developing our online hypnotherapy diploma training programme – with several unique features, including extensive one-to-one tutoring. The programme launched in November 2019 and many learners, who otherwise couldn't attend, are thoroughly engaged and loving the training experience.

Please note that the options for professional membership are different if you complete your hypnotherapy training online only.

Read more about our online hypnotherapy training here.

Some more key questions? Is the training school established and credible?

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 £85,000 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.
Ask if they are VAT registered and for how long they've been VAT registered.

The UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy – background, experience and credibility

The UK College of Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy has been VAT registered since 2008 and offering training since 2003. We offer our Diploma training several times during the year   – you can pick from five different Stage 1 course dates and three different Stage 2 & Stage 3 course dates (so we run the full training three times a year with some extra Stage 1 courses).
Typical class size is 20-28 students – often from around the world. Therefore we train about 80 students in our Diploma training programme in the UK each year.

We also offer the Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy in China, where it is one of only 8 private psychotherapy trainings certified by The Chinese Psychological Society.

Over 700 students have taken our Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy since we started offering it. And over 1200 students have take the Stage 1 Certificate in Evidence-Based Hypnosis. Over 250 students have taken the Diploma in CBH in China. (8 Diploma trainings).

In China the Diploma in CBH was officially certified by the Chinese Psychological Society – in the first ever professional review of private psychotherapy training to take place in China.
Our programme was one of eight psychotherapy training programmes presented to a panel of professors who sit on the board of the Chinese Psychological Society (Sports, Clinical, Educational, Developmental and Business psychology division represented at the review panel). The programme was one of only two trainings that passed certification with no changes required.
We are an very experienced and dedicated training provider.

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.

We are very happy to connect you with one of many people who have taken the course and are now hypnotherapists in private practice – so that you can have an honest conversation about what it takes to succeed as a hypnotherapist and if our training would suit you.