National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards for complementary therapies are developed and published by Skills for Health.

Skills for Health is the Health Sector Skills Council, for all health employers; NHS, independent and third sector.

They serve the sector in three ways:

  1. firstly, by offering tested solutions and tools to help you improve productivity and quality
  2. secondly, by directly supporting you and your staff to plan and manage workforce development and change
  3. thirdly, as the employers’ authoritative voice on skills issues, they represent your views and champion the effective investment in skills that you need.

Skills for Health was relicensed in 2009 following a review by the National Audit Office with an ‘outstanding’ contribution to workforce redesign. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) is responsible for the relicensing process for the 25 Sector Skills Councils.

Skills for Health’s strategic plan covers the period 2010-2015.
As the Health Sector Skills Council, Skills for Health acts as the voice of healthcare employers in the skills system.

There are many changes taking place in how healthcare including complementary medicine is provided in the UK.

Read the Skills for Health NHS White Paper Briefing document

Read the External Policy Briefing (England) Revision to the Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2010/11

What are National Occupational Standards (NOS)?

NOS describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to undertake a particular task or job to a nationally recognised level of competence. They focus on what the person needs to be able to do, as well as what they must know and understand to work effectively.

They cover the key activities undertaken within the occupation in question under all the circumstances the job holder is likely to encounter.

This definition is supported by UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES)

What are the benefits of NOS?

NOS are tools to help individuals, organisations and training providers to improve performance. They are useful for carrying out a wide range of activities some of which are described below.

  • They describe the minimum standard to which an individual is expected to work in a given occupation
  • Set out a statement of competence which bring together the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to do the work
  • Provide managers with a tool for a wide variety of workforce management and quality control
  • Offer a framework for training and development
  • Form the basis of Vocational Qualifications (VQs) on the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).

Skills for Health have worked together with GRCCT and other experts from the sector to develop an extensive range of competences/National Occupational Standards (NOS) in a range of complementary therapies.

Currently published National Occupational Standards for GRCCT regulated therapies:

  1. Aromatherapy
    National Occupational Standards for Aromatherapy
  2. Hypnotherapy
    National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy
    (this NOS is currently under review and will be updated in 2011)
  3. Massage
    National Occupational Standards for Massage
  4. Reflexology
    National Occupational Standards for Reflexology
  5. Reiki
    Nationanal Occupational Standards for Reiki


Details on the work of Skills for Health and further details of competencies can be obtained at


Skills for Health, Goldsmiths House, Broad Plain, Bristol, BS2 0JP
Telephone 0117 922 1155

For any enquiries about the role of GRCCT please contact us