I.F.R - News and Views

A Note from the Chair

The word ‘research’ will often conjure up images of the cartoon type scientist – glasses on the end of his nose, hair standing on end, the laboratory full of experiments supervised by the man in a white coat. The effectiveness of Reflexology in modern research could not be further from this image but the need to move forward, to present ourselves on the scientific ladder of proof is a must for the credibility of Reflexology.

Most research involving the therapist will require you to do nothing more and nothing less than you currently do in your day to day treatment. The researcher will probably need to observe you working on more than one occasion. He/she may wish to speak with your client. There is also the likelihood of a questionnaire for you and your client to complete, but let’s get the fear of being involved with research out of our minds and replace this with a positive attitude towards involvement: “What can I do?”, “Where can I start?”, “Who will be my supervisor?”

Let’s get out there and prove that what we do daily is benefiting the health of others.

The Reflexology Forum, the developing regulations body for Reflexology is moving forward at quite a pace. The Draft Curriculum is now in place, ready to be distributed to a wider field of interest, for feedback.

The Website for the Forum is up and running, the Education Committee is in place, The Public Relations Committee is in place. There is a great effort by all professional organisations to consolidate the process of a self-regulatory body.

What visible part does the I.F.R play in relation to the Forum? The I.F.R plays a key role in the development and consolidation of the Forum, supplying the Forum Executive Secretary and the Chair of the Public Relations Committee. Two members sit on the Education Committee and one member on the Regulations Committee. In other words you are represented by the I.F.R at every level of Reflexology on every committee of the Forum.

The I.F.R has been advertised in a very public way through I.T.V’s “Good Morning” television programme. A number of our therapists appear on local radio and write articles for newspapers and magazines. I would like all these people to come forward and let us know what you are doing or have done in the past.

Stand back and examine how you have promoted Reflexology, yourself and your practice in the past month. Do you have a Website? Are you linked to the I.F.R? Do you know a Website that should have a link to the I.F.R’s site? By your promotion and marketing of the I.F.R we can all benefit professionally.

With all good wishes,


White Paper - Regulation of Health Professionals

Below you will find a link to the white paper published recently entitled:
'Trust, Assurance & Safety – The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century'.

Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century - White Paper

The paper sets out how the Department of Health intends to reform and modernise the system of professional regulation. The paper signals a move towards a more robust regulatory system. Some of the key changes include:

  • Measures to make regulators more independent, such as the appointment of council members, professional members no longer forming the majority of these councils and an independent adjudicator for doctors;
  • Measures to ensure healthcare professionals are objectively revalidated throughout their career and remain up to date with clinical best practice;
  • The creation of GMC Affiliates to help deal with more cases concerning doctors at a local level and to ensure independent oversight of aspects of revalidation;
  • Changing the standard of proof used in fitness to practise cases from the criminal standard to the civil standard with a sliding scale, and;
  • Moving towards a more rehabilitative approach to regulation, with the development of a comprehensive strategy for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for all health professionals.

More information on Department of Health Website


Safeguard Vulnerable Groups Bill

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill received Royal Assent on 8th November 2006. The overriding aim of the new scheme will be to help avoid harm, or risk of harm, to children and vulnerable adults. It aims to do this by preventing those who are deemed unsuitable to work with children and vulnerable adults from gaining access to them through their work.

Read about the new Vetting and Barring Scheme here


The Reflexology Forum U.K

It is in the interest of all professional reflexology organisations to participate in the Reflexology Forum, so that they can guide the development of appropriate standards and regulatory processes. The establishment of such standards will demonstrate that reflexologists have commonly shared standards and values and they facilitate links to mainstream healthcare to the benefit of clients. This encourages the growth of the profession and raises awareness of reflexology.

Currently people are not able to be sure whether individuals who advertise themselves as 'Reflexologists' are trained to a common high standard. The range of training available is highly variable. It varies from short courses which equip individuals to carry out simple treatments that promote well-being, to longer courses which provide knowledge and skills to enable practitioners to address the management of specific symptoms and contribute appropriately to the supportive care of individuals with chronic conditions. Reflexology organisations that currently accredit courses are not able to refer to the benchmark of a common agreed standard for reflexology courses and it is therefore not feasible for them to consult with all the other organisations. The existence of the Reflexology Forum provides the accrediting bodies with an expert ‘forum’ to facilitate the accreditation of appropriate courses. As the professional role of Reflexology develops, the existence of the Reflexology Forum will provide additional protection to the public through the development of, for example, appropriate complaints procedures to deal with unsatisfactory practice.

More generally, the I.F.R also attends other conferences, meetings and training events every year in order to keep up to date with and influence the direction of changes in the field of reflexology.