Some Questions Answered:

Centralia and their Partner Centres firmly believe that students should have the choice at which level they wish to train. Centralia provide training at Level 5, but fully endorse training at Level 3 too, but for Reflexology to thrive and gain the professional recognition it deserves, the training should be properly regulated and this means there should be layers of educational and regulatory expertise and this only comes with an Awarding Organisation.   Awarding Organisations are governed by National Frameworks and Skills Sector Council and are answerable to government.    These layers of expertise ensure the very best education possible and protects both the people doing the training as well as the people being trained! 

But ... there are reflexology courses that do not have the layers of expertise that protect you.    There are many words and terms that are used that are similar, or even identical terms as the Awarding Organisation Level 3 and Level 5 courses and are copied to make them sound the same... they are not!   They may say they are 'accredited' or 'awarded' or 'associated with' and this may vary from accreditation by a Professional Organisation (membership organisation) to actually no accreditation at all.   They use words like 'Diploma' and 'qualification' too.  Another ploy to attract students without committing to the rigour of an Awarding Organisation is to say that they 'follow' the regulatory rules!   They may also say they are 'regulated' and have 'Internal Verification' and 'External Verification' and may have some procedures in place, but nothing that can replace the expertise of the Awarding Organisation and all those extra layers of protection above them.   LOOK for a course with an Awarding Organisation - it will tell you what the Level is (the difficulty), whether it is a Diploma, Certificate or Award (the time taken).   It will tell you what the Guided Learning Hours (GLH) are (number of hours with your teacher).   It will tell you what the Total Qualification Time (TQT) is (how long to complete all the training and the assessments).   It will tell you what Skills Sector it belongs to e.g.  Level 3 is Health and Social Care and Level 5 is Nursing and Subjects and Vocations Allied to Medicine.   It will tell you which National Framework the qualification sits under and the Level 5 is Qualifications Wales and OfQual.   There will be units and credits.   If you are interested in a course and they cannot refer you to the websites of the Awarding Organisation (Agored Cymru for Level 5 - CIBTEC, City & Guilds etc) means you are interested in an unregulated course.   Go the regulated route and you have all the support of a Nationally recognised qualification, any other course and at best, all the support you will have will be from your teacher and via them the membership organisation they paid to have their courses 'accredited' with.

Everyone who trains Reflexologists and all the Reflexologists who embark and then graduate from a training programme, need to hold their heads up high and be happy to be scrutinised so that they can prove that reflexology is a viable treatment.  This is possible when certification 100% validates the training and will be recognised Nationally and Internationally.   

The Agored Cymru Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology Course provides:

When the leading authorities in reflexology united to produce a Core Curriculum (2006) they expected that all training establishments would teach 'core' subjects. All reflexology courses should cover these subjects as basic/foundation training, but as an outcome of educational changes (which is why the Level 5 was born) these subjects (maternity, palliative, research etc) were omitted and subsequently often only taught as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - a very unfair situation for students as not only do they have to pay all over again, there is generally no regulation for CPD training (and being given a thumbs up by a membership body such as FHT / AoR etc., is NOT being regulated).  Level 5 students cover these subjects as part of their qualification and yes, they may wish to specialise and attend CPD courses, but at least they know that as soon as they qualify, they are treating with confidence and competence.  Below is a list of what we can assure all learners of when they enrol with a Centralia training course and if you are looking at any other courses, please feel free to copy the list and make sure that they can say yes to the whole list.  If there is just one answer that is a no, or they cannot answer the question ... choose a different centre to train at!   

Alert!  Regulated qualifications are from Awarding Organisations/Bodies (for example, Agored Cymru, City & Guilds, YMCA Awards) and the qualification will comprise of Units and Credits and there will be several departments specialising in education and its delivery ensuring that a regulated qualification is quality assured and the standards set ensure equality.  There will also be a Sector for the qualification and Level 5 is under the Sector:  Nursing and Subjects and Vocations Allied to Medicine and the Level 3 is under the Sector:  Health and Social Care.  Unregulated training may still use words to describe what they provide as a level (or equivalent to a level) diploma and qualification, but they are not regulated by anyone but themselves although you can be certain they will be using clever, but misleading marketing!  A regulated Diploma shows how long it will take to complete the qualification and in ascending order of time taken they are:  Award   Certificate   and   Diploma.  So the bad news is that anyone can use words like levels, units, credits, qualification, diploma and the only way you can tell if they are bona fide or not, is to check that there is an Awarding Organisation/Body and then check with the Awarding Organisation that they are regulating what you have been told!  A nuisance to have to do this, but you will be glad that you did.





  • Highest level of Reflexology Training in the UK - University courses are not regulated by Awarding Organisations 
  • Minimum Guaranteed Face to Face Teaching Hours - All Centralia Centres teach YOU   for 160 hours as a minimum - it is a "Hands On" therapy!  N.B.  These hours do not include any break times
  • Course designed by Reflexologists for Reflexologists
  • Palliative Care
  • Maternity Care
  • Subfertility Care
  • Stress Management (NEPIP is a treatment technique that is only taught to learners at Level 5)
  • Hand Reflexology
  • Nutrition facts for clients and practitioners
  • Research Module
  • National Occupational Standards (NOS's)
  • Complies with Core Curriculum (2006) for Reflexology. N.B. CNHC core curriculum is not relevant to regulated training (and is a few pages of guidance put together by a few as opposed to a text book written by many) 
  • Guaranteed equality of assessments - regardless of which Centre you learn at
  • Guaranteed equality of evidence based studies - regardless of which Centre you are taught at
  • All units reflexology specific including the Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology and Business Skills units
  • No generic units - you will learn what you need to learn to be a reflexologist, rather than having to study a subject area that covers other therapies but is not relevant to being a Reflexologist - but you still have to spend time studying them - whether you are interested or not!
  • All Main Tutors are reflexologists with years in clinical practice
  • Verification and Standardisation by an Independent External Approved Centre - an Internal Quality Assurance visit to verify procedures and ensure that learners are taught to the Level 5 standard
  • Externally Verified by Awarding Body (unregulated training may say externally verified, but it wont be by an Awarding Organisation)
  • Set assessments to guarantee quality assurance and standards
  • All Centralia training centres meet at least once per year to review and improve the course content
  • All Centralia training centres share "best practice" and are committed to upholding and continually developing the standards of the training provision.  This is so that the Reflexologists trained by them are the very best Reflexologists in the UK ... and beyond!  
  • Qualification Guide from Awarding Organisation (Agored for L5) - Base Guidance Notes from Approved Centre (Centralia for L5) - Standardised Assessment and Evidence forms

BRIDGING from one level to another:

  • Centralia are often asked why someone cannot 'bridge' from the Level 3 Diploma to the Level 5.   To answer this very understandable question, it is necessary to understand what 'levels' indicate.
  • Levels tell you the standard/complexity/difficulty of the training. In Schools, College - Further Education (FE), University - Higher Education (HE), terms you would be familiar with are GCSE's, AS + A levels and degrees (first degree, masters, phd).
  • A level 3 reflexology course can be taught in Schools and Colleges, but not in University (HE).
  • A level 5 reflexology course can be taught in Colleges and Universities (HE), but not in Schools.
  • You can study a subject at school, but you cannot take a bridging course to study that same subject at University.  Reflexology is the same.  The Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology has 17 assessments, all have to be taught, studied and then completed and passed by each learner, therefore bridging is not possible as the whole course syllabus has to be covered.
  • Another reason as to why bridging between the 2 levels is not possible: You may be aware of the Skills Sector Councils and that reflexology is under Skills for Health, but the two levels (3 + 5) are under different sectors.  Level 3 is: Health and Social Care and the sector for Level 5 is: Nursing and Subjects and Vocations Allied to Medicine.
  • There are many, many brilliant reflexology practitioners who have qualified at level 3 and many who have no such title as they qualified before levels were introduced (including the author of the Level 5 units - Sue Alma Evans). Reflexology is a noble profession and Centralia Centres and the Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology celebrates the past and all that has been achieved and then looks to the future to develop and move our Profession into an arena where Practitioners can advance their conceptual knowledge with a depth of understanding of reflexology in multiple contexts.


Can I bridge from one level to another? From Level 3 to Level 5?

Unfortunately the answer is no.   

Levels show you the complexity of a subject and good comparisons are that Level 3 = AS/A levels and Level 5 = Years 1 + 2 of a First Degree and you cannot bridge from A level to Degree because you begin a completely new course and the way you learn and the work you have to produce is different.   The same applies with Level 3 and Level 5 and a learner has to complete all of the level 5 assessments to achieve the qualification.

I want to study reflexology at University, is the level 5 course a University course?

The Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology qualification can be taught at University, but it is not a degree course although its complexity and difficulty is equivalent to years 1 + 2 of a First Degree course.   Some Universities offer reflexology training in two ways: 
1) As part of a degree or
2) As a 'stand alone' therapy (in other words you only study the subjects around reflexology training).   

University reflexology courses may have an Awarding Organisation, but if they do then they will only be at Level 3 in which case this is too low a level to be taught as part of a degree.  If there is no Awarding Organisation and it is option 2) then the likliehood is that the training is completely unregulated and not a formal qualification.  However, if reflexology is taught within option 1)  The reflexology is still unregulated, but it does form a part of the overall degree as a qualification.  If a University wanted to offer a regulated Level 5 reflexology qualification, they would have to apply to be a Centralia Centre and have to prove their suitability to deliver at Level 5.   

To the best of our knowledge, there is no organisation that Quality Assures or Standardises the provision of reflexology training in UK universities.

Is Level 5 training better than Level 3?

What level you train at is nothing to do with whether it is 'better' or not!   Levels denote the complexity of achieving the qualification, but not everyone wants to study at a University and not everyone wants to study at level 5.   Level 5 is more difficult, although the subject area - reflexology - is the same.   There are Level Descriptors' on Awarding Organisations websites which will help you decide the level you think you would most enjoy studying at. 

I studied at Level 3 some years ago, should I now do a level 5 qualification?

This is a tricky question and therefore difficult to answer as so much depends on individual circumstances!   

For example:   Gregor and Elaine qualified in 2007 on a Level 3 Diploma.  Gregor started a private practice straight away, seeing a minimum of 6 clients every day for 3 days per week and 1 day per week, he works for a palliative care charity giving a peripatetic reflexology service in a 20 mile radius.  1 day per month has been dedicated to furthering his knowledge in reflexology and he regularly studies new research into all CAM's.   Elaine on the other hand, treats her friends and family on an informal basis and has attended two, one day CPD courses.   One of these Practitioners may really benefit from learning at Level 5, whilst the other may justifiably feel that they have continued their learning, long after qualifying, with little to be gained from studying at Level 5!

What is the difference between a membership organisation and an awarding organisation?

A membership organisation takes the responsibility of providing insurance cover for their members and often at a very reasonable rate.   They keep up to date with what is happening in the world of reflexology and pass that information on to their members.  They usually provide a media platform so that their members can 'socialise' with one another and share information.   They may have departments called training and/or education, but they are nothing to do with the regulation or development of reflexology qualifications.   They may advertise Schools/Colleges/Universities, but they have no role in regulating/quality assuring or standardising anything to do with reflexology qualifications - advertising role only!    Membership organisations often advertise CPD courses (sometimes their own, sometimes external providers).   Sadly CPD provision is still for the greater part, without any regulation or standards. 

Awarding Organisations are responsible for the development, delivery and regulation of all formal qualifications and if you have a Level 3 Diploma you will also have an Awarding Organisation certificate as proof that it is a formal qualification.   

Is my CPD recognised as a qualification?

There is very little CPD that is a regulated, formal qualification.   If you have a CPD certificate from an Awarding Organisation then it is a formal qualification with unit/s and credits.   Anything else is just pot luck and being Accredited or Validated by a membership organisation means nothing other than they have given a thumbs up to the training product and even if a training provider has to initially outline what they are intending to teach, sadly there is no guarantee of content or standard or quality assurance.


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