Reflexology Forum Regulation Group
To all practitioner members of Reflexology Professional Associations
Important Regulation Update
We are taking the unusual step of asking your professional organisation to forward this letter to you. It is to inform you of recent moves toward voluntary self-regulation and how this will affect you as a practitioner.
You will know that for over seven years the Reflexology Forum has been working toward regulation facilitated by the Princes' Foundation for Integrated Health (PFIH). From what was described in the Exeter Report as the ‘most disparate of all the therapies' the Forum has become one of the most developed and cohesive of the ‘lead bodies' and was referred to by the Foundation as the ‘emerging regulatory body for reflexology ‘. The Forum was one of the first to be invited to join PFIH's current programme to develop a federal style of regulation. We then elected a representative and an alternate to commit to and attend the monthly meetings of the Federal Working Group.
When this programme was announced it had a deadline of having a federal structure of regulation in place by January 2008. The Forum did advise PFIH that this schedule, dictated by limited funding and the short term contracts of the project manager and independent chair, was far too short. There have now been seven such meetings out of nine and it now looks like agreement on a workable regulatory structure will not be reached.
At a meeting In June the Reflexology Forum unanimously voted to demonstrate our belief that the FWG were being forced into a style of regulation that would not be in the best interests of practitioners like yourself. Our independent chair informed PFIH that the Reflexology Forum could not agree to the process and would make a stand by joining aromatherapy in attending FWG meetings as observers only. Because of similar concerns, around the same time discussions took place with the four largest groups, aromatherapy, massage, Reiki and reflexology to explore the possibility of a regulatory structure that would combine the elements of independence required by a regulator but which continued to include the expertise of bodies such as the Forum. This model has distinct financial benefits to the practitioner.
At a meeting August 20 th at which a representative of PFIH attended, the Reflexology Forum, again unanimously, voted to request that PFIH let the other groups at least consider this model at the next FWG meeting, September 4 th .
No doubt threatened by this stand PFIH not only ignored this request but has commenced an uncharacteristically authoritarian series of extreme actions which have prompted this letter.
First the representatives of reflexology, Reiki and aromatherapy were written to personally to expel them from the meetings. Then the Forum started receiving reports that therapists, schools and professional associations were being contacted by PFIH to inform them of your representatives' delinquent behaviour and warn of ‘what they are doing in your name' and inviting heads of professional associations to attend meetings at PFIH..
It maybe you have already been contacted or someone may contact you this week from PFIH. We felt that we had to write to first assure you that the Reflexology Forum has taken no steps lightly and, as outlined above, at all stages we have met and given our representative a mandate which has always been unanimous, demonstrating that the process being so rigidly forced upon us by PFIH is undesirable.
We are confident that the majority of practitioners would not be worried by this attempt of by-passing your Professional Associations and Lead Body and contacting them direct. It is such an obviously unprofessional act completely inappropriate for a noteworthy organisation such as PFIH. The formation of the Reflexology Forum was facilitated by the Foundation for Integrated Medicine (as PFIH was known then) and we have had the greatest of respect for their ethos and actions since then. However, their personnel and remit has changed over the past year culminating in the dubious actions we have outlined.
Be assured that the Reflexology Forum is, as always, working to protect the profession and its practitioners as well as the public and whatever model of regulation we promote will be to follow that to the letter.
Working in your best interests,
The Regulation Group
The Reflexology Forum