Please see below for several pieces of important information for the responsible healer. 

National Occupational Standards (NOS)

What are NOS?

NOS describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to undertake a particular task or job to a nationally recognised standard 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 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 issues.
  • Offer a framework which can be used to inform the curriculum for training, education and development
  • Inform the development of Vocational Qualifications (VQs) on the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).

What are the benefits to Employers?

  • Improve quality of goods and services
  • Increase productivity
  • May reduce costs for recruitment by standardising the selection and interview process of employees
  • Provide a means for better workforce planning
  • Help identify and fill skills gaps
  • Act as a benchmark for rewarding experience, knowledge and competence.

What are the benefits to Employees?

  • Create a checklist to measure your performance
  • Identify professional development needs and help career progression
  • Assist in the accumulation of evidence that could be used to obtain a qualification
  • Increase career mobility and assist with the identification of transferable skills within the Health sector
  • Can be used alongside other Skills for Health tools and resources, such as the self assessment and team assessment tools.

What are the benefits to Training and Education Providers?

For training and education purposes, NOS can be used to:

  • identify learning and skills needs and act as a basis for qualifications
  • inform curriculum development
  • inform the development of units of learning
  • make programmes more relevant to employer’s needs
  • provide clear goals for structured learning & define learning outcomes
  • enable providers to identify gaps in provision.

NOS can be used for a range of purposes, including:

  • workforce design
  • workforce planning
  • recruitment & selection
  • induction
  • performance management
  • personal development
  • team development
  • career development
  • succession planning
  • training & education design
  • assessment & accreditation.

Do NOS have levels?

NOS themselves are not levelled. It is the context and practice within which the NOS are applied, combined with the breadth and depth of knowledge, including the level of responsibility required of the post holder, that defines the level of the individual practitioner.

To view the NOS for Healing please visit the Skills for Health search page at and then search for CNH25 for Healing. CNH1and CNH2 also refer, as they are generiic to all complementary therapies.


Healing in Pregnancy

In October 2010 the CHO received an enquiry regarding giving healing during pregnancy. 

The UK Healers Code of Conduct states that Registered Healers must not attend women in childbirth or treat them for 10 days thereafter. The guidance is that it is permissible to give healing right up until the birth and again after labour as no criminal offence is committed under Article 45(1) of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001.  However, it is good practice for the healer to contact the midwife if healing is requested by the mother-to-be during her pregnancy as it is a part of the midwife’s role to ensure the patient has given informed consent. 

However, the guidance received from the Royal College of Midwives provides more detail:

“Generally the wording above is supported by the RCM but they are wary regarding the point on good practice as midwives are not generally registered healers and would not therefore be competent to advise a mother regarding care given by a registered healer.  Midwives cannot undertake the responsibility for another practitioner’s competence in obtaining an informed consent from a mother.  The contract remains with the mother and the healer.  If, however, a midwife was present when a healer is attending and the mother is assessed by the midwife to be vulnerable, for example due to her mental health, it would be the midwife’s duty to suggest to the healer that the mother is not capable to give consent for the healing to take place.  In addition, if the advice given by a healer was contradictory to a midwife’s advice it would place the mother in a difficult position.” 

The advice of the CHO would be for healers to attempt at all times to work as closely as possible with the midwife who is looking after the pregnant mother and to respect decisions made by the midwife.


RCVS Guidance on Animal Healing

In 2010, prompted by an exchange between CHO Member Organisation, Asentia College of Animal Healing, and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the CHO undertook to try and gain clarification from the RCVS regarding animal healing.  The advice we received from them is reflected in the following guidelines:

  • Healers are required in terms of the Code of Practice of the Confederation of Healing Organisations to advise owners who have brought an animal for treatment for reasons of ill health or trauma that the animal must be seen first by a veterinary surgeon, thus acting in accordance with The Animal Welfare Act 2006 (for England and Wales) and the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, and Welfare of Animals (Northern Ireland) 1972 that imposes an obligation on anyone aware that an animal is clearly in need of veterinary treatment to advise the owner to obtain this. If, in addition to veterinary care, the owner wishes the animal to receive healing to aid recovery they must inform the veterinary surgeon to that effect and inquire whether he, or she, is content for healing to be given.
  • If the animal is already receiving veterinary treatment and the owner wishes the animal to receive healing as a complementary therapy, the veterinary surgeon remains in charge of the case and the healer shall not countermand any instructions or medicines given by the veterinary surgeon. 
  • Healers may give healing to animals whose owners wish them to receive healing to help maintain present good health and for general wellbeing or, in the case of institutions that are licensed to look after animals, are content that their animals receive healing from students on a recognised course of animal healing.