Jane Sheehan discusses the relevance of CPD in holistic therapy
When I first started doing reflexology and foot reading, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) was something that your accountant did. A professional belonged to a professional body and to remain a member, they would have to show that they had continued their development through a formalised system. This was such a tradition that even HM Customs and Revenue recognised CPD, thus allowed tax relief.
More recently, holistic therapy associations have recognised the value in having a formalised structure for CPD… But is this “a good thing?”
As a provider of a CPD course, I have found that each of the associations apply different criteria when assessing a course for accreditation. There isn’t a uniform standard. One of the associations, with whom I am now accredited, required so many additional things from me that I had to spend an extra six hundred pounds over and above the accreditation fee before my course was accepted, yet other associations had accredited the same course without these additional requirements. As a result, I can only assume that members of that particular association will be seeing the cost of attending an accredited CPD course rising.
Another association offers CPD points not just for attending an accredited workshop, but for other activities related to improving your business, such as spending an hour considering your business strategy – things that would be very hard to prove that you did or didn’t do, and therefore open to abuse.
Indeed, some professions request such stringent adherence to their CPD requirements from their members that the required spend before even allowing a client to be touched could frighten off any new members.
However, as a therapist who loves her subject, I hardly notice the requirements for CPD. I love learning and attend several courses a year just because they seem interesting to me. I am continually updating my practice with what I’m learning. I’m wondering whether it’s even necessary to formalise CPD given that I do all these activities out of a joy for learning more about my subjects.
I started to wonder why we needed a formal CPD system at all!
Then something changed. We started to read more and more attacks in the media aimed at non-allopathic practitioners such as homeopaths, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and so on. Given though we have a formalised CPD system and recognised qualifications, it is much easier to present evidence of competency and training against such attacks.
As a result, I’m proud to say that my foot reading workshops attract CPD points as follows:
- Association of Reflexologists – 2 per hour to a max of 10 points,
- Federation of Holistic Therapists – 5 points per day and 5 points for the elearning seminar,
- Irish Reflexology Institute – 50 points
- Reflexology New Zealand – 4 CPD points per year for the elearning seminar.
Some other associations offer CPD points for non-accredited courses too.
If we accept that there is a need for CPD, then why can’t the different bodies standardise CPD requirements and the points in order to present a more credible image of the profession?
Author of Sole Trader: The Holistic Therapy Business Handbook, Jane Sheehan shares words of wisdom on how to divorce-proof your business
You fall in love and you think it will last forever… However, please take these words of advice: Think about the worst-case scenario and plan accordingly. One of the biggest reasons for businesses to fail is due to divorce.
To divorce-proof your business, make sure you don’t make your lover your business partner. It may be very tempting, but in business, it’s best if there is only one boss and even better, if that boss is you!
If you’re setting up a Limited company, then there may be reasons why you want your lover to be a director and have shares in your company. If this is the case, think very carefully. If you were to split up, just making them a 1% shareholder would mean that you have controlling interest in the business, and you would still be able to operate and wouldn’t be liable to pay over all your money to what may essentially be a silent partner. However, if you were to make them a 50% shareholder, how would you resolve any disagreements and what would happen if you could not reach an agreement at all? How would your business fair in this circumstance? Seriously, take some good legal advice and hire a great accountant. You can’t afford to get starr-eyed if you want your business to survive.
Set up a separate bank account for your business, with only you as the signatory. If the worst happens, your soon-to-be-ex-partner won’t be able to empty all your coffers of cash. Your business will still be able to flourish when your relationship is floundering.
Consider drawing up a pre-nuptial agreement which stipulates what would happen to the business if the worst was to happen. Whilst this may not be legally watertight it does show your intent at the outset, and if you both sign it, this will carry some weight when considered at time of divorce.
I know of one business where the couple had divided up their skills and agreed which tasks should be tackled by whom. However, once divorced, they went their separate ways, the person left holding the business realised that they did not know how to do some of the essential tasks in their business. They’d relied so much on their partner doing these chores that they did not have the skills or knowledge to take over this part of the business. Make sure that even if you delegate, you at least know what is being done and how it is being done so that you could take over if necessary.
Interesting statistics relating to divorce:
- More than one third of Fortune’s “50 most powerful women in Business” have a stay at home man
- In 1993 there were 300,000 marriages and 165,000 divorces in England and Wales. In 2010 that reduced to 241,000 marriages and 119,589 divorces.
- Divorce rates in the UK have gone down by 27 per cent when compared with 1993 and applications for divorce by women in the first three years of marriage have gone down by 51 per cent.
- The number of divorces in England and Wales in 2010 was an increase of 4.9 per cent since 2009, when there were 113,949 divorces
- The divorce rate rose in 2010 to 11.1 divorcing people per thousand married population from 10.5 in 2009
- 22 per cent of marriages in 1970 had ended in divorce by the 15th wedding anniversary, whereas 33 per cent of marriages in 1995 had ended after the same period
- The number of divorces in 2010 was highest amongst men and women aged 40 to 44
Source: Office for National Statistics
Image credits: Appeared in print version of HTM
Not long now until camexpo 2014: We have lots of posts about the event, so have a look around the site and remember HTM have teamed up with camexpo to offer therapists a fantastic opportunity to take part in the Business Clinic.
The Business Clinic runs over both days with following experts in their fields:
- Geoff Simons:The Private Practitioner – is there any help out there?
- David Balen: Risk management for you and your business
- Olga Agbaimoni: Everything you ever wanted to know about social media and your business… but were afraid to ask!
- Mark Shields: Top tips on how to run and sustain a successful practice
- Meghan Mari – Jing Institute: Tried and tested top tips to kick start your massage business
- Dr. Marilyn Glenville PhD: How to build a successful practice
- Jane Sheehan: How to be an expert in your field
For more information on the speakers and experts click HERE, and see you at Olympia camexpo 2014.
Here’s hoping you are enjoying the festivities, family time and fun that comes along with a long Easter weekend…
Have you grabbed a few moments to read a good book? When it comes to reading – you can not only fill your brain with great ideas, but also count your reading time towards your CPD hours… So let’s talk business! Here are six good business books that will make your Good Friday even better:
NUMBER 1: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich [Paperback] BY Timothy Ferris
NUMBER 2: Sole Trader: The Holistic Therapy Business Handbook [Illustrated] [Paperback] BY Jane Sheehan
NUMBER 3: How to Start a Home-Based Massage Therapy Business [Paperback] BY Shirley L.Philbrick
NUMBER 4: The CAM Coach BY Mark Shields and Simon Martin
NUMBER 5: Business Practice for Therapists by Nicola Jenkins
NUMBER 6: Business Management for Hairdressers and Therapists (Professional pathways series) by Ms Susan Cressy
Grab these reads and more on Amazon.
So we are finally here… the very first issue of Holistic Therapist Magazine has gone to print and is in the process of distribution to working, and studying therapists, and holistic professionals. The Industry’s No.1 Business Guide offers business content, as well as news and features especially for you and your health.
Issue 1 includes how to advertise without splashing the cash, how to do your own PR, how to set up a Face book business page, case studies from therapists like yourself, features on pregnancy, relationships, New Year and products for you, your health and your business. The editor chooses five pairs of shoes for style and comfort, she interviews Made in Chelsea actress Funda Onal on her holistic lifestyle, and she gets her feet out to be read by expert foot reader Jane Sheehan… there is so very much more.
Issue 1 is out now, so grab your copy and begin the year with a boost to your business.
This cover was shot by photographer Tim Platt of model Satu Suominen