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How to Choose a Wellness Qualification

Learn how to choose a wellness qualification.

Changing careers is never an overnight affair – but there are certain aspects to consider that may speed up the process.

Some of us might have certain external pressures that require us to make the transition more quickly, whilst others might make a change slowly. Some of us might have an endless budget for further study and education, whilst others might be more limited. Your unique circumstances shouldn’t prohibit you from getting started…and it’s critical to remember that there is no correct speed. The right approach will be the one that works best for you.

With this in mind, there are some expert and practitioner career paths that definitely require a formal qualification, and these will vary in respect of cost, intensity, availability, choice, and time required.

You might also be somebody who already has a qualification but wants to re-focus your expertise on a new aspect of wellness.

Either way, it is crucial to understand the importance of qualifications from both a legal & regulatory, as well as a credibility standpoint.

From a legal and regulatory perspective, many of the practices we’ve now explored have formal bodies that govern and accredit. This ultimately gives your clients assurance that you’ve done the appropriate training and practice in the field. For example, in the UK, the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) exists as a professional organisation for practitioners of nutrition and lifestyle medicine. Members are required to be registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) or to be statutorily regulated. Practitioners in the nutrition field, need to be registered, and in order to do so, must show that they are trained and qualified in a clinical setting and meet national standards. There are different levels of registration with different requirements – which gives some flexibility (but also limitations) to practitioners who are in the early stages of their career but want to get started quickly.

In many expert and practitioner careers in wellness, there are also requirements to keep up with professional training and development – again, to ensure that clients have the highest assurance that these services are safe.

Let’s now talk about credibility. In some areas, such as life coaching, there are no formal regulatory bodies that are legally required in order to get started. However, you can still voluntarily register with respected organisations like the International Coaching Federation to demonstrate a commitment to following professional standards, a code of ethics, and a depth of understanding of the coaching profession.

Some of the questions you might ask yourself when evaluating this career path (and in addition to considering the type of expertise you might like to explore further) are:

  • Do the roles that interest me most, as an expert or practitioner in wellness, have a legal or regulatory requirement for me to be qualified?
  • Where they do not, is it beneficial for me to take a course to garner credibility with clients?
  • What is my budget for qualifications and professional development?
  • How much time can I dedicate to learning and developing – in order to become an expert or practitioner in wellness?
  • Longer-term, once qualified (if relevant), will I operate as a self-employed expert or practitioner, or work with an existing organisation?
  • If the latter, what kind of employment opportunities exist for this area of expertise or practice?

When choosing a qualification, you might consider a few other important elements:

  • Has this training organisation been independently reviewed and/or accredited (if required)?
  • Do they offer both full-time and part-time options for learning?
  • What are the costs involved?
  • Are there other costs associated with getting started, beyond just this course?
  • Are there graduates of this program that I can speak to about their experience?
  • What type of learning options are available (e.g. in-person versus online)?

As you’ve learnt, there is quite a spectrum when it comes to required qualifications, and it can feel like a huge leap (and investment) if you’re not 100% sure that this is the career path you want to take. Often, it’s useful to take a few (highly affordable) online courses, using learning platforms like this one, or with experts who inspire you – to see whether the concepts and messages draw you in and make you want to learn more and take further action.

What do you think?

Take some time to explore three possible areas of expertise in the wellness industry that interest you.

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Becoming An Expert Or Practitioner In Wellness

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