What is the difference between public and professional practice?

Many people do not learn Reiki with the intention of making it their profession.  Most will learn initially for their own healing or to share with family and friends.  This may evolve into public practice, where sessions are offered to people not known to them, usually friends of friends.

At some point they may feel called to offer Reiki for their livelihood. Professional practice is therefore a potential further development, where the circle of relationship changes to include people who are complete strangers and other professionals.  Entering this role brings with it different expectations from society.

Professionals are expected to have experience and expertise in their field, or be training to achieve this.  They are expected to understand professional boundaries, how to communicate with other professionals using appropriate language, to present themselves in a professional manner and to take responsibility for the care and safety of their clients.

The preparation of practitioners to become professionals, recognisable as such in society, is not normally part of the standard Reiki courses.

How are professional Reiki practitioners recognised? To achieve this professional level of practice, Reiki practitioners will therefore normally require further education and training.  

Since 2009 there have been National Occupational Standards for Reiki practitioners, setting out the expected standards for those giving professional Reiki treatments.  Reiki Council developed a core curriculum based on these standards and this formed the basis of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council’s core curriculum. 

Reiki practitioners wishing to join the CNHC’s national register of professional practitioners need to be able to demonstrate that they have met these standards.

There are two ways to do this:
– either by successfully completing a professional practitioner course verified by Reiki Council
– or by independent verification through one of the Verifying Organisations.

What is the benefit of being verified?

Verification acknowledges that the practitioner has practices at a professional standard. 

Registration with CNHC is not absolutely necessary, but gives greater recognition and endorsement than simply being a verified practitioner.  

Verified practitioners show that they have achieved and uphold the standards expected of a professional Reiki practitioner, so are more likely to be chosen by members of the public looking for a reputable and trustworthy practitioner. 

Those registered with CNHC have even more credibility and the register is searchable by the public, who can thereby have confidence in the practitioners registered.

NHS staff can also make referrals to CNHC registrants.  In some NHS settings practitioners are
required to be CNHC registered, which supports good standards of practice and reassures those employing them that there is recourse should there be any malpractice.

By becoming a verified Reiki practitioner, you show the world you are a professional, that you maintain professional
standards of practice and ethics, including knowing when not to give Reiki and when onward referral is important and why (such as in the case of red flag symptoms). 

The more professional practitioners who achieve this standard, the more Reiki will be trusted as an healthcare option in both private and public health settings.

With thanks to Kate Jones – Reiki Alliance for this information.