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Bowen Therapy course assessment

Core Bowen Training

If you wish your 'Core Bowen' training course to be listed on the BTPA website and benefit from use of the 'BTPA accepted' quality mark on your course promotional material, then you can apply for 'course verification'. The cost is £500 per assessment. Your course must lead to a qualification that is equivalent to Level 3 in the Regulated Qualifications Framework for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which would be recognised by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). The qualification must entitle the successful candidate to practice Bowen therapy with insurance. Core Bowen Therapy qualification courses must comply with the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and meet the teaching and examination requirements detailed in the Bowen Therapy Core Curriculum (CC). Such qualification should only be awarded to students who have obtained a VTCT Level 3 Diploma (or equivalent) in Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology.

The College/Training Provider will be required to have the following:

  • each trainer must have a relevant Bowen Therapy qualification (and be qualified for at least 3 years, using Bowen Therapy on a regular basis) or have significant experience in the practise of Bowen Therapy.
  • each trainer must have a teaching qualification, e.g. City & Guilds Level 3 Award in Education & Training or have significant experience in the teaching of Bowen Therapy.
  • public liability and professional indemnity insurance which includes cover for the activities of a training school or organisation involved in delivering courses, issuing certificates of competence and accreditations (valid for the entire duration of the course).
  • suitable venue(s) with appropriate course joining instructions.
  • safe and hygienic equipment, (e.g. therapy couches, covers, towels) ensuring enough equipment is provided for all students.
  • a course prospectus (pre-course information) and syllabus.
  • course and revision material (manuals, handouts, visual aids e.g. PowerPoint presentations).
  • detailed lesson plans, learning objectives and suitable methods of assessing that these have been met.
  • certificate of proficiency for students completing the course.
  • cancellation policy and complaints procedures in place.
  • ability to adapt course for learners with any special needs (e.g.vdyslexic learners being given the option to be assessed verbally).
  • health and safety policy.
  • first aid policy.
  • course evaluation form (feedback about course, teaching, venue etc.) for all students to complete.
  • each trainer must hold a current First Aid certificate.

Each course would need to cover:

  • the anatomy and physiology of all relevant body systems (unless prior A&P knowledge of students can be demonstrated).
  • effective communication with clients (verbal and written).
  • confidentiality and data protection (GDPR) rules.
  • informed consent (with explanation of regulations specific to children and vulnerable adults).
  • health and safety - body posture, equipment safety, first aid, infection control, safe working practises, reporting of accidents.
  • the current legislation relating to:
    • Equal Pay
    • Sex Discrimination
    • Race Relations
    • Disability Discrimination
    • Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations
    • Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations
    • European Convention of Human Rights
    • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
    • General Data Protection Regulation
    • Health and Safety at Work.
  • professional standards (cleanliness, avoidance of cross infection, comfort during treatment, professional boundaries).
  • record keeping (clear and concise, contemporaneous treatment notes which contain all relevant information about presenting symptoms, the treatment performed, after care advice given, referrals made, reactions during treatment).

In line with the NOS sections CNH1 and CHN2, the following criteria should be addressed with students:

  • explaining the nature of the service provided and fee structures.
  • providing an appropriate and safe environment for the service.
  • explaining how psychological and emotional balance, as well as diet and lifestyle of the individual, can affect their health and well-being.
  • how to recognise conditions for which Bowen Therapy is unsuitable and for which the client should seek advice from other sources.
  • discussing the client's needs and expectations, encouraging the client to ask questions and express any concerns.
  • gaining informed consent before proceeding with any treatment and again when working around intimate areas.
  • how to support and advise the client to make informed choices.
  • the role which the client may need to take for successful treatment.

In line with the NOS section CNH5, the following criteria should be addressed with students:

  • dealing effectively with the client's response to Bowen Therapy.
  • positioning of the client for effective Bowen Therapy and to give as much comfort as possible.
  • checking the client's well-being throughout the session.
  • evaluation of the outcomes and effectiveness of the Bowen Therapy to support future plans and actions.
  • the history, principles and development of Bowen Therapy and its relationship to other healthcare.
  • the basic principle of minimum intervention.
  • the energy flows, pathways and trains within the inter-connectedness of the body and patterns of compensation.
  • the importance of viewing the client holistically.
  • the physiological effects of stress on the body.
  • the circumstances in which the client may be refused treatment.
  • the importance of explaining treatment options to the client.
  • assessing the client's body and responses to determine the speed and length of treatment.
  • how to select specific points on the body required for each move.
  • performing and combining sequences of moves to achieve a therapeutic response.
  • how to support a client experiencing a 'healing response'.
  • advice, exercise and self-care procedures for the client, related to specific conditions.
  • the reasons for not making any claims that Bowen Therapy will cure specific conditions.
  • the reasons for not claiming to practise 'advanced' Bowen therapy.
  • working with other medical practitioners, not offering a diagnosis unless qualified to do so, accepting that the client's doctor remains in clinical charge of the client.
  • the need for a thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the human body.

In line with the CC, the following teaching and assessment criteria should be met before providing certificates of proficiency in Bowen Therapy:

  • 260 hours of study in Bowen Technique, comprising:
    • 132 hours of guided learning (where the tutor guides, teaches or instructs the student), at least 64 hours of which must be 'face to face' teaching of practical skills.
    • 128 hours of additional learning which may comprise private study, tutorial/supported study hours, practitcal sessions, and additional case study work (as per Appendix B of the CC).
  • 130 hours of study of Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology to at least Level 3 ITEC Diploma standard, comprising:
    • 94 hours of guided learning.
    • 36 hours of additional learning (as per Appendix B of the CC).
  • 10 formally assessed case studies (with a minimum of 3 treatment sessions) demonstrating the student's competence (as defined in the CC). Assessment of a sample of these case studies by an independent assessor must also confirm the student's competence.
  • Completion to a satisfactory level of all written and practical examinations in Bowen Technique, with a Final Practical exam assessed by an independent assessor.

Bowen Therapy CPD workshops

If you wish your 'hands on' Bowen Therapy CPD course to be listed on the BTPA website and benefit from use of the 'BTPA accepted' quality mark on your course promotional material, then you can apply for CPD course assessment. The cost is £90 per assessment (per tutor) with discounts available for assessment of multiple courses or tutors.

Although there is no need to follow the Bowen Core Curriculum for CPD courses, BTPA expects that each tutor has an awareness of the National Occupational Standards for Bowen Therapy and adopts these wherever appropriate.

The same Bowen Therapy and Teaching qualifications (or equivalent experience) are expected (as above) as well as insurance.

You would need to provide a course syllabus/prospectus and a breakdown of the workshop to show how much Bowen 'hands on' practical teaching is involved. Other documents will be required (e.g. sample copy of the Certificate of Attendance).

Verification process

BTPA may request to assess your Core Bowen Therapy course or CPD workshop in person. This would usually be performed for new teachers/schools. An application form would need to be completed and course documents submitted to BTPA for checking. The Core Bowen Therapy course assessment process requires us to read your course materials and ensure the requirements above have been met. Bowen Therapy CPD workshop assessment requires much less information, but we would still need to understand how the course is including practical Bowen Therapy techniques, the structure of the course and how many teaching hours are involved.

When assessing whether tutors are suitably insured to teach Core Bowen Therapy courses, we would expect to see a specific Teaching clause in the insurance policy/schedule (or a relevant endorsement).

In some instances, experience of teaching or competence in Bowen Therapy will be accepted instead of specific qualifications (this is sometimes referred to as the 'grandfather clause'). For teachers not known to the BTPA Committee, a Curriculum Vitae plus references to back up the claim of experience would be sought from someone with the appropriate qualifications.


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