PGIH – Professional Standards Authority

The PSA is known as the highest standard of recognition in our industry. Tonight we heard from Christine Braithwaite to tell us a little bit more about them.


  • Supporting safer choices
  • Minimizing risks
  • Appropriately handling complaints
  • Being a safety net for the public
  • Maintaining a high-standard for knowledge and education

With a steep joining fee for registers of 12k and 9k yearly renewal, one has to ask ‘what is PSA providing that the rest of the professional associations aren’t already offering?’


  • Offers assessment and consultancy of member registers
  • Is an independent body
  • Set-up by parliament
  • Opens conversations needed
  • Provides a larger voice
  • The Department of Health is supportive

Currently holding 65,000 practitioners, Christine states that they are seeking to become mandatory. The actual potential for this has been of an arguable nature in the industry. The uptake is currently done through registers, such as CNHC and other umbrella associations who are able to pool their resources to afford the joining and renewal fees. The size of these regulators range from 200-40,000 members.


  • Connecting directly with GPs
  • Speaking with local authorities
  • Connecting with the Royal College of GPs
  • Liaison with the General Medical Council

GPs are encouraged to refer to professionals on an accredited register. That does not mean that this is actually seen; MP David Tredinnick points out that there is a huge resistance from the medical community about not wanting their funding to go to Complementary Therapies. Use of therapies with Cancer has been seen as an exception. Other therapies are dismissed because of lack of Evidence and Pilot studies. *There has been previous argument that GP’s have stated that they can not refer patients for Complementary Therapies. Margaret Coats, CNHC, points out that “referral has been confirmed by GMC to be allowed by GPs, and the CNHC encourages this to be challenged if faced with this situation.


  • The profession itself.
  • Professions are required to explain explicitly how and why their standards vary from the higher international standards.

“We expect high levels of education, but equally are not trying to create a monopoly. We understand that a higher education creates inflation of costs and prices of treatments. We want to keep Complementary Therapies affordable to practice and to use” The meeting roughly closes by discussing “If standards are so high and PSA is so recognized, why are Private Health Insurance Companies still not covering Therapists and Therapies represented under the PSA?” The answer: “They do not want to extend premiums. The conversation continues and will take time.” My personal conclusions: PSA is not actively advertising to the public. GP’s are not actively referring or recommending Complementary Therapies, or taking PSA coverage into consideration. So, as an association, we have decided that being a member and paying the steep membership fees seems of rather limited benefit for you as an individual therapist. To decide this benefit for yourself, I encourage you to open dialogue with your local GP’s to build a rapport and ask them their thoughts and awareness on the PSA and therapists on accredited registers, as well as their receptiveness to complementary therapies. The CNHC is an approved register of the PSA, so If you decide it would be of benefit to you to be a part of PSA, then you can apply for membership with the CNHC through the APNT, who is an accredited register with the CNHC. If you have any questions or comments regarding this report, please email Brittany at [email protected]

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