The main standards set by ICHE as a minimum for training organisations are as follows:

  • Training courses must be of a duration of not less that 200 hours of classroom teaching. This teaching must be exclusively devoted to core hypnotherapy principles and methods.
  • Students are required to carry out substantial home study.
    Home study includes required and recommended reading as well as practicing hypnotherapy skills.
  • Training courses must include a substantial component of practical skills training in their classroom teaching.
  • Practical skills training must include demonstrations, supervised student practice and the teaching of self-hypnosis.
  • Courses must include adequate theoretical and practical elements and employ an experiential in addition to a didactic approach to teaching.
  • Students must be monitored, supervised and given adequate attention and teaching at all stages of their training.
  • Students must be assessed in their practical skills with filmed evidence of their performance.
  • Students must be assessed in their theoretical knowledge.
  • This assessment must include written tests of knowledge.

Further details of the standards as well as guidance and recommendations are available on request from ICHE.


  • Hypnotherapists should conduct their practice in a manner consistent with upholding the good name of the profession and avoid any statements or actions that bring the profession of hypnotherapy into disrepute.
  • Hypnotherapists should not guarantee cures for any condition or make misleading claims or statements as to the outcome of the services they offer.
  • Hypnotherapists should make clear at the outset of the therapy the terms, conditions and charges for the therapy.
    Hypnotherapists are required to comply with the law of the land in all respects, particularly noting the requirements with regard to the treatment of clients in relation to race, religion, age and gender status.
  • Hypnotherapists should maintain confidentiality and should disclose the limits of confidentiality to their clients, for example, a therapist is subject to the laws of the land with regard to reporting matters that may safeguard the community. In the publication of any clinical material, the client’s anonymity and privacy should be safeguarded.
  • Hypnotherapists should offer services only within their boundaries of competence.
    Hypnotherapists are required to maintain their competence by continuing professional development in accordance with the requirements of their professional bodies.
  • Hypnotherapists must undertake supervision in accordance with the requirements of the professional body.
  • Hypnotherapists should always act in the best interests of the client. This may require recognition that a case may be beyond their expertise and referral to a more senior practitioner, or a practitioner of another discipline, e.g. medicine.
  • Hypnotherapists should maintain a professional relationship with clients with appropriate boundaries that allow the client to maintain and develop independence and autonomy. This applies to the duration and cost of therapy. Therapists should not exploit clients sexually, emotionally or financially. Current agreed best practice is that intimate social contact with a client is not to take place for a period of at least two years from the final session of therapy.
  • Hypnotherapists should maintain the premises in which they conduct therapy to a suitable, hygienic and professional standard and also maintain their own personal appearance and hygiene to a professional standard.
  • Hypnotherapists should disclose to clients any research in which the client’s therapy and information may be involved and full informed, written consent should be maintained before starting any such research.
  • Hypnotherapists should inform clients if audio or visual recordings of sessions are made and obtain the client’s written consent in advance.
  • Hypnotherapists should hold indemnity insurance that adequately covers their professional practice and public liability.
  • Hypnotherapists are required to inform their professional bodies of any notifiable criminal offence of which they are convicted, or of a successful civil action against them by a client.
  • Hypnotherapists should inform their professional bodies of professional misconduct by a colleague which comes to their attention.
  • Hypnotherapists should maintain written records of therapeutic sessions in accordance with the Data Protection Act of the UK, kept in a secure storage arrangement.
  • Hypnotherapists should ensure that all advertising and promotional literature is accurate in relation to their professional qualifications, services that they offer. Any such materials should be in accordance with the legal requirements of advertising practice. They should offer honest and accurate information informed by best-practice as to the benefits of therapy.
  • Hypnotherapists should not claim or imply that they possess qualifications that they do not have and the title Doctor should not be used unless the award is from an educational establishment legally licensed to award Ph.D., D.Sc. or M.D. degrees.
  • Hypnotherapists should not hold out, advertise or imply that they are qualified to offer orthodox medical treatments or pass themselves off as medically qualified unless they are legally registered physicians and licensed to offer such treatments.
  • Hypnotherapists should satisfy themselves that, when a client presents with physical symptoms for which hypnotherapy is being sought by the client, the client is advised that a medical assessment should be sought.
  • Hypnotherapists must obtain the written consent of the legal guardian(s) of any minor that they accept as a client before the commencement of therapy.
  • Hypnotherapists should conduct themselves in an appropriate and professional manner in relations with other health professionals.
  • Hypnotherapists are required to give a written undertaking to act in accordance with this Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.