Newsletter September 2007

Progress of the Federal Working Group

The Federal Working Group (FWG) has held its meetings on one day each month since January 2007. The meetings are chaired by Prof. Dame Joan Higgins, and Stuart Bold is the project manager from the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health (PFIH). The meetings have always been attended by a representative of the Bowen Forum - either Janet Barry (BTER) or Peter Briant (BAUK).

When looking at the structure, the roles and responsibilities of the regulatory body are of major importance. The Bowen Forum has formed a sub group to discuss the issues that have been raised in the main meetings of the FWG. Education is a key component of this, and so John Wilks (BAUK), Alistair Rattray (BTER), and Lynden Lane (Lay member) from the Education and Training sub committee, have played an active role.

It has been a complex process agreeing on a federal structure that would suit all the different therapies involved, and the representatives from some therapies have found it difficult to make any compromises. At the time of writing, the representatives from three of the participating therapies have been asked not to attend the meetings of the FWG, since they have been meeting together to discuss the possibility of launching a separate regulatory body. It is not yet known whether they carry their respective professions behind them, but this is a very unwelcome development. While this does not change the timescale of the project, it may have an impact on the likely cost of registration.

Having two competing federal regulatory body for complementary therapists would be confusing for the public and would not be in the best interests of therapists, particularly multi-disciplined practitioners. At this stage, the Bowen Forum is still committed to working with PFIH and participating in the FWG, since their model has the support of the Department of Health, and we believe that working with PFIH is in the best interests of the Bowen profession. Huge progress has already been made by the FWG, and these efforts will continue over the next few months. However, we will monitor developments, and no binding decisions will be taken without first consulting Bowen therapists.

As the structure stands at the moment there will be three levels within the regulatory structure:

  • A Federal Regulatory Council with sub-committees/boards;
  • A Combined Profession Board (similar to that of the Federal Working Group i.e. one representative from each therapy, together with lay members);
  • A Profession Specific Board for each therapy (giving profession specific advice to the regulatory council)

Outside the regulatory structure it is envisaged there could be two further levels:

  • Professional Associations (as they are at the moment, continuing to offer services to the practitioners);
  • Professional Forums (a continuation of Bowen Forum in our case, representing the different Professional Associations within each profession, and providing a unified voice for each therapy)

Until the number of likely members of the regulatory register is known, the fee for regulation cannot be determined, but keeping costs down has been the utmost priority. Consideration is being given to make sure that the fee structure is affordable and fair for multi-disciplined practitioners. George Gray, who is the finance director for PFIH, has been producing some models to show what the possible costs might be.

When voluntary self regulation comes in you will be able to choose if you wish to be on the register. The regulatory body will hold the register of those who are registered and meet the standards, but the Professional Associations will still be the ones who hold your contact details. The regulatory register will be there as a safeguard for the public, so they can be reassured that someone is fully qualified, insured, up to date with CPD etc.

The Federal Working Group was scheduled to complete its work by the end of September but this deadline will be extended. Once the work is nearly complete, we will be able to inform you of the full structure, and it will be at this point that a serious decision is made as to whether we as Bowen Practitioners definitely want to join.

If you would like to hear more, or if you have any questions, please do try and come to our AGM. It will be a lively and interesting day – so come and be part of it. We want to hear from you.

2007 AGM – 17 November 2007

The AGM will be taking place on Saturday 17 November 2007, and will be preceded by a seminar at which the proposed regulatory body will be presented by PFIH. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Venue: Lydalls Hall, 40-42 Lydalls Road, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 7HX

10.30 Refreshments
11.00 Welcome and introduction
11.15 Presentation: The proposed regulatory body
12.00 Group discussion
1.00 Lunch (please bring a packed lunch)
1.30 Feedback and discussion
2.30 Refreshments
2.45 Registration for AGM
3.00 AGM
3.30 Close

There is no charge for attending, and we look forward to seeing as many as possible of you there. Refreshments will be provided at 10.30 and 2.30, but please can everyone bring their own packed lunch. The venue is very close to Didcot Parkway railway station, and has parking nearby. A map is available using this link:

Education and Training Sub Committee

Most of the UK Bowen training establishments have been visited over the summer. All had been contacted earlier this year, including overseas establishments training here. Ideas and issues have been discussed openly and are being taken into account as Bowen progresses towards a Core Curriculum and Accreditation. In September a meeting will be held with Professor Robinson of Thames Valley University to discuss the process of accreditation.

Bowen Core Curriculum

A draft Bowen Core Curriculum is being reviewed throughout September. It has been written with reference to the Bowen National Occupational Standards. The core curriculum will be available for discussion at the Bowen Forum AGM on Saturday, 17th November. Please come and be part of those important discussions.

Grant application 2007/8

In our last newsletter, we mentioned that The Bowen Forum had applied for a renewed grant from PFIH for 2007/8. We are pleased to announce that our application was successful.

Survey of multi-disciplined practitioners

We will shortly be sending out a new electronic survey, to identify how many different therapies Bowen therapists practice on average, and how many professional associations they are members of. This will provide important information and help to set the budget for the new regulatory body, so we would be grateful if you could spare the time to respond.