Qualification Information

Sector: Complementary Therapy Category: Complementary Therapy
VTCT Product Code: CT3D1 GLH: 360 Age Restriction: 16
Qualification Number: 601/6989/8 Units: 9 Registration End Date: 31st Jul 2022
Level: 3

Additional Information

Documentation for this qualification last amended 1 September 2020

Statement of purpose

Who is this qualification for?

The VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Complementary Therapies is a technical level qualification aimed at 16-18 learners who are in a full-time Level 3 education programme and wish to pursue a career as an employed and/or self-employed complementary therapist.

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

What does this qualification cover?

This qualification is based on the national occupational standards for complementary therapies and includes all the required elements to work effectively as a complementary therapist. Learners must achieve all mandatory units which include:

- Business practice for complementary therapies
- Principles and practice of complementary therapies
- Knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology for complementary therapies
- Provide body massage for complementary therapies
- Provide aromatherapy for complementary therapies
- Provide reflexology for complementary therapies

Throughout this qualification, learners will develop their knowledge and understanding of relevant anatomy and physiology and health and safety. They will also develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to consult with clients, successfully set up a business and understands the principles and practices that influence complementary therapies, whilst providing a variety of massage and aromatherapy massage and reflexology therapies for complementary therapy. In parallel, learners will develop their communication and customer service skills, their awareness of environmental sustainability and their commercial skills, all of which are valued highly by employers. Problem solving and research skills will also be developed.

Why is this qualification the most suitable?

This qualification is most suitable for 16-19 year old learners who wish to become a practicing complementary therapist, providing body massage, aromatherapy and reflexology treatments.

Which subjects might complement this qualification?

As a service-sector qualification, vocational subjects which may complement this qualification include, customer service, business studies and management, marketing and health and social care. Academic subjects that may complement this qualification include maths, English, biology and chemistry.

What could this qualification lead to?

Learners who achieve this qualification are eligible to become members of the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC), Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) was established by the Department of Health as the voluntary regulator within the Complementary Therapies sector. As a complementary massage therapist, learners could progress directly into employment in a variety of contexts, which include:

- commercial salons
- spas
- massage clinics
- independent/self-employed/mobile/home-based settings
- cruise liners
- care homes
- National Health Service (NHS)
- hospice or respite care
- independent/self-employed/mobile/home based settings
- product manufacturing and training

Whilst the primary purpose of this qualification is to prepare learners for employment, learners may choose to develop their knowledge and skills further by completing a specialist qualification at Level 4 in one or more of the following areas:

- Salon management
- Reiki
- Shiatsu
- Alexander technique
- Yoga therapy
- Craniosacral therapy

Who supports this qualification?

This qualification is regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual).

This qualification has been submitted to the Department for Education for teaching to 16-19 year olds from September 2016, and will be first reported in the technical level category of the 2018 16-19 performance tables.

This qualification has been developed collaboratively with employers, professional associations and key stakeholders in the complementary therapy sector. Because of this, the knowledge, skills and competencies gained will provide the best possible opportunity for progression into employment.

This qualification is formally supported by the following organisations:

NameWebsite address
British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetologybabtac.com
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Councilcnhc.org.uk
Federation of Holistic Therapistsfht.org.uk

Qualification Structure

Components - from this group you'll need to cover a minimum of 3 units and earn a minimum of credits.

Unit Code Unit Ref Unit Title Level Credits GLH
CT3D1.EX1 External Examination 1 CT3D1 3
CT3D1.EX2 External Examination 2 CT3D1 3
CT3D1.SYN Graded Synoptic Assessment CT3D1 3

Mandatory Group - from this group you'll need to cover a minimum of 6 units and earn a minimum of credits.

Unit Code Unit Ref Unit Title Level Credits GLH
UCT1M K/507/5553 Business practice for complementary therapies 3 30
UCT2M T/507/5555 Principles and practice of complementary therapies 3 30
UCT3M F/507/5557 Knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology for complementary therapies 3 90
UCT4M J/507/5558 Provide body massage for complementary therapies 3 50
UCT5M F/507/5560 Provide aromatherapy for complementary therapies 3 80
UCT6M L/507/5562 Provide reflexology for complementary therapies 3 80

*For full details of the Rules of Combination for this qualification please see the Qualification Specification/Record of Assessment book.


*To find specifications for individual units, click on the "Structure" tab of your chosen qualification, select the unit code in the left hand column and on the new page click on the "Download unit book" tab under the unit title.

Centres approved to run this qualification

VTCT accredits centres to offer our qualifications, but cannot advise which centres are running particular courses at any time. Please contact the centre directly to find out if they currently offering your chosen qualification.

NB: The location displayed for each centre is based upon the centre's main address. The location displayed is not necessarily the only location that the centre can deliver VTCT qualifications from. For further information on a centre's delivery capabilities please select the centre's website address.

Centre Name Telephone Website Location
Mendip School of Mind and Body Work 01225 753061 Visit website Bristol, City of
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College - Filton Campus 0117 909 2357 Visit website Bristol, City of
City College Plymouth 01752 305300 Visit website Devon
East Sussex College - Eastbourne 0303 003 9300 Visit website East Sussex
Basingstoke College of Technology 01256 354141 Visit website Hampshire
West London School of Beauty - South 020 8755 4855 Visit website Hampshire - Portsmouth
Oaklands College 01727 737000 Visit website Hertfordshire
The Isle of Wight College 01983 526631 Visit website Isle of Wight
New Skills for Change 01732 220134 Visit website Kent
Harrogate College 01423 879466 Visit website North Yorkshire
Essential Solutions School of Complementary Therapies 07910 332811 Visit website Nottinghamshire
Bath College 01225 312191 Visit website Somerset - Bath and North East Somerset
West Midlands Nail and Beauty Academy 0121 794 0612 Visit website West Midlands - Birmingham
Community Footprints Service 01922 325410 Visit website West Midlands - Walsall
Leeds City College - Keighley Campus 01535 685000 Visit website West Yorkshire - Bradford
Kidderminster College 01562 512022 Visit website Worcestershire
Fife College 01592 223400 Visit website Fife
Cardiff and Vale College - City Centre Campus 029 2025 0450 Visit website Cardiff
Cardiff and Vale College - Barry Campus 01446 725000 Visit website Vale of Glamorgan