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The questions people ask us

Here are some questions that potential students often ask us. See if your question is here. If not, please email us

How long...?

The cost

  • What do the courses cost?
  • Does the cost for the course include everything I need? Or are there any extra fees?
  • Can I spread the cost of the courses over a period of time?
  • How could I get my money back if I don't like the course?
  • Can I start the course at any time?
  • Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a test center?
  • I live in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada etc. Is the course suitable for me?
  • How can I contact my tutor or the Institute?
  • Is the course accredited? And by whom?
  • Will the course give me credits towards a degree or some other study?
  • Are the tutors practising therapists?
  • Can I get insurance to practise as a therapist?
  • What about legislation covering herbalists?
  • Can I practice as a counselor in the USA?
  • Can therapies be taught, just like accountancy or the law?
  • Will the Diploma enable me to practise professionally?
  • Will the qualification get me a job in a hospital or school?
  • Will you show me how to find work?
  • Assignments, Tests

    About yourself

    The course package

    After the course



    How long does it usually take to complete the course?

    The counseling and herbal medicine courses can take nine months to complete. But you can do it as quickly or slowly as you want. That's the great advantage of distance learning.


    Do I need to finish the course within a certain time?

    You can take as long as you want. Unlike other organizations, we don't set any time limits.


    What do the courses cost?

    For prices, click here.


    Does the cost for the course include everything I need? Or are there any extra fees?

    There are no other costs or fees.


    Can I spread the cost of the courses over a period of time?

    Yes, you can make five monthly payments. It costs 20% more. You can do this by giving us your credit card details, from which we take one payment a month for five months.

    Please email us if you would like to pay by installments.


    How could I get my money back if I don't like the course?

    Just return the course in good condition within 30 days of receiving it, and we'll send you a full refund. And if, after seeking work at the end of the course, you don't earn at least the cost of the course inside three months, we'll also refund your fees.


    Can I start the course at any time?

    Yes. You can start today. Or tomorrow. Or next week. Whenever you want.


    Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a test centre?

    It's all from home.


    I live in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada etc. Is the course suitable for me?

    Yes. We have students in 28 countries. And we have two editions of the course. One is for North America and those who want to pay in US dollars. The other edition is for the UK and Europe, and people who want to pay in sterling. But we welcome payment in any currency.


    How can I contact my tutor or the Institute?

    There have two types of people you can contact - your tutor and a course advisor.

    The tutor marks your work, and helps you with any problems. You can fax, email or post assignments to your tutor, whenever you want.

    We don't give out the tutor's phone number, because a few people would spend all day talking to their tutors, who would never get any work done. But sometimes students get stuck, or have an urgent query. If so, you can phone a course advisor at the Institute at any time during work hours. If you leave a message out of work hours we'll ring you back the next day. You can contact course advisors as often as you want, and about anything to do with your subject.


    Is the course accredited? And by whom?

    Yes, we're accredited by the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council. You can find them at www.odlqc.org.uk. We're listed under 'Learning Institute', our parent organization.

    We're also accredited by Which Web Trader, and by Public Eye.

    We are also registered with the Department for Education and Skills on its Register of Education and Training Providers. The Register is a list of genuine education and training providers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Register does not quality assure or accredit in any way the learning provision of any registered provider.

    You can find us on the register by clicking here. We are registered under our corporate trading name of 'Home Study Courses Limited'.


    Will the course give me credits towards a degree or some other study?

    No. But it will help you set up and run your own business. And we encourage all students to continue their studies after completing the course.


    Are the tutors practising therapists?

    Yes, all tutors are practising therapists. Some other organizations use college lecturers, which means you don't get the information from the real 'coal face'.


    Can I get insurance to practise as a therapist?

    Yes. We can recommend brokers or insurance companies in the UK and the USA who will give you professional liability insurance. If you live in other countries, we can also help.


    What about legislation covering herbalists?

    The UK government is proposing to set up a Complementary and Alternative Medicine Council (CAM), which will set out minimum training requirements for acupuncturists and herbal practitioners. There is no further news at present, and we are monitoring developments. We are confident that our students will be able to practise, following the introduction of such legislation. And we will refund your course fees is this is not the case.


    Can I practice as a counselor n the USA?

    See our FAQ on this subject. Click here

    .
    Can therapies be taught, just like accountancy or the law?

    Yes. Only it's a lot more fun!


    Will the Diploma enable me to practise professionally?

    Yes. the course is designed specifically to help you set up and run your own practice. Some courses, even at university, seem to omit this all-important aspect. We give you enough technical knowledge to practise, and we also provide detailed guidance on marketing, operation and finance to run your own business.

    As far as we know, there are no restrictions anywhere in the world that prevent you from operating a complementary practice in the areas we teach. In the US, some states have legislation that prevent the use of certain words, such as Licensed... or Certified... But these do not stop you from practising. There are growing international controls on the labeling and retail sale of certain remedies, rather than the control of practitioners,. And most practitioners find they can operate satisfactorily within these boundaries. You should always check the status of the law with your lawyer.

    For more information on practicing in the USA as a herbalist, clicking here

    .
    Will the qualification get me a job in a hospital or school?

    To get a job in a public organization, you'll need more qualifications than we can offer. Our course is designed to help you work with private clients.

    Remember, the easiest way to earn a living is to work for yourself. So in the course we focus on how you can work from home as a counselor or herbal therapist.


    Will you show me how to find work?

    Yes, the course includes practical guidance of getting work. You can also discuss this with your tutor or a course advisor.


    Is there a final exam?

    No, there is no final exam. The course is based on continuous assessment, through the assignments you send to your tutor. And continuous assessment lets you check all the time that you're on course to succeed. So you should look on the assignment as an exciting challenge. No, it's true! You'll enjoy them. We promise you!


    What happens if I fail an assignment?

    You do the work again! 80% of students complete the course without ever failing an assignment. But you might misunderstand the question, or produce an insufficiently detailed answer. So the tutor will explain the problem and ask you to send in the assignment again. When you do this, your work will be much better.


    Can I submit hand-written assignments?

    Yes. That's no problem.


    Can I submit assignments by E-mail?

    Yes. That's no problem.


    Can I join the course without prior experience?

    Yes. That's no problem. We make no assumptions about people's prior knowledge. But you ought to have a deep interest in the subject.


    Can I tackle the topics in any order I choose?

    Yes, you can. So, if you want to tackle a particular topic, you can go straight to that module. This is useful if you have a job or a client that requires you to know about a particular subject. You might note that some other organizations supply only one or two modules at a time.


    I haven't studied for years. The thought of returning to study makes me nervous.

    Don't worry. We sympathize. But this course is nothing like your memories of being stuck inside a stuffy classroom on a summer's day with an old-style teacher droning on.

    For a start, this is a subject that interests you (or you wouldn't have got this far). And getting this deep into the website shows that you can absorb information and concentrate for long periods of time.

    Also, you'll see that we write clearly and simply. And that's how we've written the course materials. It's true that some organizations write long and boring pages that make your eyes glaze over. We promise you that our course is nothing like that. You'll find this course is informative and enjoyable. In fact, many students are almost upset at finishing the course.


    Do I get the whole course or just individual modules one at a time?

    We send you the whole course when you enroll. This means you can study any topic you want to. You can also see what topics are coming up. Getting everything in one package makes it easier for you to get an overview of the course. As we mentioned above, some other organizations supply only one or two modules at a time.


    How does this course compare with others?

    We think this is the best course in the world. Bar none. But please examine other courses before making a decision. Consider these points:

    1. Is the course comprehensive?
    2. Will your studies be supported by a tutor? Research shows that people succeed much better on courses that include a personal tutor.
    3. Is it interactive? That is, do the course materials regularly make you stop and think, and do exercises? Too many courses consist of page after page of boring lecture notes.
    4. Does it teach you about setting up your own business? College courses are often weak on this point.
    5. Is it accredited?
    6. Can you get a refund if you don't like the course?

    So, how can I find out about other courses?

    1. See if any courses are available at your local college or nearby university.
    2. Scour the internet. But beware: hundreds of dotcom entrepreneurs think they can teach therapies.
    3. See if you can contact a careers advisor. Careers advisors know nothing about complementary therapies, as they would be the first to admit. And the careers books they consult will probably suggest getting a three-year college degree in your chosen therapy. Which may (or may not) be a good thing, but it isn't an option for most of our students (many of whom already have a degree!).

    4. Can a newcomer break into therapy and earn money?

      Yes. We show you how.


      Are there any restrictions on me setting up as a therapist?

      As far as we know, no country in the world can stop you setting up your own practice. However, for the USA and Canada we have written a separate page - click here for information about therapies in the USA and Canada.. To keep you straight, we also provide detailed advice on forming a company, keeping records, and paying tax.


      Do you provide support after I complete the course?

      Yes, you can join as a member of the Institute, and get continuing access to your tutor and to course advisors. Plus you get the recognition that comes with being a member of the Institute.


      What organizations can I join as a member?

      Our counselling graduates can join the British Association for Counselling as an Associate Member, or the American Counseling Association as a Regular Member. They can join as a Full Member (Category B) of the Canadian Counselling Association.


      Our Herbalist graduates may join the National Herbalists Association of Australia as a Companion Member. They can join the Herb Society as an Ordinary Member or Overseas Member. They can join as a member (in various classes) of the Canadian Herb Society.

      Graduates of all our therapy courses may join the International Guild of Professional Practitioners as an International, Associate or possibly Full Member, depending on experience. They may also join the American Herbalists Guild as a General Member or possibly Professional Member depending on experience.

      Please note that we have not sought accreditation from these organizations - there are simply too many of them - though we may do so at some point. Our accreditation comes from ODLQC (above).

      There are many other organizations around the world - too many to mention here. We're always pleased to advise potential students on whether our course would allow them membership of a specific organization. Please note that from time to time these organizations change their criteria for membership, making it easier or more difficult to join. It is wise to check with them if membership is important to you.

      Remember that you don't have to join any of these organizations to practise. But they can help you network and keep up to date.


      If you have a question, why not email us now? We could add it to our list of FAQs.