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Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology

When are the next Gaia School Level 5 Reflexology courses?

The next course is scheduled to start on
Tuesday 23rd April 2024.

Attendance is one Wednesday and Thursday per month.

Venue: The Five Villages Hall, Station Road, Backford, Chester, CH1 6NT.

The Five Villages Hall

The following course is scheduled to start in
October 2024.

Attendance is one Saturday and Sunday per month.

Venue: Women's Institute, Neston Road, Thornton Hough, South Wirral, CH63 1JW.

Thornton Hough

See Course dates link and L5 booking form and Fees link for further information.

Prospective Learners' Zoom Session and Site Visit

Are you interested in enrolling on the Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology in 2024? You are warmly invited to attend a zoom introductory session on Monday 4th December 7-8pm and a class visit at our Wirral venue on Saturday 12th December 2pm-3.15pm.
Please get in touch to arrange your attendance via our Contact form or on 07932 063576.

L5 October 2023 class

Fantastic! You have decided to train in reflexology - an amazing and powerful complementary therapy.

Now you face an extremely important decision - where to study and at what level?

Level 5 Graduates 2014-15 Group
Level 5 Graduates
2014-15 Group
Level 5 Graduates 2017-18 Group B
Level 5 Graduates
2017-18 Group B
Level 5 Graduates 2020-21 Group A
Level 5 Graduates
2020-21 Group A
Level 5 Graduates 2017-18 Group B
Level 5 Graduates
2017-18 Group B

What level to study at?

You have a choice between Level 3 Reflexology and Level 5 Reflexology. Please be aware that no prior knowledge of reflexology is required to study either, so you can start the Level 5 Reflexology as a complete beginner. But the 'Level' shows the depth to which you will be studying the subject matter. You also need to know that there is no bridging course between the Level 3 and the Level 5 so do not make the mistake of thinking you can enrol on a Level 3 now and then upgrade later, or that you will see how you get on with the Level 3 and maybe do the Level 5 later. That would be a waste of your time and money - much better to think about it carefully now and make an informed decision.

So what are the main differences between the Level 3 and the Level 5?

As just mentioned, the Level 5 will go into a lot more depth, and there will be a great deal more information, content, and practical techniques, than the Level 3. If you already know that you want to study reflexology to the highest level available in the UK, then your decision is made easier - you should enrol on the Level 5.

To help you understand levels, it is helpful to know that an A' level is at Level 3, a HNC/Certificate in Higher Education is at Level 4 (first year at university) and a Diploma of Higher Education is at Level 5 (second year at university). It is also worth mentioning that, following a re-organising of qualifications in 2016, all UK qualifications are now cross-referenced with each other, so although the Level 5 sits on the Welsh Credit and Qualifications Framework (CQFW) it is identical to the way the levels are organised in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

For a tabular comparison of qualification levels in the UK see the Government's Education and learning website

Next you should consider the sector it comes under within the qualification frameworks. The Level 3 Diploma in Reflexology comes under 'Health and Social Care' whilst the Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology is under 'Nursing, Subjects and Vocations Allied to Medicine'.

All Level 5 courses are required to have a minimum of 160 face to face contact hours with their tutor. Most, if not all, Level 3 courses are a great deal shorter than this, some even just a few days long, and it goes without saying that the more time you have with a knowledgeable and experienced tutor, the more you are going to learn.

Experienced Teacher and Practitioner.

Carolyn profile

A training course can only be as good as the teacher. So you will want to consider who is going to be teaching you. Are they a practising reflexologist (so they have up to date knowledge and understanding of actually providing reflexology) and how many years experience do they have? Carolyn Roberts qualified in Reflexology in January 2000 and has been providing treatments ever since. Although she is trained in other modalities, reflexology has always been her passion and she uses other therapies as an adjunct to reflexology. For example, she creates her own reflexology blends using essential oils and gem essences and provides a one day workshop so that reflexologists can learn how to safely and effectively add essential oils to their own reflexology creams. Carolyn also has a great deal of experience in working with fertility and maternity clients.

How much should a course cost?

Consider the level - how much would it cost you to study a degree? The Level 5 is equivalent to studying to 2nd year degree level. Make sure you are comparing like with like. Read the small print. Many Level 3 courses require you to study Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology separately or before the Reflexology course, so you must include this in your costings. Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology is included within your Agored Cymru Level 5 course and is studied at Level 4. Next, check for additional hidden charges - registration, membership and accreditation/examination fees.

The majority of Level 3 courses will provide you with very basic information in the areas of maternity and fertility work, and palliative and cancer care. L3 graduates normally go on and undertake CPD courses in these areas to become fully knowledgeable and confident in treating. Your L5 qualification includes workshops in maternity, fertility and palliative and cancer care, thus meaning you graduate completely equipped to work safely and competently in these areas, and saving you money in the long term.

Level 5 Course content

(please click to reveal/hide detail)

Studied to Level 4, we take a holistic and applied approach to understanding how our bodies are organised, and how they work. We focus on stress and the physical and psychological effects it has on us, and we consider how our body will strive to naturally bring itself back into balance and what we can do to encourage this. We also look at healthy eating as part of our module on the digestive system, as good health cannot be achieved if we do not first consider how we are fuelling ourselves. Assessment is mainly by workbooks and a few essays. There is no end of year exam!

In this module you are introduced to your toolkit of reflexology techniques and skills. We discuss and analyse theories of how reflexology works, and you undertake 6 observed practicals. Clinical skills (e.g. communication, ethics and professionalism) are thoroughly covered.

This module further develops your skills and techniques. You will give 100 treatments outside of class hours, and write them up as case studies, providing detailed rationale and analysis. This is all about developing you as a practitioner and you will learn further varied and advanced techniques. This module will include hand reflexology, linking and other energy techniques, light touch reflexology, "Inner Intent" reflexology, and so much more.

In this module you will write a business plan, choose a name and logo, and draft leaflets and content for a website, as well as set up a cash flow forecast. We cover legal requirements for running your own business so that by the time the course is completed your new reflexology business is up and running.

Within this module we evaluate existing research in reflexology and what makes a good piece of research, plus you propose your own reflexology research. We look at reflexology throughout a person’s lifespan, from using reflexology with babies and children, through issues of fertility, maternity and menopause, to palliative and cancer care. As part of our palliative sessions, we spend a day in the Complementary Therapy Department at Claire House Children's Hospice and find out how they use complementary therapies to support the children and their families. This complementary therapy service was set up at the hospice by a graduate of the Gaia School of Natural Health and we are thrilled to provide many of their volunteers and work so closely with them.

Each Level 5 school provides their own additional topics, dependent on the specialisms of the tutors. As well as additional specialist techniques in fertility and maternity work, Gaia learners benefit from Carolyn's knowledge and interests in energy techniques. As a Reiki Master Teacher, Crystal Therapist and Sound Healing Practitioner, Carolyn brings many additional energy based aspects to the course. These include:

  • introduction to working with subtle energy in reflexology, including how to protect yourself (half day),
  • chakra balancing (half day),
  • using meridians in reflexology (full day workshop),
  • and a short introduction to crystals etc.

The Gaia School also has a specialist emphasis on advanced musculoskeletal techniques (one and half day workshops). We include special protocols on how to work with foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, and we provide an introduction to Adapted ReflexTherapy techniques (AdRx), developed by physio Gunnel Berry, which can be used on clients experiencing spinal pain and the effects of whiplash injuries. These techniques have been found to be measurably effective in increasing spinal mobility and reducing pain.

You will also have the option of attending a workshop certifying you to use aromatherapy essential oils in your reflexology treatments, and a workshop on crystal reflexology: selecting and working with crystals in your reflexology session.

How much study time is required and how will I be assessed?

Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology has a minimum number of contact hours of 160 over an academic year. Learners should be expected to undertake approximately 6-8 hours per week of self-study. You will be required to complete 100 case study treatments outside of class-time and 6 observed practical assessments within class.

The course is assessment based so there are no written exams to sit.

Learn Level 5 Reflexology
AOR Gateway school

Course Dates

The Level 5 course has two intakes per year, in April and October.

The April course tends to run on Thursdays and Fridays, and the October course runs on Saturdays and Sundays; although please check listed dates below.

For information on class times please see the relevant course detail below.

Current year 2023 course dates

The Level 5 course (April 2023) is comprised of 23 days over 11 months.

On Thursdays and Fridays the classes run from 09.00 to 16.30.

Term 1:

  • Day 1: Thursday 27th April 2023. INDUCTION DAY starts 10.00am.
  • Day 2: Friday 28th April 2023
  • Day 3: Thursday 25th May 2023
  • Day 4: Friday 26th May 2023
  • Day 5: Thursday 22nd June 2023
  • Day 6: Friday 23rd June 2023
  • Day 7: Thursday 13th July 2023
  • Day 8: Friday 14th July 2023

Term 2:

  • Day 9: Thursday 21st September 2023
  • Day 10: Friday 22nd September 2023
  • Day 11: Thursday 19th October 2023
  • Day 12: Friday 20th October 2023
  • Day 13: Thursday 16th November 2023
  • Day 14: Friday 17th November 2023
  • Day 15: Thursday 14th December 2023
  • Day 16: Friday 15th December 2023

Term 3:

  • Day 17: Thursday 25th January 2024
  • Day 18: Friday 26th January 2024
  • Day 19: Saturday 27th January 2024
  • Day 20: Thursday 29th February 2024
  • Day 21: Friday 1st March 2024
  • Day 22: Thursday 21st March 2024
  • Day 23: Friday 22nd March 2024

In addition all learners will have one individual practical tutorial with the tutor.

The Level 5 course (October 2023) is comprised of 21 days over 10 months. Class times are 09.00 to 17.00

Term 1:

  • Day 1: Friday 6th October 2023. INDUCTION DAY starts 10.00am.
  • Day 2: Saturday 7th October 2023
  • Day 3: Sunday 8th October 2023
  • Day 4: Saturday 4th November 2023
  • Day 5: Sunday 5th November 2023
  • Day 6: Saturday 9th December 2023
  • Day 7: Sunday 10th December 2023

Term 2:

  • Day 8: Saturday 13th January 2024
  • Day 9: Sunday 14th January 2024
  • Day 10: Saturday 10th February 2024
  • Day 11: Sunday 11th February 2024
  • Day 12: Saturday 9th March 2024
  • Day 13: Sunday 10th March 2024
  • Day 14: Saturday 20th April 2024
  • Day 15: Sunday 21st April 2024

Term 3:

  • Day 16: Saturday 18th May 2024
  • Day 17: Sunday 19th May 2024
  • Day 18: Saturday 8th June 2024
  • Day 19: Sunday 9th June 2024
  • Day 20: Saturday 6th July 2024
  • Day 21: Sunday 7th July 2024

In addition all learners will have one individual practical tutorial with the tutor.

If you are unable to attend the 1 x Friday dates, please contact the school to discuss.

Next year 2024 course dates

The Level 5 course (April 2024) is comprised of 21 days over 10 months.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays the classes run from 09.00 to 17.00.

Term 1:

  • Day 1: Tuesday 23rd April 2024. INDUCTION DAY starts 10.00am.
  • Day 2: Wednesday 24th April 2024
  • Day 3: Thursday 25th April 2024
  • Day 4: Wednesday 22nd May 2024
  • Day 5: Thursday 23rd May 2024
  • Day 6: Wednesday 26th June 2024
  • Day 7: Thursday 27th June 2024
  • Day 8: Wednesday 10th July 2024
  • Day 9: Thursday 11th July 2024

Term 2: TBC

Term 3: TBC

The Level 5 course (October 2024) is comprised of 21 days over 10 months. Class times are 09.00 to 17.00

Term 1:

  • Day 1: Friday 4th October 2024. INDUCTION DAY starts 10.00am.
  • Day 2: Saturday 5th October 2024
  • Day 3: Sunday 6th October 2024
  • Day 4: Saturday 9th November 2024
  • Day 5: Sunday 10th November 2024
  • Day 6: Saturday 7th December 2024
  • Day 7: Sunday 8th December 2024

Term 2: TBC

Term 3: TBC

Booking, Fees and Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • You must be over 18, and have sufficient ability to be able to perform the reflexology techniques
  • You must have regular access to email, the Internet and word-processing and printing facilities
  • You must have the interest, energy, enthusiasm (and time!) necessary to complete the course
  • You must have an adequate level of written and spoken English.

Course fee - Level 5 Reflexology

April 2024 course cost: £ 3,400.

What the course fee includes:

  • all teaching materials and comprehensive/detailed training handouts
  • GAIA school reflexology foot chart
  • access to an online Learning Zone
  • access to videos of reflexology sequences
  • Gaia School specialism, focus on: Energy Reflexology and Advanced Musculo-Skeletal techniques.

Additional fees

  1. Awarding body fees:
    The awarding body fees are subject to yearly change. The fees are payable via Gaia School of Natural Health within 30 days of commencement of the course.
    • Agored Cymru Standard Qualification Fee £276.50 (correct as of May 2023 and exact amount to be confirmed)
  2. Professional Association student membership (currently £39). Student membership will include student insurance for 18 months and the fee is payable directly to the relevant association at the commencement of the course.

You will also need to buy your own equipment:

  • Reflexology equipment such as treatment Lafuma chair, bolster and therapist stool (required by Day 4)
  • Gaia School apron
  • Reflexology consumables such as towels, pillows and creams
  • 4 textbooks (approx. £55)

During course induction (day 1) Gaia School will provide further advice on the the types of equipment available, recommended reading and where to source them. Also any other equipment required to be Covid-19 secure.

Booking your place - the Application form

April 2024 course - start date Tuesday 23rd April 2024

To register for the course please use the
Gaia School Online Booking form

Closing date for applications: Tuesday 16th April 2024

Places remaining:



Course Fee Payment options

(please click to reveal/hide detail)
  • Option 1 - Non-refundable deposit of £400, followed by full payment of £3,000, totalling £3,400 course fee.
  • Option 2 - Non-refundable deposit of £400, followed by 10 monthly payments of £305, totalling £3,450 course fee. (i.e. includes £50 handling fee)
Note. Payment options only relate to Course fees, and not the additional fees (i.e. Accreditation fees and Professional Association student membership) which are paid for separately.

L5 July Group class

Standardisation and Accreditation

The reflexology units are registered and copyrighted with AGORED CYMRU and are part of the Credit and Qualification Framework Wales (CQFW). They belong to the Quality and Lifelong Learning (QALL) pillar.

The reflexology professional body, the Association of Reflexologists is the verifying organisation for the Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology via which you are eligible to join the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), the UK voluntary regulator for complementary therapy practitioners.

The syllabus exceeds the criteria for Reflexology National Occupational Standards (NOS), and criteria as set out by the House of Lords Report 2000, and the Core Curriculum for Reflexology.

The Gaia School of Natural Health work in partnership with other reflexology schools within the Integrated Reflexology Consortium (IRC) which is the approved recognised centre with Agored Cymru. The Agored Cymru Level 5 Diploma in Practitioner Reflexology was reviewed and updated in 2023 by the Founder Partners of the IRC. Carolyn Roberts, Principal of the Gaia School is thrilled to be one of the Founder Partners of the IRC.

Agored Cymru
Association of Reflexologists
IRC Training
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