Q. What are the entry requirements for IHS courses?

A. The entry requirements vary for each course. Each application will be considered individually to take previous qualifications and lifetime learning into account and to ensure that IHS is providing equal opportunity to everyone.

Q. Will I be able to practice?

A. Yes. As a graduate of an IHS practitioner training course you will have successfully completed an industry recognised course. You will be able to join the relevant registering body/association. It is through these associations that you will get the insurance required to practice. Nutritional Therapy graduates may join the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), Complementary Medical Association (CMA) and the Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners (FNTP), whilst graduates of the Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching may also join the CMA or UK Health Coaches Association and graduates of the Health and Wellness Coaching can use their training with us as 37 hours towards ICF membership.

Q. What is the difference between a ‘health coach’ and a ‘nutrition coach’?

Strictly speaking, health coaches solely use communication & behavioural change techniques to empower individuals to take responsibility for their own health and to adopt long term healthier lifestyle choices. They do not need to be an expert in any particular field – health coaches do not give dietary advice. Nutrition coaches use a combination of health coaching skills and dietary analysis & advice with their clients. It is important to note, however, that these previously accepted definitions are changing and so the two titles are now considered to be interchangeable.

Q. Who are Crossfields Institute?

A. Crossfields Institute is an awarding organisation and education charity, based in England, specialising in the design, delivery and award of holistic and integrative qualifications in variety of sectors including health and social care and child development. The Institute is regulated by Ofqual (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) which regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.

Q. What is an Ofqual regulated qualification?

A. Regulated qualifications are those that are reviewed, recognised and monitored by a regulatory body – in the case of the CI Diploma in Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching, this is Ofqual – in order to make sure that they meet specific criteria and quality standards. The requirements for the qualifications to be regulated are set out in the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). Regulated qualifications are listed in the Register of Regulated Qualifications

Q. What are the advantages of regulated over self-regulated qualifications (SRQs)?

A. Regulated qualifications provide the learners and stakeholders with a guarantee of quality of both the qualification programme and that of the awarding body that offers regulated qualifications (Crossfields Institute). Whilst other courses offered by the Institute of Health Sciences may be non-regulated, they are – where applicable – Crossfields Institute SRQs, which are designed, delivered and awarded to the same quality standards as a regulated qualification, but not regulated by Ofqual.

Q. What is a vocationally-related qualification (VRQ)?

A. VRQs are study-based, structured-training programs which provide practical skillsets and knowledge for a specific job role. Students have to take written tests as well as be assessed on the basis of workplace-related activities.

Q. What is an academic level?

A. Put simply, the academic level of a course is an indicator of the relative complexity and/or depth of learning required for the course. It covers both the content and level of knowledge that needs to be proven in assessments. For example, a UK level 3 (Irish level 5) course would require the same level of knowledge of a subject as would be studied at leaving certificate (Ireland) or A-Level (UK). A UK level 4 (Irish level 6) course is equivalent in complexity/depth of learning to the 1st year of a degree programme, and so on. We believe that for training to allow graduates to work with members of the public, it should be minimum UK level 4 (Irish level 6), otherwise it cannot be comprehensive enough in the details.

Q. Can I do more than one course at a time?

A. You can as long as both you and your enrolment consultant consider it possible. It is usually much better to learn one subject well and then learn another one well than it is to try and learn several subjects at once.

Q. Are there any grants available?

A. There may be some assistance from social welfare services for those already in receipt of benefits. IHS do have a monthly payment plan to make the longer courses more accessible.

Q. Do I need to buy books?

A. You will usually have to buy a book or a number of books, depending on the course. These will continue to be useful reference books. The booklists are available for each course and course year. IHS recommend that you buy the books listed on the essential reading lists. We have a library available to our Nutritional Therapy Diploma students in Dublin that contains all of the books on the recommended reading lists.

Q. What happens if I have to stop the course part way through?

A. If you have to stop a course part way through, the Institute will hold your place open for up to two years at the discretion of an Institute Directors. You are obliged to continue payments for the semester started. IHS cannot guarantee an immediate place, you may have to wait for one to become available and a re-enrolment fee may be charged.

Q. What are the career opportunities?

A. There is an ever increasing demand and need for effective graduates from our courses in today’s society. As a graduate of an IHS you will be well placed for jobs within the healthcare, health & beauty and sports & leisure industries. For those who wish to set up in private practice, IHS will support you with all the advice and guidelines required in launching your practice. Current opportunities include:

  • Education of the public, media, students and other health professionals
  • Employment with supplement companies as nutrition advisors, product developers or sales advisors
  • Contributing articles to industry, academic or general interest publications
  • Contributing to radio and TV programmes
  • Postgraduate research to Masters level
  • Training health food traders and other groups in industry
  • Cooking demonstrations and classes

Take a look at our graduate focus page to see some of the opportunities taken up by some of our graduates.

Q. What is a Nutritional Therapist and is it different to a Dietician?

A. For a concise definition of a Nutritional Therapist follow this link “The Definition of a Nutritional Therapist“. To then understand the difference between a Nutritional Therapist and a Dietician follow this link for “The Definition of a Dietician“.