If you are serious about going into practice as a hypnotherapist, you need to ensure that you have the best training possible. It is actually a very competitive field and you will need to learn how to set up and maintain a practice, and also need to be certain that you have adequate post-graduate support.
An Industry Standard
Although there are no mandatory rules and regulations at the moment, there is an 'industry standard' to which most of the better schools adhere, the main being that the course should consist of an absolute minimum of 120 contact hours in the classroom, 50% of which should be practical work, and a further 350 hours or so of home study and case study work.
There is another important consideration, too... Membership of the major Associations or Societies for Hypnotherapists. Currently, it is not mandatory to join one of these and, in fact, there is no 'official' association nor one that is endorsed by the government over any other. If your training or training school is deemed inadequate, then you would not be able to achieve membership of any of the better associations, one effect of which would be that your professional insurance would be more expensive (almost all the bona fide Associations have a members insurance scheme in place). Distance learning courses are almost never accepted as adequate training, these days, though there is nothing to actually stop you going into practice if you are forced, for some reason, to train via that method. After two years in practice, you should be able to obtain membership of the better bodies but that situation might change once new regulations are in place.
As of December 2010 Hypnotherapists are able to be registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. (www.cnhc.org.uk). This is a government sponsored and recognised regulatory body and to join it, it is necessary to train via the classroom method and only with schools who use the core curriculum which equals or surpasses the National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy. It is as well to be aware that if a school does not state that they reach this standard, they possibly do not. In 2012, the CNHC will be approving properly run schools and my own, the Essex Institute of Clinical Hypnosis is one such school.
If you want to find out more about how to choose a good training school (and avoid those that are not so good) you can find an important document here: Training Information