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Criteria for: Psychotherapist | Counsellor | Therapist
Group Counsellor | Educator | Researcher | O.D. Consultant

Accreditation as a Counsellor entitles you to registration with the UK Council for Psychotherapy. Accreditation is valid for 5 years, after which its renewal must be applied for.

Before applying for accreditation as either a Counsellor or Psychotherapist you first become an Associate member, via a quick and straightforward application process. Click here for how to become an Associate member.

I you don't currently meet the criteria for accreditation as either of these membership categories you may benefit from Associate membership, including website-listing, advertising of events on the website, workshop-discounts, ethical support and assistance when later applying for accreditation. Associate members can state that they are working towards accreditation.

Criteria for UKAHPP Full Membership & Accreditation in the category Of Counsellor

UKAHPP accreditation as a counsellor entitles you to registration by the Psychotherapeutic Counselling Section of the UK Council for Psychotherapy. UKCP defines psychotherapeutic counselling as distinguished from other forms of counselling by its emphasis on the creation of an in-depth therapeutic relationship, wherein the client is viewed holistically - body, mind and soul - and the main focus is on the client's personal development in the context of his/her life situation. A counsellor appropriate for accreditation and registration is a professional capable of working with people over varying periods of time and knowing when and where to refer cases that go beyond his or her own training, capabilities or facilities.

A.  Training Route

To be accredited as a counsellor by the training route, an applicant is required:-

1.        To have undertaken counselling training course(s) of at least 2 years (full-time) or at least 3 years (part-time), comprising  a minimum of 450 tutor-contact hours (which does not include any prerequisites to entry requirements, individual therapy, personal study time or peer group work) and a substantial piece of written work.  These are the minimum durations considered necessary for the consolidation of theoretical knowledge, personal development through own-therapy/counselling and supervised counselling practice during training.  This training should include:

  1. Knowledge of theoretical models of counselling including core assumptions, views of the person, human development, theories of change, mental health issues and risk assessment
  2. Knowledge of how the therapeutic relationship and process underpin practice.
  3. Knowledge of the implications of various theoretical concepts within a wide range of practice settings and client groups including longer term and short term work.
  4. An appreciation of the impact of social and cultural issues and difference on therapeutic practice.
  5. Knowledge of relevant legal issues pertaining to professional practice.
  6. Exploration of the place of ethical approaches to practice.
  7. Recognition of the limits of the counsellor and the counselling relationship and the potential impact on boundaries and individual client needs, including when referral may be necessary.
  8. A general knowledge of research methods relevant to psychotherapeutic counselling.

The applicant should submit course-information which evidences the above.  Applicants are expected to  be able to communicate the knowledge gained in training and supervised practice in verbal and written form; training and supervised practice should have led to the development of abilities for critical reflection on the client’s process, the therapeutic relationship, counselling approaches used and the counsellor’s own psychological processes; these abilities should be reflected in all parts of the application, including the case study and interview.  UKAHPP places emphasis not only on formal training but also on the creative use of knowledge gained in training, and qualities of creativity, openness, warmth and maturity.   
During training, applicants are expected to have completed one piece of written work (not a case study) on a counselling-related subject of at least 5,000 words, or two pieces totaling 5,000 words (or, to agree to write such a piece at a later date if requested).

2.         To have had regular supervision of client casework.  Applicants who have completed the required training in counselling must have a minimum of 3 years’ supervised practice, of which 2 years must be after completion of training.  Supervision must be with a more experienced practitioner, and there is a strong preference that the supervisor has undertaken supervision training, which should be noted on the application form.  Applicants should have completed 450 hours of client contact at a ratio of at least 1 hour supervision to 6 hours' client contact, with a minimum rate for all applicants of 11/2 hours per month.  UKAHPP requires members to be supervised by a more experienced practitioner for at least the first 5 years post-training; a successful applicant who has not completed this requirement will be expected to do so after accreditation.   Peer supervision on its own is not regarded as acceptable for trainees and inexperienced counsellors.  Evidence of counselling supervision through statements by past and present supervisors must be provided.  Counselling supervision is NOT line management and should be clearly distinguished from such. 

B.  Experience Route

Where sufficient and acceptable training has not been undertaken, applicants are required:-

3.       To have worked for a minimum of eight years and achieved a minimum of 900 hours’ supervised practice immediately prior to application, demonstrated by a log of practice hours submitted as part of the application.  Supervision must be with a more experienced practitioner, and there is a strong preference that the supervisor has undertaken supervision training, which should be noted on the application form. Evidence of counselling supervision through statements by past and present supervisors must be also provided.  Counselling supervision is NOT line management and should be clearly distinguished from such.   Accreditation as a counsellor by the Experience Route is dependent on a yearly supervisor’s report from a humanistic or integrative supervisor approved by UKAHPP for the first 5 years of accredited membership.

4.        To demonstrate that they have engaged in Continuing Professional Development in the previous five years to the minimum extent of 30 hours per year.

5.        To demonstrate in all aspects of the application that they possess levels of knowledge, personal reflection and skills equivalent to those of a counsellor trained to the standards required for the Training Route.   Applicants are expected to  be able to communicate the knowledge gained in verbal and written form; supervised practice and any training undertaken should have led to the development of abilities for critical reflection on the client’s process, the therapeutic relationship, counselling approaches used and the counsellor’s own psychological processes; these abilities should be reflected in all parts of the application, including the case study and interview.  UKAHPP places emphasis not only on formal training but also on the creative use of knowledge gained in training, and qualities of creativity, openness, warmth and maturity.   

A and B.  Requirements applicable to both Training and Experience Routes to Accreditation

6.         To have received personal counselling or therapy, consistent with the applicant’s own theoretical model, to the same extent and frequency as the applicant provides to clients, for an absolute minimum of 105 hours, normally with the same practitioner; UKAHPP recommends that own-therapy/counselling is continued or resumed with reference primarily to applicants’ personal and professional development rather than to accreditation requirements. Applicants’ therapists/counsellors should be different from their trainers and supervisors, to avoid dual relationships.

7.         To have maintained a practice-size of at least three clients (clients being seen for varying durations as appropriate) throughout a continuous period of two years, and to have a minimum caseload of this size when applying for accreditation.   A case study (3,000 - 5,000 words) of a recent case representative of the applicant’s practice is required (guidelines provided).

8.         To submit a case study of a client representative of the applicant’s current practice.  The case study should follow the guidelines provided with the application forms and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and capacity for critical reflection gained in training and supervised practice, as noted elsewhere in this document. 

9.         To agree to increase the frequency of counselling supervision if carrying a high caseload or having a high stress level. 

10.       To have professional liability and malpractice insurance, and be in good ethical standing with any “equivalent” previous accrediting/training organisation.

11.       To agree to adhere to UKAHPP ethical codes and practices, as published in the Handbook and on this website.

12.       After accreditation by UKAHPP, to complete at least 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development per year, of which 12 hours per year must be evidenced when applying for five-yearly renewal of accreditation.  Further details of CPD requirements will be provided after accreditation.

13.       There is an additional, general requirement applicable to all applications in any class or category of membership, that in the judgment of the Membership Committee there is a good fit between the applicant (as evidenced from the application material, including case study and interview) and the humanistic ethos of UKAHPP, such that UKAHPP is agreed by the Membership Committee to be an appropriate professional membership organization, or "home", for the applicant.

UKAHPP accreditation as a counsellor is valid for 5 years, after which renewal of accreditation must be applied for via an assessment process which includes Continuing Professional Development (see 12 above).

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES ROUTE: Applicants must present a case for their acceptance in whatever form they find appropriate.  This route is for people with disabilities for whom other routes to accreditation would be inappropriate.  With this exception,

 

Ian Doucet   UKAHPP Administrator
BCM AHPP    LONDON WC1N 3XX  (tel 08457 660326)

The above requirements incorporate criteria adopted by the Psychotherapeutic Counselling Section of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, of which UKAHPP is an accrediting member organisation.  For full details of PCS training standards, see www.psychotherapy .org.uk . The PCS is continuing to develop its accreditation criteria, which may mean that applicants will become subject to additional requirements.

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