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Counselling: Professional Bodies and Accredited Registers

For many Counsellors and Psychotherapists, choosing a professional body/association can be a mine field of choice and not just for those in training or newly qualified. And one could say that choosing one that holds an accredited register is a commitment to professionalism and to the people who use their services.

The big names in UK Counselling and Psychotherapy have for some time been the BACP (British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists) and the UKCP (United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy), however since the NCS (National Counselling Society) was added to the NHS Choices listing as a counselling services provider, the NHS employers and the NHS Careers websites in March 2017, it has become a much more level playing field. Promoting inclusive hiring practices in the NHS, within private companies and the voluntary sector. Benefiting professionals and clients.

Karen Smith from the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) had this to say on the subject.

Counsellors and psychotherapists are one of the largest healthcare professions not regulated by law. The title of ‘counsellor’ is not protected so anyone can set up a practice and call themselves Counsellor or Psychotherapist.

That’s why the Accredited Registers programme is so important.

Set up in 2012 and backed by the Government, it provides the public, employers, healthcare professionals and many other stakeholders with the reassurance of a consumer protection programme.

Anyone can go online to find a counsellor who is on an Accredited Register by simply visiting the Professional Standards Authority Website.

And if you are a counsellor, it provides an extra level of reassurance for your clients. It shows them that you’ve met demanding standards in education, training, competence, and professional conduct.

The programme is recognised by a range of organisations including NHS Choices, NHS Employers and Health Education England. They all provide information on their websites about Accredited Registers.

Accredited Registers isn’t just for counsellors; there are over 88,000 practitioners registered in the UK on 25 registers across 30 occupations such as acupuncture, massage therapy, foot health, sports rehabilitation, public health, play therapy, non-surgical cosmetic treatment and healthcare science. The programme continues to grow with other occupations applying for accreditation.

The Accredited Registers programme is run by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, who also oversee the conduct and performance of the statutory professional regulators, such as the General Medical Council.

To find out more about Accreditation and Accredited Registers visit the PSA here.

published with thanks to Karen Smith, Professional Standards Authority

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