Criteria for UKAHPP Full Membership & Accreditation
in the category of Psychotherapist
Accreditation as a Psychotherapist entitles you to registration with the UK Council for Psychotherapy.
Accreditation is valid for 5 years, after which its renewal must be applied for.
If you don't currently meet the accreditation criteria for Psychotherapist you may wish to consider
accreditation as a Counsellor. Accreditation as a Counsellor also entitles you to registration with the
UK Council for Psychotherapy.
Before applying for accreditation as either a Counsellor or Psychotherapist you first become
an Associate member, via a quick and straightforward application process. See
www.ahpp.org for how to become an Associate member.
If 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 eventy on the
website, workshop-discounts, ethical support and assistance when later applying for accreditation.
Associate members can state that they are working towards accreditation.
1. A psychotherapist is considered to be a professional capable of working with
people with complex problems over a long period of time and capable of knowing
when and where to refer cases that go beyond his or her own training,
capabilities or facilities.
1.1 The application should reflect this ability and should satisfy the UKAHPP
Membership Committee that the applicant has reached the levels of
maturity, experience and knowledge which, in the judgement of the
Committee, are necessary for accreditation as a psychotherapist. UKAHPP
places emphasis not only on formal training but also on the creative use of
knowledge gained in training and practice, and qualities of creativity,
openness, warmth and maturity. More specifically, applicants should be able
to demonstrate a capacity and commitment to developing and maintaining
the following personal qualities:
A lively and enquiring mind.
A capacity for critical self-reflection and self-directed learning.
An ability to listen and respond with compassion and respect.
Awareness of prejudice and the ability to respond openly to issues of
race, gender, age, sexual preference, class, disability, ethnic,
spiritual/religious and cultural difference, and diversity.
Awareness and sensitivity in relation to the political, socio-cultural
and religious/spiritual contexts of people‟s lives.
In depth self-reflection.
Self-awareness and commitment to self-development.
Applications should demonstrate these qualities, particularly in the written
work and the case study. Written applications and other papers submitted
should reflect a competence in the applicant which is of an equivalent
standard to that usually acceptable for academic work at post-graduate
1.2 In the case of applications incorporating training with organisations
which are not members of the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy
Section (HIPS) of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) the applicant
will be required to submit an Accreditation of Prior Learning Portfolio. The
Portfolio will be supplemented by written work done during the training,
must include an 8,000 word dissertation and documents outlining the
selection criteria, training programme, and methods of assessment of the
non-HIPS training organisation(s). UKAHPP also reserves the right to
request any additional information, either from the applicant or from the
training establishment(s) which it may deem necessary to establish the
academic and clinical equivalence of the non-HIPS training. The applicant is
advised to ensure that the Portfolio includes evidence which will support a
contention that their training meets all the requirements of the standards
outlined by the document, Training Standards of Humanistic and Integrative
Psychotherapy Section of the UKCP, May 2006, Revised May 2007, including
appendices. See UKCP/HIPS Standards on www.ahpp.org.
The requirements for accreditation in the category of Psychotherapist are given
below and it is recommended that the applicant ensure that all requirements are
fulfilled and evidenced clearly on the application form, and supporting documents,
The training and experience of the applicant for accreditation will include:
2. The satisfactory completion of psychotherapy training of at least 4 years'
duration, at a post-graduate level of competence, comprising a minimum of 900
tutor contact hours which include a sustained period of training on one
psychotherapy course. Training hours will not include any prerequisites to entry
requirements, individual therapy, personal study time or peer group work. The
applicant will demonstrate that this training has included:
2.1 An in-depth knowledge of the thinking of the main humanistic theorists with a
thorough understanding of the clinical applications and therapeutic models of at least
two of these. This will include relevant models of the self along with formulations of
developmental processes, psychopathology and therapeutic possibilities. The nature
and purpose of the therapeutic relationship, including transference and
countertransference, will have been explored both theoretically and experientially.
2.2 Knowledge of, and appreciation of the application of, existential approaches to
2.3 Knowledge of, and appreciation of the application of, psychoanalytic and object
relations theories, their development and relationship with humanistic theory and
2.4 Knowledge of, and an appreciation of the application of, theories of gendered and
culturally influenced human development.
2.5 Knowledge of the cognitive behavioural theory of change, its application and
methods of evaluation.
2.6 An understanding of the relationship between the different approaches outlined
above, with the addition of the psychiatric model.
2.7 An appreciation of the boundary between the psychotherapeutic understanding of
neurosis and that of mental illness; an ability to recognise severely disturbed clients
and the limitations and appropriateness of psychotherapy should have been developed.
2.8 An appreciation of the main models of research methodology.
2.9 A substantial proportion of this knowledge being gained through experiential
methods of learning. As part of the training experience the applicant will be expected
to have had some personal experience of the impact on his or her person of the
potential for therapeutic effect of their chosen core theoretical model and this should be
apparent in the application.
2.10 During training, applicants are expected to have completed at least one
substantial piece of written work (not a case study) of at least 8,000 words. This should
demonstrate the candidate's capacity for reflecting in depth on their own work and the
approach in which they are training. The piece will be of an equivalent standard to
that usually acceptable for academic work at post-graduate level. If such a piece
is not available, or is deemed inappropriate by the UKAHPP Membership
Committee, the applicant may be asked to write such a piece in support of the
application at a later date.
2.11 The applicant‟s training and practice of psychotherapy should be broadly-
ranging, incorporating more than one humanistic school of thought (e.g. Gestalt,
Body Psychotherapy, Person Centred, Existential, Transpersonal,
Psychosynthesis). The applicant should be able to communicate the knowledge
gained in training and supervised practice in verbal and written form. The
application should show that training and supervised practice has led to the
development of abilities for critical reflection on the client‟s process, the
therapeutic relationship, therapeutic approaches used and the therapist‟s own
psychological processes. This should be demonstrated in all parts of the
application, the written work, the case study and the interview.
2.12 See also later section on Mental Health Familiarisation Placement (para
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
3. There is a general expectation that practitioners engage in regular CPD.
UKAHPP expects the applicant to be able to demonstrate, and provide evidence
of, a continuing curiosity and commitment to personal and professional
development in any period intervening between completion of training and the
current application for accreditation.
4. Experience of a sustained period of personal psychotherapy congruent with the
psychotherapy they have trained in and are practicing. This will have been a
minimum of 40 hours per year for four years, and applicants will normally have
been in psychotherapy throughout the duration of the training.
4.1 The psychotherapist with whom the applicant works will not be the same
person as the applicant‟s main trainer, nor their supervisor. It is expected that
the applicant will have experience of an extended period of psychotherapy with
the same psychotherapist, normally a minimum of 3 years with the same
4.2 Personal psychotherapy would normally be undertaken with a UKCP
registered psychotherapist, or equivalent, on a one-to-one basis. While group
psychotherapy is not deemed appropriate at this stage, the Membership
Committee will consider applications which include a mix of individual and group
psychotherapy, in exceptional circumstances and where all other criteria are met.
5. Regular supervision of psychotherapy client casework, following completion of
training, for not less than two years with the same supervisor. The supervisor will
not be the same person as the applicant‟s psychotherapist.
5.1 The total number of supervised client hours accumulated should be not less
than 450, during which supervision has been on a one-to-one basis.
5.2 Supervised hours should be made up of client contracts that reflect the
approach to be practiced and demonstrate that the applicant has the appropriate
experience of and competence in the model of psychotherapy for which they are
5.3 The supervisor will be a more experienced practitioner who uses the same
approach(es) in which the applicant has trained. Peer supervision is not deemed
appropriate at this stage. Supervision should normally have been on a one-to-
one basis; however, the Membership Committee will consider applications which
include a mix of individual and group supervision, in exceptional circumstances
and where all other criteria are met.
5.4 The supervision will be at a ratio of a minimum of 1:6 on a one-to-one basis,
and will normally have been face-to-face.
5.5 The applicant will provide, when requested by the UKAHPP Membership
Committee, a supervisor‟s report which will reflect the applicant‟s competence
and readiness for accreditation as psychotherapist. The supervisor providing this
report should normally have supervised the applicant for the casework used in
the client case study forming part of the application.
6. The establishment of a psychotherapy practice congruent with the mode of
therapy for which the applicant is requesting accreditation. There will be evidence
of substantial experience and competence in the chosen mode of psychotherapy.
6.1 Evidence of supervised psychotherapy practice and competency for a
minimum of two years during which a minimum caseload of six clients weekly (or
equivalent) has been maintained, and for a minimum 6 clients caseload at the
time of application and in the prior 6 months. Such clients will be contracted in
such a way that reflects the psychotherapeutic approach for which the application
is being made.
6.2 The applicant will demonstrate that their practice has included (previously or
currently) both long-term and time-limited contracts.
If the applicant‟s current practice is solely long-term or is mixed (both long-term
and time-limited), the application should evidence at least two long-term
contracts and the ability to manage closure.
If the applicant‟s current practice is solely time-limited, the application should
evidence at least 12 cases, with evidence of efficacy and appropriate use of model
and its framework.
6.3 UKAHPP considers „long-term‟ psychotherapy, in most instances, to mean
psychotherapy with a focus on characterological transformation, of having no pre-
determined fixed time limit and a minimum of six months‟ duration on a weekly
basis (and pro rata for other frequencies).
6.4 In the event of groupwork practice being used to evidence practice hours the
formula of one group clinical practice hour as equal to one individual clinical
contact hour will be applied for the purposes of accreditation.
7. A psychotherapy case study (approx. 3,000 – 5,000 words) of a recent case
representative of your practice is required, when requested by the UKAHPP
Membership Committee. The case study should follow the guidelines provided
with the application forms and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, qualities and
capacity for critical reflection gained in training and supervised practice, as noted
in section 1 of this document.
8. To have professional liability and malpractice insurance, and be in good ethical
standing with any “equivalent” previous or current accrediting/training
9. 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 membership organization, or professional "home", for the
10. Mental Health Familiarisation Placement (MHFP).
The applicant will have completed an MHFP the detailed requirements of which
are given below. If the applicant meets all other requirements but has not
undertaken an MHFP, accreditation may be granted on condition that the
applicant completes an MHFP within the following year and informs the
Committee of this.
10.1 The taught element of the applicant‟s training will support the MHFP
inasmuch as it will have included the following elements:
Current approaches to the management and treatment of mental illness.
An understanding of the use and effects of pharmacological treatment.
The basics of the legislative and organisational framework of the various agencies
An understanding of the differences between responses to trauma and other severe
emotional states and major mental illness as defined by the medical model of mental
10.2 The MHFP will be within a setting which enables the applicant to have
experience of, and begin to recognise, major mental illness. This will require the
applicant to spend time in such a setting in the role of observer or companion.
Whilst the applicant should not be providing psychotherapeutic help they may
become involved in providing simple skilled help, such as relaxation or basic
counselling, if deemed appropriate by the placement manager.
Therefore, the MHFP will be in a professionally structured setting which allows
applicants to spend time with those deemed to be suffering from major mental
illness. Additionally, the setting must provide opportunities for discussion with
staff involved in diagnosis and treatment. This might be achieved in a variety of
settings, for example: psychiatric inpatient or day-patient services, community
based charities concerned with rehabilitation and support, such as MIND, or other
organisations offering help where the client group involves a large proportion
deemed to have mental health problems, such as homelessness charities. In the
case of the latter example, there must be an identified, trained, mental health
worker (e.g. Registered Mental Nurse, Psychiatric Occupational Therapist or
Psychologist) who will act as mentor and supervisor and there will need to be
specific evidence that mental health issues form the core of the applicant's
experience during the MHFP.
10.3 The MHFP, together with the taught element will be in such a setting and so
structured as to ensure the following learning outcomes can be achieved:
Develop a basic understanding of psychiatry and the mental health system, the rights
of patients and the psycho-social issues involved.
Understand the main principles of the Mental Health Act and the procedures for the
compulsory admission and detention of patients.
Enhance their ability to liaise with other mental health practitioners.
Become familiar with psychiatric assessment and planning of a range of forms of
intervention and evaluation procedures.
Understand the range of mental illness that can lead to the involvement of the mental
Familiarise themselves with the different types of intervention used, including
medication and electro-convulsive therapy, and their main side effects.
Spend time with people who have been diagnosed with severe mental illness.
Be able to empathise with patients who have been involved with the mental health
10.4 The duration of the MHFP will be sufficient to achieve these objectives and
the UKAHPP considers this to mean a minimum placement of 48 hours, the
equivalent of 1 day per week for a placement of 6 weeks. Applicants should have
produced a reflective account/diary of their experience of the MHFP, which should
be submitted when requested by the UKAHPP Membership Committee.
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, all applications must be
made using the application forms and in typescript.
The above requirements incorporate criteria adopted by the Humanistic and
Integrative Section of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, of which
UKAHPP is and accrediting member organisation. See UKCP/HIPS Standards on
Associate members can obtain the application forms by contacting
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 08457 660326.
Box BCM AHPP, LONDON WC1N 3XX
(tel. 08457 660326)