Working overseas

Registrants who are interested in working outside of the UK, or working remotely with clients outside of the UK, should be aware of other countries’ requirements and relevant professional bodies.

Those registrants looking to work abroad can apply for the European Certificate of Psychotherapy, which is recognised across Europe. They can also apply to be listed with the Irish Council for Psychotherapy. Individuals who hold the European Certificate of Psychotherapy can also apply for UKCP Registration.

The European Certificate of Psychotherapy

The European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) is awarded by the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP), which sets standards for equivalence of training and practice throughout Europe. The aim of the ECP is to enable the mobility of psychotherapists within Europe and ensure a consistent degree of training and practice. UK-based psychotherapists must be registrants of UKCP to apply.

For those wishing to apply, the ECP is awarded by the EAP on the recommendation of UKCP and with the approval of the relevant European Wide Accrediting Organisation – which represents the appropriate modality of psychotherapy.

Please email the Regulation team with any questions regarding the ECP application process.

Please note that UKCP’s requirements state that, among other requirements, a practitioner must be a full clinical member of UKCP and to have practiced for 3 years post-registration (or have a proven 1500 hours practice) in the modality in which the psychotherapist trained, under continuous supervision.

If you are a psychotherapist who was previously awarded the ECP in another country and you wish to apply for UKCP Registration, you must contact the relevant UKCP College or accrediting organisational member for more information on how to apply.

Listing with the Irish Council for Psychotherapy

Thanks to a special agreement between the two organisations, UKCP registrants can be listed on the national register of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP), and vice versa.

Both UKCP and ICP are National Awarding Organisations accredited by the European Association for Psychotherapy, and therefore our training standards and requirements to be qualified as a psychotherapist on each register are equivalent.

UKCP registrants applying to be listed on the ICP register must be resident in the UK and be registered in a modality recognised by both organisations. You can check whether the ICP recognises your modality on the ICP website.

If you are listed on the ICP register via this agreement, this means that UKCP remains responsible for all aspects of your quality assurance, such as complaints or continuing professional development. This agreement is in place primarily to support those who may be working with clients across the borders, and to reassure clients of the equivalence of training and practice.

Information can also be found on the Irish Council for Psychotherapy’s website.

To apply, download and complete the ICP application form and email it to our membership team, they can then take your £50 payment over the phone.


I am moving to the UK and wish to work with clients in the UK, what do I need to do?

All psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors should be registered with a relevant professional regulatory body such as UKCP. You may apply to join UKCP via one of our Organisational Members, where your qualifications will be reviewed to ensure you are meeting UKCP training and experience requirements.

If you are a psychotherapist who was previously awarded the ECP in another country and you wish to apply for UKCP Registration, please contact the relevant UKCP College or accrediting organisational member for more information on how to apply.

I have been approached by a potential client who is not in the UK, or I have a client who has moved away from the UK. Can I work with them?

There are a number of points to consider when practising with someone not in the UK:

  • Your client is receiving your services in their country where they are living, therefore it is imperative that you are aware of, and abide by, their country’s laws and requirements for practicing in that country.
  • Contact your professional indemnity insurer to confirm that you are covered to practice in that country.
  • Speak with your OM/college/supervisor as necessary to ensure you receive appropriate support for this practice.
  • Confirm that your OM/college will allow this client as part of your re-accreditation client hours/practice.
  • Are you meeting the requirements to practice in that country, such as relevant licensing or holding the European Certificate for Psychotherapy?

The European Association for Psychotherapy has resources which will provide signposting and guidance for practice in various EU countries if your client is in the EU.

If one of the requirements of that EU country is that you hold the European Certificate for Psychotherapy, you can apply for it if you have been on the UKCP Register for more than 3 years. Please see the ECP section on this page for more information.

If your client is not in the EU, then contact their country’s professional body, consulate or government website for more information on what is required.

Some countries have local requirements – such as in the United States, licenses are issued via each state’s government rather than US government, and so you’ll need to go to that state’s own government website for more information on what is required to practice with those clients.

If you are a trainee considering work with overseas clients, you must ensure that your training OM, tutor and supervisor (as well as insurer) approve you to work with overseas clients, or the hours may not count towards your qualification and accreditation.

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