We aware of the challenges our organisational members are facing. We have produced general guidance which we hope will be helpful to OMs and the continuation of their work.
Last updated 19 July 2021
We are mindful of the challenges our organisational members have been facing and are continuing to manage. Government guidelines are changing, but we recognise that some individuals will need to self-isolate or continue to shield. We would request that our OMs continue to be pragmatic and flexible in light of ongoing individual needs.
We have produced some general guidance and responses to common queries received which you can find on this page.
If you have any concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on your organisation, please speak with us. We are keen to assist you in all ways possible and would like to hear how we can better support you.
We would like to reassure you that our regulatory standards and policies are designed to be interpreted with a reasonable amount of flexibility. Along with other professional bodies and regulators, we encourage you to use your professional judgement to assess risk to deliver your operations safely, whilst remaining informed by any government guidance and the values and principles set out in our professional standards.
We would like to recommend that guidance to all of our members could be framed in terms of supporting the therapist and organisational members to think about the situation and what’s needed. We should, as much as possible, accommodate the rapidly changing nature of technology and digital communications for this difficult time.
As seems to be our mantra these days – be pragmatic, be flexible, reduce risk, be safe.
We would encourage you to consider the following:
We understand that increased use of technology has become more prevalent as social distancing continues. We recognise is not possible or suitable for all circumstances, and it will be up to your organisation to decide how to manage ongoing remote working and social distancing in line with government guidance. As per UKCP’s recent guidance, our requirements are flexible to allow for this. We ask that you:
We have updated our ‘house style’ so that the distinction is expressed more accurately as ‘remote’ versus ‘in-person’ when we communicate with you, especially if we intend something specific. This distinction will make it more clear in our communications, but still allow flexibility for you when interpreting ‘face-to-face’ within our standards.
We recognise any of these definitions and terms may have different meanings and nuances within your work, but the goal is to ensure you have the flexibility during this time to undertake your operations effectively and safely.
We are constantly adding to our guidance; if you have any questions outside of what’s provided, please do contact your college training committee or the Regulation Team. Please remember that your college doesn’t necessarily need to know about changes to remote rather than in-person training sessions during lockdown and social distancing, but if you are making changes to your curriculum or overall structure of your course, you should contact your college to ensure you continue to meet training standards (SETs) and other requirements.
Normally using digital media for supervision or personal therapy is only acceptable after an in-person relationship has been established (as per the UKCP Adult Psychotherapy SETs), but hasn't been possible since March 2020 and may continue to be challenging for many. The key word here is ‘normally’.
During these unprecedented times, we would request that organisations allow online/remote access to therapy, supervision and experiential work where necessary for the foreseeable future, potentially for the next year.
We would recommend considering what allowances could be put in place to accommodate and ensure lowest risk for the trainees and programme, for example:
Some points for you to consider as you are planning your next intake include:
We recognise, however, that normally over a four-year course, it’s unlikely many of you would have two years of taught training occurring online, and so even if we’re looking at additional social distancing in the future, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you’re unsure, please contact your college, or someone from the Regulation team, and discuss the options.
If you would like to discuss ways to manage any of the issues raised, or to confirm your plans you would like to implement, please contact your college training standards committee for a more in depth discussion and best practice advice.
There are a number of consideration when practising with someone not in the UK:
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. For more information and application forms, visit our Working Overseas page.
If your client is not in the EU, then contact the local 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.
If you are a trainee considering work with overseas clients, you must ensure that your OM and supervisor approve you to work with overseas clients, or the hours may not count towards your qualification and accreditation.
Yes, we are still undertaking the annual random audit process, as this is part of UKCP’s quality assurance processes to ensure members meet requirements to be on the Register. We are providing additional support and extensions around this, and our approach is flexible and pragmatic. Unfortunately, we cannot accept paper submissions, only electronic.
The audit may need to take into consideration lowered client hours and supervision in light of the current situation. However, we anticipate CPD hours should continue to be met as per current minimum requirements (ie 20 hours per any one year and 250 hours across 5 years). We recognise variety of CPD may be problematic at this time, but additional consideration will be given for extra reading, webinars and similar online/remote learning, recognising that external or experiential CPD may not be possible or accessible at this time. Remote-meeting peer groups could help you facilitate the social and relational aspects of CPD.
We expect colleges and OMs to be flexible, pragmatic, creative and supportive in their approach to CPD checks and re-accreditation submissions over the coming year.
This is normally set out by the OM or college, and we would expect the OMs/colleges to be flexible and realistic in their approach and supportive of members’ situations because of Covid-19.
Some training is required to ensure competence in this way of working. This can be provided by the OM/training provider or the placement, and in the current circumstances, can be delivered via blended learning. It’s up to training providers to ensure that trainees have appropriate training for the work undertaken and supervision in place for the nature of the work.
Unfortunately we are not able to accept paper applications, as our office is closed. Please contact our Membership team directly to find out about how best to manage applications. They can be reached at email@example.com
UKCP’s Board of Trustees recently approved a resolution to clarify the status of online/remote client hours accumulated by trainees/graduates during the pandemic.
The resolution: ‘Online/remote working client hours accumulated by trainees/graduates since 1 March 2020 should count towards UKCP registration and be afforded the same recognition as in-person client working hours and not be regarded as inferior to in-person working client hours. This should pertain until further notice.’
Training providers will ensure safety and appropriateness for trainees to proceed working online, and that trainees have appropriate supervision in place for the nature of the work.
You should contact your college training standards committee if you are making changes to your curriculum or major changes to the structure of the programme. You don’t need to let UKCP or your college know about how you are training remotely, though we would encourage you to share your best practices and what has been working well for you so that this can be shared with the wider organisation.
If you aren’t sure, please email the Regulation team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can provide support and answer questions.
As part of your review, we may ask you what your contingency plans were and how you managed the various scenarios, but we will be looking at this from a best practice perspective (ie what do our members do and what can be shared among other OMs?) and a place of support.
More information about online training, remote therapy and supervision can be found in the training standards, policies and guidance section. Be sure to check your modality college standards also.
UKCP considers the outbreak of Covid-19 as a safe and clear justification for increased or exclusive use of technology to support training programmes where appropriate. We encourage you to consider the risks and use your judgement.
You can contact your college training standards committee or relevant college officer for more information about what is required and what you can do. As well, you may contact the Regulation Team at email@example.com.
We recognise that undertaking CPD during this time of lockdown and social distancing may seem daunting or difficult, but we’ve seen a lot of organisations stepping up and providing online and remote CPD in lieu of in-person sessions. UKCP has been offering a series of webinars, for example, so keep an eye out for upcoming webinars and articles, as well as the new CPD Hub webpage.
It is recommended these meetings happen via remote meetings or video conferencing during this time.
Yes, if under supervision, and online/telephone supervision should also count towards their re-accreditation.
No, we don’t think the minimum CPD hours should change, as we anticipate there are still activities which can be undertaken at this time, such as remote peer group discussions and reading, as well as online webinars, committee work, and etc. We hope OMs will be flexible in their approach to CPD, and will provide some guidance and creative suggestions for their members around undertaking CPD during this time.
We are focusing on flexible and pragmatic approaches, including extending deadlines where necessary. If you are struggling, please contact your college or the Regulation team for guidance or best practice suggestions if needed.