Last updated 23 June 2020
We are mindful of the challenges all our organisational members are facing and continuing to manage as lockdown and social distancing continues.
It’s vital that we do what we can to support you through these unprecedented, and exceptional times. We have produced some general guidance and responses to common queries received which you can find on this page
- General Guidance
- General guidance for your training programme(s)/trainees
- General guidance for your professional members
- General FAQs
- CPD/Re-accreditation Guidance and FAQs
- UKCP resources
Our staff team are contacting organisational members to check-in, learn of your experiences, and answer questions so that we can build tailored support strategies. 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 are keen to hear from you the ways we can be of most support.
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.
We would encourage you to consider the following over the coming weeks:
- Provide support and guidance where you can.
- If you are unable to provide training/CPD in person, OMs should consider the following:
- online/remote training sessions, workshops or webinar sessions; include clear instructions on how to join remote sessions if needed
- directed reading/learning
- rescheduling events or sessions.
We understand that increased use of technology is not possible or suitable for all circumstances and it will be up to your organisation to decide whether you feel this aligns with your protocols and standards. As per UKCP’s recent guidance, our requirements are flexible to allow for this.
- Communicate any decisions and information to all of your members, including trainees, professionals, affiliates and retired
- Ensure trainees and professional members have reviewed the guidance in relation to psychotherapeutic practice and working in isolation.
- Ensure you have your own information in place if you have further guidance for trainees and members, and that this is clearly signposted
- Training programmes should operate within the UKCP Code of Ethics and Professional Practice and in line with our equalities and diversity statement
- Remind all members to ensure professional wills, executors and contracts are up to date
We are updating our ‘house style’ currently 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 or the Regulation Team. Please remember that your college doesn’t need to know necessarily 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.
- Considerations around trainee therapy and supervision – 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 this won’t be possible right now. 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:
- Consider in-person versus remote, and the differences and similarities, and how these could benefit your trainees
- Have a list of approved training supervisors/therapists
- You could have an establishing interview with the supervisors/therapists in advance of their taking on any of the new cohort to ensure they are up to speed with working remotely with trainees, alongside whatever processes you have for putting them on your list
- Having set requirements around establishing the relationship via remote/online means.
- Consider how trainees are able to provide remote therapy to their clients, and how this is counted as part of the training programme/accreditation. UKCP’s requirements will be flexible to allow for this, and we rely on the training providers to address this accordingly.
- Ensure trainees are aware of what they need to do and who to contact if they need to take time out from the training
- 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.
Some specifics around use of technology include:
- Our current SETs require some pre-sessional face to face delivery to ensure students are prepared for the journey ahead and to establish a learning relationship. We recognise those new cohorts are essential for ongoing financial viability, and you will need to consider how you manage this.
Some points for you to consider as you are planning your next intake include:
- How will you manage the introduction if it’s not in-person?
- Will you be holding online open days to attract students?
- Will you have online interviews? More than one interview, with more than one interviewer from the OM?
- Will you introduce smaller groups or 1 to 1 sessions for the initial online training sessions?While it isn’t in-person, a remote initial training session could be considered face to face and may provide an appropriate level of interaction, learning and engagement until such time as your venues are open again.
- Normally, distance teaching and learning using these technologies should not exceed 50% of the total contact time (again as per the UKCP Adult Psychotherapy SETs).
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 social distancing for a much longer period than a few months, 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.
- Support members to take time out if necessary, and provide guidance on how to return to practice
- Consider how members are able to provide remote therapy to their clients, and how this is counted as part of CPD and re-accreditation. UKCP’s requirements will be flexible to allow for this, and we rely on our OMs to address this accordingly.
Will registrants still be called to complete random audits at this time?
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, as we realise ‘seeing’ their supervisor in person won’t be happening and other things might be delayed as well. Unfortunately, we cannot accept paper submissions, only electronic.
If a registrant is called for UKCP audit 2021 – will any deficiencies in hours from 2020 be taken into account given the current circumstances?
Next year’s 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). 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. Networking and contact with the wider profession could be considered part of CPD and are not possible with social distancing, but 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.
Do people still need to let UKCP/OM/college know if they suddenly find they have no client work at this time, or is there a more flexible period?
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.
Do trainees need to have received training to work online or over the phone? Does the course need to deliver this training or can the placement provider?
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 assess if it’s safe and appropriate for trainees to proceed working online on a case-by-case basis, and that trainees have appropriate supervision in place for the nature of the work.
Are you accepting paper applications from our graduates/newly accredited members?
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
Will trainee client hours accumulated via online therapy count towards their accreditation?
This is up to the training provider, but we would recommend during this time of social distancing that they be counted. UKCP has acknowledged that there should be flexibility around trainees working remotely and will rely on organisational members to be supportive of their trainees while also ensuring no risk to clients.
If we want to make changes to our training programme in response to Covid-19, do we need to let UKCP know?
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 any changes you need to make in remote/online training.
If you aren’t sure, please email the Regulation team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can provide support and answer questions.
How will this affect our 5 yearly Organisational Member Review?
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 of the UKCP website. 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.
- Be supportive, flexible and pragmatic in approach to regulation, CPD and supervision, and communicate this to members.
- Recommend online CPD and other resources for learning/development.
- Provide guidance and creative suggestions for members who might be struggling with CPD hours.
- Be creative in relation to CPD during a time when events are being cancelled and attendance in person won’t happen. We anticipate there are still activities which can be undertaken at this time, such as:
- forming a remote peer group to discuss CPD and share resources and learning, ie a separate space from supervision
- online workshops
- committee work
- remote teaching
Should members undertake CPD/Re-accreditation Peer reviews online/remotely?
It is recommended these meetings happen via remote meetings or video conferencing during this time.
Will a registrant’s client hours accumulated via online therapy count towards their Re-accreditation?
Yes, if under supervision, and online/telephone supervision should also count towards their re-accreditation.
The general UKCP CPD policy says 50 hours per year and no less than 20 in any one year. Should OMs be more flexible with their minimum CPD requirements at this time to support registrants?
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.
What if an OM can’t review all those due for re-accreditation this year, particularly those due a 5 year re-accreditation, in time for deadlines – will it be okay that this be a little extended?
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.