Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and
Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

There are circumstances in which individuals may wish to have past training and experience recognised by ACAT as equivalent to its current standards and to count towards an award. Guidelines exist outlining procedures for this route. 

There are two routes whereby applicants may wish to have training or experience recognised. 

Firstly, APL as part contribution to CAT training. All courses may consider instances where an applicant wishes to have past attainments recognised rather than following through all the components that the course offers.  This is at the discretion of the course. An example would be the acceptance of CAT therapies conducted prior to formal training. If a trainee has been supervised in CAT by an ACAT accredited supervisor before the start of the course they may be able to ‘count’- in discussion with and at the discretion of the practitioner training supervisor/course - a maximum of two cases towards the  eight training cases. This is agreed on an individual basis during the CAT Practitioner training related to whether a trainee is on track in terms of their learning and development on the course.

The second route, arises where an applicant can make a case that the extent of their training and experience is such that it would be superfluous for them to complete one of the formal trainings offered by ACAT.  The APL route should not be seen as an alternative to a recognised training, but as a route for use under particular circumstances.  Applicants for the APL route need to provide good evidence for why they are not undertaking a recognised ACAT training.  Examples include:

  • An applicant may have completed a substantial part of a CAT Practitioner course but have been unable to complete for personal reasons such as moving out of the area, maternity leave.
  • An applicant may have successfully completed a CAT Practitioner course and a UKCP accredited psychotherapy training in another therapeutic framework.

Applicants should consult the appropriate guidelines for the specific requirements.

APL Guidelines

Revised February 2017

Technology Assisted Supervision and Training (TAST)

Definition of TAST

Refers to supervision or training assisted by technology via email/internet relay chat/VOIP (voice over internet protocol)/video webcam in real time (synchronous) or asynchronously, where the supervisor/supervisee are not in the same physical space at the same time. 

Guidance on TAST

ACAT aims to advise members of information and guidance on TAST, and to develop knowledge of the safest systems. Given the fast changing landscape of the interface between tech and therapy/supervision, members who use TAST need to be responsible for keeping themselves informed and up to date about new developments. There is a Special Interest Group to share learning and support members in this area, which also focuses on offering therapy on-line.

Below are some principles and basic information on the practical issues to consider when setting up TAST supervision, which presents opportunities and certain risks. ACAT would encourage those delivering TAST to consider their CPD needs and to ensure that, in line with ethical practice, they consider relevant codes of conduct in light of this dimension to their work. All supervisors should ask themselves if they have sufficient understanding of the specific issues that working online involves.  

  • Security, Confidentiality and Data Protection Issues are paramount because of the risks that technology poses to breaches.
  • Check in advance with your employer (NHS or other) that TAST work is acceptable.  You also should also check in advance that you are covered for such work with your private insurer.
  • Consider use of ‘fit for purpose’ platforms for computer mediated communication including video conferencing or email. Those made specifically for social networking are not recommended for professional use e.g. FaceTime, WhatsApp or ‘hotmail’ email. This knowledge is likely to require some research as technology develops apace.  Outside of the NHS it is possible to download and use free versions of platforms. ACAT does not recommend one platform over another specifically, not least because things are changing all the time but the following links are offered
  • Consider virus protection on devices, VPNs for additional security, and use of passwords to protect word documents.
  • Bear in mind issues which may impact on communication and relationship. Because video conferencing uses high bandwidth, to mitigate against buffering or freezes, switch off additional programmes that might be running in the background e.g. Skype, Dropbox that could slow connection down.
  • Reliance exclusively on Wi-Fi may be problematic if the Wi-Fi signal is lost. Using an ethernet cable presents a more reliable option for connection. They are relatively cheap to buy.
  • Consider the supervision contract how this might be adapted. Make explicit ‘plan Bs’ for contact, and be clear about security & storage of data.  Does the supervisee understand the potential risks and challenges when technology is involved? What arrangements for contact and supervision will you make in the event of tech failure? What will the boundaries be around the supervision? What will be the arrangements if the supervisee emails to request urgent supervision or if their client is in crisis?
  • Bear in mind that with smart devices, and continual connection to the internet, the consequences of the ‘technology ecosystem’ (Mantovani 1996) might mean that you are uploading data or information unintentionally to clouds which may be situated in different geographical locations outside of UK jurisdiction and as such you lose control of its privacy.


Mantovani, G., (1996) New Communications Environments: From Everyday to Virtual CRC Press.

Recommended reading and resources

Stokes, A. (Ed.). (2018). Online Supervision: A Handbook for Practitioners (Psychotherapy 2.0 Series). Routledge.


June 2019


ACAT Calendar for February
1313th February 2020
CPD Event: CPD Day offered by CAT Scotland
2424th February 2020
CPD Event: How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become Psychology
2828th February 2020
CAT Introductory Event: ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT
CPD Event: How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become Psychology

Our Next 25 Events

28th February 2020
ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT

28th February 2020
How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become Psychology

10th March 2020
Equality and Diversity SIG Meeting

12th March 2020
CAT 2 Day Introductory Workshop - offered by CNTW NHS Foundation Trust

13th March 2020
An Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy - offered by Sussex Partnership NHS Trust

16th March 2020
Reflective Practice Workshop - offered by TEWV

17th March 2020
Forensic CAT Conference - offered by TEWV

20th March 2020
IRRAPT Fundraising Workshop - offered by Cheryl Delisser and Clive Turpin

21st March 2020
How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become Psychology

25th March 2020
Considering the Adolescent Self in Working with Adults using CAT - offered by the CAT SW SIG

26th March 2020
ACAT: Trainers and Supervisors Meeting

30th March 2020

17th April 2020
Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy: A three day course - offered by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS

22nd April 2020
ACAT: Relational Skills in CAT Supervision Residential

22nd April 2020
ACAT: Relational Skills in CAT Supervision Residential

24th April 2020
ACAT: Embodied CAT and Trauma

25th April 2020
7th CAT Cumbria Event

29th April 2020
Introduction to CAT - offered by Jurai Darongkamas and Jeanette McLoughlin

1st May 2020
Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy

4th May 2020
ACAT: Negotiating the therapeutic alliance

9th July 2020
26th ACAT National Conference 2020

10th July 2020
Annual General Meeting 2020

25th September 2020
Polyvagal theory, oxytocin and neurobiology of love - offered by ITACAT

1st October 2020
South London CAT Practitioner 2020 - 2022

1st October 2020
Catalyse CAT Practitioner Training 2020-2022


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