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 January
2828th January 2020
CPD Event: The Cognitive Analytic Approach in Physical Health Conditions - offered by Catalyse

Our Next 19 Events

View all courses

28-01-20 The Cognitive Analytic Approach in Physical Health Conditions - offered by CatalyseA one day workshop led by Glenys Parry and Alison Jenaway Hashtag #CAThealth20 Date: Tuesday 28 January 2020 Time: 9:30am to 4:30pm Venue: Lecture Hall, Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool L9 7AL Fee: £120 (please note an additional £...

13-02-20 CPD Day offered by CAT ScotlandUniversity of Glasgow (Sir Alwyn Williams Building) 9.30 for 10.00 am start, ending at 3.30, and followed by the CAT Scotland AGM Professor Helen Minnis (University of Glasgow Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health) will speak on 'Mal...

24-02-20 How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become PsychologyHow to run a successful private practice: all you need to know. Workshop presented by Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapist & Supervisor, & Vice-Chair of the Association for Cognitive Analytic Thera...

28-02-20 ACAT: Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATIntro0220 A two-day introduction to the skills and concepts in practice, led by Steve Potter and Annalee Curran This highly-rated short course is offered by ACAT for people new to the CAT way of working. Friday 28th and Saturday 29th Februar...

28-02-20 How to run a successful private practice: all you need to know - offered by Become Psychology~ Workshop presented by Dr Robert Watson, Clinical Psychologist, Accredited Cognitive Analytic Therapist & Supervisor, & Vice-Chair of the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy. ~ Relevant for Clinical/Counselling Psychologists, and Psy...

10-03-20 Equality and Diversity SIG MeetingThe next Equality and Diversity SIG meeting is on the 10th of March at 2pm at Training Room, 1st Floor Munro Centre 66 Snowsfields London SE1 3SS All welcome, please email Lorrain to confirm attendance....

12-03-20 CAT 2 Day Introductory Workshop - offered by CNTW NHS Foundation TrustThursday 12th & Friday 13th March 2020 9.30am – 4pm Provided by CNTW Cognitive Analytic Therapy Service, Centre for Specialist Psychological Therapies, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust VENUE: Training Room 1, Benfield...

16-03-20 Reflective Practice Workshop - offered by TEWVShared Thinking Space: Developing Reflective Mapping Skills Facilitated by Steve Potter and Jenny Marshall Venue: Radisson Blu, Durham This one day workshop offers a reflective space for clinicians working with teams and organisations. The day wil...

17-03-20 Forensic CAT Conference - offered by TEWVInnovations in Working with Offenders: Using a Cognitive Analytic Model Hosted by Ridgeway Hospital, Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV) Venue: Radisson Blu, Durham This one day conference considers how Cognitive Analytic Therapy can enable...

26-03-20 Trainers and Supervisors MeetingMore information to follow, potential venue currently being investigated....

22-04-20 Relational Skills in CAT Supervision ResidentialACAT Relational Skills in CAT Supervision Residential #ACATSup20 Holland House, Main Street, Cropthorne, Pershore, WR10 3NB 4.30 pm Wednesday 22nd April to 3.00 pm Friday 24th April 2020 Cost: £330 online booking / £345 cheque or invo...

24-04-20 ACAT: Embodied CAT and TraumaEmbodied CAT and Trauma: Safe Trauma Processing, Inner Attunement and the Development of the Adult Self Presented by John Bristow #CATtrauma20 Date: Friday 24th April 2020 Times: 10 am to 5 pm Cost: ACAT Member &pou...

25-04-20 7th CAT Cumbria EventCAT CUMBRIA aims to increase access to CAT in the Lake District and be a support network for CAT therapists in rural areas. Date & Time: Saturday. April 25th, 2020, 10am – 4.30pm. Venue: Hawkshead, near Ambleside. Overlooking fells and Es...

29-04-20 Introduction to CAT - offered by Jurai Darongkamas and Jeanette McLoughlinTime: 9.30am – 4.30pm Venue: St Martin in the Bull Ring (De bermingham room), Central Birmingham, B5 5BB (1 minute from the Bull/market, a 5 min walk from New Street/Moor Street Stations or Digbeth Coach Station, just by the multi-storey car pa...

01-05-20 Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training in Cognitive Analytic TherapyInter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy Applications are invited for the next intake of the Inter-Regional Residential ACAT Psychotherapy Training in Cognitive Analytic Therapy, starting in May 2020. Thi...

09-07-20 26th ACAT National Conference 2020#ACATconf20 'Connections, Conflicts and CAT' Now open for Early Bird Booking! Venue: Grand Hotel, Gosforth Park More information to follow. Visit the 'ACAT Conference' area of the website for updates - this can be found via the ma...

10-07-20 Annual General Meeting 2020Advance notice of the ACAT Annual General Meeting 2020 This will be held on Friday, 10th July 2020 at Grand Hotel Gosforth Park, High Gosforth Park, Newcastle, NE3 5HN Items for the agenda to be received by Friday, 15th May 2020. Any queries, plea...

01-10-20 South London CAT Practitioner 2020 - 2022Further details will be added to the website once confirmed...

01-10-20 Catalyse CAT Practitioner Training 2020-2022Manchester based CAT Practitioner training 2 year course This is a two year training comprising a combination of workshops or training days, seminars, peer group work, personal learning, supervision, clinical practice and personal therapy. Experient...


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