ACAT Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Policy

Revised January 2018

This new ACAT CPD (Continuing Professional Development) Policy replaces the previous policy dated April 2010 and revised in September 2011



Following ACAT’s Quinquennial Review (QQR) by the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College (HIPC) of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) in 2016, there are new requirements for CPD and also for Re-accreditation for those ACAT Psychotherapists who are also registered with HIPC.  Please see separate document:  “ACAT/HIPC Psychotherapist Five Yearly Re-accreditation” for details.

This new CPD policy explains the different requirements for CPD and audit for two groups of ACAT members.  Please see the relevant section below (A or B) for the standards which apply to you:

  1. CAT Practitioners/Therapists and CAT Psychotherapists (ACAT-only)
  2. CAT Psychotherapists who are also registered with HIPC/UKCP


CPD – Definition

  1. We define Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as the way CAT Practitioners and Psychotherapists improve and broaden their knowledge, skills, and abilities and develop the personal and professional qualities necessary for effective practice throughout their working life, after formal training courses have been completed.  This enables the individual therapist to work safely, legally, ethically, effectively and creatively.
  2. Professional Development is more than simply sitting in consulting rooms clocking up hours of experience.  Development involves the active reflection on experience in a way that allows for the individual to specify what has been learned or reconfirmed.  Thus CPD is about moving from passive experience to active attempts to learn from that experience.
  3. Professional Development is therefore something that is capable of being accounted for and in some way verified.  In order to demonstrate that it has taken place, an individual needs to be able to describe what happened and specify at least some of what has been learned in a way that another informed individual can understand.  In this sense CPD seeks to build on the current model of reflective practice which is, for example, facilitated by professional consultation/supervision, and in so doing moves not only the individual forward, but also the profession as a whole.


CPD General Standards which apply to all ACAT Members

These standards are relevant to accredited CAT Practitioners and CAT Psychotherapist members of ACAT providing CAT therapy to patients and/or actively involved in ACAT teaching and training:

  • The clinician should have ongoing membership with ACAT.
  • Every time you renew your ACAT membership you are confirming that you have met our standards for CPD.
  • Every member is personally responsible for his or her own CPD but is required to develop a CPD plan in collaboration with their clinical supervisor/line manager/tutor/peer supervisor/colleague which should reflect their learning needs.  It should include three or more types of CPD activity (see below).
  • An ACAT member should maintain a continuous, up to date, and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Each full day (e.g. at a training workshop) counts as five hours CPD activity, each half day counts as three hours.  The member must demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • The member must, upon request, present a written profile, which must be their own work and is supported by evidence, explaining how they have met the standards for CPD.


A.  CPD Standards which apply to CAT Practitioners / Therapists and ACAT-only Psychotherapists (ACAT Auditing)

CAT Practitioners and ACAT-only Psychotherapists are required to complete 30 hours of CPD every year, 20 hours of which needs to be relevant to their CAT practice and 10 hours of which may be generic.


ACAT Auditing of CAT Practitioners / Therapists and ACAT-only Psychotherapists

  1. CAT Practitioners and ACAT-only Psychotherapists (non-HIPC members) are subject to auditing of their CPD by ACAT.  At the time of renewing your ACAT membership we will ask you to confirm that you have undertaken CPD over the past year (in terms of numbers of hours of CPD over that year only).

The new ACAT audit cycle starts early each calendar year. Each year we ask a random sample, (2.5% of Practitioners, 2.5% ACAT Psychotherapists), to fill in a CPD profile and return it with evidence of how they have met our standards. We will assess these profiles. We will only audit clinicians who are two years’ post Practitioner accreditation. Similarly, if you have had a break from work and you have just re-joined ACAT you will not be chosen for audit immediately. Once you have been audited you would be removed from the pool of members for three years before being able to be selected again.

  1. If you are chosen for audit we will send you a CPD profile form to fill in and return by a specific date.  The profile will include a summary of your recent work/practice in relation to CAT, your development plan and the activities and hours as shown above.
  2. An editable copy of the ACAT CPD profile form is available under CAT Tools on your personal home page, and may be used for ongoing recording of your CPD activities. 
  3. A senior member of ACAT is appointed as the ACAT Auditor to undertake the assessment of CPD profiles.  They will let the Exam Board know whether in their professional opinion, your CPD meets ACAT’s standards.
  4. If your CPD meets the standards we will write and let you know.
  5. If your CPD is under hours or has fewer than three different types of activity recorded, we will give you a time frame to undertake further CPD and resubmit your log.
  6. There is a risk that your membership may be discontinued if you do not meet this requirement.


B.  CPD Standards which apply to ACAT Psychotherapists who are registered with HIPC    (HIPC Re-accreditation (RA) procedure)

ACAT is an Organisational Member of the Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College of the UKCP.  If you are an ACAT Psychotherapist who is also registered with HIPC, the CPD standards of HIPC/UKCP will apply to you, as follows:

“The minimum requirement (for CPD hours) is 250 hours over a five-year period normally with a minimum of 20 hours in any one year.  Up to 50 of the 250 hours can be counted from clinical supervision, in particular if this provides additional training in another model”  (HIPC CPD Requirements and Minimum Standards, September 2016).

If you are an HIPC registered Psychotherapist you will not be subject to the ACAT audit process as outlined above (in section A).


HIPC Re-accreditation Procedure

Instead of the ACAT Audit process, HIPC Psychotherapists will be subject to the HIPC/UKCP 5-yearly Re-accreditation procedure.  Your CPD (requirements outlined above) will form a very important part of your re-accreditation, and is monitored at the time of your re-accreditation.

Please see separate document:  ACAT Re-accreditation (RA) Policy January 2018 for full details of the Re-accreditation procedure.


CPD Recording

How you choose to record your CPD is your decision, but the essential elements are listed below, and there are some suggestions for how you might wish to think about it.


The Plan and Record Process

The CPD cycle shown here demonstrates an appropriate approach to CPD planning and recording.  At the start of the process you will need to identify your Development Needs and some activities that you will undertake to meet this need.

1.  Identify Development Need
Brief summarising statement reflecting main areas of practice, e.g. clinical, managerial, audit, or research.
Every member is personally responsible for his or her own CPD but is required to develop a CPD plan in collaboration with their clinical supervisor/line manager/tutor/peer supervisor/colleague which should reflect their learning needs.

Most personal development plans involve identifying:

  • What do I need to learn?
  • What will I do to achieve this?
  • What resources or support will I need?
  • What will my success criteria be?

2.  Planned Activities
You need to outline at least one activity which will help you to address each development need.  CPD events over the year should include three or more of the following types of CPD activity:

  • Work-based learning
  • Professional activities
  • Formal/Educational
  • Self-directed learning
  • Other activities

Some examples of CPD activities are:

Work based learning:

  • Learning from difficult cases undertaken
  • Supervising staff or students
  • Journal club
  • Audit of patients

Professional activities:

  • Membership of and participation in a special interest group
  • Writing for publication
  • Lecturing or teaching
  • Giving presentations at conferences
  • Mentoring a CAT trainee or CAT colleague

Formal / Educational:

  • Study for further qualifications, e.g. supervisor training
  • Attendance at courses, workshops or conferences
  • Planning and running training or workshops

Self-directed learning:

  • Personal therapy
  • Reading journals/articles
  • Reviewing books or articles
  • Being part of a journal group

Other activities:

  • Representing ACAT to others
  • Spearheading ideas relevant to therapy

Please see Appendix 1 of this document for further examples

3. Record Activities
Please see the profile (available under CAT Tools on your personal home page) which gives a suggestion of how CPD activity could be recorded.  You can download and use this editable profile as you go along to record your CPD activities if you wish.  This is the profile which would be submitted if you are chosen to be audited.

4. Reflect on Plan
Professional development is not purely about inputs (i.e. undertaking CPD activities); it also requires a reflective outcomes-based approach, which focuses on the learning gained from CPD and its application to current or future practice, together with the associated benefits for you, your clients, and the services you provide. Therefore, you will need to reflect on what you have learnt from your CPD activity and whether this has helped identify a new learning need.  You are required to review your personal development plan with your clinical supervisor/line manager/tutor/peer supervisor/colleague at the end of the year cycle and this should be signed by both of you.


CPD schemes with employers

Our standards mean that you could meet our requirements in whole or in part by taking part in a scheme run by your employer.  

If you are part of a CPD scheme which:

  • is useful to you;
  • is relevant to your practice, including your CAT practice;
  • helps you to develop; and
  • has a structure that means you can meet our standards

then taking part in this scheme would be a perfectly acceptable way of meeting our standards.

If you were chosen to be audited, you would draw on the different activities that you had completed as part of the scheme, when filling in your CPD profile.  Many CPD schemes offered by other organisations may give you the opportunity to meet our standards, and offer a useful way of structuring your activities and development. However, you must decide whether you are content that taking part in another scheme will make sure you meet our standards.  You are still individually responsible for your CPD, even if you are part of a formal CPD scheme.


Associated Documents

  • ACAT CPD Profile Form
  • ACAT /HIPC Re-accreditation (RA) Policy January 2018
  • ACAT / HIPC Psychotherapist Five Yearly Re-accreditation Form
  • The HIPC document: Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Requirements and Minimum Standards (September 2016)


Agreed April 2010, revised September 2011 and January 2018



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