Update on Statutory Regulation

Westacott, M., 2009. Update on Statutory Regulation. Reformulation, Summer, p.20.


Dear Colleagues

Following on from my March letter on statutory regulation I am writing to provide a further update on developments and progress. It is now almost certain that the protected titles adopted by the Health Professions Council (HPC) will be the generic ones of Psychotherapist and Counsellor (and not Psychotherapeutic Counsellor as we previously anticipated). Psychotherapists registered with organisations such as ACAT and the UKCP will be transferred to the HPC register in 2011 and will not pay anything other than the annual HPC fee of £52. The annual fee is payable for each category of HPC registration, so if you are an arts therapist and a psychotherapist you would pay £104 a year. For anyone who is not registered with a professional body in 2011 and wishes to seek registration through the HPC grand-parenting scheme this will be a far more costly £450 for entry plus the £52 annual membership.

The HPC will therefore not be protecting modality titles, such as psychodynamic or CAT or CBT, and the statutory register will not differentiate between modalities. Modalities will continue to be the domain of the professional bodies and other organisations. The HPC is also planning another public consultation on statutory regulation later this year and we will make sure that ACAT is involved in this process.

For CAT Practitioners who are not going to be on the HPC register through their core mental health profession there will be the option of registering as a Counsellor. We had lobbied for the term Psychological Therapist to be used in addition to Counsellor but this has not been adopted and a two level register is going to be implemented instead.

The focus of our work now is on lobbying the Department of Health to commission Skills for Health to develop National Occupational Standards (NOS) for CAT. Skills for Health is part of the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills and they have been commissioned by the Department of Health to provide the various NOS. A separate NOS for Interpersonal Therapy is currently under discussion and we are trying to push CAT up the agenda so that a specific CAT NOS is also developed. This will be important in future for the NHS commissioning of CAT therapy and CAT training. If a CAT NOS is agreed then it is anticipated that CAT therapists would have a central role in its development (Dawn Bennett has in fact done most of the work already through the development of CCAT). An obvious threat to all of this is the current political and economic climate, with each NOS costing around £60K, and the government building up an ever increasing budget deficit. However, the responses we have got to our “Case for CAT in the NHS” document from the professions, Department of Health, HPC and Skills for Health have all been overwhelmingly positive and supportive of our proposal.

Things have also progressed on the UKCP front. As you may know the Sections of the UKCP (such as HIPS) are soon to be replaced by Colleges. On June 24th we have a meeting in London with representatives of various other UKCP registrants who are interested in forming a new Cognitive Psychotherapies Section / College. At this stage these include cognitive behavioural therapists, mindfulness-based cognitive therapists and rational emotive behaviour therapists (around 270 in total so far). It is proposed that these registrants would form their own member organisation (MO) separate to ACAT. Along with ACAT, this new MO would form the new college. The meeting on June 24th is for us to see whether we have a sufficient amount in common to proceed. If we do go ahead and form the new college we would maintain our membership of HIPS so that members could decide which college they would prefer to join. At our recent AGM there was overwhelming support for pursing membership of this new college as it would open up dialogue with other therapy modalities and would also give us greatly increased visibility and influence in the UKCP and potentially beyond.

On a final note it was brought to my attention some months ago by an ACAT member that CAT is not mentioned at all on the NHS talking therapies website. The Department of Health have now agreed to commission pages specifically on CAT by the end of this year and will be contacting us for assistance in the autumn. Here is the link to the NHS website: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/Talkingtherapies.aspx

Over the next few months we will have more opportunity to discuss these and other issues together with the International Conference coming up in July and the Trainers and Supervisors Conference in September. It would be great to see as many of you there as possible, but if you can’t make it then please do send me your comments and suggestions.

Mark Westacott
Chair of ACAT

Full Reference

Westacott, M., 2009. Update on Statutory Regulation. Reformulation, Summer, p.20.

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