11 September 2009

The regulation of Psychotherapists and Counsellors

In February 2007, the White Paper, ‘Trust, Assurance and Safety – The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century’ stated psychotherapists and counsellors were a priority for future regulation. The government White Paper also said that these professions should be regulated by the Health Professions Council (HPC).

In preparation, in autumn 2008, The HPC established a working group, known as a ‘Professional Liaison Group’ or ‘PLG’ to discuss and make recommendations to the Secretary of State and Ministers in the devolved administrations about the regulation of these groups. This working group is made up of registrant and lay members of the HPC Council, as well as representatives from professional bodies representing psychotherapists and counsellors, education providers and service users.

To date, the group has made good progress in discussing and making decisions about the structure of the Register, protected titles, voluntary registers, the grandparenting process, standards of education and training and standards of proficiency. It is planned that the group will report to the HPC Council in July 2009.

Recommendations will then be subject to a further public consultation before proposals are finalised in December 2009. Once the HPC makes final recommendations, the final decision about the regulation of these groups will rest with government.