Regulation of Therapies and Coaching
At the time of writing none of the therapies or coaching we cover are regulated by federal bodies. They are in effect unregulated. This means there is no direct control over people practicing in these areas; no requirement for them to belong to a professional body or hold professional liability insurance.
However; at ACCPH we do believe in high standards and will only accredit quality courses. We will only allow those therapists and coaches who have undertaken a course of a high enough standard to join.
Most professional bodies do not deem that Home Study courses are of a sufficient standard to allow membership – we somewhat buck the trend and do accept these courses for membership.
Our stance on this is quite simple; if the course someone has qualified in has a level from an Ofqual regulated body then they may join as a Member. So if they have a Level 3 Counselling qualification from: Focus Awards, AIM Awards, NCFE, ABC Awards, Industry Standards, etc that person is eligible to join us.
Why? These qualifications are issued by a Government regulated awarding body to be of a set standard, be it Level 2, 3, or 4. That person should have a right to register with a professional body.
Voluntary Accredited Registers
The following quote is taken from the Professional Standards website.
“We assess organisations that register health and social care practitioners who are not regulated by law so that you can choose a practitioner to meet your needs with confidence”.
Click HERE to link to their website
The Professional Standards Authority accredits Registers of health and social care practitioners which meet the Authority’s standards. These are known as Accredited Registers.
The Accredited Register scheme was set up by the Department of Health and administered by the Professional Standards Authority. The PSA are an independent body accountable to Government. The main remit of the Professional Standards Authority is to accredit registers of people working in a variety of NHS health and social care occupations. The Authority also oversees statutory registers such as the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council.
The scheme was also set up to provide quality assurance on the standards of voluntary registers within the fields of counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy.
The VAR scheme was set up to ensure that the public are able to access safe, ethical and competent professionals for their health care needs.
The ACCPH’s position on Voluntary Regulation
We totally accept that there should be strong safeguards in place for the public. There are many unsuitable people, within the fields we cater, for offering their services to the public. With these points in mind the ACCPH has created a strict Code of Conduct and accreditation process.
We have our own quite stringent Voluntary Register that follows the format of the VAR’s closely but with a few minor adjustments as we work with coaching as well as therapy. At present we are not seeking a full VAR from the PSA due to our multi-mode membership. We feel that the VAR criteria are biased to those working within the NHS and most of our therapists and coaches are working in private practice or within companies which obviously have different driving forces.
Membership of the register is only open to Accredited Members and those of higher grades.
The ACCPH’s position on Statutory Regulation
We fully support the concept of strong Voluntary Accredited Registers. These provide assurance to the public but allow for individual teaching and methodologies.
Statutory regulation is often followed by standardisation which stifles innovation and improvements in therapy and coaching methods. Usually just one approach takes precedent and does not allow diversity of approach to flourish. This takes away choice from the public and the “one approach fits all” does not work, many people need to find the one that works for them – that would be denied.
The ACCPH has incorporated a significant range of high standards from the outset. These are as a direct result of our understanding the requirements of the VAR scheme and instituting them from the offset.
- Ofqual level, or equivalent, benchmarks for training standards
- PSA benchmarks for training standards are paralleled where possible
- Easy complaint procedures
- Strict therapist and coaching criteria for accreditation
- Provision of conversion courses for Members to become Accredited and join the ACCPH Voluntary Register