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The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) exists to promote and maintain high standards in the practice of psychotherapy for the benefit of the public, throughout the United Kingdom. Only psychotherapists who meet the training requirements of UKCP and abide by its ethical guidelines are included on the UKCP's online Register of Psychotherapists.
The Council has, as its members, the great majority of reputable psychotherapy organisations in the United Kingdom and welcomes applications from new organisations, which are rigorously scrutinised. Additionally the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Psychological Society are Special Members of the Council.
There are at present 80 member organisations. They are grouped together in autonomous Sections representing all the main traditions in the practice of psychotherapy. The UKCP was established in 1993 and within a few years had evolved into being the indispensable national umbrella organisation for all the psychotherapeutic modalities.
The Council is run by a Board of Trustees, which is elected annually at an Annual General Meeting of representatives of all the Member Organisations. A number of sub committees, including the Ethics and Training Standards Committees, and those committees responsible for the UKCP's interface with other bodies such as the NHS and NICE (The National Institute for Clinical Excellence), report directly to the Board of Trustees. The Registration Board, which is responsible for all matters relating to the registration of psychotherapists in UKCP Member Organisations, has a quasi autonomous status in relation to the Board, designed to preserve its independence.
Registration is also important in the wider setting of the European Community. The UKCP represents the United Kingdom in the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP) based in Vienna, which sets standards for equivalence of training and practice throughout Europe. The UKCP is the National Awarding Organisation (NAO) overseeing the award of the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) in the UK.
The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is the national registering body serving the public by promoting excellence within the profession of psychotherapy. Through partnerships with government, training organisations and other relevant bodies, we endeavour to ensure quality in our work and protection of the public through:
- Promoting excellence in training, education and research
- Creating high standards of practice and expertise
- Providing equal opportunities for practitioners and clients alike
- Expanding public accessibility to quality psychotherapy
- Maintaining a high level of ethical standards, accountability, and transparency
As the national registering body for a unified profession, we acknowledge a multiplicity of psychotherapeutic approaches, and recognise this plurality as an asset. Maintaining and integrating quality assurance programmes across the field enables members of the public greater choice, accessibility, and safety when engaging with a UKCP registered psychotherapist.
The UKCP regards the regulation of psychotherapists and the public accountability of their practice as of paramount importance. This is in order to safeguard the interests of patients and clients and the reputation of registered practitioners. The present Register is voluntary, in other words it is not required by any Act of Parliament, but the UKCP is campaigning with other related organisations for the statutory regulation of the 'talking therapy' professions.
The UKCP was initially founded in the 1980s as the "United Kingdom Standing Conference for Psychotherapy", following the Foster Report (1971) and the Sieghart Report (1978) which recommended regulation of the psychotherapy field , and was formally inaugurated as a Council in 1993.
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