Online and phone therapy competences

Our 'Online and phone therapy (OPT) competence framework' (published February 2021) sets out the knowledge, understanding and skills required for OPT practice.

The 'OPT training curriculum' (May 2021), which is underpinned by the OPT competences, is aimed at training providers delivering OPT training. It has different options for student counsellors and qualified practitioners with varying levels of existing competence. These range from initial core training to an extended course, or top-up training and CPD.

You can use our OPT competence framework to map your existing competence and identify further training and development needs. If you feel you're competent in all areas of the framework, you don't need to undertake further training. However, if there are any gaps in your knowledge or skills, you should take additional training or CPD to comply with the Ethical Framework. We don't currently have an OPT course accreditation scheme so we recommend you look for a course informed by our OPT competences or curriculum.

The speed of IT development means that any published guidance can only reflect a specific moment in time, so practitioners should regularly explore and assess technological innovations and their potential impact. It is a practitioner's responsibility to continually update their practice with regard to OPT competences to ensure they are ‘working to professional standards’ (Ethical Framework, Good practice points 13 and 14).

Online and phone therapy CPD

There are several short OPT CPD courses designed for those already working remotely or to supplement formal OPT training.

Please visit our online and phone therapy CPD courses web page to find out more information about courses by The Open University and to book your place.