We’ve been made aware by some members who work in IAPT that services are now enforcing requirements that staff have completed a recognised IAPT training course and have the relevant professional accreditation.

We understand some services may be interpreting this to mean that staff who don’t meet these requirements should not be working within IAPT services.

Understandably, this has caused some staff to feel that they’re at risk of redundancy.

We recognise this has caused anxiety and we’d like to reassure you this isn’t how the document should be interpreted.

The IAPT manual states that staff who can complete the training and achieve the accreditation will have time to apply for and follow these processes. We’ve been assured that transitional arrangements for staff are being put in place to help them meet the requirements and we are committed to supporting members through this period.

We have contacted the relevant services where we’ve been told the requirements have been misinterpreted.

The decision setting out these requirements for training and linked professional accreditations was taken by NHS England and Health Education England.

We know that our members, whether registered or accredited, have been trained and assessed to nationally recognised standards and have invested heavily in their own training and ongoing development. This is something we have stressed to NHS England and Health Education England during our conversations with them about the IAPT requirements.

Matt Smith-Lilley, our Policy and Engagement Lead (Mental Health), said: “Our members play a valuable role in improving the mental and wellbeing of individuals, and of wider society.

“They have the capacity to make a greater contribution but their experience and skills are currently underutilised by commissioners, including the NHS.

“The NHS Long-Term Plan sets out a clear programme of mental health service expansions, but that these ambitions can only be met through a significant expansion of the existing workforce.

“We are actively working with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Health Education England to increase paid roles for counselling and psychotherapy as part of the solution to their workforce requirements. Ultimately we want to ensure that the public have increased access to counselling and psychotherapy.”

We will continue to keep you updated on these matters.

If you believe the service which employs you has misunderstood the requirements, please email publicaffairs@bacp.co.uk