Members of the House of Lords are due to debate the impact of unregistered and unregulated therapists.

Ahead of today’s debate, we’ve sent a joint briefing with BPC and UKCP to parliamentarians who are due to be involved.

We’ve highlighted how our members are highly-skilled and qualified and are bound by professional and ethical standards, as well as explained our public protection work, including our conduct procedure.

And we’ve commented on the current PSA-accredited register system and how that differs from statutory regulation.

Important debate

Our Chief Executive Officer Hadyn Williams said: “This important debate will focus on issues that are at the heart of the future of our professions and our work to protect the public. We’re pleased to have been given the opportunity to brief members of the House of Lords to help inform this discussion.

“We would like to be involved in any work that could influence the regulatory framework for our members to ensure it protects the public and maintains the highest standards within the profession. We need to involve and listen to our members on this significant topic and will be watching this debate closely.”

The motion for the debate asks the Government ‘what assessment they have made of the impact of treatment by unregulated and unregistered persons offering psychotherapy or counselling services upon the mental health and wellbeing of their clients’.

What the briefing says

Our briefing highlights how clients working with unregistered therapists are more vulnerable to the possibility of harm, as they have no assurance of their therapists’ level of training and don’t have access to a conduct process on the rare occasion that something goes wrong.

It stresses that all three membership bodies are committed to working within a regulatory framework that delivers high professional standards and a level of public protection.

The briefing refers to the current PSA-accredited register programme. It highlights the positives of this scheme – but also says improvements are needed, including raising public awareness of it.

It says that statutory regulation could offer greater protection for the public if titles were protected, but there could still be challenges with this system too.

Our briefing also emphasises that any consideration to changing the way counsellors and psychotherapists are registered or regulated must be done in full collaboration with all professional bodies within the field.

The full briefing will be published on our website at a later date.

Watch the debate

You can watch today’s House of Lords debate online. It is due to take place after 2.30pm.