In 2021, it was announced that NHS England was to roll out a landmark three-year pilot programme to provide fully funded training for psychotherapeutic counselling within IAPT services (now called NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression). The training will be accredited by five of the six SCoPEd partners currently recognised in the NHS Talking Therapies manual (ACC, BPC, BACP, NCS, and UKCP), with UKCP acting as lead accrediting body on behalf of the partners*.
Three courses began in September 2022 delivering postgraduate level training in person-centred experiential counselling for depression, dynamic interpersonal therapy and couples therapy for depression.
This significant initiative will open opportunities:
- to improve the choice of therapies available in the NHS, challenging the dominance of medication and CBT treatment options
- for the counselling and psychotherapy profession and especially for those less able to self-fund training. This will in turn support our equality, diversity and inclusion objectives as applicants are likely to come from a wider range of socio-economic backgrounds
- to enhance the SCoPEd partnership’s reputation within the NHS, solidifying close working relationships with key decision makers and policy teams
- to create more pathways to funded training, if the pilot is successful
- to provide future tendering opportunities for training providers affiliated with the partners of the joint accreditation
Quality assurance committee
A Quality Assurance Committee is being established to provide oversight for the accreditation pathway. The committee will comprise members from across the SCoPEd partners involved with the project.
The committee will:
- oversee the accreditation pilot, assessor training and the quality assurance process
- ensure standards are monitored and maintained
- approve updates to the process and reports
- follow-up concerns or queries
The quality assurance and accreditation framework is a great opportunity to further our collaboration and work together as SCoPEd partners. Ultimately this is for the benefit of patients, clients the public and the profession by increasing accessibility to the counselling and psychotherapy workforce.
The joint accreditation of this pilot programme allows us to demonstrate the importance of the SCoPEd partnership in developing relationships with NHS decision-makers, promoting psychotherapy and counselling to the public and ensuring a choice of therapies in NHS services.
The course curriculum is aligned with column B of the SCoPEd framework. The course competences have formed the foundation of the quality assurance and accreditation framework. These along with the competences in the NHS Talking Therapies manual for each modality are what we will be using to assess and quality assure the training providers and support the success of delivering a new training programme.
As a pilot programme, the SCoPEd partners are committed to contributing time, resources and experience to ensure that standards of education are met and to encourage further opportunities for funded training and expanded opportunities for qualified counsellors to work in NHS settings.
We’ll keep members and registrants updated as the pilot progresses.
*This accreditation pathway is a project of the SCoPEd partners to accredit the HEE training as column B training. Human Givens Institute are not an accrediting partner as their standards don’t currently map to column B of the SCoPEd framework.
The SCoPEd framework is a ground-breaking shared standards framework, developed by six Professional Standards Authority accredited bodies, including BACP, which represent over 75,000 counsellors and psychotherapists
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