Accreditations for the private practitioner
How do your clients know that you are a competent practitioner? How do they know that you have the right training and expertise?
Well, they could check your qualifications, and find out about your experience. They may also check your accreditations.
Accreditations demonstrate that you are registered with certain organisations. They indicate that you have met the rules and requirements of these organisations, work to certain standards, and have achieved a certain level of training and CPD.
Accreditations will help clients to develop trust in your expertise. They’re usually indicated by adding letters after your name, or being allowed to use a logo on your website or business card.
Sometimes you can’t legally use a professional title if you’re not registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Currently, the HPC regulates 15 different professions: arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists / podiatrists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, practitioner psychologists, prosthetists / orthotists, radiographers, and speech and language therapists.
There are many different organisations offering accreditation. If we take talking therapies as an example, here are just some of them:
- BACP - British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
- UKAHPP – United Kingdom Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners
- FDAP – Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals
- BPS – British Psychological Society
- UKCP – United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
- NRHP - National Register for Hypnotherapists and Psychotherapists
- BPC – British Psychoanalytic Council
- COSCA - Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland
- BABCP - British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
- PTUK - Play Therapy UK Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists
How to become accredited
First, choose the most important organisation for your professional credentials. Then find out about the requirements.
The process of becoming accredited varies from organisation to organisation. Usually, you will have to undergo training and supervised practice. Then you will have to fill out an application form and provide evidence of your qualifications and training. Accreditation is never permanent - you’ll have to provide ongoing evidence of Continuing Professional Development.
We discuss CPD more here.