Professional Body Membership Overview
The purpose of this document is to provide information on professional membership throughout your training with ECPT and beyond. Whilst counsellors and psychotherapists are under no legal obligation to become a member of a professional body, membership will mean a member has met certain requirements set by their professional body and must abide by a code of ethics and complaints procedure which can offer assurance to prospective clients. Please read this document in conjunction with ECPT Affiliated Membership policy which provides further information on each level of our membership.
Whilst you are in training you become a member with ECPT. This is free and for the duration of your training. Alongside this membership, you may also decide to join UKCP independently although this is optional. There are two categories of UKCP membership for people in training – student £24 per year and trainee £74 per year (2023-24 price). UKCP define student members as in training but before commencing clinical practice. Once a student begins a placement and begins client work, they are then classed as a trainee member.
If you have completed your training but still have outstanding work or need to build up clinical or personal therapy hours to gain your diploma you will need to upgrade your ECPT membership to level 2 Holding membership until such a time as you have completed all requirements for graduation.
Once you have graduated from ECPT with a diploma in psychotherapeutic counselling or psychotherapy you may decide to work towards your accreditation. If you are building up hours to fulfil the requirements for accreditation you will need to move to level 2 holding membership. If you choose to graduate and not work towards accreditation you would no longer be a student with us, and this means you are not covered by ECPT’s UKCP membership and would need to look at joining a professional body. Unfortunately, you are not eligible to join UKCP until you have completed accreditation as they don’t have a level of membership between trainee and accredited members. ECPT recommend that you join a professional body such as NCPS or BACP in order to support and protect yourself and your client work. Information regarding their membership is available on their websites.
When you decide that you are ready to start the process towards gaining accreditation with UKCP, you will need to become a level 3 Accreditation member with us and will need to maintain this level of membership throughout the process until you gain accreditation.
Full Clinical Membership
Once you have gained UKCP accreditation you will need to remain a member with ECPT for a minimum of 12 months following your accreditation. When your membership renewal is due you would need to move to Level 4 CPD and Reaccreditation membership. Once you gain accreditation you also become eligible to register with UKCP as a full clinical member. This requires a separate membership and fee – please see UKCP website. Please be aware that if you decide not to join UKCP separately you will not be listed on the therapist directory on the UKCP website.
Once accredited with ECPT, you may decide to remain a member with us and complete your reaccreditation at 5 years and so would continue to renew your membership with us annually. Alternatively after 12 months following your accreditation with ECPT, you may decide that you wish to become a direct member of UKCP and would be eligible to apply to become a UKCP direct member. You would need to maintain your ECPT membership until UKCP direct members accept your application. If you are not a member with us at the time of your application, UKCP will not accept you as a direct member. Please be aware that by becoming a direct member with UKCP, you would lose the benefits of ECPT membership. You would also complete your 5 year reaccreditation process with UKCP. Please see ECPT reaccreditation handbooks for details of how to apply for UKCP direct membership or contact UKCP membership directly.
ECPT have two levels of membership for anyone wanting to offer supervision to our students. If you are a fully accredited member and become a supervisor, you will need to upgrade your membership on renewal to level 5 Accredited Member/Supervisor level. For supervisors who have not gained UKCP accreditation with ECPT, they would join level 6 Associate Supervisor membership level. It is important for students to ensure any supervisor they choose to work with whilst gaining qualification and accreditation with ECPT hold membership with us in order to be able to count hours. If you are not sure, please contact our admin team for verification.