Proposals by HPC for Regulation of Psychotherapists and Counsellors

February 2009

A Professional Liaison Group (“PLG”) has now been set up by the Health Professions Council to make recommendations for the proposed regulation by that body of the disciplines of psychotherapy and counselling. A list of those appointed by HPC to the PLG can be accessed from this link to the HPC website.

It will be observed from the above list of participants that, so far as psychoanalysis is concerned, the PLG is heavily weighted in favour of representatives associated with the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and that there is nobody from either The College or the Psychoanalytic Consortium.

All deliberations of the PLG are held in public. However, the number of spaces in the “public gallery” is very limited. Decisions of the PLG are minuted and copies of those minutes, once approved, are published on the HPC website. HPC claims that any interested person or body is free to make submissions and comments arising out of the deliberations of PLG. All of these details, including the dates of all coming meetings of PLG and their agendas, are published by HPC on their website and may be accessed from this link.

The same details of previous meeting of PLG are also published by HPC on their website and may be accessed from this link.

Notes taken by a member of The College who attended the initial meeting of PLG are more interesting than the official HPC mintes of that meeting for what they reveal about the level of opposition to regulation by HPC felt by many members of the profession. This was impartially reported on by the UKCP representative who was present then. The notes taken by the member of The College are available by clicking on this link.

The College has since then made formal representations to PLG setting out its reasons for opposing regulation of the profession in the manner proposed by HPC. A copy of the letter sent by The College to PLG in this regard is available by clicking on this link.
At the last meeting of the PLG, it was decided that there should be one Part of the Register for Psychotherapists and Counsellors with only one separate registered professional title for each of these i.e. psychotherapist and counsellor. However, in the absence of separate qualifications for each, practitioners will be registered as entitled to use only the professional title that is appropriate to their qualification(s) and the two professional titles will not be interchangeable.

HPC has announced that it is to hold a much more inclusive meeting than the PLG which will be open to all interested stakeholders and, in particular, to those who are not represented on the PLG. The College intends to send a representative to this meeting.