Experience Route – Psychotherapist

Detailed Criteria


This accreditation route is for applicants who trained several years ago when courses & standards were different, and who have been in practice as psychotherapists continuously for at least 10 years.

The Accreditation Committee (AC) will want to verify the ongoing training of someone over a long period of years – so will be looking for substantial pieces of trainings with certificates of award (not short pieces of CPD) combined to make an equivalent of the 900 hours required for a  psychotherapy training e.g. someone who has done five years worth of substantial training, along with the correct ratio of supervision of 1.6 for clinical hours whilst on various trainings, the required number of personal therapy hours, and who can demonstrate knowledge and/or practice of research and a full understanding of Mental Health. Please note that someone who has done a short counselling training and then a series of short CPD activities would not be considered for accreditation.

Applicants by this route are required to submit a case study and supervisor’s report with their Application Form and other evidence.

  1. Personal Qualities

1.1 A psychotherapist is considered to be a professional capable of working with people with complex problems, usually over a long period of time, and capable of knowing when and where to refer cases that go beyond his or her own training, capabilities or facilities.

1.2 The application should reflect this ability and should satisfy the UKAHPP Accreditation Committee that the applicant has reached the levels of maturity, experience and knowledge which, in the judgement of the Committee, are necessary for accreditation as a psychotherapist. UKAHPP places emphasis not only on formal training but also on the creative use of knowledge gained in training and practice, and qualities of creativity, openness, warmth and maturity. More specifically, applicants should be able to demonstrate a capacity and commitment to developing and maintaining the following personal qualities:

  • A lively and enquiring mind.
  • A capacity for critical self-reflection and self-directed learning.
  • An ability to listen and respond with compassion and respect.
  • Awareness of prejudice and the ability to respond openly to issues of race, gender, age, sexual preference, class, disability, ethnic, spiritual/religious and cultural difference, and diversity.
  • Awareness and sensitivity in relation to the political, socio-cultural and religious/spiritual contexts of people’s lives.
  • In depth self-reflection.
  • Self-awareness and commitment to self-development.

1.3 Applications should demonstrate these qualities, particularly in the written work and the case study. Written applications and other papers submitted should reflect a competence in the applicant which is of an equivalent standard to that usually acceptable for academic work at post-graduate level.

  1. Initial training

2.1 Applicants will be required to submit details of their initial training and at which organisation with a copy of their qualification certificate.

  1. Written Statement

3.1 Applicants must produce a statement of approximately 500 words, which demonstrates their own understanding of Humanistic principles and how these are integrated into their practice. Applicants may refer to theorists or traditions they make use of and explain how these ideas have influenced their work and development over time.

  1. Practice

4.1 Applicants must produce evidence of at least TEN years of post-qualification practice, with a minimum of 1,000 hours of client work. In the TWO years prior to the application, applicants must see an average of SIX clients per working week. A more detailed record for the last 12 months is required, along with a record of the yearly total of clinical hours over the 5 years. It is recommended (but not an absolute requirement) that the applicant has experience of working with clients in both long-term and time-limited contracts. If the applicant’s current practice is solely long-term or is mixed (both long-term and time-limited), the application should provide caseload details showing a practice size of at least 6 clients over a 2-year period (as in paragraph 3.1 above), of which there are at least two long-term contracts; the case study should show evidence of ability to manage closure. If the applicant’s current practice is solely time-limited, the application should provide caseload details showing at least 12 cases; the case study should show evidence of efficacy and appropriate use of model and its framework.

  1. Client Population

5.1 Applicants must demonstrate throughout the application a capacity to work with clients from a variety of different communities and have the ability to work with issues of difference, including:

  • Cultural differences as a result of belonging to minority ethnic groups
  • Sexuality and gender differences
  • Work with people who have mental health difficulties and/or are differently abled
  • Faith and spiritual beliefs and practice
  • Class and socio-cultural background.

5.2 They need to demonstrate how they address these and give examples from their practice of how they might work with someone who is different from them.

5.3 If their original training was inadequate in these areas they need to demonstrate how they have remedied this deficit since qualifying.

  1. Continuing Professional Development

6.1 Applicants must provide a list of their CPD from the five years preceding this application, detailing no fewer than 30 hours of CPD activities during the year leading up to the application. In addition photocopied attendance certificates must be sent to the UKAHPP Administrator, evidencing at least 12 hours of the listed CPD undertaken during the year leading up to the application. These hours should be specifically relevant to psychotherapy practice. If after being accredited you opt for UKCP registration, UKCP will require 50 hours of CPD per year with a minimum of 20 hours in any one year, giving a total of 250 hours over a 5-year period. Further details of CPD requirements will be provided after accreditation.

  1. Mental Health Familiarisation

7.1 Applicants must provide evidence and brief details of a placement that has allowed them to spend time with those who have complex mental health problems. The placement should also have provided an opportunity for discussion with members of staff who are involved with assessment and diagnosis. This can be achieved in a variety of settings including: primary or secondary care, local authority day-care centres, or voluntary organizations working with client groups with mental health issues, such as MIND. Relevant documentation from your training is required, or a verified statement from a manager or senior clinician from the placement setting.


7.2 Applicants who have not undertaken such a placement are required to demonstrate an understanding of the theories of mental illness and their relevance to psychotherapy. They must submit a written account describing typical disorders a psychotherapist might encounter in practice, how to recognise and work with them, and how to know when to consult the client’s GP and/or refer on to a psychiatrist or involve other practitioners from a Mental Health Team.

7.3 This written account should be between 750 and 1,500 words.

  1. Research & Evaluation

8.1 Applicants are required to demonstrate an understanding of basic qualitative and quantitative research and of the application of this to the investigation and evaluation of psychotherapeutic practice. In order to demonstrate this, applicants may:

8.2 Write a synopsis of research that they have undertaken, or in which they have been a participant, which shows a critical understanding of the relevance of studies and research findings in one of the following or other areas relevant to psychotherapeutic clinical practice:

  • Human development
  • Psychopathology
  • Neurophysiology
  • Sexuality
  • Diversity
  • Ethics & legal issues


8.3 Produce a statement of learning from the study of, or participation in, either a consultation on evidence-based psychotherapeutic practice or the use of outcome measures and data collection as applied to psychotherapeutic practice.


8.4 Give an account of their understanding of research and basic research techniques in the psychotherapeutic field. They should refer to methodologies, the difference between quantitative and qualitative research, and the ways in which these might be applied. A book list is available by request.

8.5 Each synopsis or statement should be no fewer than 1,000 words and no more than 3,000 words.

  1. Personal therapy

9.1Experience of a sustained period of personal psychotherapy congruent with the psychotherapy they have trained in and are practicing. This will have been a minimum of 40 hours per year for four years, and applicants will normally have been in psychotherapy throughout the duration of the training.

9.2 The psychotherapist with whom the applicant works will not be the same person as the applicant’s main trainer, nor their supervisor. It is expected that the applicant will have experience of an extended period of psychotherapy with the same psychotherapist, normally a minimum of 3 years with the same psychotherapist.

9.3 Personal psychotherapy would normally be undertaken with a UKAHPP Accredited Psychotherapist, or equivalent, on a one-to-one basis. While group psychotherapy exclusively is not deemed appropriate, the Accreditation Committee will consider applications which include a mix of individual and group psychotherapy, in exceptional circumstances and where all other criteria are met.

  1. Supervision

10.1 Applicants must show evidence of on-going supervision and produce a signed report from their current supervisor which will reflect their competence as a practitioner and readiness for accreditation as a psychotherapist.

  1. Case Study

11.2 Applicants who successfully fulfil the above criteria should also submit a Case Study of 3,000-5,000 words which demonstrates their practice as a psychotherapist. It should illustrate their theoretical model and show good understanding and application of the therapeutic alliance, as well as an awareness of boundaries and an ability to handle complex presentations competently. The case study should demonstrate the applicant’s effective use of self-reflection, their relationship with the client and a Humanistic approach in their work.

11.2 Guidelines for case studies are available from the members’ area of the UKAHPP website.

  1. Therapeutic Executor

12.1 It is a requirement that accredited Full members have an ongoing Therapeutic Executor arrangement, for which guidelines are available from the Admin office and in the members’ area of the website.

  1. Professional Insurance

13.1 To have professional liability and malpractice insurance, and be in good ethical standing with any ‘equivalent’ previous or current accrediting/training organisation. To agree to adhere to UKAHPP ethical codes and practices, as published on this website.

  1. General

14.1 There is an additional, general requirement applicable to all applications that in the judgement of the Accreditation Committee there is a good fit between the applicant (as evidenced from the application material, including case study and interview) and the Humanistic ethos of UKAHPP, such that UKAHPP is agreed by the Accreditation Committee to be an appropriate professional membership organisation, or “home”, for the applicant.

14.2 UKAHPP accreditation as a psychotherapist is valid for 5 years, after which renewal of accreditation must be applied for via an assessment process which includes Continuing Professional Development.

  1. Application

    15.1 Application for the training route, is by means of an application form which is available on the Members’ Area of the website at ahpp.org.uk.  After meeting any further requirements, successful applicants will be asked to attend an interview.

    In order to apply for accreditation – by either route – you must be an Ordinary Member (Registered) so that detailed advice and ongoing support can be provided, and to have access to the forms and guidance in the Members’ Area of the UKAHPP website.

    16. Unsuccessful Applications

    16.1 In the event of an unsuccessful application, a written request can be made to the Chair of the UKAHPP Accreditation Committee for the decision to be reconsidered by the Accreditation Committee, with evidence as to how identified criteria omissions have been complied with. The Accreditation Committee’s decision will be final.