Practice Policy 2: Continuing Professional Development

This policy is for all UKCP Psychotherapists who are members of the College for Sexual and Relationship Psychotherapy. (CSRP)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the ongoing development of skills, theoretical knowledge and reflective practice. Psychotherapists are encouraged to make a forward plan of their CPD needs, in discussion with their supervisor, (see CSRP Practice Policy 1: Supervision) They are encouraged to take responsibility for demonstrating the learning gained from the CPD activities they undertake, and how their practice is developing as a result. It is a condition of the five yearly renewal of accreditation which is necessary to remain Registered with UKCP.

CSRP believes that CPD is one way to ensure that Clients are protected from substandard practice, and are offered an up to date professional service by Psychotherapists who are Registered by UKCP and who therefore comply with the requirements set out below.

Maintaining psychological fitness to practice is another aspect of CPD, and activities that promote psychological and emotional wellbeing are encouraged, although under present policy these would not necessarily be included in the required 50 hours per annum identified below.

It is recognised that for various reasons during a Psychotherapist’s career, breaks in practice may occur. It is the responsibility of the Psychotherapist to ensure they are competent to practice when they return to work. A programme should be worked out in consultation with the supervisor of, for example, additional study, CPD, more frequent supervision or some other specific training if deemed relevant. The Psychotherapist is required to inform, in writing, the Chair of the College to avoid lapse of their accreditation and UKCP Registration. When ready, the Psychotherapist should write again including a statement signed by their supervisor, to confirm readiness to return to work.

CPD Requirements

  1. 250 hours over a 5 year period is the minimum requirement for continued UKCP registration. In any one year a minimum of 20 hours CPD including supervision is required. Activities which may be regarded as relevant, in addition to supervision, are: attendance at conferences, seminars or workshops; giving lectures, seminars and workshops; writing original articles, reviews, case studies or similar; teaching or training received; experience as teacher or trainer; journal clubs; committee and organisational work; relevant personal development activities.
  2. A minimum of 16 hours a year of the total CPD hours must be specifically in the field of Sexual and Relationship Psychotherapy. The remaining hours will be accepted from the wider psychotherapeutic or medical fields as relevant to the Psychotherapist’s knowledge and skills requirements, as well as a range from the activities listed above.
  3. All Psychotherapists are required to identify and attend to their own individual professional developmental needs, and have some plans for CPD to be undertaken in the coming 5 year period. (See Appendix to this Policy: Procedure for Annual Assessment and Review of Practice, Supervision and CPD)
  4. Psychotherapists renew UKCP accreditation every 5 years, and as part of this scheme, they are required to show that they have complied with this CPD Policy. They will be be asked to provide a summary of CPD activities undertaken, supported by certificates of attendance where relevant.
  5. It is also expected that clinical practice will be maintained at a minimum of 100 hours per annum.

CSRP has a nominated person to deal with Psychotherapists’ CPD queries. (The administrator can supply contact details.) Currently this person is the Chair

April 2016

Appendix to Practice Policy Continuing Professional Development

Procedure for Annual Assessment and Review of Practice, Supervision and CPD

This Procedure is not mandatory, but included here as it may be useful and may form the foundation for the 5 yearly re-accreditation process


The purpose of this procedure is to allow the Psychotherapist to deeply reflect on the structures that support their professional practice in whatever form this may take and the nature and content of their workload, clinical, academic and other. Changes in both support structures and nature of the workload over the previous twelve months are reviewed . Emotional and psychological fitness, given the context of their personal and professional life is also taken into account, along with any learning needs or changes in the support structures.

The procedure takes place between two Psychotherapists of approximately equal levels of experience and expertise, who are able to create an atmosphere of safety and trust between them. This then allows the openness necessary to explore all aspects of professional work and protects the vulnerability that naturally occurs with such openness.


Within an allocated time of approximately 6 hours, each participant takes turn as facilitator for three sessions of approximately one hour, or two sessions of one and a half hours each. The other facilitates a review of professional support, practice issues and everything considered relevant to CPD. A summary of case load, categories of Client, and other data is prepared in advance to aid the facilitation. The act of preparing for this review is potentially developmental in itself. One of the sessions is used for supervision of a current case. Again a summary of the issues for exploration may have been sent in advance and some suggestions as to what the participant in the supervisee role might be seeking from the supervision with the other participant.

Topics under review

1. The setting which the work is carried out

A review of the setting in which the work is conducted involves consideration of strengths, weaknesses and current issues. This includes physical, social and geographical factors such as the general suitability of the premises, public transport, parking facilities, access for disabled people, privacy and confidentiality boundaries. Issues such as support staff, structural changes, record keeping and so on are also considered here.

2. Supervision of Clinical Work

Arrangements for the supervision of, and consultations upon, clinical work may involve discussion of strengths, weaknesses and current considerations, including supervision as a stimulus to professional development and the available level of support in relation to stress. The effectiveness of supervision in facilitating the continuing development of the Psychotherapist is evaluated. This also covers factual issues and their relationship to institutional requirements such as frequency and duration of supervision sessions, relationship to work load, duration of contracts.

3. Compliance with organisational codes

Discussion of compliance with organisational codes included exploring the impact of any new legislation, and any changes to the Statement of Ethics and Practice or related issues. Evaluating the work with the Professional Executor is covered here, as well as indemnity insurance, implications of the Disability Discrimination Act (2005), the requirements of the Information Commissioner’s Office, any other external organisational requirements.

4. Personal psychotherapy

As part of a consideration of fitness to practice, any needs for personal psychotherapy, or personal developmental work, in either an individual or a group setting can be reviewed, along with the effectiveness of such activities.

5. Review of the practice statistics

A review of the practice statistics gives an overall picture of the past year and highlights significant changes. Analysis of the current active case load shows the balance of work, whether or not it is readily sustainable emotionally and physically. The overall work load of the past year is reviewed, including categories of Clients and of presenting problems. Further exploration of this may be useful. For example: which categories of Clients or categories of presenting problems are most rewarding and which are most demanding? Are there any particularly vulnerable areas in the Psychotherapist? What are the present trends, and are there any sources of concern or any areas perceived as requiring change? Future learning and developmental needs are considered in this context. External sources of medical and psychiatric cover for the practice are also reviewed here.

6. Professional Events Attended

Consideration of the conferences, meetings, seminars and study days attended in the past year allows for evaluation of the effect of participating in such events upon clinical practice. As in 5 above, future learning and developmental requirements can be considered and what would be needed to meet them.

7. Clinical and theoretical material relevant to CPD

A review of information source material in the form of books, journals, dvds etc used in the previous year highlights current areas of particular academic interest and/or possible academic learning needs. This provides evaluation of knowledge development.

8. Other professional activities relevant to CPD

Other professional activities relevant to CPD include organisational work, supervision of others, training, teaching, writing and reviewing papers, and making presentations to professional meetings. Such activities make contribution to academic knowledge of the Psychotherapist and to connectedness to other professionals, so enhancing the effectiveness of CPD.

9. Non-professional activities relevant to CPD

Non-professional activities and events attended during the past year can be relevant to continuing professional and personal development and provide stimulus, relaxation and opportunities for emotional processing. They might include reading, making music, going to events such as performing or visual arts, exhibitions, participation in sports and leisure activities, family and social contacts, being involved in community work and so on. For example, experiencing the depiction of human relationships on film, television or in the theatre, could provoke thinking and so deepen understanding both of relationships of Clients and the Psychotherapist’s own relationships.


This procedure is not a mandatory part of the CSRP requirements for Continuing Professional Development, but those Psychotherapists who have implemented it voluntarily have found it both rewarding to prepare and accept, and of great benefit to their professional life.