New voluntary regulator gathering support and now launched
The field of complementary and psychological therapies has been complicated in terms of regulation for some time. The Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, of which the author is a member, helped to block statutory regulation of counselling and psychotherapy with a judicial review. This was primarily because the proposed regulation was not fit for purpose and was based on false assumptions. There simply is no evidence of mass abuse or danger to clients, and most professional bodies already took appropriate action. Also statutory regulation would not prevent continued practice under a different job title.
The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council was set up with Government support and funding and became the voluntary regulator of choice for complementary therapies, including confusingly hypnotherapy, which is of course a psychological therapy (psychotherapy).
Next the Government set up the Professional Standards Authority Accredited Register scheme, essentially letting any professional body with the quality (and large amounts of money) to gain accreditation from the PSA, who incidentally also oversee statutory regulators. It should be noted that PSA AR status can only be given to existing registers, so any new organisation can not gain accreditation immediately, it has to set up first, gain members and have a “register” and then apply for accreditation.
Various professional bodies now have PSA AR status, including the CNHC voluntary regulator.
New organisation on the block
The Register of Health Care Practitioners (ROHCP) is a new voluntary regulator set up by actual therapists, and seeking to have a more profession driven approach than the CNHC which is sometimes seen as rather bureaucratic and imposed on the profession. The ROHCP covers essentially all complementary and psychological therapies, and does have the long term goal of PSA AR status once the finance and numbers are there.
it should be interesting to see if the ROHCP can provide a true alternative and competition to the CNHC, and how this will play out.
I support any organisation hoping to improve the standards of the profession in an appropriate way. I have been a volunteer promoting the CNHC and I am registered already with them and the FHT (also a PSA AR). I am published on the topic of regulation and am known to be a critic of dividing types of psychotherapy up into different types and having registers for each. I am also in the process of assisting another professional body (hopefully) gain AR status.
In the long run I think it would be healthy for some specialist PSA AR accredited bodies to exist, and also however some integrated umbrella organisations to be voluntary regulators too, preferably with AR status, and I would welcome it if ROCHP was such a body.
Regulation, standards, professional standards, industry, PSA AR, Professional standards authority, voluntary regulator, voluntary regulation, complementary therapy, psychological therapy, counselling and psychotherapy, statutory regulation, client safety, patient safety, psychotherapy, counselling, hypnotherapy, mindfulness, life coaching