Today, the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Wider Psychological Workforce (WPW) Register has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, an independent statutory body, accountable to Parliament.
The BPS is a representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK. In addition to its new Accredited Register for the Wider Psychological Workforce, its members include Practitioner Psychologists, who are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The BPS also holds voluntary registers of other psychologist roles not required to be registered with the HCPC, which are not currently accredited by the Authority.
Under the Accredited Registers programme, practitioners on the WPW Register will be able to display the Accredited Registers Quality Mark, a clear sign that they belong to a register which meets the Professional Standards Authority’s robust standards.
- The five roles on the WPW Register are:
- Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP)
- Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner (CWP)
- Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP)
- Clinical Associate in Psychology (England)
- Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology (Scotland).
These roles play an important role helping to provide access to evidence-based psychological therapies.
Registration on an Accredited Register gives NHS employers and patients, service users and the public confidence that practitioners have signed up to clear and robust professional and ethical codes. All registers accredited by the Authority must have transparent complaints processes, so poor performance can be addressed. Where serious wrongdoing occurs, the practitioner will be removed from the register.
NHS England and Improvement has committed to increasing access to evidence-based psychological therapies – with up to 1.9 million people able to access talking therapies through Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) by the end of the Long Term Plan. This ambitious target required an innovative approach to boosting the workforce, and the PWP, CWP and EMHP roles will help to deliver this.
People working in these roles in the NHS in England must be registered with either the BPS or the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), as a condition of employment. The BABCP is also in the process of applying for accreditation with the Authority.
Adrian Whittington, NHS England’s National Lead for Psychological Professions, said:
‘Psychological professionals play a vital role in supporting patients who require mental health treatments and form an important part of our Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, which has transformed adult anxiety and depression treatments since it was launched in 2008.
‘Psychological professionals also play a fundamental role in mental health treatment for children and young people through our Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) programme, which currently supports around 2.4 million pupils in 4,700 schools and colleges across the country.’
Sarb Bajwa, Chief Executive, British Psychological Society, said:
‘We are delighted that our Wider Psychological Workforce Register has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, which gives vital confidence to patients, service users and members of the public who are utilising the services of these relatively new roles.
‘All five of the roles covered by our register are extremely important in widening access to mental health services and ensuring that everyone can get high-quality and appropriate psychological care.
‘In developing the register and working closely alongside people working as Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners, Education Mental Health Practitioners, Clinical Associates in Applied Psychology and Clinical Associations in Applied Psychology (Scotland), we have seen the fantastic work that they are doing and hope that the creation of this voluntary register, backed up the Authority’s accreditation, enhances their development further.’
Alan Clamp, Chief Executive of the Professional Standards Authority, said:
‘We are very pleased to accredit the British Psychological Society’s Register. Bringing these practitioners into a broad framework of assurance is good for patients, service users and the public, and is the best way to promote quality. The Accredited Registers programme offers a layer of protection for people receiving health services and gives the practitioners on the WPW Register the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to good practice.’
Accreditation does not imply that the Authority has assessed the merits of individuals on the register. This remains the responsibility of the BPS. Accreditation means that the WPW Register meets the Professional Standards Authority’s high standards in governance, standard-setting, education and training, management of the register, complaints-handling and information.
Accredited Registers encompass a growing range of occupations and organisations and the Professional Standards Authority may accredit more than one register in any particular occupation. Further information about Accredited Registers is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk/what-we-do/accredited-registers
Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Notes to the Editor
- The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
- We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
- We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
- We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
- In the UK, Practitioner Psychologist is a protected title. They can work in a variety of areas of psychology, including clinical, counselling, education, forensic, health, occupational, sport and exercise and others. They are regulated by law and registered by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). However, ‘Psychologist’ itself is not a protected title. Some psychologists choose to be registered with organisations holding voluntary registers, for example, the British Psychological Society (BPS).
- We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
- Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
- More information about our work and the approach we take is available at www.professionalstandards.org.uk