Regulation of the Play Therapy Profession
The UK government has set up right touch regulation of a
number of health care professions using a system of Accredited Registers (ARs)
through the Professional Standards Authority, www.professionalstandards.org.uk,
who oversee the regulation of the statutory health and social care professions.
This new process applies to the United Kingdom and replaces
regulation by title through the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) for
those professions that are not already regulated by the HCPC, such as
counselling, psychotherapy and play therapy.
PTUK’s The Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists was one of the first batch of three ARs to be approved (April 2013).
PTUK, having indicated that it wished to be in the forefront
of regulation, was chosen by the PSA as one of five professional organisations
to participate in the pilot programme to develop and test the proposed
standards and procedures.
The programme exists to provide assurance that accredited registers
are well run and achieve its high standards.
The PSA, assures PTUK, who assures its registrants, and the
practitioners assure themselves using PTUK’s standards.
Parents, commissioners and employers will seek practitioners
who are on an accredited register because this assures them that registered
practitioners are more likely to be competent and to behave ethically,
professionally and compassionately. Children are a particularly vulnerable
client group. Choosing a therapeutic practitioner who is not on the PTUK AR is
taking an unwarranted risk.
The titles currently registered are:
- Certified and Accredited Play Therapists
- Certified Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills
- Certified Clinical Supervisor of Play and Creative Arts
- Certified Filial Play Coach
Trainee in Play and Creative Arts Therapies
Practitioners living and working outside the UK are included
in the Register.
As a trainee you will be taking a big career risk if your
course does not meet the requirements of the Register.
The PG Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills, the PG
Diploma in Play Therapy and the MA in Practice Based Play Therapy offered by
APAC meet the required standards in full.
It is not necessary to have a Masters level degree to become
a Play Therapist. However trainees may
wish to complete the MA in Practice Based Play Therapy stage, by dissertation,
if they have a particular interest in play therapy research, to advance their
career prospects and remuneration or for personal satisfaction.