PTUK's Complaint Procedures

We try to ensure that all PTUK members deliver the highest standards of therapeutic care. However, if you become unhappy with the service that you are given, or are worried about the conduct of a PTUK member, we suggest that you talk to our member first about your concerns to try and sort things out informally. Every practising member has to have a Clinical Supervisor, so you may wish to talk to them as well.  

However if for any reason this is not possible, or hasn't solved the issue, then you can always raise your concerns directly with us. To make complaints hearings as quick, fair and effective as possible we have a three stage process:  

  1. Mediation
  2. Pre-hearing assessment
  3. Professional Conduct Hearing

PTUK will respond to the initial complaint within 48 hours.  It will keep complainants informed of the progress and timescales of each stage, as they will be dealt with, according to the complexity of the issue.

Phone 01825 761143 stating that you wish to complain about a PTUK Member, with brief details and your own contact phone number. You will then be given an email or postal address for you to provide more details. If you call out of office hours please leave a message. We aim to respond within 48 hours.  

Alternatively you can write to:   The Chief Executive Play Therapy UK The Coach House Belmont Road Uckfield East Sussex TN22 1BP  

Mark your letter 'Highly Confidential and Urgent'.  

The Chief Executive will contact you, normally within 48 hours and ask you for details: the name and address of the child or young person; the name and work address of the person that you are complaining about; details of the services used including dates and number of sessions and any other relevant details - what has happened, as much information as possible.  

The Chief Executive will most probably recommend mediation in the first instance as the quickest and most effective way of resolving the issue. If this is not appropriate or turns out to be unsatisfactory for you, a formal complaints procedure will be started.  

The first stage is a Pre-Hearing Assessment Panel with not less than three persons appointed by the Chief Executive including a member of the public and a Play Therapist unconnected with your case. This panel will decide if there are valid grounds for a complaint hearing. They will take into account:  

  • The person that you are complaining about is a current member of PTUK. We cannot deal with complaints against individuals or organisations who were not members of PTUK at the time of the alleged breach of professional conduct.
  • You must either have used the therapeutic play services of the member or be complaining on behalf of a child or young person with whom the person has worked.
  • The complaint legitimately falls under one of the three headings for complaints specified in the PTUK Ethical Framework:
  1. Professional misconduct – where the practitioner has contravened the ethical and behaviour standards that should reasonably be expected of a member of PTUK. 
  2. Professional malpractice – where the service/s provided have fallen below the standards that would reasonably be expected of a practitioner exercising reasonable care and skill. Examples of 'malpractice' include: Incompetence, negligence, recklessness, inadequate professional services. 
  3. Bringing the profession into disrepute - signifies that the practitioner has acted in such an infamous or disgraceful way that the public's trust in the profession might reasonably be undermined if they were accurately informed about all the circumstances of the case. 
  • A complaint must be lodged within three years of the alleged breach.
  • If the complaint is under investigation by the police or is likely to fall within the jurisdiction of any court or tribunal, for example for financial compensation, PTUK will not usually accept and investigate the complaint.  

If the complaint is rejected by the Panel, you and the Member complained against will be formally notified in writing. The decision of the Panel will be final.  

If the complaint is accepted, the Chief Executive will initiate the second stage of the formal complaints procedure by appointing a Professional Conduct Panel of not less than five persons to examine the complaint in detail and decide whether the complaint is proved or not.  

If your complaint reaches this stage, you may wish to consider other options and engage professional advisers – the cost for any such advice will not be met by the PTUK. You are also advised to consult the full PTUK complaints procedure obtainable from:

If the complaint is proved, the panel will decide whether or not any sanction should be imposed upon the member. These could include:  

  • Probationary period. The member may continue to practice under certain conditions with an increased amount of clinical supervision, with prescribed actions that must be completed within a specified period of time
  • Suspension of Membership and removal from the PTUK Register. The member is deemed unable to practice until further training prescribed to meet the situation and/or taken other steps to become fit for practice have been undertaken, to the Panel's satisfaction  

The decision of the Professional Conduct Panel, together with details of any sanction, will be published in PTUK's journal in such detail as deemed appropriate to the findings and at its discretion. Such decisions will be based on considerations of public interest and the severity of the findings.

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