Benefits of Registration for Play Therapy Practitioners
Value of PTUK’s Accredited Register. PTUK’s Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists was first accredited in April 2013 by the Professional Standards Authority. This confirms that PTUK meets the Authority’s high standards of quality assurance for practice, training and corporate governance necessary for therapeutic work with children.
It is clear from the comments that we have received, that our Registrants are enjoying substantial benefits from being on the PTUK Register:
‘I always use the fact that I am on the register to make new clients feel safe and secure and I feel protected and confident as my practice is regulated.’
‘There have been a number of advantages for me… since joining the register I have had a number of enquiries from various agencies as regards play therapy for young people. Another advantage is that I have recently been applying for jobs. Quite often, the application form asks if you belong to a governing body etc… I believe that it is favourable if you do!’
‘Last December, I was invited to apply for a counselling position working with children, adolescents and families. The position was in xxxxx, U.S.A. Among other qualifications, being a PTI-S and with the Register was a beneficial attraction to those who interviewed me. Yes, I did get the job!’
‘I worked in a women’s refuge as a child support worker. I was supported to complete a certificate in therapeutic play and subsequently increased my annual salary by £2000 and the refuge received a higher grant banding because we were providing approved therapeutic services.’
‘I have recently had a consultation with CAMHS about a young person, with them looking to fund my therapeutic work with him on a freelance basis. In order to achieve this, they wanted to know whether my work was regulated, and if so with whom. If I was unable to show that I was regulated by a body, such as PTUK/PSA, then I would not have been able to be commissioned by CAMHS to undertake this piece of work.’
‘Being registered has given me the confidence to promote myself as a qualified play therapist, and provides the sense of professionalism to private clients. As for work, I was contacted from an agency, who got my details from the register. I am now working part time with them.’
‘One thing I can comment on is that a Locality Manager has been looking at setting up a play therapy project for schools in the xxxx area and as early as last July she was aware of – and used – the register to invite people to attend a workshop regarding this project. The project is now up and running and is staffed by four therapists, three of us are play therapists – and all on the PTUK register and the fourth is a counsellor who is on the BACP register.’
‘I have been able to promote myself using PTUK’s register on a number of occasions. Local authorities recognise it and when in negotiations for work have insisted on proof of a regulatory body.’
‘In reply to your request it has helped me in my employment by setting standards and the regulations out clearly, for example when my work place was taken over by an academy and they were not aware of the importance of supervision, I had to show them that it was an essential part of my role as play therapist. By being able to provide evidence for this, they have continued to finance my supervision.’
‘I have had more referrals since I shared that I was on PTUK’s Register with my work place. I have also had numerous meetings with teachers and other professionals who have sought my advice. In my experience I have found that being on the register has helped my colleagues to view me as a professional in different setting.’
‘From my work in a number of Primary Schools in the xxxxx area, I can report that the accredited register offers the parents and professionals that I come into contact with reassurance of my commitment and professionalism. It also gives further validation of how effective Play Therapy is as a mental health intervention; it validates and cements mine and PTUK’s national research figures.’
At present (December 2014) the PTUK Register is the only one worldwide for Play Therapists, that is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, an independent body reporting to Parliament. APAC courses delivered in 10 venues in the UK and 11 in other countries are currently the only ones that meet the training standards required to become a Registrant.
PTUK, having indicated that it wished to be in the forefront of public protection and confidence, was chosen by the PSA as one of five professional organisations to participate in a pilot programme to develop and test the proposed standards and procedures.
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The programme exists to provide assurance that accredited registers are well run and achieve high standards. The Authority, 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 Accredited Register, or one similarly accredited, 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 Therapies
- 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 a Register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority or through the HCPC (formerly HPC).
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.