Continuing Professional Development Policy (CPD)


The Bowlby Centre is firmly committed to the training and development of high quality Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists. The core of our approach to psychotherapy is the belief that relationships can enable the healing of mental distress. The people we see have often been badly hurt in relationships and it is imperative that the people we train and the individuals we register as psychotherapists are as well developed as clinicians, theoreticians and human beings as is possible. The quality of our knowledge, our insight into self and others, and our compassion in relation to our clients, is directly proportionate to our effectiveness as psychotherapists. We are therefore committed to the idea of Continuing Professional Development for its members and committed to ensuring that it is being undertaken by them.

We recognise that our members are deeply committed to and responsible for their own practice. As therapists we have to deal with many very often complex and difficult issues that vary from clinical to practice management questions. As a registering body, we would like to feel that members are being facilitated or helped by the Organisation towards further learning and development.

UKCP Requirements

It is a requirement of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) that each member organisation has a CPD policy. In the UKCP Ethical Guidelines it states:

“Psychotherapists are required to maintain their ability to perform competently and to take the necessary steps to do so.”

Through the CPD policy this requirement becomes a formal and quantifiable process. Since one of the main functions of the UKCP is to ensure the protection of the public, it is clear that it requires that registering organisations and practitioners actively take part in the continuing maintenance of their practice, keeping themselves informed of new developments in the field, and aim towards improvements in their standards and practice.

The UKCP is quite clear what it expects in terms of its registrants:

“Professional development is more than simply sitting in our consulting room clocking up hours of experience. Development involves the active reflection on experience in a way that allows the individual to specify what has been learned or reconfirmed. Thus CPD is about moving from passive experience to active attempts to learn from that experience. In order to demonstrate that it has taken place, an individual needs to be able to describe what has happened and specify at least some of what has been learned in a way that another informed individual can understand.”

The UKCP requires that we account for and verify our CPD activities. Member organizations are therefore required to include in their statements how the balance of clinical CPD (via supervision, training etc) and wider professional development (via committee activity etc.) is to be managed. In the Centre’s case, this is detailed below (see What Counts Towards CPD).

The Bowlby Centre’s Framework

Members may feel that there is a thin line between feeling facilitated and forced to do something. We are aware of the tension inherent in the implementation of any mandatory policy that requires the co-operation of all the membership. However in the case of CPD there is an opportunity for this policy to benefit members, Organisation and clients.

In our CPD policy, we have begun to provide a framework through which members can focus on and find ways to maintain the quality of their practice, and sustain their personal and professional development. We have striven to make the policy as open and inclusive as possible to accommodate people’s different developmental needs.

As an attachment-based organisation, we need a CPD model that reflects our values and ways of working. Our policy therefore takes into account the diversity and differences in our learning styles. Our model of CPD seeks to encourage members to feel connected and to enjoy their learning.

The Centre’s CPD Model


The verification of an individual’s professional development is a reflective process, one that we then share with another. As psychotherapists most of us already carry out reflective practices, it is built into the work, and is the overarching principle of supervision.

As an attachment-based organisation, we feel that being connected with a small group of colleagues on a regular basis, where there are opportunities for intimate sharing and reflection, helps to support us in work and emotional wellbeing, since therapists often find that ours can be an isolating profession. It is with this in mind that the model of Home Groups has been developed.

The UKCP’s requirement for individual psychotherapists to account for their continuing learning, needs to be combined with the desire of The Bowlby Centre’s members to look at creative ways of working on their own CPD.  Home Groups can be helpful here, and can take a variety of forms:

  • Students completing their training may wish to form a Home Group with other members of their cohort, and/or with other Centre members.
  • Home Groups may include therapists who have trained with other psychotherapy organizations.
  • According to attachment theory, the strongest bonding takes place when we play together, so fun and conviviality are encouraged!
  • A Home Group may be a place for support of colleagues who are facing difficult emotional of physical circumstances. If a therapist is ill, or dying, the Group may be a place to consider future plans and caseload management.
  • As will be understood from the above, a Home Group is not the same as a peer supervision group.
  • Meetings will give the Centre members an opportunity to reflect on and evaluate their development as practitioners and theoreticians.
  • A Home Group can have between two and six members and will meet regularly during the year – the suggested frequency would be on a once termly basis, i.e. three times a year.
  • For those members for whom travelling or location might pose a problem, or who feel unable to form a Home Group consisting of Bowlby Centre members, a similarly supportive peer group could be an acceptable alternative.
  • The Home Group model not only seeks to echo the attachment/relational nature of the Organization, but it also takes into account the requirements of the UKCP for accountability, verification and flexibility.
  • The intention of the Home Group is to support one another, share in personal and professional growth and to think creatively.
    Additional Benefits

    • There are a number of additional benefits for members and for the Centre by organising CPD in this way.
    • The groups might provide an information base of good further learning experiences that might aid individuals select further training experiences.
    • The groups might provide an ongoing picture of areas of professional concerns and interests that could feed into the shaping of the Centre’s own activities such as conferences, short courses, clinical forums or study groups.
    • The groups can offer an organic means for feeding ideas into the Organisation from the larger world of psychotherapy and vice versa.


  • SUPERVISION: The Bowlby Centre’s Code of Ethics and Practice (see The Bowlby Centre Handbook Appendix 5A) states that psychotherapists are required to maintain their ability to work competently by having ongoing supervision. A minimum of 10 hours one-to-one supervision is required per year. If members are not seeing clients, they do not have to be in supervision. In addition, people may undertake peer supervision as a separate activity
    UKCP stipulate a minimum of 50 hours of CPD in any one year. This is in addition to the 10 hours of supervision. A maximum of 10 hours of personal therapy can count towards this. In order that members have a balanced portfolio of CPD activities, the 50 hours should be taken from at least three of the categories below. Areas of Activity which count towards CPD are:
    • Courses, seminars, conferences
    • Teaching, writing, presentations
    • Committees and meetings
    • Personal therapy
    • Practice development, e.g. marketing, financial management, working in different settings
    • Creative activity, e.g. reading, plays, films, music, visual arts
    • Research
    • Clinical Forum

This list is by no means exhaustive.

The Clinical Forum is an essential part of the Centre’s training and provides the main opportunity for the Bowlby Centre community of registered members, post-taught students and trainees to meet once a month and exchange views on a diverse range of clinical issues. A judicial mixture of internal and external speakers ensures that the papers presented at the Clinical Forum reflect a multiplicity of clinical perspectives. The Centre however emphasizes the increasing influence of an attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapy in working with people who have experienced attachment trauma in the form of loss, neglect and abuse.

In accordance with the UKCP expectations of registrants, the Clinical Forum provides a central in-house facility for members to account for and demonstrate their continuing professional development as practitioners and theoreticians.

Reporting CPD to the Centre

The Centre reminds members that the annual submission of a CPD report is a mandatory requirement of The Bowlby Centre and UKCP membership. The Centre will require each member to report annually on their CPD when submitting their membership fees each September. It will become part of the annual membership criteria and as such it is a commitment towards the quality of your professional work and of your membership with the Centre. Where members are training therapists and supervisors, the Centre expects that their CPD report would reflect the needs of these roles as defined by the criteria in the Centre Handbook.

A notification will be sent out asking each member  to report the categories of CPD undertaken, the benefit experienced by the member as a result and the number of hours claimed as CPD.

Every member’s report will be read and reviewed annually. The Bowlby Centre may enter into dialogue with a member where it is felt that certain areas need further discussion or clarification.  If a member has not submitted their CPD report within four months following the request from The Bowlby Centre, i.e. by 1st January of the following year, and an extension has not been granted due to extenuating circumstances for not having produced their report, The Bowlby Centre will inform the UKCP of the non-compliance with Bowlby Centre and UKCP membership requirements. Further action will come directly from the UKCP.

Unfortunately, we need to institute a fine for late submission.  Any member who does not submit within the required time schedule will be charged £50 for each month they are overdue.  CPD submissions will not be accepted until these fines are paid.  In these circumstances, and providing the CPD report meets The Bowlby Centre requirements, a pass will be granted on receipt of this admin fee.

The completion of a CPD report represents much more than simply a fulfilment of an administrative requirement. It offers each of us an opportunity to reflect on our personal and clinical development. It is also a means of demonstrating to our colleagues within the Centre and the wider sphere of the UKCP our continuing commitment to The Bowlby Centre’s values and the development of our professional life.


  • CPD submissions form a vital part of the 5 yearly UKCP re-accreditation process. It IS therefore important to keep personal records ( including supervision records) of all CPD activities during the current five year period.

Re-accreditation Statement for MembersRe-accreditation of psychotherapists will take place every five years as prescribed by the UKCP. The full re-accreditation procedure is detailed below and the CPD Group can help with any questions that you might have about this process. Please contact any member of the CPD Group (Eleanor Richards, Ruthie Smith or Roxy Wilding) for further clarification should you need it. The responsibility for reading and agreeing the submission for reaccreditation will lie with the CPD group. (For members of the CPD group, the responsibility for their reaccreditation will lie with the Clinical Training Committee.)Purposes of re-accreditation are:

  1. To underpin and promote reflective and informed practice and continuing professional development.
  2. As a result, to underpin and support best practice in a way that is beneficial to both practitioners and service-users.
  3. To meet UKCP requirements.  Requirements for being re-accredited are: (see below for further details)
    • Supervision records
    • CPD records
    • Insurance cover
    • A reflective process
    • Fully paid-up feesIn addition to general reflections on their work, each practitioner needs to show that their practice and CPD reflects the Diversity and Equality Policy of UKCP. This will include such things as demonstrating an understanding of power, prejudice and the impact of oppression, and the needs of the diverse group of clients with whom they work.    
    • If the application is not successful this time:
    • The Chair of the Executive will report to UKCP whether the person has successfully completed the reaccreditation process or not.
    • If the therapist disputes the outcome, they will be given access to their College Appeals Procedure.
    • If concerns are raised about the submission of any member, the CPD Group will attempt informal resolution regarding the issue/s. If, after informal attempts at resolution with the CPD Group the reaccreditation application is unsuccessful, the therapist will then be invited to a meeting with the Chair of Executive (or Chair of the CTC) and the CPD Group Convenor to discuss what needs to be done to remedy the omissions or problem areas. A period of time will be agreed, at the end of which the therapist will submit further evidence for the reaccreditation application.
    • Unsuccessful Reaccreditation Application:
    • The CPD Group will send out letters to members detailing the re-accreditation policy and requesting their reaccreditation submission within a particular timeframe. These will then be read and if agreed, the therapist will then have been successful in their reaccreditation. The CPD Group will endeavour to complete this process in as short a time as possible.
    • Procedures for re-accreditation are as follows:
  • The therapist will not be eligible to remain on the UKCP register.
  • If they decide not to reaccredit with TBC, they will have to move to UKCP’s non-clinical membership, or retired membership categories.
  • To rejoin the UKCP register, they will be required to undertake TBC reaccreditation process from scratch, which will involve a modified RAPP process with 2 interviews. If successful they will be referred back to the UKCP to be reinstated on the UKCP Register.

Procedure for an independent appeal:

If any member is unhappy about their re-accreditation being turned down by the CPD group they have the right to appeal to the Chair of the Clinical Training Committee.

Appeals must be made in writing and must clearly state the grounds for appeal.

The decision of the Chair is final.

Re-accreditation requirements in more detail:

Supervision records:

This is a confirmation of supervision hours per year for the five required years. We already have a record of the statutory10 hours on the CPD forms, and we require that all supervisors sign a declaration confirming that these hours have been met. We recommend that members keep a log of all supervision sessions attended.

CPD records:

We carry these on file for members.

Insurance Cover:

Evidence for the current year will need to be provided.

A Reflective Process:

Based on UKCP guidelines we would like members to write a short (1000 words) reflective description of your practice over the previous 5 years and how this has evolved. This should include the nature and context of your clinical work in all its aspects. You might like to consider the following:

  1. An awareness of the UKCP’s Diversity and Equality Policy in its understanding of the complexity and range of the challenging issues of diversity and equality of access.
  2. A description of supervision received over the previous 5 years and an assessment of the impact this has had on you and your work.
  3. A description of how your practice has developed and been maintained through your continuing professional development.
  4. An evaluation of your future CPD needs and an indication of how these will be met.
  5. A statement confirming your adherence to the Codes of Ethics and Practice.
  6. Details of your professional Will.
  7. A declaration of any complaints made in the period since last accreditation and details of their outcome or current status. From the perspective of The Bowlby Centre, we would like this process to be useful and meaningful for you, so these criteria are guidelines only and we do not wish them to be too prescriptive – what is important to us is that you have the opportunity to reflect on your work and its development and that you gain some benefit in so doing.

Criteria for being re-accredited:

  1. That you have a live and active psychotherapy practice of current clients (minimum of two clients) or a compelling reason why you are not seeing clients. Reasons might be maternity leave, serious illness or a sabbatical.
  2. That you meet all of the requirements outlined above.
  3. That you meet all the normal CPD requirements.
  4. That there are no major unresolved or outstanding grievances or complaints made against you by clients or other professionals going on at the time of re-accreditation.
  5. All fees must be paid up to date before reaccreditation.


The Bowlby Centre requires that members do a minimum of 88 clinical hours and a caseload of not less than 2 clients in clinical practice per year.  At the discretion of the CPD Group the clinical hours may include giving supervision. If for any reason you are seeing less than the required number of clients, e,g. running down your practice or are in special circumstances which prevent this being met, a covering letter with your CPD report describing your particular situation is required..


The UKCP registrar considers any period during which a practitioner remains registered but does not see any clients to be a sabbatical. This includes maternity leave. Normally the registrar would expect practitioners intending to discontinue seeing clients for a period of more than 3 months to inform their organization.  In the event of illness where a therapist is forced to stop working for a period, this also counts as a sabbatical.

The CPD requirements are as follows for periods in which

  • no client work is undertaken for 6 months or more
  • and which occurs during the year when the therapist is undergoing the 5 year re-accreditation process.

When a therapist is on sabbatical  for whatever reason, or through  specific reasons of illness or incapacity,  CPD reports will be assessed on an individual basis and due consideration given to the person’s special circumstances. In principle, and where this is possible, therapists are asked to maintain some connection and interest with the profession, for instance with your home group. CPD reports will be submitted in the usual way, with a covering letter to the CPD group outlining  the reasons for the sabbatical.

CPD reports will be submitted in the usual way, with a covering letter to the CPD Group outlining the reasons for the sabbatical.


People’s reasons for taking a sabbatical will vary. Some examples might be:

  • taking time off due to personal illness
  • caring for a sick friend or family member
  • extended travelling
  • further training or career development
  • feeling ‘burned out’

Before taking a sabbatical, you will be required to inform TBC Chair by putting in writing your reasons for taking a sabbatical, and if possible a return date needs to be provided.
Following this you need to inform the UKCP in writing. The reason for this is that you are a member of the UKCP as well as TBC and it is a requirement of theirs.

Finally, you need to inform the CPD Group in writing so that they can keep their records as accurate and up to date as possible.

In the event that a sabbatical is needed to be taken at relatively short notice, e.g. through sickness you will need to demonstrate that adequate provisions have been made for any clients whose therapy comes to an unexpected or unplanned ending.

If you are on sabbatical for a year or less, you also need to inform TBC and the UKCP on your return.


If that sabbatical has been more than a year, you will need to have a meeting with a member of the Exec to work out the best ‘back to work plan’ which will offer appropriate support. Each plan can be tailor made to reflect the needs of the particular person. Some recommendations might include:

  • a return to personal psychotherapy*
  • increased levels of supervision
  • follow up meetings with the member of the Exec
  • specific CPD activities

*You may need to consider a return to therapy if the following conditions apply:

  • You have suffered a life changing event prior to, or during the sabbatical period
  • You feel unconfident about restarting clinical work
  • You feel isolated from your peers
  • You took the sabbatical due to burn out

It is a requirement of the UKCP that a membership application form has to be submitted to them.

On returning to clinical practice we recommend that at least fortnightly supervision is undertaken for a period of 6-12 months to ensure that the transition back to work is fully supported.


In the event that a person takes off five years or more from working clinically as a psychotherapist, they will be required to undergo a modified RAPP process. The requirements for this are:

  • to have 2 meetings with a supervisor prior to starting clinical work
  • to obtain a report from the supervisor in support of your readiness to return
  • a reflections paper on your readiness to restart clinical practice
  • an interview with a member of the CTC

The Bowlby Centre November 2017