Below the HIPC Training Standards Policy can be viewed broken down into five sections in order to make it more accessible.  Rather than view the document in segments, you may wish to view it as one document. To do so click here.

 HIPC-Specific Standards of Education and Training

April 2017

 This HIPC-Specific Standards of Education and Training document needs to be read in conjunction with the UKCP Standards of Education and Training (2017): The Minimum Core Criteria Psychotherapy with Adults document, which it supplements.  The latter will be referred to as the 'Generic UKCP Criteria'.


A.1   The college includes a wide variety of psychotherapy approaches within the humanistic and integrative tradition. Common values and philosophical assumptions underpin these approaches, including a belief in one or more of the following:

  • the importance of the therapeutic relationship as the medium for change
  • the importance of interdisciplinary dialogue and exploration, with emphasis on integration, respect for difference and an ability to work with diversity
  • a spiritual dimension to an individual's life and problems, the self-healing capacity of the individual and the individual's sovereignty and responsibility
  • the centrality of social relationships in setting the framework in which individuals shape their lives
  • the importance of political awareness and an understanding of the individual's experience, personal beliefs and values in problems of living
  • the integration of mind, body, feeling, soul and spirit

A.2    The college's training standards reflect this diversity and are intended to create a sound framework for good practice that is flexible and can encompass the different needs of member organisations.

A.3  Integral to HIPC philosophy is that trainings should recognise the existence of different psychotherapy modalities, based on different understandings, and should promote respectful understanding of differences between theories.


 B.1  Applicants will normally demonstrate the capacity and commitment to develop the following qualities that will make them suitable for the profession of psychotherapy:

  • a lively and enquiring mind
  • a capacity for critical reflection and self-directed learning
  • an ability to listen and respond with compassion and respect
  • awareness of prejudice and the ability to respond openly to issues of race, gender, age, sexual preference, class, disability, ethnic, spiritual / religious and cultural difference, and diversity
  • awareness and sensitivity in relation to the political, socio-cultural and religious / spiritual contexts of people's lives
  • in-depth self-reflection
  • self-awareness and commitment to self-development. Applicants should have sufficient emotional competence and the internal resources necessary to engage with the demands of the training and the work of psychotherapy.

B.2   Candidates should have relevant experience of working with people in a responsible role.  Training organisations should be able to substantiate the relevance of a candidate's experience.

B.3  Training organisations should have in place appropriate procedures for acceptance and refusal of applicants with published criteria and procedures for the selection of applicants.

The selection of applicants should normally include:

  • completion of an application form
  • written personal statement
  • an interview with two or more members of staff
  • two or more references


C.1  The study of the theory and practice of humanistic and/or integrative and/or transpersonal psychotherapy from assessment to termination.   A core theoretical and philosophical basis for therapeutic practice is required.

C.2  In addition to the Generic UKCP minimum curriculum, there should be an exploration of the philosophical foundations of the approach being taught as well as a critical awareness of the multiple layers of human experience and the multi-dimensional nature of the therapeutic relationship.

C.3  The following are the minimum requirements for accreditation and registration: 

  • 900 hours (comprising core training, supervision, mental health familiarisation placement, and self-and peer directed learning)
  • core training contact hours would normally be a minimum of 600 over a minimum of four years part-time
  • the total number of supervised adult client hours accumulated should be not less than 450. Each client hour is regarded as an individual/group contact hour
  • the ratio of individual supervision hours to overall client hours should be a minimum of 1:6
  • group supervision should reflect this ratio (minimum 10 minutes supervision per client hour)
  • supervised hours should be made up of client contracts that reflect the approach to be practiced and demonstrate that the trainee has the appropriate experience and competence for the model of psychotherapy that they will be practicing
  • 160 hours of personal therapy consistent with the training approach
  • undertaking a Mental Health Familiarisation placement or equivalent method

Definitions of the above terms can be found in Appendix 1.

C.4  If the nature of the training precludes these minimum requirements a special case may be made to the Assessment Board, such as for those organisations that specialise in short-term/time-limited clinical work.  Where a training departs from these normal minimum requirements the OM should be prepared to demonstrate how its standards are equivalent.  It is recognised that many trainings will have more extensive or specific requirements, depending on the model used and the approach to learning. 

C.5     The demonstrable level of competence needs to be at Masters level or equivalent.  Although certain areas of the training may be delivered below Masters level, the standard of delivery and assessment expected at completion must be unequivocally at Masters level.

C.6   Candidates should show that they have established themselves in practice with substantial experience in the kinds of psychotherapy that they intend to offer. In supervised psychotherapy practice, they should have demonstrated their competency for a minimum of a two-year period.

  • For solely long-term modalities – a regular caseload of which at least two should be long-term contracts and that they are able to manage closure
  • For solely time-limited modalities – completion of at least 12 cases, with evidence of efficacy and appropriate use of a model and its frameworks

It is recommended that candidates have experience of working with clients in both long-term and time-limited psychotherapy contracts.

C.7     Training shall include arrangements to ensure that candidates can identify and manage appropriately their personal involvement in and contributions to the processes of the psychotherapy approach they practice.

C.8    Candidates must have an experience of psychotherapy congruent with the psychotherapy in which they are in training, a minimum of 40 hours per year for four years, and normally be in psychotherapy throughout their training. This personal psychotherapy must normally be undergone with a UKCP registered psychotherapist, or equivalent.

C.9   There should be an introduction to the range of psychotherapies and counselling so that trainees may have an awareness of alternative treatments. This would involve:

  • a critical introduction to other models distinct from the theory that forms the core of the curriculum
  • a critical consideration of the value system, theory of the person and underlying philosophy of these other approaches so that trainees may locate their own approach within the overall field of psychotherapy and have an awareness of the alternatives

C.10      There should be an opportunity for trainees to develop:

  • skills in assessing and responding to the range of responses to shock and trauma, bereavement and spiritual crisis and differentiating these from severe mental illness
  • the capacity to recognise severely disturbed clients and when the practitioner should seek other professional advice
  • an understanding of the procedures used in psychiatric assessment and liaison with other professionals involved in mental health

C.11    Candidates should have a minimum of 450 hours of adult clinical practice experience over a minimum of two years.

In respect of clinical group practice, the formula of one group clinical practice hour being equal to one clinical individual contact hour shall be applied for the purposes of accreditation.  Where an OM applies a different type of formula, this should be agreed with the HIPC Assessment Board.

C.12   The above should be also be read in conjunction with the HIPS May 2003 Mental Health Familiarisation Placements requirements set out by the Assessment Board (see Appendix 3) unless superseded by revised UKCP requirements, currently in preparation.


This should be read in conjunction with the HIPC Learning Outcomes Guidelines as set out in Appendix 2.

D.1   The objectives of assessment are to ensure clinical competency within the context of a chosen theoretical model and sound ethical practice. Assessment of candidates should focus on the integration of theory, skills and personal awareness, the effective and responsible handling of client work and adherence to the values of humanistic and integrative psychotherapy as outlined in the introduction. Continuous assessment is recommended during training in order to give due weight to the nature of psychotherapy and allow for the termination of training in unsuitable cases. These procedures should be transparent.  Assessment should include and be substantiated by objective evidence such as written work, audio or video recordings, and retained for external assessment or scrutiny.

D.2   Training organisations should ensure that a range of assessments are internally verified (e.g. by 'blind' cross- or double-marking). The whole assessment process should be moderated by at least one independent practitioner external to the training programme and the OM. 

D.3    In addition to shorter assignments set during the training programme (such as essays, case studies, verbatim reports etc), candidates are required to complete at least one substantial piece of written work (dissertation / research thesis / extended case study) of at least 8,000 words. This should demonstrate the candidate's capacity for reflecting in depth on their own work and the approach in which they are training.  It is recommended that this should be marked by at least one independent examiner and where possible by an independent UKCP registered practitioner.

D.4   Trainees must be provided with sufficient regular feedback to allow them to assess their own strengths and developmental needs, including academic presentation and practice-development needs.

D.5   Training programmes should have properly constituted bodies for ensuring the rights of candidates in training. These should normally include a system of scrutiny by an external moderator, an exam board, candidate representation (for example on a board of studies or programme board), published complaints and grievance procedures and appeals procedures.

D.6    Training and/or Accrediting organisations should have in place a CPD policy in accordance with UKCP guidelines. This should be read in conjunction with the HIPS Continuing Professional Development requirements as set out in Appendix 4.