Choosing a practitioner who is an Addiction Professionals member gives you an assurance that they meet standards of competency and ethical practice.  This is because:

1  All practitioners agree to adhere to our Standards of Conduct and Ethics.

2  We ask for the following information in order for individuals to advertise as therapists/ and or counsellors:

For practitioners who wish to describe themselves as ‘counsellors’ or ‘therapists’ or describe their services as ‘counselling’ or ‘therapy’ (including addiction counsellors) we will ask that the following criteria have been met:

You will be required to have completed and graduated from a counselling or psychotherapy practitioner training course at educational level 4, or an addiction counselling course accredited by Addiction Professionals. Your course must have involved at least 400 hours classroom-based tutor contact. You must also have completed a supervised placement of at least 100 client contact hours as an integral part of your course. Your placement hours must have been:

  1. carried out with genuine clients, rather than peers from your course, for example
  2. in an appropriate setting with appropriate clients. Counselling services are an ideal setting as they are likely to assess whether clients are suitable for your level of competence. Your training provider should not allow placement hours through private practice or with client groups that have not been pre-assessed as suitable - such as children and young people or those with complex mental health needs.
  3. assessed (or marked) as an integral part of your training
  4. supervised. Supervision is important at all stages of seeing clients.*

3  We check other professional backgrounds of members advertising including the qualification of doctors, psychologists, nurses, and social workers.

4  We provide levels of accreditation where members are required to evidence their qualifications and experience.

* In some instances we allow Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning, in particular for practitioners who became counsellors prior to academic courses being widely available. 

Many members will provide an outline of their experience and special interests in their outlines and websites that go beyond these checks, and we advise members of the public to verify the background, qualifications and experience of any member whose services they are considering, including DBS checks.