NCPS | Membership Categories & Criteria

A unique and flexible approach to membership and accreditation

The NCPS is a not for profit organisation whose primary purpose is the advancement of counselling and psychotherapy and of course the support and encouragement of all our members.

We believe that membership of a professional association is essential as it gives confirmation of your professional standing to both your peers and clients - and gives you a voice in the future of our profession.

In recognition of the different ‘life stages' of a counsellor/psychotherapist, we offer a number of levels of membership.

Please note: to join the Accredited Register distance learning and/or online only delivered courses are not accepted.

Membership Categories

A member of the Society may be a Registrant or a Non-Registrant member.

A Society Registrant is listed publicly on our website and is recorded as a Registrant on our Accredited Register. The Society allows Registrants to progress through different levels of membership depending upon qualifications and experience, but all Registrants have met the Society’s standards for practice

The different kinds of Registrants are:

Accredited Registrant (MNCPS Acc.) A counsellor who has met the standards for registration.

Accredited Professional Registrant (PNCPS Acc.) A counsellor who has met the standards for registration, and demonstrated substantial post-training professional development.

Senior Accredited Registrant (SNCPS Acc.) A counsellor who has met the standards for Accredited Professional Registrant membership, and has also gained significant further professional development.

Children and Young People's Therapist (CYPT)
A qualified practitioner who has met the standards for our NCPS Accredited Register AND who has demonstrated the Training Standards and competencies to work with Children and Young People. For information on how to apply for this Register click here.

Relationship Therapist (RT)
A qualified practitioner who has met the standards for our NCPS Accredited Register AND who has demonstrated the Training Standards and competencies to offer this type of therapy to adult clients. For information on how to apply for this Register click here.


Registrant Members are listed on our website and can be the following:

  • Accredited Registrant (MNCPS Acc.)

    Our Accredited Registrant category (MNCPS Acc.) is aligned to the requirements of SCoPEd Column A.

    Eligibility requirements

    • An NCPS Accredited Course

    or

    • An Ofqual Level 4 minimum (or equivalent) diploma in core or basic one-to-one counselling or psychotherapy (in the room)
    • With an integral supervised placement of at least 100 hours within an organisation or agency setting
    • The course must be over a minimum of 2 years part-time with a minimum of 300 Guided Learning Hours
    • We do not accept online only and or distance learning courses

    For further information please see our Standards of Traning

    To apply for Accredited Registrant Membership Click here

    Please note: Students who had to undertake training and/or placement hours purely online during the 2020/2021 academic year due to the Covid pandemic, can still apply for the Accredited Register as their applications will be assessed in line with accepted criteria during that time.

  • Accredited Professional Registrant (PNCPS Acc.)

    Our Accredited Professional Registrant category (PNCPS Acc.), which is aligned to the requirements of SCoPEd Column B, builds on the requirements for our Accredited Registrant grade (MNCPS Acc.) which is aligned to SCoPEd Column A.

    Eligibility requirements

    Applicants must have:

    • Maintained registration as an Accredited Registrant (MNCPS Acc), or on another relevant PSA Accredited Register for Talking Therapy, for at least 1 year in good standing immediately preceding an application for this membership category
    • Experienced at least 450 tutor contact hours during completed training the majority of which will have been delivered 'in the room'. Some courses may offer a blended approach with regards to training delivery (i.e. a combination of 'in the room' and live synchronous online). Courses that meet this criterion and include summative assessment/s may be combined to meet this GLH requirement. Please note, distance learning training is not accepted.
    • Been in practice for at least 3 years from the date of the first supervised client session when applying
    • Completed at least 450 hours of supervised clinical practice, at least 150 of which must have been accrued after gaining the core qualification
    • Been supervised for at least 1.5 hours per month and have an ongoing contract for supervision in place for at least 1.5 hours per month. (This can be a mix of one-to-one, group and peer supervision. Peer supervision alone is not acceptable towards supervision hours)
    • Undertaken at least 30 hours of varied CPD in the 12 months preceding application for this grade
    • A written Reflective Practice piece and Case Study

    View our full guidance here *Before you attempt to submit your application, please read the guidance carefully. If you do not submit the specific information required as per this guidance your application may be delayed or returned for further clarification.

  • Senior Accredited Registrant (SNCPS Acc.)

    Members holding the category of Accredited Professional Registrant (PNCPS Acc.) (SCoPEd Column B) can apply for the new Senior Accreditation category (SNCPS Acc.) (SCoPEd Column C).

    Existing Senior accredited members who are eligible will be able to apply for the new Senior accreditation (SCoPEd Column C).

    During the transition phase (until January 2026), Senior members will need to have a level 7 or equivalent counselling or psychotherapy qualification to apply for the updated Senior membership category. For those who do not have this level of qualification, we are currently working on mechanisms which will allow them to apply by evidencing other experience and skills alongside training. We will keep members updated as to when this route becomes available.

    Eligibility requirements

    • A Level 7 or equivalent counselling or psychotherapy training
    • 500 GLH hours of training in total
    • Experience of 160 hours of personal therapy and/or personal development work relevant to practice
    • Been in practice for at least 4 years from the date of the first supervised client session when applying
    • A written Personal Statement evidencing the relevant competencies for this membership category
    • A Supervisors Report
    • In addition to the above, it is expected that all the requirements relevant to the Accredited Professional Registrant (PNCPS Acc.) category, including supervision and CPD, will remain applicable to Senior Accredited Registrants (SNCPS Acc.)

    View our full guidance here

Non-Registrants are not listed on our website and can be:

  • Member

    Non-Registrant membership is for those with an interest in Counselling and Psychotherapy who wish to be part of the NCPS community. Non-Registrant Membership is only available for two years; it is expected that you work towards Registrant membership during this time.

    Non-Registrant members must adhere to the NCPS Code of Ethics. They do not appear on the Accredited Register. They must not advertise, promote or mention their membership to clients, employers or agencies.

  • Student Member

    A non-Registrant member who is on a training course to become a counsellor. The criterion for student membership is to demonstrate enrolment on any counselling training course which is compatible with the Society’s Code of Ethics. This does not have to be a course recognised by the Society.

    Student Members cannot advertise their membership and insofar as they are seeing clients may only do so as part of their ongoing studies under the supervisory arrangements specified by their trainer. They must agree to be bound by the Society’s Code of Ethics.

    To apply for Student membership click here

  • Fellow (FNCPS)

    This Special Award may be given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Society or the profession of counselling. Fellows are not on the Society’s Accredited Register unless they also hold a Registrant category of membership.

Complex applications

Applications which contain complex information; for example, from long standing counsellors where historical training routes show a marked difference from current training routes, may be referred to the Professional Standards Committee for a complex case review. The committee will ensure that the application meets the Society's published standards and decide at what level to place the successful applicant on the register; unsuccessful applicants will be assisted with clear guidance about suitable routes for registration.

Overseas

Registrant members residing overseas

The Professional Standards Authority’s accredited register scheme applies to the UK only and has no jurisdiction in either British Crown Dependencies or British Overseas Territories. Overseas registered members (including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) are therefore not able to use the Professional Standards Authority accredited Register logo. However, Registrant members are permitted to use the relevant NCPS Registrant logo which will be supplied by The Society in line with confirmation of the Registrant membership category offered.

Any registrant practising overseas must abide by the national laws and regulations/protocols with regard to the provision of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Not sure which category to apply for? Click here to take our short quiz to help you decide.

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