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Wellbeing Practitioner Registration - Frequently Asked Questions

The questions and answers on this page have been provided in conjunction with NHS England and the British Psychological Society (BPS).

What psychological professions does this registration refer to?

  • Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP)
  • Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners (CWP)
  • Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHP)

It has been agreed with NHS England, BABCP and BPS that collectively these three occupations will be referred to as Wellbeing Practitioners. 

What does registration mean, and who is it for?

The register is for individual wellbeing practitioners who commit to maintain high quality standards in clinical practice, supervision and CPD. It also signifies that the registrant is working in the context of an appropriate system of care; work outside such a system cannot invoke the registration. People on the register will adhere to the code of conduct of whichever body they are registered with. The aim of the register is to protect the public, employers and other agencies to help them find wellbeing practitioners who meet these standards.

Do I have to be registered to practice in my role, if so, when will this be compulsory?

It will be compulsory in NHS commissioned services to register if you are a qualified PWP, CWP or EMHP and are working within an appropriate system of care for the role.  We expect a transition period of 12 months from the launch of the first register for each occupation.  At the end of this period, registration for all qualified PWPs, CWPs and EMHPs in NHS commissioned services will be compulsory.

What will happen if I work as a PWP, CWP or EMHP and can't achieve registration?

Reasons for this will need to be explored with your employer.  Your employer will be responsible for supporting you to gain registration, or if this is not possible, for exploring other options with you.  These options will be in line with your conditions of employment and locally agreed policy.

What if I am returning to clinical practice after a gap?

BABCP and BPS have developed a straight-forward return to practice policy to enable people to join or re-join the register after a gap in practice.

Are the schemes delivered by BPS and BABCP the same?

Both schemes have been designed to meet the specification set by NHS England. They require equivalent standards and have equivalent processes for addressing complaints or problems. They will also share information about disciplinary processes that result in a change in registration status, so that an individual's record travels with them if they leave one register and join the other.

Will I be expected to pay for my registration and, if so, how much will this cost?

Details of cost of registration and frequency of renewal can be found on the BPS and BABCP websites.  Responsibility for payment will be locally determined.  If self-funded, these payments are tax deductible.

Do I have to do a specific training course?

You must have successfully completed an accredited training at a Higher Education Institution which delivers the HEE/NHSE/I recognised national curriculum for the role and related quality standards.

What will registration give me?

Registration represents a significant step forward in public protection and in professional recognition of these vital occupations.  It will also provide access to continuing professional development in line with the specific needs of the occupation.

How does the Registration scheme include differences across the United Kingdom?

The scheme recognises accredited trainings in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as able to lead to individual registration, as long as they are accredited trainings that successfully deliver the HEE/NHSE/I recognised national curriculum for the role and related quality standards.

The BPS and BABCP have jointly agreed definitions for the specified systems of care within which each of the three occupations will be working. This ensures that our processes allow only those working in clearly specified systems of care to register. All registrants will have to meet the expectation of working in a specified system of care which is very similar to, although not exclusively, those which NHS England recognise. For example, PWPs will operate within a clearly identified stepped-care pathway.

Can I be registered if I work as a private PWP, CWP or EMHP?

Individual registrants must commit to only using their job titles appropriately for their role. You may not use your registration status to promote independent practice.  Whilst we recognise practitioners can work for a variety of systems of care, independent practice does not meet requirements. This means that if you are employed in one of the wellbeing practitioner roles working in the private sector, you must be working in the specified system of care for your role, with provisions for stepped care specified. This includes working within your field of competence and under appropriate supervision which must be evidenced in your application.

PWPs, CWPs and EMHPs are not able to use their registration to practise independently in these roles in their own or other private practices. These occupations must operate within a specified system of stepped care under appropriate supervision. You will not be eligible to register if you do not operate within the defined specified system of care. Inappropriate use of job title is against the terms of your registration and is likely to result in removal from the register.

What are the eligibility requirements for registration?

There are distinct registration requirements for each occupation and those wishing to register must register against the role that they are employed in. The eligibility requirements include:

  • The completion of an NHS England/Health Education England-recognised accredited training programme for the role or a training recognised and accredited by a Health Education England recognised professional organisation. Currently this is only the British Psychological Society.
  • Confirmation of employment in an appropriate specified system of care through the provision of a supervisor reference.
  • Six months experience working within a specified system of care. These six months can include time spent working as a trainee.

Further details of the registration requirements will be available on the BABCP and the BPS websites, including details of the requirements of an appropriate specified system of care.

When are the registers expected to launch?

BPS and BABCP are expected to launch their registers from June 2021, starting with the PWP role. Registration of EMHPs and CWPs will follow once course accreditation is approved and in place for these roles.

What about those that are already in the workforce that did not complete an accredited training programme?

We expect that Health Education England recognised course accreditation process with the BPS will be in place for these roles by the summer of 2021. There will be recognition that formal accreditation has not been in place for past cohorts and the BPS will work with NHS England and Health Education England (HEE) to recognise and backdate course accreditation for those courses that meet BPS accreditation standards and HEE quality assurance requirements. We expect CWP and EMHP training programmes to be able to apply for accreditation from the summer and for registration of these roles to commence from the autumn.

As an EMHP, am I able to maintain registration if I work outside of an educational setting?  Likewise, as a CWP, can I maintain registration whilst working outside of a community setting?

Both EMHPs and CWPs are expected to work within a specified system of care.  EMHPs within a Mental Health Support Team, and CWPs within a wider-system of care [which will  be defined in the CWP Implementation Guide].

I do not have an undergraduate qualification; will this prohibit my registration?

If you have qualified as a PWP, CWP or EMHP via an accredited course you are able to register, irrespective of other academic qualifications.  

What CPD are CWPs and EMHPs expected to undertake to maintain registration?

This will be made clear when individual registration of EMHP and CWPs is launched.

What are the ongoing supervisory requirements for CWPs and EMHPs (they are defined for PWPs in the IAPT manual)?

This will be made clear when individual registration of EMHP and CWPs is launched.

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