As a service aspiring to offer the highest, consistent standards in client care, First Psychology has developed an ‘approved practitioner’ framework. This provides a ‘one-stop’ reference point demonstrating the high levels of training, experience, supervision and governance held by colleagues working with us. The framework is not designed to replace existing accreditation models operated by professional or statutory bodies. It offers a transparent and easy to understand model for clients and stakeholders covering the key components of best practice in the field.
All practitioners working with First Psychology must demonstrate that they meet all elements of the scheme to be ‘approved practitioners’ with us. They do this upon joining our organisation and on an annual basis following this. The elements of the approved practitioner framework are detailed as follows.
- We check that the practitioner has appropriate professional qualifications and experience to justify their professional title, status and current areas of clinical activity.
- We ensure that the practitioner is registered on the PVG scheme run by Disclosure Scotland (or equivalent). We require our practitioners to hold PVG registration on both child (under 18) and adult PVG schemes.
- We require evidence that a practitioner is a currently* a member, a registered member or an accredited member of a relevant professional or statutory body in the UK with a complaints procedure and a code of ethics. The body must be established and reputable in the field and normally hold an accredited register with the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care in the UK.
* In the rare circumstances where a practitioner is not currently a member or registrant of a relevant professional or statutory healthcare body in UK and when this is a result of factors outwith their control (e.g. if they have recently moved to the UK) they will be deemed to meet this criteria if:
- First Psychology believes they have the potential to meet the application criteria of an agreed and relevant body,
- they have made a formal commitment as part of their contract with First Psychology to work within the code of ethics as specified by that body, and
- they have an agreed and monitored plan with First Psychology to complete the application requirements of that body in the shortest timeframe possible.
- We require all of our practitioners to undertake regular clinical supervision with a qualified and experienced clinical supervisor/s able to support all areas of their clinical practice, and who is a registered healthcare or medical professional where the practitioner themselves is not. This criteria provides the best possible assurance of good practice and demonstrates the effective governance of our therapeutic service.
- We ask that all of our practitioners engage in continuous professional development (CPD) activities on an ongoing basis in line with the requirements of their professional or statutory body. This ensures that practitioners maintain their knowledge and skills and are able to offer services that align with contemporary practice in the field. As well as external CPD, practitioners undertake CPD with First Psychology through our own training institute, our annual conference and our practice study days.
- We require our practitioners to holds professional indemnity insurance relating to their clinical activities with First Psychology.
- We require that our practitioners manage client data in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and ask them to be registered with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) as a Data Controller if acting as such.
- We ask our practitioners to agree that they will immediately inform First Psychology if:
- any complaint is made against them to a professional or statutory body,
- if they are subject to criminal charges in the UK or elsewhere and,
- if any of the criteria contained within the approved practitioner framework are no longer met.
This allows First Psychology the opportunity to implement relevant safeguarding procedures should any serious matters come to light.