April 2020

Criteria and Guidelines for Accreditation as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist with IPSS

Accreditation with IPSS leads to:

  • Full professional membership of the organisation
  • Entry to the CPJA (Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis) section of the UKCP register of psychotherapists as an ‘individual psychoanalytic psychotherapist’ working with adults.

IPSS is registered as an accrediting body with UKCP and CPJA, and until very recently had offered a formal recognised psychotherapy training for nearly forty years.

Key points:

  1. Applicants for accreditation in individual work may already be fully registered with UKCP under another College, or be a student member of UKCP. They may also be a member of BACP, or hold an ECP (European Certificate of Psychotherapy).
  2. Applicants will be seeking accreditation through a combination of relevant previous training and clinical experience
    1. For applicants without a completed or a full formal training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, professional equivalence may be achieved based on the guidelines on training standards established by CPJA (available at  CPJA – Standards of Education and Training 2018.pdf)
    2. Applicants who have a qualification in psychodynamic counselling for example, may be accredited if they can demonstrate sufficient additional relevant CPD study and appropriate psychoanalytic supervision.
    3. Whilst IPSS no longer offers formal training, applicants with sufficient theoretical study behind them may be accredited on condition they have achieved the following minimum clinical criteria (though also see below):
  • Two years at twice a week in psychoanalytic psychotherapy with a recognised practitioner (5 years UKCP/BPC registered, or equivalent).
  • Have themselves offered psychoanalytic psychotherapy twice a week to at least one client/patient for no less than a continuous 12 month period (under appropriate weekly psychoanalytic supervision). This will be considered the applicants ‘training case’.
  • Significant additional once a week clinical experience under psychoanalytic supervision.

It is imagined that whilst some applicants may be able to demonstrate having met the above criteria at the point of applying, others may not. For the latter, you are welcome to apply on the basis that further personal therapy and/or supervised practice will be undertaken with an IPSS approved psychoanalytical psychotherapist/supervisor before accreditation is appropriate.       

Guidelines on Previous Training:

1.  A postgraduate course with a completed academic element (including essays) 

  • The course should not have been less than 250 hours of formal teaching time (or 500 hours, if tutorials, supervisions, groupwork, and any infant observations are also counted);
  • Over three or four years (any ‘introductory’ year is not counted);
  • Main psychoanalytic theories and methods have formed the major part of the teaching;
  • This is roughly equivalent to a part-time MA/MSc.

2.  Infant development

  • Training in infant development and/or baby observation.

3.  Knowledge of and experience of serious mental disorders

  • This could include a psychiatric placement.

4.  Clinical seminars

  • Demonstrating the use of supervision to inform clinical practice.

5. Assessments

  • Proven ability to make assessments

 If the completed postgraduate training was in psychodynamic counselling, integrative psychotherapy, music or art therapy, then the applicant will need (by way of equivalence) to demonstrate sufficient post qualification CPD study across the theoretical field of individual adult psychoanalytic psychotherapy before being considered for accreditation.

Guidelines on the experience of Personal Psychotherapy/Psychoanalysis:

  • In order to achieve accreditation, the applicant will need to have had substantial personal psychoanalytic psychotherapy or psychoanalysis with a recognised accredited practitioner.
  • Although it can be interpreted flexibly, this will normally have been for a minimum of 4 years in total, of which a minimum of two years (continuous) must have been twice (or more) a week. We would also expect a substantial overlap with the psychoanalytic clinical work for which the applicant wishes to be accredited.
  • The applicant’s therapist(s) will normally have been an accredited psychoanalytic psychotherapist/psychoanalyst from the CPJA (UKCP) or BPC (or equivalent) and themselves have had at least five years post-qualification experience. This is a requirement in relation to the period of twice (or more) weekly psychotherapy.

In working towards full UKCP accreditation, IPSS is happy to support relevant applicants in meeting the above personal therapy requirements as is considered individually appropriate.

Guidelines on Clinical Experience and the experience of Supervision:

The applicant will have had substantial psychoanalytic supervision with a suitably experienced psychoanalytic practitioner and experienced supervisor. This would normally be individual (one on one) and weekly for the full duration of the twice a week ‘training case’.

  • Once a week work (during training) will also have to have been closely supervised (this may have been in small groups), and it is considered good practice that the applicant’s current and ongoing work continues to be supervised.
  • Given the above requirements, it is unlikely that any applicant with less than three years of clinical experience of seeing their own individual clients/patients will be considered ready for accreditation.
  • Supervisor references will be required, and may be verified.

In working towards full UKCP accreditation, IPSS is happy to support relevant applicants in meeting the above supervision requirements as is considered individually appropriate. The responsibility to find suitable clients/patients however remains with the applicant.


 Applications are considered by the IPSS Accreditation Committee which is comprised of a number of experienced and qualified IPSS Members. If you are interested in applying for membership and accreditation with IPSS, the process has a number of stages:

 Stage 1 – The Initial Application

  • Complete the application form in full (application form), and return to the IPSS Administrator. Please do not send CV’s at the outset (though these can be ‘cut and pasted’ as appropriate) as it is important that we straightforwardly gather in one place all the information we need.
  • If anything remains unclear or incomplete, then the administrator will seek to resolve this with you, before passing the application to the Chair of Accreditation.
  • Please supply two recent professional references, one of which should be a Supervisor that knows your psychoanalytic work well.
  • Please also send a professional development statement of around 3,000 words. This should also make substantial reference  to your clinical work in its social context and demonstrate what it is about IPSS that attracts you.
  • The fee for stage 1 is £100*.
  • At the end of stage one the candidate will have an interview with two IPSS psychotherapists.   The cost for the interview is £150.

Depending on the outcome of Stage 1, and what might subsequently be agreed between IPSS and the applicant as the most appropriate way forward, applicants may move to Stage 2 (see below), or direct to Stage 3. Beyond Stage 1, applicants will be invited to take up the IPSS membership category of Accreditation Candidate Member and comply with the following conditions:

  • To attend IPSS Member Forums (currently three times a year) where possible.
  • To continue your clinical work and remain in supervision with an IPSS supervisor or a psychoanalytic psychotherapist supervisor agreed by IPSS. A report may be requested from your supervisor.
  • To adhere to the IPSS Code of Ethics and Code of Practice (access will be given to the Members’ section of IPSS website) and be familiar with all the documents applying to membership of the organisation.
  • To also comply with the policies and procedures of UKCP and CPJA
  • To maintain professional indemnity insurance of up to £1 million

If the applicant takes up the Accreditation Candidate Membership and wishes to continue to Stage 2 or Stage 3 they may apply for Trainee Membership of UKCP

Stage 2 may involve one or more of the following:

  • A period of further personal twice a week individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy**.
  • A period of further supervised practice of a twice a week (or more) client/patient*.
  • Further specified external CPD training or study

**Professional fees for further psychotherapy and/or supervision are a private matter between the applicant and psychotherapist/supervisor.

Stage 3 – accreditation stage, involving the formal submission of the following:

  • Written training case study (demonstrating effective use of theory in clinical work and of supervision) of work with a twice (or more) a week client/patient over a period of twelve months or more. This will be 8-10,000 words and may have been drafted or submitted previously in another context.
  • Two short accounts of work with patients from the last three years, around 2,000 words each.
  • The fee for Stage 3 is £150*, and includes reading and commenting on papers.
  • This stage is to be completed within one year of payment of the fee, after which time the Accreditation Committee will review the application and depending on circumstances may agree an extension or charge a further fee to cover the Accreditation Membership.

If the IPSS Accreditation Committee subsequently recommend the applicant for membership of IPSS and registration with CPJA/UKCP, this decision will need to be ratified by IPSS Council, and the training ‘case study’ will be required to be presented to the IPSS Members Forum (currently February, June and November each year) before IPSS membership is confirmed.

As an equal opportunities organisation, IPSS welcomes accreditation applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital or partnership status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, age, or socio-economic factors.        

*Please note that application fees are not refundable.


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