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Regulation plans abandoned?
Plans for the statutory regulation of counselling and psychotherapy by the Health Professions Council, the same body that regulates practitioner psychologists, look set to be abandoned in light of a document published by the Department of Health in February.
The Command Paper Enabling Excellence Autonomy and Accountability for Healthcare Workers, Social Workers and Social Care Workers outlines the Coalition Government's plans to reduce the costs of regulation in health and social care, including devolving greater autonomy to existing regulators, increasing their accountability, and encouraging mergers. The document also proposes that professions not yet under statutory regulation, including counselling and psychotherapy, should instead be encouraged to form voluntary registers.
'A system of assured voluntary registration is a more proportionate way of balancing the desire to drive up the quality of the workforce with the Coalition Government's intention to avoid introducing regulation with its associated costs wherever possible,' the Command Paper says.
In a joint statement, the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) welcomed the new proposals: 'BPC and UKCP now wish to work with CHRE [the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, the body which will accredit voluntary registers] to help develop a robust, credible and flexible regulatory framework based on the government's proposals for assured voluntary registration.'
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