Written by Jennie McNamara, Chair College for the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapies (C-CAP)


What is the Child Proficiency Marker, and who needs it?

Jennie McNamara, NG Director

Jennie McNamara, Psychotherapist, Director of Northern Guild and Chair of College for the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapies (C-CAP)

Since January 2012, UKCP has operated a specialist register for UKCP Child Psychotherapists and Child Psychotherapeutic Counsellors, as defined by the UKCP Standards of Education and Training (SETs). http://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/resources-and-publications/standards/

UKCP recognises that there are a large number of registrants who work primarily with adult clients, but who may also, on occasion, work with, or wish to work with children or young people. Not all of these registrants will have trained specifically as a Child Psychotherapist or Child Psychotherapeutic Counsellor.

However, some may have done further training to reflect additional skills and knowledge but not to meet the level of the UKCP Child Register. We therefore decided to introduce a way of recognising those people who have done further training with the introduction of a Child and Young Persons Proficiency Marker. The Child and Young Person Proficiency Marker is the means whereby UKCP signals to the public that registered practitioners have met a minimum standard of proficiency in relation to therapeutic work with children and young people. UKCP defines a child as someone under the age of 18 years.

‘Minimum standard’ is defined as a level of knowledge and skill that aims to enhance the safety of child and young person clients, and ensure that the therapy provided meets their human right of access to appropriate services.

Following the implementation of the process of assigning this marker, UKCP Registrants will not be able to claim that they work with children and young people as part of their UKCP practice without it. If you are a UKCP Psychotherapist or Psychotherapeutic Counsellor registered to work with Adults then you need to be aware of the changes to the UKCP Register that may apply to you if at any time you work with children or young people under the age of 18.

From the perspective of the individual registrant, achievement of the Child and Young Person Proficiency Marker is, until April 2017, via initial supported Self-Certification, which is subsequently assessed by the College for the Child & Adolescent Psychotherapies (C-CAP) or by their Modality College. As with other UKCP requirements this needs to be maintained on an annual basis in order to remain valid. All UKCP registrants will soon be receiving information from their College about how to apply for the Child Proficiency Marker (CPM).


Until April 2017 you may apply for the CPM through the process of Self Certification. This is the FIRST STAGEof the process leading to the achievement of the Child Proficiency Marker. It involves a signed declaration by applicants detailing evidence of how (or if) they are able to demonstrate the required competencies, together with a supervisor endorsement. From April 2017 you must then apply for the CPM through the full application via Grand parenting or you can opt to go straight to Stage Two.

Grandparenting Application Process

UKCP LogoThis is the SECOND STAGE of the process.

This route opens on the 30th April 2016 and runs until 30th April 2018. After this date only full applications can be made for the Child proficiency Marker (CPM). This will be through a similar procedure.

Applications involve supplying a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how the applicant has achieved the specified competencies and meets the criteria for the CPM. This will include:


  1. A declaration that they work according to the UKCP Codes of Ethics and Practice for Working with Children and Young People.
  2. Evidence of supervision of child case-load with a qualified supervisor with experience of providing child therapy themselves.
  3. Reflection on the way that supervision is used to reflect on and develop their skills in practice with children and young people.
  4. A case study (between approx. 1500 and 3000 words) demonstrating their typical practice with children/ young people.
  5. A statement of core theoretical modality and how this is applied in work with children and young people.
  6. A current clear Disclosure and Barring Service Check/Scotland or Northern Ireland equivalent.
  7. Evidence of professional insurance for working with children.

Application forms for the Child Proficiency Marker through the College for the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapies (C-CAP) can applied for by email [email protected]


The College for the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapies is a vibrant body of registrants of various modalities qualified to work with Children and Young People. Our aim is to bring together our experience and expertise and contribute towards wider professional recognition of UKCP child psychotherapy and child psychotherapeutic counseling. Our work, apart from practice in many contexts, includes research and monitoring, developments at government level in relation to children and young people, organizing conferences, collaborating with other organisation’s in the field and forming a clear professional identity for UKCP registrants work with children and young people.

We have worked over many years to develop UKCP Standards of Education and Training (SETS) for work with children; they were published in 2008. Currently these SETS are being revised and we expect them to be re-issued in 2017. Our latest work has been to develop the Child Proficiency Marker. Although we recognize that the implementation of the CPM may present challenges to some of our members we do hope that it will give greater recognition to UKCP’s stance with regard to services to children and young people. C-CAP wishes to recognize and to thank UKCP officers, office staff, Colleges Chairs, our members and those who have worked tirelessly since 1998 to bring this work to fruition.



(Originally published on 27th July 2016 in the Northern Guild Member’s Newsletter – Spring Issue)