Membership Categories and Criteria for Memberships

UPCA has a number of categories of membership, members usually join us when they first begin training on a UPCA Accredited Training Programme and become Student members. When they complete the theoretical part of their training, they can apply to become Non-Accredited Clinical Members. Finally, when all of the supervised client hours and other practice elements have been completed and the member has fully qualified and graduated, they apply to become Accredited Clinical Members. Accredited members can also apply to be registered with UKCP at this point.

Student Membership

This category of membership is open to all current students of a university-linked, UPCA accredited programmes in psychotherapy or psychotherapeutic counselling. It is a requirement of UPCA programme approval, that students studying on UPCA accredited programmes, maintain UPCA student membership for the duration of their training and thereby agree to abide by the UPCA code of conduct, performance and ethics. On graduating student members, who have further outstanding requirements for accreditation are required to transfer to non-accredited clinical membership.

Trainee Member

This category of membership is open to all current Students members of a university-linked, UPCA accredited programme in psychotherapy or psychotherapeutic counselling, who have been approved by their training programme to begin clinical practice. When a trainee member completes the taught part of their training, they should apply to become NON-ACCREDITED CLINICAL MEMBERS of UPCA. Trainee members of UPCA may additionally join UKCP as Trainee members. Members in this category should use the designation Trainee member of UPCA.

Non-Accredited Clinical Membership

This membership category is open to graduates from an accredited UPCA psychotherapy or psychotherapeutic training programme, who have not yet met the full requirements of the programme and training, or fulfilled the necessary criteria for registration. This category is available to members normally for a maximum period of five years to enable completion of training, and preparation to fulfil the necessary criteria for registration as a psychotherapeutic counsellor or a psychotherapist. Members in this category are not entitled to apply to UKCP for entry onto the UKCP register. Members in this category are entitled to use the letters MUPCA.

Accredited Clinical Membership

This membership category is open to graduates from a UPCA accredited, psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling training programmes. Graduates will have completed all requirements of the programme and training, and fulfilled the necessary criteria for registration as either a psychotherapeutic counsellor or a psychotherapist. Consequently, these members are entitled to apply to UKCP for entry onto the relevant sections of the UKCP register. Members in this category are entitled to use the letters MUPCA (Accred) together with the relevant professional title as granted by the programme from which they have graduated.

Non-clinical Associate Membership

This membership category is open to any member of a university with an interest in psychotherapy or counselling, to any psychotherapist or counsellor with a commitment to the academic development of the subject. To a retired UPCA member who is no longer in clinical practice.

How to Pay Your Membership Fees

When you complete your application form or renewal of membership form you will be given the option to pay your fees directly by BACs transfer. In very exceptional circumstances we will accept payment by cheque, please contact us at: for more information on how to pay by cheque.

CPD and Annual Renewal of Membership Guidelines

The UPCA membership year runs broadly in accordance with the academic year and starts on the 1st September every year and expires on 31st August the following year. To help you to keep your membership up to date we will send all members a Renewal Notice by email around the end of July each year along with a copy of a renewal form and CPD record to complete and return to us. The renewal form contains details of how to pay your annual fee.

Please remember to notify us if your email address or contact details change.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Guidelines

The fundamental intention of underpinning all CPD activity is protection of the public through maintenance and improvement of professional standards. Accreditation of university and university-linked courses includes the provision of continuing professional development for graduates. UPCA registered practitioners are required to keep a portfolio of their CPD activities (with certificates of attendance where possible) demonstrating that clinical professional development has been maintained and that clinical practice is up-to-date. As part of the annual membership renewal process a CPD declaration needs to be completed in detail.

From 01.09.2021 in order to meet the requirements of the UKCP 5-yearly reaccreditation all clinical members of UPCA are required to complete an additional 500-word Reflective Practice Statement, or reflection on their practice over the last year. This reflection should say how you feel your practice has developed and what has influenced that development for example, your supervision, professional or peer meetings, CPD undertaken, a spiritual practice. This reflection should be discussed with your supervisor or another clinical peer.

CPD Guidelines:

As of 1st September 2014, the UKCP Universities Training College (UTC) requires its members (UPCA is a member of UTC) to undertake 50 hours of CPD* activities per year, this is in line with current UKCP requirements of a minimum 250 hours over 5 years.

Please keep a record of the following in your portfolio to assist you with the completion of your annual renewal and CPD declaration and if you are selected for CPD Audit.

  • Client Contact Hours each week (normally a recommended minimum of 4 client contact hours per week for the first five years of practice)
  • Number and frequency of Supervision Hours (consistently for the first five years)
  • Personal Therapy (continued personal therapy is recommended in the first years of clinical practice)
  • 50 Hours CPD Activity (50 hours are a minimum guideline not including practice hours e.g., client contact hours/personal therapy hours).

Items that could be included as part of the CPD activity are:

  • Core training meetings, workshops and seminars
  • Meetings, workshops and seminars providing development across other models
  • Experiences outside the consulting room that have resulted in new ways of thinking about and engaging in clinical work
  • Complementary professional activities, research, writing, reading and spiritual practice
  • Clinical Supervision related to practice.

Please also note:

CPD Evidence (e.g. certificates; minutes etc.) – copies are not required as part of the annual renewal process however please retain originals in your CPD portfolio as you may be requested to submit this documentation during a random audit process or during your quinquennial re-accreditation assessment by the UPCA registration committee.

UPCA membership starts 1st September until 31st August (CPD declarations should include activities for the previous 12 months).

UPCA are required to carry out a yearly audit of CPD and currently this is set at 10% of clinical members. Selection for audit is carried on a random basis. If you have been selected for audit, we will send you an additional set of papers in the Spring following your annual renewal. It is a condition of membership that you participate in the annual audit if selected.