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Old 21st December 2006, 09:16 AM   #1
Pauline Willis
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Oxford, England
Posts: 169
Default Coaching psychologists call for statutory regulation


Other than a voluntary system of self regulation operated by British Psychological Society, there is currently no public protection from “coaching cowboys”, the charlatan or incompetent practitioners who are offering services in the area of Coaching Psychology.

The hot issue of regulation of psychology in the UK and how this could impact on both the emergent profession of coaching as well as the profession of psychology was introduced in my Keynote at the first International Coaching Psychology Conference held at City University London, on Tuesday the 19th of December 2006.

Organised by the British Psychological Society, Special Group in Coaching Psychology, this historic conference offered delegates an opportunity to debate a range of issues on the future of the profession and how their growing area might be regulated in the future.

Current government thinking is to place all psychological professions, including Coaching Psychologists, under the auspices of the Health Professions Council. However there is a great deal of opposition to this proposal as it is centred on a health focussed model of regulation which is unlikely to be able to properly deal with practitioners in other settings such as business or education.

The public perception of the profession of psychology is often that services are provided within clinical settings. However, only 40% of psychologists offer services within health care services. Around 60% of psychological services are provided in the community and in business settings and contrary to the medical stereotype are aimed at life and business enhancement.

A growing community of psychologists and who describe their professional practice as Coaching Psychology in line with the label that has gained popularity for services of this nature are supporting individuals, and organisations to achieve goals and leverage life and business performance. A health focussed regulator would therefore be unsuitable.

The issue of statutory regulation was one of the most pressing and important that was addressed at the SGCP conference. Psychologically focussed coaching services are becoming a ‘gold rush’ industry, in an unregulated marketplace. We need statutory regulation of psychologists to take this aspect of the marketplace into account to ensure adequate protection for the public from sharp practitioners who may not possess either the qualifications or competency to deliver the services offered. The Government’s current proposals for statutory regulation will not provide the protection the public deserves, so Coaching Psychologists wholeheartedly support the creation of a dedicated Psychological Professions Council to address these issues.

An information leaflet explaining proper protection for psychological services in the UK can be found at

If you are a Coaching Psychologist and would like to lend your support to this lobby, further information about what a Psychological Professions Council would involve and how you can support it's development can be found on the BPS website:-

Please do also note that this is a news thread and it is not possible to post replies to this message. If you would like to discuss this topic within the forums please login and take part in the discussion in the members only forums.

Last edited by Pauline Willis; 22nd December 2006 at 11:15 PM.
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