CPD for Counsellors and Psychotherapists: Unpacked

We understand how important it is for our counsellors and psychotherapists to have access to high-quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD). At Pulse, we are excited to be able to offer a range of free, CPD-accredited courses and workshops to support your career.

Throughout this guide, we’ll dive a little more into the world of CPD for counsellors and psychotherapists. From the different types of CPD and how to log your CPD hours, to why it’s essential for your career. We’ll also let you know about the upcoming CPD courses and workshops available with Pulse, exclusively for you.

So, what exactly is CPD?

The National Counselling Society (NCS) defines CPD as ‘a range of learning activities through which professional counsellors grow and develop throughout their careers to ensure that they retain their ability to practise safely, ethically and legally within their evolving scope of practice’.

Put simply, CPD is a commitment to your ongoing learning. It encourages you to identify opportunities to take in new learnings, refresh your existing knowledge, improve your skills to enhance your future career prospects, and keep up to date with the latest developments within your profession. It can mean everything from taking a training course and attending an educational event to studying for new qualifications or learning new aspects of your job.

Why is CPD for counsellors and psychotherapists important?

CPD for counsellors and psychotherapists is important for so many reasons. As well as ensuring you remain fit to practice and progress your career, you must also be able to demonstrate a commitment to CPD to maintain your professional registration with most industry-known professional bodies. This includes the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), National Counselling Society (NCS) and UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

How many CPD hours will you need complete?

The minimum number of CPD hours will vary depending on the professional body you are associated with and how much time you would like to invest in CPD to support your interests and career aspirations. Below, we’ve highlighted the number of hours required for the three main professional bodies.


As a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the National Counselling Society (NCS), you will be expected to undertake at least 30 hours of varied CPD a year.


The UK Council for Psychotherapy’s (UKCP) requirements are specified over a five-year and one-year timescale. You must gain a minimum of 250 hours of CPD activity over five years, with a minimum of 20 hours per year. Although the UKCP requires more hours overall of CPD than the BACP and NCS, it allows clinical supervision to be included as part of its requirements, whereas the BACP and NCS does not.

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Register your interest and we will be in touch to discuss your work preferences.

The different types of CPD

CPD for counsellors and psychotherapists can combine different learning methods, including training courses, seminars, workshops, conferences and events, webinars, and online eLearning programs. CPD can also include sharing best practice techniques, thoughts, and ideas, all focused on you improving within your dedicated field. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing the type of CPD. That being said, you may find that you enjoy participating in a variety of different learning methods.

Most professionals select CPD topics that cover their specialist field and area of interest. However, as a counsellor or psychotherapist, you will also be expected to participate in CPD relating to safeguarding and mental health legislation, e.g., the Mental Capacity Act, the Mental Health Act, and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

Recording your CPD

Your counselling and psychotherapy CPD record will be presented as evidence when demonstrating the CPD hours you’ve completed in relation to your chosen professional body. It’s also a way for you to easily track progress and identify any gaps in your skills or knowledge that you may want to fill. Here’s what it should include:

  •  The date your CPD was completed. If you participated in a CPD activity that lasted several days, weeks, or months, put the last date of the activity
  • How long you spent on it (CPD hours)
  • A brief description of the training activity, including any learning outcomes and how you might apply it to your practice
  • A copy of any certificates or documents you have received for attending or completing the CPD activity

Now, let’s talk about the counselling and psychotherapy CPD opportunities available with Pulse

We’re committed to helping you succeed in your career and want to ensure that you are kept informed about any upcoming counselling and psychotherapy CPD courses and workshops.

You can now save your spot at our next free event, Making the Most of the Therapeutic Relationship with Harry O’Hayon, or get in touch with the team to discuss what other upcoming opportunities we have available for you.

Register with us

Register your interest and we will be in touch to discuss your work preferences.

Register today

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