Earlier this week I commented on the worrying state of complaints procedures at the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. Since then somebody has forwarded on to me an e-mail that’s doing the rounds in the UKCP. It appears to show a senior figure in the organisation expressing thinly-veiled criticisms of the way the UKCP is run.
The e-mail poses a series of questions to the candidates in the forthcoming election for UKCP chair. The author suggests, “It has been said by some of those in positions of authority in the UKCP that the members should keep quiet and let the Board get on with running the organisation” and that “There is little transparency in the spending of the members’ money”.
The author also appears to have a low opinion for the current proposals for psychotherapy to have “assured voluntary registration” (where self-regulating bodies such as the UKCP get a stamp of approval from the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence) rather than statutory regulation. They ask, “Those with statutory titles i.e. psychiatrist, practitioner psychologist, psychiatric nurses, social workers etc are already perceived as being more professional. By going the VQA route do we not join the licensed service professionals such as hair dressers, beauticians, carers and day care workers?”
The full text is below.
Questions for Candidates
1. How will you ensure that voluntary quality assured (VQA) regulation, (CHRE) will have the same status as statutory regulation? Those with statutory titles i.e. psychiatrist, practitioner psychologist, psychiatric nurses, social workers etc are already perceived as being more professional. By going the VQA route do we not join the licensed service professionals such as hair dressers, beauticians, carers and day care workers?
2. What are the cost of the systems, i.e. standards monitoring, central complaints system, information systems, PR, compliance cost and other items for being prepared to APPLY for the CHRE QA kite mark?
3. It has been said by some of those in positions of authority in the UKCP that the members should keep quiet and let the Board get on with running the organisation, how would you respond to that statement?
4. How would you ensure that the visibility, integrity and credibility of the office of Chair and Chief Executive of the UKCP is increased and maintained?
5. One of the basic ways of devolving power is to ensure there is a good budgeting processes empower functions such as Diversity & Equalities, the Colleges and Faculties Committee, the Quality Assurance and Change Management processes etc . This gives the functions of these committees and departments the power to carry out their duties without interference from officers who may abuse their power. What budgeting process would you put into place?
6. Could you comment on the number of volunteers we have working on external projects and representing the UKCP in places like IAPT, NHS Commissioners, NICE, Mental Health Organisations, Service User Organisations and Parliamentary Enquiries? How could this be improved?
7. Given the low level of interest in the UKCP elections as evidenced by the number of directors elected unopposed and the cancellation of the debate scheduled for the 23rd of February, what level of voting by the membership would you consider to be enough to give a clear mandate for the elected chair. Would you ask for another election if you achieve less than 10% to 15% of the membership’s votes that are cast? Would you allow the Vice Chairs to act as Chair until the election took place?
8. One of the difficulties that exist with the UKCP’s leadership is a matter of visibility. Would you consider publishing appointments and meetings on the web for the membership and public?
9. There is little transparency in the spending of the members’ money and that individuals benefit financially from work they do on behalf of the UKCP. Would you publish expenses and monies paid to individuals for work done on behalf of the UKCP? Would you advertise for all positions that attract an honorarium?
10. Given the nature of our profession and the involvement of our membership it would be counter cultural to impose a pure business model on which there are different classes of shareholders and a board remote from the membership. What is your commitment to ensure that the organisation has a high level of consultation about the work of the organisation?