Return to practice

Return to practice

ACC seeks to support and work with qualified counsellors/psychotherapists who wish to return to practice. We recognise that it can seem daunting to return after a long break, especially if this has been longer than two years.

ACC endeavours to be flexible in how we work with people who want to return to practice. Each person’s circumstance will be different, so we will work with you to produce an individual return to practice plan.

For a new applicant or a reapplication to the register who has not been practising for more than two years, or a current registrant returning from a practice break after two years or more, ACC will arrange a meeting to discuss a return to practice process that is shaped for each person.

Prior to and at this meeting we will consider together:

  • The nature of your break from practice and whether during the break you remained involved in the profession, for example, as a trainer or academic, or in a related employment.
  • To what extent you were able to engage in CPD activities and/or experience in related roles, including being part of another regulated profession.
  • New developments within the profession or with practice standards since you went on a practice break.

We can then identify:

  • gaps in knowledge
  • skills that need refreshing
  • further training or other forms of CPD that need to complete to close these gaps and indicative timescales
  • use of supervision during the preparation process, choice of supervisor and how many sessions might be needed in readiness for a return to practice
  • an appropriate setting for a return to practice, for example, in a local counselling service rather than in private practice
  • a phased return to practice for those who have taken a break due to health concerns
  • whether a practice review will be required in 12 -18 months of returning to practice
  • for new applicants or reapplications to the register, which of these activities need to be completed before being accepted into the registered membership

We recommend that all applicants returning to practice contact for advice before beginning the application process. For current ACC registrants returning to practice, please see ACC’s Practice Break Guidelines in the members’ area and contact