Join the network

How to join

As a first step, please contact us to discuss your service and your interest in joining.

Alternatively, to get started, please complete our online APPTS Joining Form and we will get back to you shortly.

You can join if:

Your service’s purpose is to provide psychological therapies to adults in the community.

This includes NHS, private and third sector services; those that participate in the English Talking Therapies scheme, and those that do not.

To be considered as one service (one subscription), you will be:

  • located in one geographical area (exceptions may be made for nationwide services)
  • comprised of one discrete team with one manager.

If you are unsure about whether your service is eligible to join as one unit, please contact us.

Key Benefits

Improvement Process: The process will identify areas of improvement, address these directly and support you to meet national standards of best practice.

Accreditation: Members have found accreditation useful in raising the profile of their service, assuring commissioners/NHS England of the high quality of their service, and creating new opportunities in research and investment. APPTS is also a recognised information source for the CQC.

Membership: There is also a range of additional membership benefits such as free training and event opportunities; connecting/shared learning with a peer support network; newsletters; discussion group etc. 

What are members saying?

 "Our accreditation has truly created new opportunities in research funding and innovation"

University of Sheffield Counselling Service

“The APPTS accreditation has significantly raised the profile of our service and has led to our service winning the NHSCT Chairperson’s Award for Most Effective Team. It has also improved our relationship with funding bodies and the wider Trust management, which has been hugely beneficial.”

Psychological Therapies Service, Antrim

“We found the APPTS process productive, enjoyable and very beneficial. It gave us the opportunity to reflect on ourselves as a service, recognising areas for improvement as well as acknowledging our strengths."

Oasis Talk, Bristol

Key Stages

  • Self-review: During the first stage, you will reflect on performance against national standards for psychological therapy services.
    This is supported by data collection from therapists and service users – which our project team will collate and analyse to create a summary report.
    This will form the basis of discussion for the peer review visit.  
  • Peer-review visit: Your service will be visited by a peer review team, led by a specially trained lead reviewer, and including professionals and service users from different sites.
    This one-day visit will involve identifying your achievements and areas for improvement; considering your service in its unique context; and exchanging information about best practice.  
  • Preparation for Accreditation, and service improvements: Following the peer review visit, you will be provided with time and support to put into place any recommended areas for improvement.
    You may also be asked to submit additional evidence for the Accreditation Committee.  
  • Accreditation: An accreditation committee, comprising multidisciplinary professionals and service user representatives, will systematically examine the evidence gathered during the review of your service, and make a recommendation about accreditation status.
    (We aim to support services towards accreditation, and services that are not yet ready are usually ‘deferred’, whilst further support and time is given for changes to take effect).  
  • Continual Improvement: The accreditation period runs for 3 years. During this time, services will put in place an action-plan to work on areas identified during their self and peer reviews for continual improvement, supported by the APPTS team.
    Services are also encouraged to take part in the quality network, discussion group with other members, visiting other services, and are invited to free events/training.
    These are all part of continual reflection on quality improvement and sharing best practice in the network.

APPTS membership prices are on a sliding scale, based on the number of whole-time equivalent (WTE) therapists working in your service.

  • £2,120 + VAT - services comprising less than 8 WTE therapists
  • £2,535 + VAT - services comprising between 8 to 20 WTE therapists
  • £3,175 + VAT - services comprising between 20 to 30 WTE therapists
  • £4,690 + VAT - services comprising more than 30 WTE therapists

A discount is also available to services signing up for the full three-year cycle. All prices exclude VAT.

What is the Advisory Group?

The APPTS Advisory Group (previously named Project Board) comprises professionals who represent key interests and areas of expertise in the field of psychological therapies services, BPS representatives and service users and carers who have experience of using these services. The purpose of the group is to advise and further the work of APPTS, whose aim is to improve the quality of psychological therapies services through a process of standards-based peer review.

What does the Accreditation Committee do?

The accreditation committee (AC) comprises professionals who represent key interests and areas of expertise in the field of psychological therapies services. Members of the AC review and consider evidence gathered about psychological therapies services and makes recommendations about accreditation status to the Combined Committee for Accreditation.

Developmental membership option

We have recently launched a developmental membership for psychological therapies services. This option will work on an annual basis, with services receiving a peer-review visit every year. This membership option is ideal for services new to APPTS, and those who need additional support to meet standards. This membership is a stepping stone towards accreditation and great for quality improvement. It involves:

  • Three-month self-review process
  • Peer-review visit
  • Service level report
  • Action planning

Unlike accreditation, there is no threshold to meet; services do not need to meet a percentage of type 1 or 2 standards. This allows services to concentrate on improving their service and gives time for more open discussions.

Accreditation membership option

Accreditation membership works on a three-year cycle, with services receiving a peer-review visit and interim review within this time. This option is best suited for services familiar with the APPTS standards, who have previously been through the developmental or accreditation process. The review day will be more concentrated on the evidence provided, with a focus on how services are meeting the standards. This process involves:

  • Three-month self-review process
  • Peer-review visit
  • Service level report
  • Accreditation committee (AC) review for up to 6 months
  • Accreditation certificate (following AC decision)
  • Interim review after 18 months

Services must meet 100% of Type 1 standards, 80% of Type 2 standards and all Talking Therapies standards for Talking Therapies services in order to be awarded accreditation. Services will be accredited from their final presentation at the accreditation committee, and this will be valid for three years following a satisfactory interim review.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry