Join the network

How to join

As a first step, contact us to discuss your service, or request an information pack!

Alternatively, to get started, please download the APPTS Joining form 2019, and send to appts@rcpsych.ac.uk.

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 IAPT 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.

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

Number of WTE therapists One year subscription (2019) Three year subscription (2019-2022)
 <8  £1,540  £4,160
 8-20  £2,050  £5,535
 20-30  £2,570  £6,940
 >30  £3,075  £8,300

We would also advise you to budget for travel expenditure – for attending peer reviewer training and review visits to other services.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss.

The APPTS programme is not for profit, which means that all the funds raised are used directly in supporting services and improving the programme.

Return on investment

The Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement has a huge wealth of experience in supporting and improving mental health services.

The time and budget put into improving quality is indispensable: to better handle pressures and demands; to provide better experiences of care and outcomes; to better communicate needs to commissioners; and to offer better working environments to staff.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry