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'I can cure you' BBC documentary on unregulated roles involved in counselling and psychotherapy

'I can cure you' is a BBC documentary available on iPlayer from Saturday, 6 November about counselling and psychotherapy. It discusses concerns about patient safety. It also explores the role of the Accredited Registers programme which provides assurance for healthcare roles which are not regulated by law. Please see our full statement below.


The Professional Standards Authority helps to keep patients safe. It oversees the regulators responsible for health professionals such as nurses and doctors. It also accredits registers of health practitioners working in unregulated roles, such as counselling and psychotherapy, and awards these registers a quality mark if they meet the required standards.

Patients need to know two things:

  1. that the person giving them treatment or care is judged to be safe and well trained; and
  2. if something goes wrong, there is someone to turn to.

We recommend people choose practitioners from a register we have accredited rather than from an unaccredited register or someone who is not registered at all.

It’s easy to do. Just visit our website at www.professionalstandards.org.uk/check and look out for our quality mark. Only practitioners on registers we have accredited can use it.

Accredited registers help people get better care by checking that the health practitioners they register are competent and trustworthy. They set standards for their registrants and investigate complaints, which means there’s someone to turn to if something goes wrong. In serious cases they will strike the practitioner off their register so people using it are protected from poor practice.

There are 23 accredited registers to choose from, including occupations such as counselling, cosmetic practice (such as Botox and fillers), play therapy, sports rehabilitation and complementary therapies.

We want everyone to know about the Accredited Registers programme so more people benefit from the protection provided by accredited registers.