Certification & Career Development in the UK  

You could consider your career planning in three stages of certification: firstly, becoming a practitioner, secondly extending your skills and scope of practice and thirdly helping others to develop their practice.  

The First Stage  

Is to become a safe and effective practitioner, mastering the competencies that you have learnt on an APAC accredited course and putting them into practice.  

As a professional with therapeutic play skills you will need to complete the Certificate course and 100 supervised clinical hours, submitting evidence of clinical governance (usually using SDQ outcome measures). If you want the University PG award, you will also have to complete the written course work to the required standard.  

If you wish to become as a Play Therapist you need to complete the Diploma course, after successful completion of the Certificate, with another 100 hours supervised clinical work and a project. If you also want the University PG award you will also need to complete the other written work.  

Completion of both courses and the clinical hours typically takes two years but can be achieved in 18 months by combining a Certificate course in the UK with a Diploma course at the Summer School.  

You’ll then become an APAC Certified Play Therapist.  

The Second Stage  

Could be to extend your skills, knowledge and scope of practice by becoming an Accredited Play Therapist and/or a Certified Filial Play Coach/Mentor.  

You’ll need a total of 450 hours supervised clinical practice to become an APAC Accredited Play Therapist with appropriate CPD hours each year to keep up to date. 

You also need to think NOW about where you want to be in a few years time. If you would you like to work with parents as well as the children become an APAC Certified Filial Play Coach/Mentor. This requires 5 days of training for Practitioners of Therapeutic Play or Play Therapists.  

If you want to enhance your CV further or are interested in research or are attracted to academic work attract you could consider obtaining the MA in Practice Based Therapy - by dissertation. You will need a minimum total of 300 clinical hours. The MA course may be completed in a year but many students need to take two years.  

The Third Stage  

Do you enjoy supporting others and helping to solve therapeutic problems?  

If so, become a PTUK Certified Supervisor of Play and Creative Arts Therapists. There’s a big shortage in most parts of the UK. The training required is 10 days, normally 5 modules, each of two days.  

Would you enjoy training others in play therapy?

To become an APAC Certified Trainer you will need to be a APAC Certified Supervisor and have the MA in Practice Based Play Therapy or 450 hours of clinical practice - ideally all three.

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