Regulation of the Play Therapy Profession  

The UK government has set up right touch regulation of a number of health care professions using a system of Accredited Registers (ARs) through the Professional Standards Authority,, who oversee the regulation of the statutory health and social care professions.  

This new process applies to the United Kingdom and replaces regulation by title through the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) for those professions that are not already regulated by the HCPC, such as counselling, psychotherapy and play therapy.  

PTUK’s The Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists was one of the first batch of three ARs to be approved (April 2013).  

PTUK, having indicated that it wished to be in the forefront of regulation, was chosen by the PSA as one of five professional organisations to participate in the pilot programme to develop and test the proposed standards and procedures.  


The programme exists to provide assurance that accredited registers are well run and achieve its high standards.  The PSA, assures PTUK, who assures its registrants, and the practitioners assure themselves using PTUK’s standards.  

Parents, commissioners and employers will seek practitioners who are on an accredited register because this assures them that registered practitioners are more likely to be competent and to behave ethically, professionally and compassionately. Children are a particularly vulnerable client group. Choosing a therapeutic practitioner who is not on the PTUK AR is taking an unwarranted risk.

The titles currently registered are:    

  • Certified and Accredited Play Therapists
  • Certified Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills
  • Certified Clinical Supervisor of Play and Creative Arts Therapies
  • Certified Filial Play Coach Trainee in Play and Creative Arts Therapies  

Practitioners living and working outside the UK are included in the Register.  

As a trainee you will be taking a big career risk if your course does not meet the requirements of the Register.

The PG Certificate in Therapeutic Play Skills, the PG Diploma in Play Therapy and the MA in Practice Based Play Therapy offered by APAC meet the required standards in full.

It is not necessary to have a Masters level degree to become a Play Therapist.  However trainees may wish to complete the MA in Practice Based Play Therapy stage, by dissertation, if they have a particular interest in play therapy research, to advance their career prospects and remuneration or for personal satisfaction.  


More Information About PTUK