Self-Assessment and Mutual Recognition

The process of Self-Assessment and Mutual Recognition that leads to the Accreditation of Body-Psychotherapy Training Organisations is now as follows:

It is hoped that this process of Mutual Recognition and Accreditation will be undertaken by any Training Organisation in Body-Psychotherapy, whatever their orientation, as a way of: (a) publicising that their Training Organisation fulfils reasonably high standards and has been accredited by an outside body; and (b) at the same time, ensuring that their trainees can achieve EABP Membership Criteria in due course; and (c) also qualifying their Trainees for the EAP’s European Certificate of Psychotherapy, subject to further possible process within the EAP.

In order to attain the ECP, the modality of Body-Psychotherapy also needs to be accepted as “scientifically valid” by the EAP. There is an independent process to do this, whereby the answers to the “15 Questions about Scientific Validity” are submitted by the organisation(s) to the EABP who present them to the EAP, through the European Wide Organisations Committee (EWOC). Two assessors are appointed and these study the written submission and satisfy themselves all the questions have been answered satisfactorily. They report in writing to EWOC. If everything is satisfactory, EWOC recommends that the Governing Board of EAP accept this modality within Body-Psychotherapy as Scientifically valid. There are some modalities within the mainstream of Body-Psychotherapy that are also members of EAP independently. Their Training Organisations will have to undertake some sort of accreditation process anyway in order to qualify for the ECP and it is hoped that they will enrich this process by participating in it.

For a Training Organisation to be accredited by The FORUM, firstly they have to be an Organisational Member of EABP. This involves filling in a simple form, agreeing with certain conditions, and paying an annual fee. Details are available from the EABP Secretariat and the EABP website.

Secondly, the Organisation must come to at least two FORUM meetings. They should introduce themselves at the first meeting, making copies of their literature available, and describing the type of Body-Psychotherapy that they are involved in and something of their training and organisational structure. Essentially this introductory process is to see whether the organisation “fits” generally within the field of professional training in Body-Psychotherapy. At the second meeting, the organisation can be accepted as a member of The FORUM by a vote. They would then need to pay a membership fee to The FORUM, which varies with the number of their trainees.

The process of accreditation can then begin.

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The Process of Accreditation

Within The FORUM, the process of accreditation consists of five stages:

Stage 1

A detailed Self-Assessment is undertaken in relationship to the EABP Training Standards on a form, substantiating the answers with additional material, if necessary. Training Organisations are asked to get these Self-Assessments completed and returned to the EABP Secretariat one month before a FORUM meeting.

Stage 2

At the next meeting of The FORUM, where this self-assessment is available, representatives from two other Training Organisations will be allocated as “assessors.” One of these representatives will be from an organisation, which is ‘close’ in method, and one will be from an organisation which is further away in orientation. Arrangements can be made between the Training Organisation and the assessors with respect to travel, accommodation and language. The Guidelines for Assessors (attached) will be followed.

Stage 3

This is the “Mutual Recognition” stage of the accreditation process, and it is fundamental. It is not an examination, but it is an open and in-depth assessment. During this part of the process, the representatives will physically come to the training organisation, and spend at least a day there. They should be able to sit in on a training session, meet freely with trainees, discuss issues with staff, and be get a good feeling of the style and scope of training. They will have the written self-assessment and copies of the training literature. They should be reasonably fluent in the language of the assessed organisation, or good translation facilities should be made available.

The assessed organisation needs to be as open and transparent as possible. The representatives will then each write a substantive report on that visit.

The “Mutual Recognition” part is that the assessors come from Training Organisations, may have visited other Training Organisations, and their own organisation may have been assessed and accredited by this exact same process.

Stage 4

These reports will first be sent to the Training Organisation for checking for accuracy and to ensure that any comments or residual uncertainties are clarified. The Training organisation may wish to make an additional statement as a rebuttal to any point in the assessor’s reports. The reports and the rebuttal will then be sent into the next meeting of The FORUM. The timing should be such that these do not arrive at the last minute.

Stage 5

At the next meeting of The FORUM, a Training Organistion could be voted to be accredited by The FORUM as a Training Organisation in Body-Psychotherapy, assuming that most things are in order and there was a commitment to meet all aspects of the Training Standards within a defined time period. A two-thirds majority vote is necessary at this meeting, and consensus is sought.

Endorsement of this accreditation process and of the schools accredited by this process is made at the bi-annual EABP General Assembly. The EABP Training Standards Committee is mandated to scrutinise and review this process.

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Guidelines for Assessors of Body-Psychotherapy Training Schools during The FORUM Accreditation Process

Ingredients for a visit

Watching a Body-Psychotherapy session in the modality of the school (ideally within a training setting with trainees working and with the trainer indicating what s/he thinks is important).

Sitting in on a Body-Psychotherapy training session in the school; the session being representative of the goals of the training institute.

Discussions with a fair percentage of the school’s trainees; some of the trainers (at least 2); and some ex-students/graduates of the training school.

Discussions with students and staff around the school’s Self-Assessment document and its relation to EABP Training Standards.

Discussion of other documents (the school’s handouts, publicity, syllabus, timetables, students’ written work, assessment documentation) that can confirm the contents of the Self-Assessment document.

Discussion of trainee’s assessment procedures, (e.g. entry criteria; how & when, assessed; by whom; who says finally “Yes”/”No”; what is considered a problem student; how they are dealt with; etc.)

Picking up (and conveying in the report) a sense of the uniqueness of the modality in terms of its training, theory and practice, as well as the general atmosphere of the school.

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Procedure and Reports

The school pays the assessors’ travel, reasonable accommodation, and expenses, on production of receipts. Details are to be worked out with the assessors prior to the visit.

Each assessor should be well informed about the approach and the school, reading as much as possible before the visit.

Each assessor is to write a separate report, without collaboration.

Each report is to be shared first with the Training School, for corrections of any misunderstandings.

The contents of the report are to include a basic description of the length of training; hours of therapy; proportions of practice and theory; entry requirements etc (all in the Self-Assessment of the Training Standards document) where these are confirmed by the visit. A description of what was actually seen and done – for those reading the report. A distinction between description and where evaluations are made, with full reasons.

A citation of all the points of the Training Standards with a checklist of all requirements ticked off at the end of the report, illustrating;

* any contradictions, ‘mismatches’ or incongruencies which should be addressed (between what was stated in the Self-Assessment and the Training Standards)

* where the school is thought to meet or to exceed the requirements of the Training Standards

* what was observed and what is ‘remarkable’, to be glosseried with reference to the assessor’s own stance.

The Training Organisation may write a rebuttal or statement of its own countering any negative statements from the assessors. This must be submitted in good time and will be considered by The FORUM meeting as well as the assessors’ written reports.

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An assessor appointed by The FORUM may be questioned by the school prior to the visit, on the grounds of past personal conflict. In this case, the Chairperson of The FORUM will appoint another assessor.

The self-assessment form and written reports of the assessors are confidential and restricted to FORUM members only.

There are to be no reciprocal visits: i.e. schools assessing each other directly.

The assessors and assessed organisation must not have any professional links and the history of any personal or professional contacts should be declared for purposes of transparency.

The reports are to be finalised and submitted at least1 months before the FORUM meeting where voting is to take place.

The assessors’ reports should be distributed via e-mail or fax wherever possible to save time and postage. Therefore the report should be in electronic form.

The report should be between 3-6 normal A4 pages long: maybe about 1,500 words. i.e. 2 pages are perhaps too short: more than 6 pages are too long.

Any substantively inaccurate or incomplete information given to the assessors, which is revealed in subsequent disclosures may result in the Training Organisation’s accreditation being withdrawn and the organisation’s membership of the FORUM being cancelled.

Finally, it should be understood that these Guidelines and the FORUM’s Process of Self-Assessment and Mutual Recognition are in an evolutionary process and items may be changed or added in the light of experience. This does not negate previous accreditations, though it might mean that certain aspects are re-scrutinised at some point in time if they were not covered fully the first time.