Neither practitioners nor clients need statutory regulation (SR)
• What we already have works and has worked for many years.
• We have a wide range of recognised training courses which are moderated and accredited.
• There are already various forms of accreditation recognised both within the profession and in a wider context of employing agencies for example GP surgeries.
• There is a long established practice of supervision and accountability, and a variety of existing ways to deal with difficulties such as client complaints.
What must be safeguarded
• A sense of selfresponsibility is crucial and deeply part of present training and practice in this field. This ethos is the most appropriate and effective means of safeguarding the security of clients and of ensuring standards of excellence/expertise for work which is based on the quality of relationship.
• Methods such as self and peer assessment, involving experiential knowledge of the practitioners ability, could fall by the wayside (be hedged out), as emphasis on external, quantifiable criteria are consolidated by SR.
• There would be less motivation for practitioners to engage in the existing, challenging, methods, which have proved effective in ensuring ethical practice, if formalised criteria, suited to SR, were thought to be all that was required. It is easy to mislead and make things look good on paper.
• There is a danger that practitioners will increasingly come to depend more on initial qualifications and/or academic attainment, and less on lived ethical principles, on-going self-development and personal responsibility. Reliance on the fact of SR could even encourage complacency rather than safeguard the interests of clients. It could lower standards.
• SR would limit variety and dampen down innovation. Any regulation demands harder definitions and thus narrows down what is practised and available to clients. Would this really serve the public?
• Would not SR require more unnecessary expenditure and time consuming beaurocracy, when the public is urging for a lessening of such procedures.