Why three membership levels?

Why three membership levels?

Until 2020 ACTO had only one level of membership for online therapists: ACTO. This was aimed at therapists who had completed online training at certificate levels, requiring at least 80 hours of tuition plus tutor-led teaching and at least assessed online skills work, written work on reflective practice and self understanding.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the place of ACTO. Many practitioners signed up to ACTO Online Training Provider courses. Still more acted responsibly, by seeking additional training in online therapy. This complied with the requirement of their professional standards body to work only within their own competence.

Many online courses were also developed in response to the changes. However, not all of these courses reached ACTO levels – or didn’t include tutor-led training, or skills assessment of reflective practice. They were however, excellent examples of CPD which imparted good levels of knowledge of online therapy. ACTO wished to welcome into membership those practitioners (and training providers) who had acted so responsibly.

Another issue which needed consideration was that within ACTO there were two levels of online training – but only one level of membership. The ‘certificate’* – which required student input of learning and assessment, at something over 100 hours – and the ‘Diploma’ – which required extended training and greater student investment – of well over 200 hours, sometimes as much as 350 hours.

So in the autumn of 2020, ACTO restructured to have three levels of membership – and Online Training Providers structure their courses to meet these three levels of membership.

In brief, the three levels of ACTO Membership are as follows:

ACTO Membership – which recognises CPD aimed at providing good knowledge of online therapy;

ACTO Professional Membership – identical to the previous ACTO membership – assuring a high level of competence in online therapy;

ACTO Senior Professional Membership – for specialists in online therapy and those who have demonstrated expertise in the field.

ACTO positively promotes career-long professional development in online therapy. We also promote areas of expertise such as Supervision of Online Therapy, online therapy with Children and Young People, Research etc. We are developing specific Registers of practitoners in such areas.

  • Please note that one ACTO Online Training Provider traditional uses ‘Certificate’ and ‘Diploma’ titles differently. ACTO sees ‘Certificate’ level courses operating at the European ‘Level 4’ training and the ‘Diploma’ at European ‘Level 7’.

You can read more about the levels by clicking on the titles

ACTO-Professional-Membership showing a man looking at laptop
acto level 1 membership phot woman smiling looking at laptop

Professional and Senior Professional members can be on the directory as they have practiced with online clients. They have had to hand in a portfolio of work and tutor supported learning.