European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP)

The ECP - a European wide standard for psychotherapy education and training

The European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP) was established by EAP to create a comprehensive European wide standard for psychotherapy education and training. The ECP is awarded by EAP on application to psychotherapists who's psychotherapy education conforms to the ECP standard. The European Certificate of Psychotherapy is currently in general alignment with ISO/IEC 17024 (2012). In addition to the ECP standard, EAP has established and defined the core professional competencies of a European psychotherapist as a set of principles or guidelines in relation to the professional practice of psychotherapy, in all its various forms, across Europe.

There are two possible ways to apply for an ECP, one way is the Direct Award (DA) through one of the European Accredited Psychotherapy Training Institutes (EAPTIs), and the other way is to apply to an EAP National Awarding Organization (NAO):

1. through direct award (DA):

Psychotherapists who graduate from an EAP accredited psychotherapy training program with a European Accredited Training Institute (EAPTI) are entitled to apply directly for an ECP after graduation. All EAPTIs are subject to a rigorous quality assurance process by the EAP Training Accreditation Committee (TAC) and before acceptance, have to verify that their students graduate at the ECP standard from their training program. Graduation from an EAPTI psychotherapy training program is therefore accepted as a qualification for ECP applications.

2. grandparenting through NAO and EWAO:

For qualified psychotherapists who have completed a psychotherapy training(s) (or equivalent) that conforms to the ECP standard and who, after graduation, have practiced psychotherapy for a minimum of three years. ECP applications through grandparenting can only be made through a National Awarding Organisation (NAO), normally in the applicant’s country of residence. This application process is suitable for psychotherapists who are qualified in one of the modalities recognised by the EAP and represented in EAP by an European Wide Awarding Organization (EWAO). Grandparenting applications require acceptance from both the appropriate NAO and EWAO before an ECP can be awarded.

2.1. grandparenting through NAO and the EAP Grandparenting Advisory Panel (GAP):

For qualified psychotherapists who have completed a psychotherapy training(s) (or equivalent) that conforms to the ECP standard in one of the modalities recognized by the EAP for which there no EWAO is established in EAP. These applications are also administered and presented by the appropriate NAO. The GAP meets two times per year and is responsible for reviewing  applications for modalities that are not represented by EWAOs. The GAP is also responsible for reviewing applications that are subject to an appeal. 

For applicants: Detailed information and a checklist for applications can be found under point European Certificate of Psychotherapy.

All ECP holders are listed in the European Register of ECP holders (ECP-R). This tool published on the EAP website enables the search for qualified practitioners all over Europe.

ECP holders receive information about the development of psychotherapy in Europe by e-mail. They may attend the EAP Board meetings as observers but have no voting rights.

For the administration and maintenance of the EAP website and the ECP-R, ECP holders pay an annual registration fee. The amount varies according to the origin of 


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