London wide Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme (IAPT) for CBT High Intensity Therapists. Psychological therapy services across London are now recruiting CBT High Intensity Trainees as part of the IAPT programme. Click here to find out more...

Post Graduate Diploma (IAPT Programme) in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy
Academically Validated by Royal Holloway, University of London

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme is a national initiative that aims to support Primary Care Trusts in implementing National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.

The Post Graduate Diploma in CBT (IAPT Programme) that we offer has been specifically commissioned by the IAPT Programme (Department of Health) to deliver the required clinical training to a proportion of the new workforce, based in several of the London IAPT clinical services. Our aim is to train a new workforce of ‘High Intensity’ practitioners who are qualified to deliver evidence-based psychological therapies at the primary care level.

The Programme aims to:

  • Provide individuals who are employed in IAPT Clinical Sites with a thorough clinical training in CBT specifically focused on anxiety disorders and depression.
  • Build on students’ previous experience in order to develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of the theoretical basis of CBT alongside research evidence of its effectiveness for different types of clients.
  • Provide the necessary supervised practical experience that will enable graduates from our Programme to be competent in the safe and independent application of ‘High Intensity’ psychological interventions within IAPT Clinical Sites.
  • Provide quality training that is recognised by relevant professional bodies.

Further information on IAPT, including the latest updates, can be accessed at

  • About the Programme
  • Supervised Practice
  • Assessment
  • Entry Requirements
  • How to Apply

About the Programme
In line with the aims of IAPT, our Programme has been designed to equip students with a high degree of skill in CBT competences for depression and anxiety disorders. The teaching and assessment strategy reflects the aims of IAPT and the learning outcomes are consistent with the set of competencies that have been specified in the CBT competency framework developed by Roth and Pilling (2007).

For further information on the CBT competency framework click here

What does the Programme entail?
The Programme runs for 12 months, beginning in October. Students attend two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays) during term time. The first day focuses on lectures and workshops with experiential practice and skills coaching. The second day focuses on small group supervision of clinical cases as well as use of seminar-based learning and further skills coaching. Students work in their IAPT sites for the remainder of the week.

The Programme is divided into three modules, covering mastery of the fundamentals of CBT, CBT for anxiety disorders and CBT for depression. Areas included in the formal teaching programme include the following (note: this is a sample only):

  • Essential CBT interviewing skills
  • Structuring sessions
  • Developing formulations
  • Identifying and testing negative automatic thoughts
  • Behavioural principles and methods
  • Working with enduring cognitions
  • Working with imagery
  • Using CBT theories, empirical evidence and treatment protocols for anxiety disorders
  • Using CBT theories, empirical evidence and treatment protocols for depressive disorders
  • Relapse prevention

Supervised Practice
Supervised practice is central to the Programme and is integrated with formal teaching. Students will be seeing clients presenting with anxiety and depressive disorders as part of their duties in the IAPT Clinical Service and will work in collaboration with their supervisors and managers to identify suitable training cases.

Students will receive training supervision as part of the Programme which focuses on the development of their clinical skills in CBT. The groups remain ‘closed’ for the duration of the Course. This enables the development of productive and supportive working relationships and also helps supervisors monitor their students’ progress and work with them to address their learning needs.

Students are required to see a minimum of eight clients. These clients must be seen for a complete course of therapy. BABCP accreditation requires a minimum of 200 hours of client contact. To meet these goals by the end of the Programme, students should aim to carry a caseload of three or four clients per term.

How is competence assessed?
The range of assessments used reflects the aims of the Programme and include:

  • Clinical case studies that assess students’ ability to (1) make theory-practice links; (2) devise and implement appropriate intervention plans and (3) critically evaluate and reflect upon their work
  • Written assignments in the form of short and extended essays to examine knowledge of theory and research
  • Audiotapes of clinical sessions, played regularly in supervision as well submitted for formal examination
  • Use of the Cognitive Therapy Scale for self-assessment and formal examination of  clinical competence
  • A log book detailing casework carried out during the training
  • Regular attendance at, and participation in, both the formal teaching and supervision components of the Programme

Additional support for student learning is available through our Personal Advisor Scheme, personal tutorials and individual supervision sessions.

Entry Requirements
Training and employment as a High Intensity practitioner on the IAPT Programme is open to suitably qualified mental health professionals including clinical and counselling psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychiatric social workers and occupational therapists. Members of other professions with equivalent qualifications and experience will also be considered.

Applicants are required to demonstrate that they have attained a core professional training in a mental health related field and should normally have attained an upper second class honours degree in psychology or a professional equivalent. Those with a lesser qualification who have extensive professional experience and can demonstrate the required level of preparedness for post graduate academic work will also be considered.

Applicants also need to present evidence of at least one year of post qualification experience in mental health, preferably with some experience of supervised practice in CBT.

In order to enter our Programme it is necessary to apply to be employed as a High Intensity Worker in one of the London IAPT sites. At this time, it is not possible to apply for entry into the Programme separately from having applied for one of the High Intensity training posts.

How do I apply?
Availability of the training posts is advertised in the national press as well as the following website:


For further details about the Diploma and MSc please contact:

Dr Michael Worrell, Programme Director: Tel: 020 7266 9588; email:
Ursula Barbieri, Programme Administrator: Tel: 020 7266 9580; email: