We want to ensure that our Registrants are supported and continue to deliver safe and effective treatments when working online.
Working online makes it also possible to work with patients located outside the UK. Registrants may find the downloadable guidance on ‘Working Remotely Internationally’ useful to their practice.
- Registrants should make themselves and patients aware of the differences between providing therapy online and in person, especially that the online setting may be less secure and subject to disruptions.
- Registrants should ensure they have good quality internet connection and are in a private and quiet environment. The use of headphones/headset/earbuds is also recommended to block outside noise.
- When assessing if working online is appropriate, registrants should always consider patients’ safety and confidentiality, their individual circumstances and clinical and personal history.
- They should also consider the impact this may have on the relationship between the therapist and patient and whether working online is appropriate for the patient.
- Registrants should be comfortable with the hardware and software needed to provide online psychotherapy and counselling. The online platform used should be secure and encrypted. We cannot recommend a specific provider and the choice may vary according to individual circumstances.
- Registrants should ensure that both they and the patient have enough knowledge of the online platform used to participate in the sessions.
- Registrants should consider specific training on how to work online.
Confidentiality and Informed Consent
- Registrants should ensure that the patient is comfortable with working online and has agreed to work remotely.
- Registrants should discuss in advance with the patient what measures they are putting in place to protect their confidentiality.
- Registrants should explore how the patient can ensure they have a safe and confidential physical space to participate in the session remotely.
- Registrants should be aware of the obligations in relation to privacy and confidentiality as set out in the GDPR legislation and the BPC GDPR briefing.
- Registrants should always ensure that their professional liability insurance covers their online work.