Validated courses

All validated courses have a dual application process between the Institute and the University of Bedfordshire. There is a RPEL Process for those applicants who might not have the traditional formal educational qualifications. All applicants must demonstrate their ability to work directly with families/ children/couples in order to support their practice development. Advice is given about placements to enable applicants to meet this requirement.

For the Post Graduate Certificate, it is common practice to allocate places based on the completion of the application form and two references, one of which is from an employer and the second from a previous tutor. This captures the two aspects of the course requirements which is professional practice and the ability to study at post graduate level. In order to enable the widest access, tutors can request a short essay to enable applicants to demonstrate their ability to learn and/or they may be asked to interview. Applicants must have access to a practice base. The University of Bedfordshire confirms that the academic standards are being maintained throughout the application process.

For the MSc in Family and Systemic Psychotherapyapplicants are invited to an interview process that includes individual interviews and a group exercise, all of which is evaluated by three tutors responsible for the course. Places are allocated based on the consensus between the tutors who have assessed different aspects of the applicants’ performance during the interview day. Places are not confirmed until references from an employer and the most recent academic tutor are considered to be satisfactory. There is also an Rpel process for those who have trained in other contexts such as outside of the UK. The academic standard is confirmed by the University of Bedfordshire.

Non-validated courses

Graduate Certificate in Systemic Practice

Places are allocated on the basis of the completed application form and one professional reference. In order to meet the entry requirements as set out by the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (AFT), applicants are required to provide details of how they will fulfil the practice requirement of the course, that is, that they are in a position to meet with at least two families in a professional capacity during the course.

Advanced Diploma in the Supervision of Family and Systemic Psychotherapy.In order to meet the entry requirements as set out by the Association for Family Therapy, applicants must have completed the MSc in Family and Systemic Psychotherapy and usually have three years’ post qualification experience. Places are offered on the basis of an application form which includes position statements and two references, one from an employer and the other from the most recent academic tutor. AFT is introducing a RPEL Process which will be applied when required.

Agency-based training courses.As these are commissioned courses, access is determined by the commissioning agency. This widens access to a range of professionals and reaches those who might not be either in a practical or financial position to apply for the traditional course delivery. Recruitment is often stimulated by IFT’s reputation for delivering relevant and high-quality training to similar agencies, often in large contracts as part of some professional improvement journey and sometimes in support of a larger innovation project supported by the Department for Education. One such project is based on training foster carers who would be unlikely to access more formal academic training.