Complain about a Play Therapist
Complain about BAPT

Advice to Parents/Carers:

What you need to do if you wish to complain about a Play Therapist

We try to make sure that all BAPT members offer the highest standards of care. However, you may be unhappy with the treatment or service you are given, or worried about the behaviour or health of a BAPT member. Please do talk to your Play Therapist first about your concerns to try and sort things out informally. However if this is not possible, or does not solve the issue, then you can always raise your concerns with us.

Please send a letter to:

Chairperson of the BAPT Complaints Committee
1 Beacon Mews
South Road
Surrey KT13 9DZ

The Chairperson needs to decide whether the complaint falls within the terms by which a complaint can be dealt with by BAPT.
The following are the criteria that the Committee will use to decide whether to accept a complaint:

  • The Respondent (the person about whom you are complaining) is a student or full member of BAPT;

  • You must have either used the services of the Respondent or be complaining on behalf of a child or young person with whom the Respondent has worked;

  • The complaint concerns a breach of a clause or clauses of the relevant BAPT Code of Ethics;

  • The timescale is adhered to (within three years of the alleged breach or of the alleged breach coming to light);

  • The complaint is within the jurisdiction of BAPT; and

  • When the complaint is under investigation by the police or within the jurisdiction of any court or tribunal BAPT will not usually accept and investigate the complaint.

You should provide the Chairperson with the following:

  1. Your name and address (please print this clearly)

  2. The name and address of the client (if not you as the Complainant)

  3. The name and work address of the Respondent

  4. Details of the services used (i.e dates of contact with the Respondent and any other relevant details about the services used)

  5. A summary of the complaint (tell us what has happened, including as much information as you can, such as names, dates and places);

  6. Any other relevant information

The Chairperson will see if the complaint can be resolved by mediation and the issue resolved at this early stage. Some of the options at the first stage are:

  • providing an explanation;

  • issuing a formal apology;

  • remedial action where appropriate;

  • recommendations regarding future practice.

The Chairperson will acknowledge receipt of your initial written complaint in writing to both you and the Respondent within ten working days, and will notify you and the Respondent in writing within 30 days of the receipt of the written complaint if there is a case to answer.

If the complaint is not resolved, and if you wish to take it further, the matter can then be put before a Complaints Board. If the Complaints Board conclude there is sufficient evidence for a finding of one or more breaches to the BAPT Code of Ethics, there are various sanctions they may impose including:

Advisory Consultant Requirement:

Supervision of further practice for a 3 month period

Supervised Practice:

Supervision for 6 months

Probationary period whilst 1 or 2 above is in process:

The Play Therapist must not supervise students or Play Therapists
whilst his/her own practice is being monitored.

Suspension of Membership:

Very serious action where Play Therapist is deemed unable to practice for a period of time and has to undertake further training

Time scales for your complaint:

There are various timescales for dealing with your complaint but the Investigation stage should be completed within 30 working days of the receipt of your letter. If the matter has to proceed to a review by the full Complaints Board the complaint should be resolved within three months.

Click here to check a person’s registration status

Complain about BAPT

How to make a complaint about the BAPT organisation:

Anyone can contact BAPT and raise a complaint or concern about BAPT as an organisation. This can include complaints against the BAPT Board of Directors and Officers. Complaints can be made by BAPT members as well as users of the Register, Website and members of the public. Complaints about individual BAPT members should be made using the BAPT Complaints procedures outlined on this website.
Please note that it may not be possible to accept anonymous complaints (where the person making
the complaint does not give their name). If the information given anonymously relates to professional misconduct, bringing BAPT into disrepute or serious allegations about BAPT, the complaint will be considered. However it will not be possible to update anonymous complainants of any outcome. We recommend that all complaints are made as near to the event as possible in order to ensure that evidence and details are current as possible.

How do you make a complaint?
In order to make a complaint you must:
1) make the complaint in writing to BAPT marked for the attention of the Chair of the Complaints Committee. (If you need support to make a written complaint please contact the BAPT Complaints Chair who will seek to identify an appropriate source of support to help you to make your complaint. It may be possible to register your complaint in other ways if appropriate.)
2) identify which area of BAPT it is you are complaining about:
a) The BAPT Website
b) The BAPT Register
c) A member of Staff at BAPT
d) A member of the BAPT Board of Directors
f) The BAPT Ethical Basis for Good Practice in Play Therapy

3) include sufficient information on what you are complaining about
4) provide any information requested by BAPT pertaining to the complaint

How long will it take?
BAPT understands that making a complaint can be stressful. BAPT will endeavour to consider the case in a timely manner and update the complainant. This may include:
1) confirmation of receipt of the complaint by the BAPT
2) regular updates on information received by the BAPT during the investigation
3) details of the outcome of the complaint
Each case is individual; however delays may be inevitable due to gathering information from the
individuals concerned If at any time of the complaint process you would like an update, please contact the BAPT Complaints Chair by email at

Support Available during a Complaints process:

Making a complaint to an organization can be daunting and you may need to seek some support:
- If you need help completing a written complaint, you could ask a friend or someone you know in a professional role to support you.
- Alternatively you could ask to communicate with the Complaints Chair directly via e mail on or through another method if needed – please contact the BAPT office to discuss your needs.
- If you are a child or young person, you should ask the help of an adult who has responsibility for you to support you – this could be a parent, carer, social worker or other professional who can help you to complete your complaint.
- If you need Advocacy support, you may be able to identify a community resource in your local community to support you to make a complaint.
- During the Complaints Process itself, the Complaints Chair will be available to respond to any questions or concerns that you may have and will keep you informed of events as they occur at each stage of the process.
- BAPT will consider any special requirements you may have (e.g. accessibility arrangements) if you are a complainant or witness participating in a professional conduct hearing.
- However, any expenses and costs incurred by the Respondent and the Complainant during the Process shall be met by themselves and shall not be met by BAPT.

Important Notes

Please note that if you wish to complain about a BAPT member you do not have to pay for us to pursue your complaint. However, you may wish to engage professional advisers – the cost for any such advice will not be met by the BAPT.
For a copy of the full BAPT complaints procedure click here