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British Association of Play Therapists

How to complain

In this section:

Complaining about a Play Therapist

Complaining about BAPT

Complaining about a Play Therapist: Advice to Parents/ Carers:
We try to make sure that all BAPT Play Therapists offer the highest standards of care and service. 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 by making a complaint using the BAPT Complaints Procedure.

In order to register a complaint where possible please put your concerns in writing in a letter or e mail to:

Chair BAPT Professional Conduct Committee
1 Beacon Mews
South Road
Surrey KT13 9DZ

If you require support to make a complaint in writing, you could ask to communicate with the Professional Conduct Committee Chair directly via e mail on or through another method if needed – please contact the BAPT office on 01932 828638 to discuss your needs.

Once your complaint is received, the Professional Conduct Panel will need to decide whether the complaint falls within the terms by which a complaint can be accepted, outlined in the BAPT Ethical Basis for Good Play Therapy Practice (2008)

The following are the criteria that  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;
• 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 Chair of Complaints 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
7.The Chair 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 Chair of Professional Conduct Panel will acknowledge receipt of your initial written complaint in writing to both you and the Respondent within fourteen 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 Professional Conduct Review Board. If the Professional Conduct Panel as part of the Professional Conduct Hearing 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:
– Enhanced Supervision of practice by a designated experienced BAPT supervisor for a 3 / 6 month period
– Removal of Play therapist from the Approved Clinical supervisor list for a specified period – i.e. the Play Therapist must not supervise students or Play Therapists whilst his/her own practice is being monitored.
– Suspension or termination of BAPT 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 Professional Conduct Hearing, the complaint should be resolved within three months.

Click here to check a person’s registration status

Making a complaint against BAPT

 At All times BAPT strives to ensure and maintain high standards and excellent service delivered to the public and its members. If you feel BAPT have failed to meet such standards and this has left you unhappy with our service, you have a right to make a complaint or raise a concern about a member of staff or the service. All complaints will be taken seriously and receive immediate attention.

How to make a complaint against BAPT?

In the first instance, we would ask that you discuss your concerns with the member of staff concerned. Sometimes misunderstanding do happen and a direct approach can sometimes produce an instant response. We also recognize that this is not always possible.

You can contact us to make a complaint:

  • by telephone – 01932 828638
  • by email to
  • in writing to The British Association of Play Therapist, 1, Beacon Mews, South Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9DZ, UK

To manage your complaint in a timely manner, we will require from you the following:

  • what went wrong?
  • who you dealt with and spoke to
  • the date and time of the incident

Sometimes things can be put right very quickly. If your concerns can be resolved sooner and more informally, we’ll aim to do so. If not, we’ll tell you which Board Member will be investigating your complaint.

They’ll respond to you in writing within 28 working days.

If you remain dissatisfied when you receive the Board Members response, you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed by an Appeals Panel.


What we can’t look into

 There are some things we can’t deal with through our service complaints process. Examples are:

  • any decisions made under our Professional Conduct Procedure
  • requests for information
  • any attempt to have a previous complaint reconsidered

If your concerns can’t be dealt with we’ll contact you and explain the reason why.


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 Professional Conduct Policy and complaints procedure click here

Profesional Conduct Policy June 2018

Indicative Sanctions Policy