Who are the participants? Who are the members of IPN?
Any individual person who takes part in IPN is a participant. The unit of membership of IPN is the group (rather than the individual participant). Member groups are groups of at least four practitioners who: 


  • Meet regularly,  to share, support and challenge each others’ practice. They have reached a point where they are willing to stand by each others’ practice
  • Have agreed and published their Ethical Statement
  • Have links to 2 other IPN Groups.
 Forming groups are working towards this position.


How does IPN differ from other methods of accountability?
In addition to ‘qualifications’, IPN adds a way of holding accountability to clients (and other employers) that is based on continuing face-to-face relationship with peers, along with appropriate personal and professional disclosure. IPN enables, and welcomes different practitioner styles to co-exist in the same group.


What exactly does ‘standing by’ mean?
It means that participants in a forming or member group do whatever they decide is necessary, e.g. self and peer assessment, to get to know each other well enough to be able to trust each others’ integrity as practitioners, including taking action if a problem arises.


Why does IPN give so much emphasis to ‘standing by’ ?
An essential aspect of the IPN ‘standing by’ process is that the ongoing face-to-face support and challenge provides a form of continuing quality assurance that minimizes the likelihood of disputes/complaints.


Does IPN participation replace CPD or supervision?
No, though current or recurring supervision issues would be likely to be part of the ‘standing by’ and ongoing group process. IPN is not an educational/training institution, nor are IPN groups therapy groups, although plenty that is therapeutic and educational may happen in IPN group meetings.


Would joining IPN mean I have to give up my membership of UKCP or BACP?
No, participation in IPN doesn’t rule out such membership; it is your choice how you respond to employers or other demands for accountability.


What qualifications does IPN participation or membership bring me?
The emphasis in IPN is less on qualifications and more on your capacity as a practitioner to fulfill what you claim to offer clients. Member group participants are entitled to say that they are ‘accredited through the IPN process’


IPN sounds like a lot of work, why should I take it on?
Yes, IPN can be a lot of work. However we have found that both our practice and our accountability to clients are most responsibly sustained through IPN’s ongoing face-to-face relationships with other practitioners, with whom we are mutually committed to support and challenge.


Where did IPN come from?
Two conferences in the early 1990’s sponsored by the Norwich Collective provided a forum for concerns about the professionalization of the psychological therapies. Shortly afterwards, Em Edmondson proposed the core ideas for an independent practitioners group, and from 1995 onwards, her scheme was taken forward by Nick Totton and others.


Can anyone, even a person without qualifications, join IPN?
Anyone can become a participant, but a person without training and experience in their respective field might struggle to find a group that would stand by them and their work, unless they could show considerable capacity for the personal and group reflection that IPN is rooted in.


Could I be ‘struck off’ from IPN?
There is no register as such to be struck off, as IPN operates without a formal hierarchy. However, you are only entitled to claim you are accredited by the IPN process if you are in a Member group. In the extreme event, say of a conviction for an offence against a client, you might be entitled to remain an IPN ‘participant’ but you would be unlikely to find a group that would want to include you, or that would stand by you and your work.


How can I get a feel for IPN and how it works?
Three National Gatherings, and other meetings, happen each year- these are important places to get a sense of how IPN runs. Anyone can come to a Gathering, and they are currently financed by IPN funds, so they are a good way to visit us. See the Events Page to find out more.


How are IPN activities recorded?
A newsletter: Netcom, is produced after each Gathering, recording what happened and allowing publication of other contributions by participants. eg information, ideas, thoughts and feelings, personal stories, suggestions etc.
IPN has a collection of agreements on matters of principle, organisation and administration. These have accumulated over a considerable period of time. See the Resources page to find out more.


Is there any other forum for connecting, discussing and informing?
IPN has an electronic mailing list that people interested in IPN can join. It is not moderated but is private to IPN participants. Information on coming events, personal requests and views and discussions of issues all sit together on the list. See the Contacts page to join.


What is Netcom?
NetCom is short for Network Communication, the online newsletter of IPN which appears three times per year.  Anyone can contribute, anyone can read it, although it is usually IPN participants who do both.
After each gathering and before the next one, people’s contributions are gathered together by the NetCom compiler and put into a newsletter format. Articles often cover experiences of Gatherings, of groups, personal lives etc and poems or art of various sorts. Invitations to the next Gathering and lists of current participants and groups also appear.


See also Client Questions and Answers page: Client Q & A

Contact IPN