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Group Work Practitioner Status - Associate Membership of the IGA

The status of ‘Group Work Practitioner’ (GWP) and Associate Membership of the IGA is offered to students who, in addition to successfully completing the Diploma, can also provide evidence of achieving a high standard of clinical practice. This will be assessed by a suitably qualified workplace supervisor who will make an assessment based on the group work requirements as specified below. 

By conferring the status of GWP and Associate Membership, the IGA recognises that graduates have demonstrated a high degree of competence in group work skills. Whilst development and recognition of group work skills may provide a beneficial addition for any existing clinical competencies graduates may possess, GWP status is not in itself a clinical qualification. Associate Members and GWPs are not certified to practice as group analysts and do not qualify for registration with UKCP. This can be achieved through the IGA Qualifying Course, as outlined in the next section.

Benefits of Associate Membership

Associate members have the IGA status of Group Work Practitioner and:

  • Receive a copy of the IGA newsletter Dialogue

  • Receive email bulletins including IGA events and external events and jobs

  • Receive reduced fees at IGA public workshops and events

  • Have access to members area of IGA website

  • Have access to library facilities

  • Can attend the AGM

Group Work Requirements for GWP Eligibility

In order to be considered for GWP status the group work that students present in the WRG must: Take place in an appropriate organisational setting such as a health or social care setting Have a therapeutic, clinical, personal development aim. (The group need not have a psychodynamic focus, e.g. a CBT, MBT or reflective practice group are acceptable)

Run weekly or fortnightly for 1 hour/ 1.5 hours over at least 30 session (this may be in three terms of 10 weeks or similar)

Required Supervision Arrangements for GWP Eligibility

Students must have a workplace supervisor in addition to WRG supervisor. The workplace supervisor must be registered with UKCP or BACP (or provide other evidence of suitable experience and training).

Workplace supervisors who are not Group Analysts need to demonstrate evidence of experience of supervising group work and are required to submit a CV to aid assessment of suitability by the Course Director.

In cases where the work place does not provide a suitably qualified/experienced group supervisor, the student may arrange external supervision with a group analyst. An additional report will then be requested from the work place line manager about the student’s general professional competence.

Supervision in the work place must be fortnightly (individual or group) for at least 1 hour.

Supervision may be face-to-face or by telephone.

If co-conducting the conducting pair receive joint supervision in the work place on at least a monthly basis.

The Role of Work Place Supervisor

The work place supervisor role has the following components:

To submit GWP form 1 (see below) to IGA Course Director confirming work place supervision arrangements in preparation for student joining the course or during the first term of the course.

To provide regular clinical supervision (as specified above) typically in the work environment in which the group under supervision is taking place.  

To assess student progress in relation to specific competencies (see competencies assessed below) and submit progress reports to the Course Director on GWP form 2 (see below) by 31st January 2023 and 13th June 2023.

Competencies Assessed by Work Place Supervisor

The following competencies are assessed by the work place supervisor: 

The ability to form and maintain a working alliance with clients

A sensitivity to the context of the group (e.g. awareness of cultural differences)

The ability to reflect on group process and dynamics.

The ability to recognise and address boundary issues in the group context

The ability for active listening

The ability to manage conflict

An understanding of difference

A sensitivity to confidentiality

The ability to maintain appropriate professional relationships

Application Process for GWP Status

Students submit an application form (see GWP Form 1) to their local Course Director/Convenor, outlining arrangements for group work and workplace supervision in preparation for joining the course or by the LCC meeting in the first term.

The Course Director/Convenor submits these to the Local Course Committee which ensures suitability of group work and supervision arrangements for eligibility for application for GWP status.

The Course Director submits any queries about whether arrangements are suitable to the National Training Manager and panel of National Course Directors/Convenors for consultation.

If agreement cannot be reached the decision lies with National Training Manager in consultation with National Director of Training.

The Course Director submits all decisions to the Student Progression Committee and National Training Manager for oversight and for ratification. Insurance and Clinical Responsibility

GWP students are required to take out professional indemnity insurance unless already adequately covered by existing insurance. 

It is the responsibility of individual GWP students to ensure that there is good communication between themselves and those who carry clinical responsibility for their patients. 

Those GWP students who require medical cover for their work should ensure this is provided and they are responsible for making their own arrangements. Requirements for Students Running Group after the End of the Diploma Course

To apply for GWP Status students need to have completed 30 sessions of their group within 2 years after the end of the Diploma Course.

Students either need to continue in a WRG under supervision until they complete the 30 sessions or ensure that their workplace supervisor is a Group Analyst.

Reports from WRG supervisors and /or workplace supervisors will be requested by the Course Director twice a year during and after the completion of the 30 sessions of the group. Assessment Process for GWP Status

Course Directors/Convenors arrange for Workplace Supervisors to submit progress reports twice a year (see GWP Form 2).

In cases where students have not started to present their group this should be noted on the progress report.

Workplace Supervisor Supervisor’s WRG reports (WRG Forms 2) are also submitted to the local course committee via the Course Director/Convenor, where student progress is monitored and decisions about any concerns about student progress managed.

In cases where students continue in the WRG and in workplace supervision after the theoretical component of the course is finished the Course Director should request progress reports from Work Group supervisors (WRG Form 2) and Workplace Supervisors (GWP 2 Form) twice a year as necessary for up to two years after the end of the taught course.

In cases where the workplace supervisor is not based in the workplace Course Directors will request an additional report from the student’s line-manager in the workplace (see GWP Form 3)

The Course Director/Convenor submits these progress reports with recommendations about suitability for GWP status to Local Course Committee and then the IGA Student Progression Committee and National Training Manager for oversight and final decisions about suitability for GWP status and associate.

A presentation to a panel interview may be required in cases where there is doubt as to a student’s suitability for Associate Membership.


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