Postgraduate Certificate in Evidence-based Psychological approaches for Children & Young People – Interpersonal Therapy with Adolescents (IPT-A) pathway

About the programme

This programme is a Postgraduate Certificate in Evidence-based psychotherapies for Children and Young People, validated by the University of Manchester. In addition to offering a breadth of teaching and training in evidence-based practice, it focusses specifically on supporting trainees towards accreditation in Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents, an evidence based and NICE recommended treatment for adolescent depression. The programme is part of the national Children and Young People - Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) project and has gained validation by IPT UK. It is a part-time multi-disciplinary programme (one day a week teaching and one and a half days spent in clinical practice and supervision) across three 10-week terms, commencing in January each year. The aim of the programme is to provide health and social care professionals working in CYP IAPT services who have experience of delivering therapy with the opportunity to specialise in Interpersonal Psychotherapy for adolescents with depression.

The programme is grounded in evidence-based practice and is informed by the latest advances in clinical and experimental research. The attainment of clinical competence is measured by validated assessment tools.


Programme Aims

The formal aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide high quality training in the therapeutic skills relevant to IPT-A for students working with CYP and their families with depression. This will be done by presenting the relevant theoretical bases of the therapy alongside research evidence of their effectiveness to enable students to develop an understanding of the links between the IPT-A manualised model and the practical application of this.
  • Provide training consistent with all current key governmental objectives for the CYP IAPT project, including training in ‘evidence-based practice’ and the provision of ‘lifelong learning’. As the Certificate is a postgraduate qualification programme, suitable for mental health and social care professionals with suitable knowledge and experience, the programme aims to develop and extend professional competence across these professions.
  • Specifically, to be consistent with the National Department of Health priorities for mental health, to create a pool of suitably qualified graduates, trained to standards meeting with the provision of services as specified by the National Service Framework for Mental Health (National Health Service Executive). The National Service Framework promotes the training of staff and the need for the increased provision of evidence-based psychotherapy to service users.
  • Provide practical support, guidance and supervision in the practice of therapies delivered to young people with depression and their parents/carers, and to help programme participants to develop the clinical skills necessary for working with these client groups.
  • Ensure that all graduates of the programme meet recognised minimum clinical competence in working with IPT-A for adolescents with depression.
  • This 60 credit M-Level training programme is validated in Partnership with The Division of Psychology and Mental Health, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester. The IPT-UK Training Committee has also accredited the teaching on the IPT-A pathway, meaning that trainees are eligible for IPT-UK accreditation



Who Can Apply

You cannot apply directly to the training centre for this course

Eligible applicants will be working within Northwest CYP IAPT Collaborative. Recruitment is a joint process with collaborative partners. 

Successful candidates will have some existing knowledge and experience of delivering therapy to young people with mental health difficulties. Applicants will be predominantly qualified members of the main mental health professions (Mental Health Social Workers, Psychiatric Nurses, Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Occupational Therapists in Mental Health, Accredited Counsellors). Please consult the following link for a list of all health, mental health and social care professions currently accepted by BABCP as a recognised core profession, which will be accepted as entry criteria: Core Professions ( Applicants with a core professional background will usually have the equivalent of 2 years full-time post qualification experience in Child Mental Health settings.

Applicants without one of these recognised core professions but with experience of working in a mental health service delivering therapy will be considered for eligibility via the Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSA) framework based on that developed by the BABCP.  The KSA requirements for this training programme will be sent out to applicants.  An example of KSA requirements can be found on the BABCP website Knowledge Skills and Attitudes ( Applicants taking the KSA route will usually have a minimum of 4 years of experience relevant to their pathway. Applicants must meet the criteria of any accrediting professional body relevant to their pathway.

Applicants who have a relevant core profession, but do not have an undergraduate (level 6) or graduate qualification are invited to write an essay which is marked and must achieve a 50% mark to demonstrate that they can meet the academic requirements of the programme.  This is marked by a senior member of the teaching staff using The University of Manchester marking criteria. Applicants with neither a relevant core profession nor an undergraduate degree will not usually be considered.

North West Collaborative

The Northwest CYP IAPT Collaborative is a partnership between The University of Manchester, Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust and over 70 providers and commissioning bodies of children and young people’s mental health services across NHS, Local Authority and Voluntary sectors working in the Northwest, Yorkshire and West Midlands.

It’s one of five Learning Collaboratives across England that are part of the CYP IAPT country-wide transformation programme. The collaborative seeks to improve services through better evidence-based practice, better collaborative practice, authentic participation and better use of feedback and clinical outcomes across all services.



Training Component

The training component is in the form of face to face and online lectures, seminars, self-directed learning, reflective recording of clinical work, and supervision of clinical practice. Following the initial induction, there will be seven days of core IPT-A teaching, spread over two weeks at the start of the training. Thereafter, attendance is weekly mainly one day a week (Thursdays) over three 10-week terms. 



How to Apply

Internal Recruitment Speak to your local CYP IAPT Lead in the first instance if you wish to apply.  If you do not know who this is, please speak to your service manager. You will need the support of your service manager before applying. Services apply for funded places as early as May for the following January so plan ahead. Application forms are available via CYP IAPT Leads within Children & Young People’s services across the Northwest Collaborative from August.  Completed application forms with Service Manager and the CYP IAPT Lead approval should be sent to the CYP IAPT Lead. They then send them on to the Training Centre. This process happens annually opening in late summer and closing early autumn. Applications must be funded either with service/CCG approval if they are funding the course, or with a confirmed Recruit to Train place from HEE (confirmed by the CYP IAPT Lead). Applicants are invited to interview through the autumn in preparation for the course starting in January.

Applications sent directly to the training centre by the applicant will not be accepted.


External recruitment: Training posts are advertised by services through the summer and autumn for the January intake. Training posts are usually 1-year contracts initially to cover the length of the course. Applying for the post and for the course is a combined process with a joint interview. Applicants must be in post and able to attend the training for the commencement of the course.

The Training Centre does not have any involvement with the advertising of these posts.

Contact Us

If you have any queries regarding this course not covered in the information above or in the FAQ section of this website, please email the Programme Lead:


We are happy to answer questions related to the course itself, but unfortunately are unable to provide any general career advice.



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