The Seymour Report had stated that although many of the courses at the Tavistock Clinic had professional recognition, training at the Tavistock Clinic also needed academic accreditation. A suitable academic partner had to be found and approaches were made to the University of East London (UEL).

The timing was good as the UEL had recently broken from the University of London’s degree structure and had started working with the Council for National Academic Awards, so when discussions began with the Tavistock Clinic there was already a supportive climate of opinion, and an academic apparatus for course development and validation in place.

As is often the case at the Tavistock Clinic, social work led the way. Joan Hutton wanted accreditation for the post-qualifying social work course. At UEL Carol Satyamurti (the poet) and Michael Rustin were able to offer the social workers an add-on doctorate that was validated by UEL. This pilot resulted in a positive synergy that led to more than 20 Masters level programmes being established between the UEL and Tavistock Clinic.

Many of the established professional clinical training courses, such as Interdisciplinary training in adult psychotherapy (M1), continued as before, without being linked to the universities, and some still do. The clinical trainings are all accredited by professional organisations.

With university accreditation in the late 1980s, the Tavistock Clinic had begun to take itself seriously as a higher education institution and bid for an NHS national contract for training. This entailed that training would need to be transferred back from the TIHR to the Tavistock Clinic.

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