Do I need insurance?

THE short answer is that if you are providing pastoral/reflective supervision—then yes you do, writes APSE Chair Brenda Mosedale. I can imagine that there are a number of you who suddenly start panicking – so I’m going to qualify that answer. Those of you who work as therapists in whatever way will almost certainly have insurance cover for that work.  I know that many will include pastoral supervision into their existing policies.  It’s worth checking! If you provide pastoral/reflective supervision in your employed role as a chaplain or equivalent, you will probably be covered by your employing institution. If you do this in a voluntary capacity, you may want to check this.  It will probably depend on whether or not you are doing this as part of another role. If, however, as an increasing number of APSE members are, you are a church minister or employee who is working within your denomination, this is where the question may need to be clarified.  Most mainstream denominations will cover you for work that is done within that context, but not all.  So check.  I am a Methodist— the Methodist Church has introduced supervision and as long as I am supervising within the Methodist Church’s policy, then I am covered by Methodist Insurance.  As soon as I supervise someone from another denomination or beyond the church, then that insurance cover ceases.  That means, for me and for many of you, that I need to enter the world of independent insurance for this work.

So how do you do that?  Where do you go?  That’s a common question on APSE’s enquiry line.  We are not able to recommend any particular company but, on looking at where APSE members find their insurance, the insurers who come up most often are Oxygen, Towergate, Howdens and Balens. All of these can be contacted by putting those names into a reliable search engine and following that through.  All charge much the same amount – so this year you can expect to pay around £85.  That will quite likely go up next year.  If you combine this with other professional insurance, that may, of course, be different.  APSE Secretary Andre Groenewald has negotiated with Howden’s that APSE will be recognised by them and so they offer a discount which brings their annual fee pretty much in line with the other insurers.  If you want to take that up, then you can find a flyer from Howden’s here.
Do you need insurance?  If you are offering pastoral supervision, whether or not you are paid for it, then yes.
Are you covered by your employers/church/ other institution?  Possibly – but it’s important to check.
What do I do if not?  Contact any of the names mentioned  or the insurance company you use for other things as they may offer this cover.
Does APSE require me to be insured?  If you work as a pastoral supervisor – yes.  Until now that has only applied to those applying for accreditation or to advertise on the APSE website. In future, when you join or renew your membership, you will be asked about this.
Do you need to panic?  No— just check what you need to do and get it sorted.  If you still have questions email