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Consultation on the Scope of Practice and Education for the counselling and psychotherapy professions

BACP, BPC and UKCP are jointly working on a collaborative project looking at the training requirements and practice standards for counselling and psychotherapy.

The project, called SCoPEd (Scope of Practice and Education for the counselling and psychotherapy professions), involves systematically mapping existing competences, standards, training and practice requirements within counselling and psychotherapy for work with adult clients/patients.

We used an evidence-based approach to identify the different and overlapping competences between them and have now produced a draft framework, on which we are now seeking your views.


We would like views and comments on the potential impact of the framework on the wider profession. We are working with an independent market research agency called Critical Research to conduct a consultation – they will contact members who have opted to receive email communications from us directly.

Why are we doing this work?

We hope that in providing an evidence-based framework of knowledge, skills and attitudes, this project will provide clarity for clients, patients and the public on what our members offer. We hope it will make it easier to promote counselling and psychotherapy to commissioners and employers. And we hope that it will increase opportunities for paid employment and have a positive effect on the commissioning of therapy.

About the draft framework

The draft framework is organised into five themes that were identified in the mapping process. They are:

  • Professional framework
  • Assessment
  • Relationship
  • Knowledge and skills
  • Self awareness and reflection.

These themes contained overlapping and differentiated generic competences and practice standards across three levels, loosely described as:

  • qualified counsellor – typically registered counsellor (BACP)
  • advanced qualified counsellor – typically accredited counsellor (BACP) and psychotherapeutic counsellor (BPC and UKCP)
  • psychotherapist – typically psychotherapist (BPC and UKCP)

These terms are used descriptively to avoid imposing existing terminology used by the different bodies, and do not indicate a suggested title.

Within the framework:

  • column A identifies the competences that are common to all
  • column B evidences competences that are demonstrated by advanced counsellor
  • column C demonstrates the competences that are specific to psychotherapist

Deadline for input: 22 February 2019.

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