COURSE ACCREDITATION WITH BACP
Notice of amendments to Accreditation of Training Courses (BACP 2009, 5th edition) July 2012
There have been recent changes in course accreditation scheme criteria, as ratified July 2012 with immediate effect:
A3 amended - courses will still be required to have 400 staff-student contact hours but not 450 guided learning hours overall (i.e. same as previous ‘Red Book’ course accreditation scheme 2002).
A4 suspended - courses will not need to require 50 hours of student work-based learning in addition to the placement hours.
A5 amended - 100 hours of supervised client work rather than 150 (i.e. same as previous ‘Red Book’ course accreditation scheme 2002).
Please note that the corresponding ‘Part B. Course delivery criteria’ also change in accordance with the above:
B4 suspended - no work-based learning requirement
B5.1 amended - 100 hours of supervised client work
B10.5 amended - 100 hours of supervised client work, no requirement for work-based learning hours
NB: Application and assessment procedures for courses wishing to apply before graduating a cohort are not yet available, being currently on hold pending review. Another change recommended to the Board of Governors in July 2012 was to allow courses to apply for accredited status before they had graduated a cohrt of students (Criterion A2, 2009 5th edition) The principle was agreed ; however Professional Standards can only go forward with this by making corresponding changes to its course accreditation application, assessment and monitoring process to ensure a robust and suitable procedure to maintain the course accreditation standard. This project is currently under review and further updates will appear here following any further developments.Courses which are already accredited may introduce developments in accordance with the above changes A3 to A5 at their discretion. It may be possible to amend courses immediately but some changes may take longer to introduce, taking into account existing learning agreements with enrolled students, validation body requirements etc. Courses which have already introduced work-based learning and increased guided learning and/or placement hours in alignment with the 2009 criteria are not obliged to remove them.
More information on these changes
An amended version of the published criteria is complete, pending upload May 2013.
BACP's Accreditation of Training Courses is...
- The definitive standard for training providers wanting to gain formal recognition for the high standard of training which they deliver.
- A framework for trainers wanting to design a professional practitioner training to a nationally recognised high standard.
- A reference for prospective students seeking assurance about the quality of their future training.
- A benchmark for employers when recruiting practitioners who need to be trained to a high professional standard.
Accreditation of Training Courses (BACP 2009, 5th edition)* contains all the requirements that a course must meet in order to be accredited by BACP and includes information on the application and assessment process. The Core Curriculum is published as an appendix to the document. Please note that the addendum to the Explanation of Terms must be considered in conjunction with Accreditation of Training Courses 2009, although certain terms are less relevant to the criteria given the July 2013 amendments.
The course accreditation application form is used to make your application. It helps you write your application, streamlines the assessment process and results in a more informative assessors' report for your course at the end. It goes through the criteria in order, asking you how the course meets each one and where the evidence can be found. Essentially, you tell us what you do and then link-up the specific part of the evidence which proves it. Remember to write thorough, comprehensive self-statements to describe how the course meets each criterion and to cross-reference all the relevant course documents clearly in the column provided. Each reference should be a clear signpost to the assessors, showing them exactly where they need to go to in your application material.
Request course application form
If you are only just starting to consider course accreditation you can begin by self-assessing the course. You might do this yourself or as a group exercise for the course team or key tutors. Often working as a group can ease the burden of preparing an application and encourages the whole team to share responsibility and ownership. Start by thinking of the course accreditation scheme criteria as an overall framework and consider how your course might fit within it. The application form can then be used as an assessment tool to consider each criterion in turn - can your course meet each one and provide satisfactory evidence to show this? Bear in mind that a successful application will contain comprehensive self statements about how the course meets the criteria, include relevant course documents to illustrate this and clearly cross reference all statements to specific parts of the evidence.
PLEASE NOTIFY US if you intend to submit a course application for consideration. Because of the high number of pending assessments, assessment time is exteremely valuable. If we have at least two months' notice to expect an application, it should be possible to allocate an assessor to it ahead of its receipt. It is highly unlikely that unexpected applications will be sent forward for assessment immediately. You can re-negotiate a submission date nearer the time but if you submit the application late without notice, you may find that we have released the reserved assessment time to another application.
UK COURSE ACCREDITATION FEES† 1 APRIL 2011 to 31 MARCH 2012: The fee is a two stage fee, which is £2475 in combination: £1100 application stage and £1375 visit stage
"It's incredibly frustrating. We have a great tutor team, students are doing really well, all our documentation is published (handbooks, appeals procedure etc etc), contracts are prepared for the placements...yet we are sitting here waiting another two years for graduation before we can even submit our application. Apart from that, we can pretty much evidence all the other criteria." Is this your course? Courses that are waiting to graduate a cohort in order to meet criterion A2 should call Allie for an informal discussion on 01455 883338. This applies to courses that are currently teaching at least one cohort and can meet the rest of the criteria, rather than courses which are at the planning/developmental stage.
ONGOING ACCREDITED STATUS: Once accredited, courses must ensure that they continue to meet all course accreditation criteria. Current membership of BACP is necessary for the accredited status of a course to be valid. Each accredited courses is subject to a continuous quality assurance process which requires i) the completion of an Annual Monitoring Report and ii) a course representative's attendance an annual accredited courses' meeting. Accredited courses are required to submit a re-accreditation application every five years (currently charged at £1375.00).
CPD ENDORSEMENT SCHEME: Course accreditation is only available to in-depth practitioner training courses which require a counselling/psychotherapy placement as part of the training. If you want recognition of short courses, workshops or other developmental activities for qualified counsellors and/or psychotherapists, try
CPD Endorsement Scheme
CORE CURRICULUM: The fifth edition of Accreditation of Training Courses combines much of the content and inspiration of previous versions with key aspects taken from the BACP Core Curriculum (developed for future training standards by a consortium of trainers in 2007). It represents a significant milestone for the setting of standards of quality and competence with regard to the training of counsellors and/or psychotherapists. The Core Curriculum is published as an appendix to the fifth edition
ADVERTISING: Only courses that have been through BACP's application and assessment process and received confirmation of their accredited status may include the words "BACP Accredited Course" in their publicity material or use the 'Course Accredited by BACP' logo. Other courses should not publicise the claim that they have applied or intend to apply for accreditation. This is because applications may be delayed, withdrawn, unsuccessful or encounter delays during the assessment process.
NEW!! On Twitter®, @BACP 'tweets' its congratulations to each newly accredited course and links the training provider's #tag to its feed.
QUERIES: We have provided a summary of the more common queries about course accreditation
If you have any unanswered queries about the criteria or application and assessment process, please
email me or call 01455 883338.
Ms AJ Griffiths
Project Manager - Courses & CPD
* The 2009 scheme is known informally as the ‘Gold Book'
† These fees are for UK-based courses. If a course is non-UK based there may be extra costs payable, especially at visit stage.