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Tips and common mistakes

Here's some advice on the common errors and omissions that applicants make when completing the membership form. If you don’t provide all the information required, or if you fill in the form incorrectly, we’ll have to write to you for clarification. This will delay approval of your membership. 

Section 1 – Personal details

  • If you want to use a professional title, e.g. Doctor, we need evidence, such as a copy of a certificate that you’re entitled to use it.
  • If you don’t have ‘any other names’ or ‘former/maiden names’, please write N/A in this section. If you leave it blank, we’ll have to send you an ‘other names declaration’ to make sure you didn’t miss it.

Section 2 – Address details

  • We require proof of your address. You can submit a copy of a utility or phone bill, bank statement or other official correspondence as evidence. We just need to see your name, address and the date (to ensure it was within the last six months), so you can blank out all other personal details. 

Section 3a – Student Member details

  • You must provide details of your course and a confirmation letter from the course provider. This letter must:
    • be on the course provider’s headed paper
    • confirm the course title, start and end dates
    • confirm that you are currently undertaking classroom tuition
    • confirm that the course is a minimum of one year full-time or two years part-time in length
    • be signed by the author of the letter – letters with pp (per pro) signatures will not be accepted
    • be dated within the last 12 months

Section 3b – Individual Member details

  • You must enclose a copy of your graduation certificate, or a letter on headed paper from your place of study confirming that you have successfully graduated from the course. If your results have to be ratified, you’ll need to receive ratification before applying for Individual Membership.

Section 4 – Disclosure

  • You must complete this section in full. If you declare a disclosure, you must provide a comprehensive signed statement giving details of any mitigating factors, the steps you’ve taken to turn your life around and what you’ve learned from the experience.
  • If you declare an unspent conviction, you must complete a disclosure of criminal convictions form.

Section 5 – Applicant declaration

  • You must read through the declaration and sign and date it before your sponsor completes section 6.

Section 6 – Sponsor

  • Your membership application must have a sponsor, who should provide you with a personal reference.  The sponsor has to confirm that the information you give is true and accurate, so you must complete the application form in full before asking them to sign it.
  • Your sponsor must either be your current course tutor or someone who has known you for at least two years. All sponsors must also be:
    • a member of BACP, or
    • a member of a similar body that has a Professional Standards Authority accredited register (i.e. BCP, COSCA, or UKCP), or
    • professionally qualified – a list of acceptable professions is given on the application form. 

If your sponsor is not a BACP member, they must provide evidence of their qualifications. 

Section 7 – Referee

  • Your membership application must have a referee, who should provide you with a personal reference.  This should not be the same person as your sponsor.  Your referee must have known you for at least two years.