BACP has submitted a 12 page response to the Health Professions Council's Call for Ideas for the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy.
BACP consulted its 30,000 strong membership in the following ways:
- A link to the entire Call for Ideas was placed on the web site and the News and Regulation sections directed members to it.
- All members for whom the Association has email addresses were emailed and asked for their responses to questions 1, 2, 5 and 8.
- Tutors of BACP's accredited training courses were asked in particular to address question 2 and 8.
- BACP's committees and Board of Governors and specialist Divisions received the full Call for Ideas and the questions were discussed committee meetings.
Sally Aldridge, Head of Regulatory Policy, would like to say thank you to everyone who responded and your views and comments helped to form the main response from BACP.
Below is a brief summary of the 10 questions and answers submitted by BACP. The full response, along with some of the appendices, can be accessed via the attachments at the bottom of this article.
Question 1. The structure of the register for counsellors and psychotherapists
There should be a single register with two titles, counsellor and psychotherapist with the same standards of proficiency. BACP's evidence based position is that it is not possible to differentiate between the two.
Question 2. The titles to be protected and why?
The generic titles of counsellor and psychotherapist should be protected. They are in widespread use and understood by the general public. BACP is opposed to the regulation of specific titles related to theoretical models. This would not enhance public protection, potentially create a register of multiple sections and would limit development in the profession.
Question 3. The criteria to be used in considering which voluntary registers should transfer and which should not
The criteria should be similar to those used by BACP with regard to its membership and register.
Question 4. Membership numbers and membership criteria
BACP has 30,379 individual and 1157 organisational members. We estimate that 20% of UKCP members and 9% of BPC members also hold BACP membership.
Information on membership categories and the Ethical Framework and Professional Conduct Procedure were provided.
Question 5. The length of the grandparenting period
4 years to cover the length of training courses.
Question 6. Other issues in relation to grandparenting arrangements
BACP raised the cost for voluntary and third sector practitioners and those who work part time. We also asked that there be grandparenting for accredited courses and their graduates.
Question 7. Information on training courses
BACP supplied the training map and analysis of counselling and psychotherapy training in the UK.
Question 8. The issues the PLG should consider in determining the threshold level for entry to the Register
There is no single entry qualification to counselling and psychotherapy. BACP does not link its course accreditation to any academic level. The criteria may be met by FE, HE and private training courses.
Question 9. What existing standards or other work should the PLG take into account in putting together the draft standards of proficiency
BACP listed 5 of its own quality assurance documents and some external documents
Question 10. Any further comments
BACP raised the issue of counsellor and psychotherapists already subject to existing legislation e.g. Adoption Support Agency and Infertility counsellors.