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Professional Conduct Procedure

The Professional Conduct Procedure Review and Proposal is now available. More information.

It is the responsibility of all Members and Complainants to ensure that they fully understand the Professional Conduct Procedure and the associated protocols. This procedure forms an essential part of BACP's commitment to the protection of the public. Members are required to inform any client who indicates that they have a complaint or grievance about the existence of this procedure and any other applicable complaints or disciplinary procedures. If requested to do so, practitioners should inform their clients about how they may obtain further information concerning these procedures. Further information may be obtained by contacting the Professional Conduct Department at BACP directly; alternatively, all documentation is available on this website.

Aim

The aim of the Professional Conduct Procedure is to provide complainants with an open and transparent route of remedy where complaints are made against members of this Association. In processing such complaints, the Association aims to protect members of the public, the name and reputation of BACP and the professions referred to within the Ethical Framework.

The Ethical Framework and Professional Conduct Procedure can be downloaded using the link at the bottom of the page.

Please note the following amendments to the Professional Conduct Procedure and the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy:

Notification of amendments to the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling & Psychotherapy

Revised edition published 1 February 2010 and notified September 2012.

Amendment

1. The term member, where it is used to refer to a member of this Association, is used to denote both members of the Association and registrants of the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

2. The Head of Professional Conduct is now referred to as the Registrar

Amendment

It has been necessary to make slight changes to two sections in this publication as listed below:

Page 7, under paragraph entitled ‘Keeping trust' is now replaced with:

18. Practitioners should not allow their professional relationships with clients to be prejudiced by any personal views they may hold about lifestyle, age, gender, disability, gender reassignment, race, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership or sex.

Page 9, under paragraph entitled ‘Working in teams' is now replaced with:

53. They should not allow their professional relationships with colleagues to be prejudiced by their own personal views about a colleague's lifestyle, age, gender, disability, gender reassignment, race, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership or sex. It is unacceptable and unethical to discriminate against colleagues on any of these grounds.

Notification of amendments to the 2010 edition of the Professional Conduct Procedure

Originally notified in September 2012 and further amended effective from 21 January 2013.

Amendment - September 2012

1. The term member, where it is used to refer to a member of this Association, is used to denote both members of the Association and registrants of the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

2. The Head of Professional Conduct is now referred to as the Registrar.

Amendment - 21 January 2013

1. The following change has been made to paragraph 4 under the heading Notification of Findings:

4.10 The decision of the Professional Conduct Panel will be notified in writing to the parties within 28 days of the Professional Conduct Hearing.

2. The following changes have been made to Paragraph 8, under the heading Publication:

8.1 Where a complaint is upheld in whole or in part, the decision of the Professional Conduct and/or Appeal Panel, together with details of any sanction, will be published on the Association's website and may also be published in its journal in such detail as deemed appropriate to the findings.

8.2 The withdrawal of membership/registration under the Professional Conduct Procedure will be published on the Association's website and may also be published in its journal and elsewhere as it considers appropriate and just to do so, and in the interests of public protection.

8.3 Under these procedures, any notification that the Association is entitled to publish on its website or in its journal may be published elsewhere by the Association at its discretion and in the interests of public protection.

Further amendment effective from  20 September 2013

Amendment - 20 September 2013

1.  Page 1, paragraph 1.3 'Complaints against non-members' is now replaced with:

1.3     Complaints against non-members / former members

  • a) The Association cannot deal with complaints against individuals or organisations that were not member/registrants of the Association at the time of the alleged misconduct.

  • b) The Association can deal with complaints made against a former member/registrant if that former member/registrant was a member at the time to which the complaint relates, subject to the provisions of paragraph 1.5.

  • c) Members/registrants of the Association referred to herein will be deemed to include former members/registrants.

  • d) Paragraph 1.3 b) only applies to members/registrants whose membership was current at the time of the adoption of this revised paragraph 1.3 by the Association by resolution of its Board of Governors pursuant to 5.1 of the Standing Orders of the Association on the 20th day of September 2013.

      2.  Page 10, paragraph 9, 'Effective Date' is now replaced with: 

      '9. Effective Date. This Professional Conduct Procedure 2010, as amended in  September 2012, January 2013 and 20 September 2013, will apply to all complaints  received by the Association from 20 September 2013.'

Download pdf file  Professional Conduct Procedure (0.52Mb) and pdf file  Ethical Framework (0.09Mb)