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Core Curriculum - Frequently Asked Questions
Updated 8 June 2009
What is the core curriculum?
The core curriculum gives training organisations a basis for their courses. It includes elements which, BACP believes, should be present in all counsellor / psychotherapist practitioner training courses. The organisation is then able to add to this core as appropriate. It is hoped that by adopting this it will be possible to achieve some standardisation in training while still allowing courses to have their own identity and individuality.
Why is a core curriculum needed?
There have been both internal and external motivations to the development of a core curriculum. BACP has recognised the disparate nature of training and can see the merit in having a curriculum which all trainee counsellor / psychotherapists will cover in their training. Externally the Health Professions Council (the proposed regulator for the psychological therapies) has certain requirements and one of these relates to the profession applying a defined body of knowledge.
How are both counselling / psychotherapy covered in the core curriculum?
The core curriculum is designed for both counselling and psychotherapy training courses and makes no difference between the two.
What about training courses that are based around a specific theoretical approach?
The core curriculum is designed to be generic and applicable to all theoretical approaches. It makes recommendation about the key elements of a counselling / psychotherapy training. Training organisations can then use this core and interpret and deliver it in a way that is congruent with the chosen theoretical perspective. The core curriculum provides the framework around which the course is then built. Courses must contain all the elements in the curriculum but are not limited to it.
What about specialist practitioner training courses?
The core curriculum is generic and sets a minimum baseline standard. Trainee therapists should cover the core curriculum at some point in their training irrespective of an intention to only work in particular settings or with specific client groups. This may be achieved by either completing an initial specialist course which covers the core curriculum or by completing a generic course, based on the core curriculum, and then continuing to a more specialised training.
Can I see a copy of the core curriculum?
A summary of the core curriculum is appended to the Accreditation of Training Courses on the Accreditation web pages.
Who has produced the core curriculum?
A consortium of trainers was commissioned to produce this on behalf of BACP. They represented a wide range of theoretical perspectives and all three training sectors.
What is the core curriculum based on?
In preparing the core curriculum the consortium have made reference to a variety of sources. Examples are:
- Existing BACP Accreditation Criteria for both Counsellor / Psychotherapist and Training Courses
- QAA Subject benchmark statements for similar professions e.g. Arts Therapists
- National Occupational Standards in relevant subjects
- Standards of other professional associations related to counselling / psychotherapy
Will I have train again and do a course which covers the core curriculum?
No. The core curriculum is a recommendation for the future of training provision. It will not be necessary for people, who are already working in the profession to retrain - unless they wish to do so.
I have seen reference to degree level qualifications - what will this mean for me?
The Core Curriculum does not prescribe the sector in which training should be delivered. It does recognise that in the HE sector full delivery would be matched to the QAA graduate or postgraduate level, although this could be reached in several stages. This is equivalent to levels 5, 6 and 7 in the National Qualifications Framework / Qualification and Credit Framework. As an organisation BACP will not be imposing the core curriculum retrospectively therefore, from our perspective, it will not be necessary for existing individual members to retrain or to have a degree.
What will happen to existing training courses?
BACP cannot impose the core curriculum on a training organisation. As a professional body for counselling / psychotherapy part of our role is the development of professional standards and this is what the core curriculum sets out to do.
If the core curriculum becomes widely accepted then training organisations may find that they need to make changes to their existing courses in order to satisfy the requirements.
What will happen to BACP accredited courses?
The core curriculum has been considered against course accreditation standards and a revised set of standards is now available in the 'Gold Book' formally known as the Accreditation of Training Courses. If you are interested in learning more about the course accreditation process then please contact Allie Griffiths on 01455 883338 or email email@example.com