Thank you to the 6,500 of you who took part in this year’s membership survey. That's more of you than responded in 2019 and we’re pleased so many of you took the time to share your views. Your feedback helps to shape our work for the next year and in supporting you as members. 

You told us about your experiences, what’s most important to you about being a member and what you think of the support and services we offer. You’ve also told us about the challenges you’re facing and the areas where we could do better in supporting you and your practice.

"I'm so pleased to see so many members engaging with our membership survey this year. These results help us to understand where we're doing well and where we need to focus more attention so we continue to support you in the ways you need. We’re absolutely committed to improving the way we listen in 2021 and the results of the membership survey are a vital part of helping us to do this."

Chelsea Shelley, Chief Officer for Membership and Operations

Key findings

Your membership

  • 60% of you say you're likely to renew your membership without hesitation
  • 76% say you’re a member of BACP because it gives credibility to your practice
  • 42% of you feel valued by us as a member, up from 35% in 2019

We’re pleased that your membership is important to you. We’re committed to supporting you at every stage of your professional journey by providing you with resources, ethical support and CPD to help you with your practice.

Your relationship with us

  • • 51% say we listen well, up from 39% in 2019
    • 69% say you trust us, up from 62% in 2019
    • 57% agree we act in the best interests of our members, up from 45% in 2019

It’s important to us that you feel we're improving in our response to your needs and that we’re acting in your best interest. But we’d welcome your feedback on how we can do better.

We’re dedicating more time to listening well to understand what matters to you, what support you need and what changes you’d like to see from us. We’ll soon be opening up dedicated discussions with you about the subjects that matter most to you. In the meantime, please email us at with your suggestions on how we can do better.

What matters to you

We asked you to rate the different areas of our work by their importance to you. You told us that you want us to:

  1. provide you with resources that support professional and ethical practice
  2. set standards for the profession
  3. keep you informed about issues within counselling and psychotherapy
  4. protect clients from unsafe or unethical practice by providing support, information and a complaints procedure

What we’re doing well

  • 81% of you say we provide you with resources that support professional and ethical practice
  • 78% say we set standards for the profession well
  • 75% say we keep you informed about issues within the profession and how they affect you

We’re pleased you feel we support you and will continue to improve our communications to ensure they're relevant to your interests and areas of practice. Over the past few months, we've worked hard to provide you with coronavirus guidance and resources and this will continue throughout the challenging and fast-changing landscape of the covid-19 pandemic. 

We’re also committed to providing you with ethical support through our Good Practice in Action resources, Ethics hub and ethical support services. We’re continually reviewing our professional guidance and the Ethical Framework to ensure they continue to meet your needs.

What we could do better

  • 18% of you say we work well on behalf of members to improve employment opportunities
  • 22% agree we promote opportunities for paid employment and volunteer placements for students

We’re passionate about improving opportunities for our members, but we recognise there’s more to do. We’re focusing on campaigning work that highlights the expertise of all our members and the importance of increasing paid roles for counsellors and psychotherapists. This includes our school counselling campaign calling on the government to invest in a counsellor at every secondary school, academy and college.

  • 38% agree we raise awareness of the counselling professions in the public and the media

Our members are increasingly appearing in the media as spokespeople for the profession, with recent coverage including The Guardian, The Times and on the BBC. You can help us spread the message that counselling changes lives by becoming a spokesperson. Get in touch at to find out more.

Thank you

We can only achieve our aims with your support and your honest feedback. Thank you again to those of you who took part in this survey for helping us improve your Association so that we can better support you as you change lives through counselling.

The online survey was available to all members for four weeks from 23 June to 21 July 2020. We got back 6,587 completed surveys. This sample represents around 13% of our total membership, which was 52,386 at the end of July.