Our annual membership survey gives you a chance to tell us about your experiences and relationship with us. It’s an opportunity for you to let us know what we’re doing well and what we could improve.

We want to thank all of you took the time to share your views with us this year.

The survey was sent to all our members in June and was open for four weeks. A total of 5,796 of you completed the survey - a response rate of around 9%, which was slightly lower than in 2021.

Adam Pollard, Interim Chief Officer for Membership and Operations

Key findings

What matters to you

You told us about the areas of our work that are important to you and said what you think our priorities should be when working on behalf of our members. You said it’s important BACP:

  • provides you with resources that support professional and ethical practice
  • keeps you informed about issues within the field of counselling and the profession and how they affect you
  • sets standards for the profession
  • protects clients from unsafe or unethical practice by providing support, information and a complaints procedure
  • keeps you informed about our work and how it affects you

What we’re doing well

  • 81% say we provide you with resources that support professional and ethical practice well
  • 77% say we set standards for the profession well
  • 72% agree that we work well to deliver a robust regulatory framework and hold and maintain a PSA accredited register which promotes confidence in BACP members
  • 71% agree we keep you informed about the issues within the field of counselling and the profession

We’re pleased to see the areas which you say should be our priorities are also the areas where you say we’re doing a good job. Supporting our members in professional and ethical practice and upholding high standards within practice are the focus of much of what we do as a professional body. SCoPEd continues to be an important step in setting standards for the profession and we’re making sure we keep members updated about the project’s progress.

Your membership

  • 83% say you're likely to renew your membership either without hesitation or with some consideration of member value
  • 76% say you’re a member of BACP because it gives credibility to your practice
  • 68% say BACP is the professional body you identify most with

It’s good to see your membership remains important to you. We want to make sure you get the most out of your membership and it supports you in your day to day practice. This year we’ve highlighted these areas to members through a new member benefits web page and video.

What we could do better

  • 57% say BACP is an inclusive association

We’re committed to improving equality, diversity and inclusion within our Association. While we feel we’ve made positive steps in this area, we know there is a lot more to do. This year, as part of our EDI strategy, we’ve launched a mentoring scheme for trainees from marginalised and racialised communities. We’ve also launched a third sector grant scheme to improve equality, diversity and inclusion within the professions. We're learning all the time and hope that in future years we’ll see this figure increase.

  • 26% say BACP works well on behalf of members to improve employment opportunities
  • 28% agree we promote opportunities for paid employment and volunteer placements for students

We’re pleased to see that these figures have increased compared to last year. We’re continually advocating for an increase in paid employment opportunities for our members across the UK by building links with policy makers and working closely with third sector organisations and employers.

Our Deputy Chief Executive Fiona Ballantine Dykes was part of a Labour party conference panel event and spoke about the need for investment and an increase in paid roles for therapists.

Our response to the Government’s 10 Year Mental Health Strategy consultation included the need to invest in paid, trained counsellors in a range of settings, including in the NHS, workplaces, schools, colleges and community hubs.

We’ll keep on campaigning on these important topics and make sure we keep you updated on our work.

  • 45% agree we raise awareness of the counselling professions in the public and the media

We’re working hard to ensure that counselling and psychotherapy have a prominent place in the public and media conversation around mental health. In the past year, our staff and members have spoken about counselling on BBC national news, BBC Radio 4, ITV News, in the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Sun and the Daily Mail. They’ve featured on local radio stations, in local press and on a range of websites.

We’ve increased our media reach and volume of coverage substantially on previous years and we’re delighted with the impact our Therapy Talks campaign and Mindometer report have had in the media.

Our social media adverts have appeared in people’s Facebook and Instagram feeds more than four million times since the start of 2022.

We’ll continue to work hard to raise awareness as we believe everyone should have access to counselling and psychotherapy.

  • 34% say you feel part of a community of members
  • 31% of you say we work well in providing forums and groups for people with similar interests to come together and network

Unfortunately, in the previous two years we’ve seen low results for these questions. To better connect members with one another, we’ve launched our Communities of Practice platform. This is an online forum for our members to share best practice and discuss professional issues to support peer to peer learning.

Specific communities within the platform give members the chance to connect with others with similar interests. These communities include students, neurodiversity, spirituality and disability and chronic pain, with more to follow.

We hope you will join the discussions on the platform and enjoy being part of these communities.

Your relationship with us

  • 66% of you say you trust us
  • 53% agree we act in the best interests of our members
  • 48% say we listen well

Listening to your feedback and working on your behalf is at the heart of our strategy. We regularly take action in response to members’ suggestions. In the past year, your feedback has prompted the launch of an online accreditation form, resulted in improvements to the navigation of our Learning centre, influenced our research priorities and informed changes to the content of our journals.

The annual member survey is not your only opportunity to share your views with us. We've introduced mechanisms across the organisation to gather members’ thoughts – including our customer thermometer on our email communications, member panels and other regular surveys. But we know we need to continue to improve this area of work.

Please contact us at any time through our listening@bacp.co.uk email address. We review all feedback that comes into this.