From our chair

It’s my pleasure to present this overview of the work of the Association for the 12 months up to April 2018. It also includes our financial statements, describing our financial activity over the same period.

As work on our strategy continues unabated, I hope this review captures the sheer extent of projects that we’re undertaking to promote and advocate for the counselling professions. ‘Counselling changes lives’ is not simply our brand identity; it speaks to the core philosophical principles on which we base all our work, informed by an unwavering commitment to social justice.

In reviewing the work through to April 2018, I also give a continued commitment, on behalf of the Board, the staff and all those associated with BACP, to take our work forward in the best way we can.

Andrew Reeves
Andrew Reeves, Chair of BACP

Improving member services

We aim to support our members throughout their careers by responding efficiently to their enquiries and providing them with the benefits and services that are most useful to them in their professional lives. We are working towards making our services as accessible and user-friendly as they can be.

This year we have:

  • published 22 new web-based Good Practice in Action (GPiA) resources and updated 30 GPiA resources
  • updated 14 Counselling Minded for Children and Young People modules
  • introduced online invigilation
  • responded to more than 3,000 ethical queries from members
  • developed our new member database system and website

Next year we plan to:

  • launch our new CPD hub
  • continue to deliver an outstanding programme of members’ events
  • provide more ethics resources
  • publish new GPiA resources

Raising standards and protecting the public

We set and uphold high standards for our members, both for initial registration and for maintaining registered status. We carry out an audit of a sample of registered members every month to make sure that standards are maintained. We investigate complaints through our professional conduct process, provide a support service to clients who have problems with their therapy and consult with external stakeholders to improve awareness of counselling and its benefits.

This year we have:

  • completed and published the revision of the 2016 Ethical Framework
  • progressed the Scope of Practice and Education (SCoPEd) collaboration project
  • completed and published the revised curriculum for young people aged 11-18
  • convened an Expert Reference Group to work on extending the competency framework for four to 10-year-olds
  • launched a BACP-approved qualification (HND in Counselling) in Scotland
  • developed our new public-facing website
  • developed the Ask Kathleen service
  • had more that 20,000 candidates pass the Certificate of Proficiency
  • applied to become an CYP IAPT programme accrediting body
  • revised the Counselling for Depression accreditation scheme

Next year we plan to:

  • develop a shared competence framework across the sector
  • extend the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) partnership to improve access to counselling training
  • complete the children and young people four to 10-year-olds competency framework
  • initiate a coaching competence framework project
  • complete the workplace competence project
  • implement a publication policy for professional conduct notices
  • implement our revised Professional Conduct Procedure

Demonstrating the effectiveness of counselling

We have a critical role to play in supporting and disseminating the evolving research base for counselling and using research to demonstrate the value of counselling in making a positive difference to people’s lives.

This year we have:

  • presented our Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) research at the Society for Psychotherapy research conference in Canada
  • received funding, with the University of Roehampton, from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to conduct ETHOS, an £835,000 fully-powered randomised controlled trial of school-based counselling compared to pastoral care
  • funded a part-time PhD which examines parental experience of school counselling for their child as well as family outcomes following child engagement in school counselling
  • continued to build research capacity through the launch and recruitment of two funded PhD studentships
  • hosted the 23rd Annual BACP Research Conference

Next year we plan to:

  • offer two further PhD studentships
  • publish a live webcast of our Research Conference
  • offer two research grants of £50K
  • launch a pilot research tool

Influencing decision makers

We work with politicians and decision makers representing all four UK nations to help them understand the positive changes that counselling can make to people's lives. We use political monitoring and targeted, evidence-based communications to inform and influence the decisions that will impact on the public and members of the counselling professions most.

This year we have:

  • provided expert and evidence-based submissions to around 25 government and stakeholder consultations and parliamentary inquiries across the four nations
  • continued to build and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders, partners and decision makers
  • succeeded in getting our ‘asks’ reflected in nine 2017 General Election manifestos across the four nations
  • campaigned around the Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision green paper, calling for a trained counsellor in every school in the UK
  • maintained pressure on NICE to ensure that counselling and psychotherapy remain preserved within the Depression in Adults clinical guideline

Next year we plan to:

  • promote the advantages of counselling at work through a BACP-commissioned report
  • build on our increased engagement and visibility in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • enhance our work in Northern Ireland and work with our partners to deliver the 2019 BACP Research Conference in Belfast
  • build on our work around children, young people and families
  • further develop our older people strategy

Governance and structure

Our Governors are elected or appointed to oversee our strategic direction and the management of the Association. Representing and accountable to our members, their role is to provide strong leadership, enhance our decision making and to make sure that we achieve our objectives.

This year we welcomed Una Cavanagh to our Board of Governors, while Andrew Reeves was re-elected as Chair and Caryl Sibbett was re-elected as Deputy Chair. Mhairi Thurston was also re-elected to the Board.

Financial highlights

We remain in a healthy financial position broadly in line with our reserves policy. This position allows us to undertake and support a broad range of activities in relation to our charitable objectives.

Our main sources of funding are membership subscriptions, Find a Therapist directory fees, accreditation fees and income from our trading subsidiary.

The sources of funding sustain the costs incurred in delivering our key objectives through representation of the profession, developing research, the provision of journals, conferences and events, professional standards, register and conduct processes.