Chief Executive

Dr Phil James, Chief Executive

I’m deeply committed to working with our members and to advancing BACP towards fulfilling its public benefit objective as a vibrant and relevant professional body. I’ve experience in leading professional and awarding bodies that stretches across sectors as diverse as mining and social work. Before joining BACP in December 2023, I was CEO of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, leading transformation projects and advocating with members, regulators, UK government departments and international stakeholders. I aim to bring my experience and positive collaborative outlook to the BACP family and engender a culture of trust, dynamism and inclusion.

Senior leadership team

Philippa Foster, Chief Financial Officer

I joined BACP in February 2022 as Chief Financial Officer. I’m a Chartered Management Accountant with over 20 years’ experience in public, not for profit, and charitable organisations.

My role at BACP primarily focuses on the financial strategy that underpins our delivery against our charitable objectives. I’m also responsible for the financial operations of BACP and stewardship of the assets of the Association.

My personal interest in mental health aligns with the vision of BACP and I feel privileged to use my professional expertise within the Association.

Ben Kay, Director of Transformation and Digital

I joined BACP in June 2023 as our Director of Transformation and Digital. Prior to joining I've held roles across a number of industries including at Thames Water, IBM and EE, as well as working with a variety of clients at my own consultancy company.

My career has focused primarily on helping organisations connect with their audiences and deliver the best experience in everything they do. I’ve launched new brands and delivered many digital and customer transformations in the UK and around the world.

This role at BACP brings together a few of my personal passions, not least that of mental wellbeing.

Jamie Redmond, HR Director

I joined BACP as HR Director in June 2023 and I’m a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and a member of the Institute of Directors. I’ve worked as an HR Director since 2009 in a number of industries including not for profit, market research, tech software, airline, luxury cars and manufacturing.

I’ve spent time working with diverse teams across the globe, leading the HR functions within a number of complex and multi-national organisations. I believe in valuing people’s differences, embracing what they bring and understanding their needs. I’m passionate about supporting people to get the best out of them, working to remove barriers so they can embrace their learning and give back to others and their communities.

Lisa Morrison Coulthard, Director of Professional Standards, Policy and Research

I joined BACP in December 2023 as Director of Professional Standards, Policy and Research. I'm a Chartered Psychologist with almost 30 years’ experience in professional membership and research organisations in the charity sector, primarily supporting mental health. My specific expertise is in strategic leadership and stakeholder engagement to maximise impactful outcomes. Throughout my career, I've helped bridge the gap between evidence, policy development and decision making; influencing Government on a variety of issues relating to mental health.

I know the importance of representing our members and the profession, and being responsive to changes in the world in which therapists work. I want to ensure our workstreams deliver the best possible outcomes for clients, by ensuring high standards, guiding best practice and providing robust evidence to strategically influence employers, commissioners and policymakers. I'm delighted to be working with expert members and staff to drive forward effective change.

Senior management team

Martin Bell, Head of Policy and Public Affairs

I joined BACP in 2008 and have held a number of roles within the policy team before becoming Head of Policy and Public Affairs. My role focuses on raising awareness of the positive contribution of counselling and psychotherapy, the work of our members and the value they can bring to governments, parliamentarians, decision-makers and commissioners across the UK. I’m supported by a team with individual remits for healthcare, children and young people, third sector, workforce employment and the four nations. 

Before I joined BACP, I worked as a government relations consultant and as a research assistant to two MPs.

Grace Gardiner, Head of Member Services

Since joining BACP as the events administrator eight years ago, I’ve had the privilege of being part of the most creative teams and work alongside some of the most inspiringly passionate people. BACP has provided me with an opportunity to develop my career through leadership of the events team to become part of the Senior Management Team.

As Head of Member Services, I am committed to developing resources that ensure our members continue to feel valued, heard and supported through the different levels of their professional journey. The department includes the member resources team (events and CPD), the divisional journals team, the product services team, content curation and strategy.  

The aim of the member services team is to continue to explore the possibilities around creating new and compelling member interactions with the objective of providing members with the tools and support they need to become better therapists.

Caroline Jesper, Head of Professional Standards

I’ve been Head of Professional Standards at BACP since 2020. Prior to this role I worked for BACP as an accreditation assessor and as a professional standards development facilitator, developing BACP competences and curricula. I’m a supervisor, a BACP accredited counsellor and a qualified life coach and also work in private practice.

I’ve more than 20 years’ experience working as a counsellor with adults, children and young people in a range of settings including in further and higher education, primary and secondary education, the NHS, staff counselling services and in the voluntary sector. I was also a senior lecturer in higher education for many years developing and delivering counselling and supervision training.

Adam Pollard, Head of Marketing and Engagement

Having joined BACP in 2019, I moved into my current role of Head of Marketing and Engagement in July 2020, where I’m responsible for our customer services, membership, marketing and communications team.

My primary focus is to continually improve our member experience by delivering innovative, creative and engaging communications across all key BACP touchpoints – including our e-newsletter, website, customer services and social media channels.

I’m also responsible for the management and promotion of the BACP brand, and for raising the public profile of our members and our ‘counselling changes lives’ message through our proactive media and PR activity.

Prior to joining BACP, I’ve enjoyed a series of marketing and campaign management roles in the financial services and higher education sectors and spent several years running my own successful company.

Dr Clare Symons, Head of Research

My role, as Head of Research, ensures that the research team supports BACP’s strategic goal to further develop confidence in the credibility of the profession through commissioning, undertaking, encouraging and facilitating research of key relevance that makes an impactful contribution to the evidence base. I'm a BACP registered senior accredited counsellor, I’ve worked with clients in a range of settings including higher education, private practice and the voluntary sector. My belief in the value of research to practitioners has been instrumental in my former work, both as a trainer on a BACP accredited course and as Editor of BACP’s Counselling and Psychotherapy Research journal, as well as being integral to my current post at BACP.

Judy White, Head of Governance

I joined BACP as Head of Governance in April 2023. I’m responsible for the management and oversight of all matters relating to governance, assurance and risk across BACP. I’m here to act as a steward for these areas by providing strategic, legal and corporate governance advice to the Chair and the Board and deliver best practice with respect to carrying out their duties.

I’m also the link between the Senior Leadership team at BACP, the Board and its committees, with responsibility to embed the BACP governance framework and ensure that the governance of BACP is managed in accordance with legal, regulatory and constitutional requirements to deliver our charitable objectives.

I’ve over 20 years’ experience in leadership, management and governance in a wide range of organisations including the charity sector, higher education and most recently a government regulator.

Emma Hayes, Registrar

As the Registrar, my role is to ensure that the work of the Register upholds BACP's commitment to public protection. I have responsibility for the Register entry process, the audit of practitioners' CPD and the robust management of concerns related to our members' fitness to practice and professional conduct. I joined BACP in March 2023 and have over 15 years’ experience working across a range of sectors, including non-statutory healthcare, the charity sector and higher education.

With a deep-rooted commitment to public protection, the Register team work hard to ensure that our members uphold the highest ethical and professional standards. By doing so, the Register enables the general public to make informed choices about the provision of counselling and supports BACP’s wider work to raise the ethical and professional standards of the profession.