1. Membership

These standing orders cover work done by individuals and organisations in the field of counselling and psychotherapy or in the use of counselling skills.

1.1 General

1.1.1 All members, both individuals and organisations, are reminded that, on applying for admission to membership or on renewal of membership, they sign an undertaking that if admitted, and as long as they are members, they will observe the Articles, standing orders, Terms and Conditions of membership of the BACP Register, for the time being in force and that they will be bound by the Association’s Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions and by the Association’s Ethical Guidelines for Researching Counselling and Psychotherapy where practitioners undertake research and subject to the Professional Conduct Procedure therein for the time being in force and as revised from time to time.

1.1.2 Membership includes individuals and organisations. The Board of Governors may from time to time:
(a) determine, add to, amend, revoke or otherwise close such classes and subclasses of membership as are deemed necessary.
(b) determine the movement of members from one class or sub-class of membership to another.
(c) set the criteria for entry to each class or sub-class of membership.
(d) set entrance fees, subscriptions and other fees or payments to be made by members.
(e) remove a member from a category of membership including if such member is removed from the BACP Register for any reason.

1.1.3 All members may attend and speak at a General Meeting. Individual Members, Registered Members, Accredited Members, Registered Accredited Members, Retired Members and Student Members have one vote and Organisational Members have two votes. All members with voting rights have the right to vote by proxy at any general meeting. The proxy may be appointed by the member to exercise all or any of the member’s rights to attend, speak, vote and demand a poll at a meeting of the Association.

1.2 Individual Member (no designatory letters)

This category of membership is open to any person who has successfully completed and graduated from a one year full-time or two years part-time counselling and/or psychotherapy qualification which includes a supervised placement of at least 100 hours. The individual will be subject to BACP’s vetting process.

1.3 Registered Member MBACP

This category of membership is open to Individual Members and Member MBACP who have completed a BACP Accredited course or have successfully passed the Certificate of Proficiency and signed up to the Terms and Conditions of membership of the BACP Register. Registered Member MBACP requires continued satisfaction of the conditions for renewal and is subject to audit. 

1.3.1 Registered Accredited Member MBACP

This category of membership is open to Registered Members who have met the criteria for BACP accredited status and meet the criteria for accreditation and registration renewal. Registered Accredited Member MBACP requires continued satisfaction of the conditions for renewal and is subject to audit.

1.3.2 Registered Senior Accredited Member MBACP

This category of membership is open to Registered Accredited Members who have met the criteria for BACP senior accredited status and meet the criteria for senior accreditation and registration renewal. Registered Accredited Member MBACP requires continued satisfaction of the conditions for renewal and is subject to audit.

1.4 Student Membership (no designatory letters) 

Student Membership shall be open to Members attending a counselling and/or psychotherapy course with a minimum of one year full-time or two years part-time which includes a supervised placement of at least 100 hours. Members in this category may not use any designatory letters.

1.5 Retired Membership (no designatory letters)

Retired Membership is open to application from those who currently hold BACP membership in any of the above categories. This is a non-practising category of membership which requires a declaration of non-practise prior to acceptance.  Members returning to practise are required to move to one of the above categories before resuming practise.

2. Organisational Membership

Organisational Membership shall be open to organisations which agree to observe and adhere to the Association’s Ethical Framework of the Counselling Professions. Any Organisational members that undertake research shall also agree to observe and adhere to the Association’s Ethical Guidelines for Researching Counselling and Psychotherapy. Organisational Members will be subject to the Professional Conduct Procedure for any alleged breaches of the Ethical Guidelines and will also be subject to such other membership conditions as the Board of Governors may from time to time determine.

Organisational Membership shall be open to organisations which:
(a) offer counselling and/or psychotherapy services to clients; and/or
(b) offer direct services to counsellors and/ or psychotherapists; and/or
(c) offer training to counsellors and/or psychotherapists; and/or
(d) have personnel who use counselling skills in the course of their work.

The Organisational Member will be the company or organisation which provides any of the aforementioned services.

2.1 An Organisational Member has one nominated representative to speak and exercise two votes at BACP General Meetings and elections.

3. Honorary Status

The Board of Governors shall have the power in its sole discretion to grant honorary status to individuals or organisations not being Members of the Association upon such terms and conditions as it from time to time shall determine. Holders of honorary status shall not be Members of the Association and shall not be entitled to any of the rights of Members (other than the rights to receive journals as determined by the Board of Governors from time to time). The award of an honorary status may be withdrawn at any time by the Board of Governors where information is received about the person concerned which has, or could bring the reputation of counselling and/or psychotherapy and/or the name of BACP into disrepute.

4. Fellowship FBACP

Fellowship is not a Membership category but is an honour, bestowed upon successful applicants/nominees by the Board of Governors, upon Members or non members who have given distinguished service to the counselling and/or psychotherapy profession or who give or have given distinguished service to BACP. Fellowship status does not confer additional voting rights to those which derive from a person’s Membership status. Members in this category may use the designatory letters FBACP and/ or their appropriate membership category designatory letters. Fellows who are not members of BACP or hold a membership category with no designatory letters may use the designatory letters FBACP.

4.1 The misuse of designatory letters

Members shall be entitled to use designatory letters but must act in accordance with the Association’s Advertising Policy as revised from time to time. Members found to be using the designatory letters when not permitted to do so, or using them in a manner that is inconsistent with the right of use, and/ or suggesting explicitly or by implication that the use of such letters represents a qualification of any kind, may be subject to the Association’s Professional Conduct Procedures and/or have their continuing membership of the Association considered by the Board of Governors under powers derived from the Articles of Association. This may include the imposition of sanctions up to and including the termination of membership of BACP.

5. Professional conduct

5.1 The Board of Governors shall from time to time determine the regulations and the development of procedures concerning the method by which any allegations of misconduct, civil, criminal, and disciplinary or any other action, which raises questions about a person’s continuing or past membership, will be considered by the Association.

5.2 It shall be for any Member or any person to bring to the attention of the Registrar of the Association any facts or matters, which indicates that a Member may have breached any ethical guidelines, as produced from time to time, or been subject to any civil, criminal or disciplinary action of any kind. Any such information received shall be dealt with in accordance with the relevant procedures in operation at the time of receipt.

6. Accreditation

6.1 The Board of Governors shall from time to time determine the criteria and approve the procedures for the conduct of the Association’s systems for Accreditation.

6.2 The Board of Governors may, as required, establish working group(s) to advise it on the operation, development, amendment, revocation or closure of schemes devised for the Accreditation of individuals or organisations.

6.3 The Board of Governors may from time to time establish reciprocal arrangements and/or equivalent routes to Accreditation/Registration with such other counselling and/or psychotherapy and/or other cognate professional bodies as it shall determine.

6.4 The Board of Governors shall have the right for good and sufficient reason to terminate the Accreditation/ Registration/Membership of any Member provided that the Member in question, or a representative of the Member, shall have the right to be heard by the Board of Governors or a sub-committee of the Board of Governors under any procedure set up for this purpose by the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors shall be entitled to delegate the hearing process to a sub-committee which will act in accordance with any relevant procedure or terms of reference which the Board of Governors may determine from time to time.

7. General meetings

7.1 Notice of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be sent by the Secretary to members not less than fourteen Clear Days before the date of the meeting.

7.2 Resolutions, other than those proposed by the Board of Governors, to be considered at the AGM (other than Resolutions for amendments to the Articles of Association which are dealt with under Article 60) shall be submitted to the Secretary in writing by a date to be fixed by her/him, and shall be sent to Members not less than fourteen Clear Days before the meeting.

7.3 Resolutions, other than those proposed by the Board of Governors or resolutions to remove a member of the Board of Governors and/or appoint a replacement, shall be supported by at least 5% of the Members entitled to vote. The Proposer and Seconder must attend the AGM to present the Resolution. Amendments to Resolutions shall be accepted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Chair of the meeting after consultation with the Proposer and Seconder of the Resolution and only to the extent that they are ordinary resolutions and any such amendment does not change the general nature of the business.

7.4 The Board of Governors may liaise with the Proposer and Seconder of a Resolution in order to clarify the wording of the Resolution to ensure clarity and remove any ambiguity prior to the proposed Resolution being circulated to Members. The Board of Governors may refuse to accept a Resolution if, in the opinion of the Board of Governors the Resolution or any related explanatory statement contains material which is, or might be, defamatory of any person or which it would, or might, be otherwise unlawful to publish.

7.5 A Resolution can be withdrawn if both the Proposer and Seconder confirm this in writing to the Board of Governors or such other person as it shall specify.

7.6 The Resolution will only be put to a vote of the Members entitled to vote if the Resolution has the requisite percentage of support from the Members.

7.7 The Proposer of a Resolution may speak for no more than five minutes and the Seconder of a Resolution for no more than two minutes unless the Chair of the meeting shall allow otherwise. Each speaker in subsequent debate may speak for no more than three minutes unless the Chair of the meeting shall allow otherwise.

7.8 Voting shall be by a show of voting cards or by such other means as the Board of Governors or any relevant sub-committee may determine. A simple majority shall be sufficient to pass a Resolution except for those seeking to amend the Articles of Association (see Article 60) or any other matter which requires a special resolution. A special resolution shall require at least 75% of votes cast to be in favour of the resolution in order for the resolution to be passed. The Chair of the meeting’s decision on whether to count the votes shall be final.

7.9 Any Member, standing and showing a voting card or by such other appropriate means, may propose a move to next business. The Chair of the meeting has absolute discretion to accept or refuse such a proposal.

7.10 In the conduct of the meeting the decision of the Chair of the meeting in any matter not covered by these Standing Orders shall be final. In respect of motions the Chair of the meeting shall have the discretion to limit the length of discussion on any particular subject and to impose a time limit on individual speakers.

7.11 Notices of motion may only be proposed by the Board of Governors or by at least 0.1% of the Members entitled to vote supporting a motion proposed by a Member (the ‘Motion Proposer’). Notices of motion may be submitted by Members in Writing to be received at the Office by the Secretary, or such other person as the Association shall specify from time to time, by such date to be fixed by the Secretary.

7.12 The Board of Governors may decide on the most appropriate course of action relating to each submitted motion. Such actions may include but are not limited to merging a motion with a similar motion(s) that have been submitted and rejecting a motion as being inappropriate.

7.13 The Board of Governors may liaise with the Motion Proposer of a motion in order to clarify the wording of the motion to ensure clarity and remove any ambiguity prior to the Board of Governors further considering the motion. A motion will only be put to a vote of the Members entitled to vote if the motion has the requisite percentage of support from the Members. A motion shall be passed if a simple majority of the votes cast are cast in favour of the motion.

7.14 The Board of Governors shall ultimately determine how any motion proposed by Members which is passed shall be acted upon by the Association. For the avoidance of doubt motions proposed by Members which are passed shall not be legally binding on the Association.

 

8. Board of Governors

8.1 Election to the Board of Governors shall be by ballot by single transferable vote, supervised by an appropriate external organisation appointed by the President of the Association.

8.2 Nominations for election to the Board of Governors shall be requested by the Secretary and must be returned proposed and seconded by members entitled to vote, to be received by a date to be fixed by the Secretary. Where appropriate ballot papers (“Ballot Papers”) shall be circulated by any means deemed appropriate by the Board of Governors or any relevant sub-committee including electronically to the members entitled to vote, and who are on the register of members for company law purposes when voting opens, listing those who have been nominated (“Nominees”), and must be returned to an address whether a physical or electronic address designated by the Secretary to be received by a date to be fixed by the Secretary.

8.3 The result of the ballot in respect of the elected Governors and the names of the Governors appointed by the Board of Governors shall be published in the Association’s journal and on the website and formally announced at the Annual General Meeting.

8.4 The Board of Governors shall meet at least two times a year.

8.5 The Chairs of all sub-committees will be appointed by the Board of Governors and the sub-committees will be accountable to membership via the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors will determine the procedures to be followed for the appointment of subcommittee Chairs.

8.6 All sub-committees and boards or working groups established by the Board of Governors shall have Terms of Reference, which will include the scope of their activities, their composition, the delegation of powers and the frequency of meeting where deemed appropriate (approved by the Board of Governors).

9. Divisions

9.1 Divisions may be formed within the Association at the discretion of the Board of Governors for sector interest groups in counselling and psychotherapy. The objects of Divisions shall be in accordance with the objects of the Association. A Division shall consist of at least 50 members.

9.2 Membership of a Division is optional however Members of a Division shall be Members of the Association. Members of the Association may apply to join as many Divisions as they wish.

9.3 The formation of a Division shall be provisionally when the Division’s Terms of Reference have been approved by the Board of Governors. The Division shall be formally constituted by the decision of a General Meeting of the Association. Amendments to the Terms of Reference shall be submitted to the Board of Governors for approval before coming into force.

9.4 A Division of the Association shall be named according to its broad function and approved by the Board of Governors. The description ‘A Division of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’ will appear on all documentation.

9.5 Each Division shall notify the Secretary in writing of the names of its Officers upon their election or appointment.

9.6 Each Division shall submit a written report of its activities to the Board of Governors at least once a year.

9.7 Each Division shall normally be financially self supporting with income and expenditure being subject to budget approval by the Board of Governors.

9.8 Each Division shall, subject to the approval of the Board of Governors, determine its own membership fee through the budget process, any changes to which shall apply from 1 April each year.

9.9 Should a Divisional Executive Committee wish to dissolve the Division, it must first consult the Board of Governors. If there is still a wish within the Division for it to be dissolved, an assenting majority vote of its total voting members is required. Dissolution is subject to the ratification by the Board of Governors.

9.10 The Board of Governors shall have the power to propose the dissolution of a Division when it deems this to be in the best interests of the Association. Such a proposal to dissolve must first be passed by at least two thirds of the Board of Governors present and voting. The Division in question shall be advised in writing of the reason for the proposed action.

9.11 In the event of a Division being dissolved, money in the Division’s account will revert to the Association’s general funds.

10. Registers of Counsellors and Psychotherapists

10.1 Registers of Counsellors and Psychotherapists may be found within the Association to include the names of those individuals who meet the criteria as determined by the Board of Governors from time to time.

10.2 The Registers will be organised in such a way as the Board of Governors shall from time to time approve.

10.3 All publications, notices and correspondence and relevant associated documentation from the Registers will display the Association logo, company number, registered office and charity number as required by company and charity law.

10.4 Registered Counsellors and Psychotherapists will have attained a standard of training, competence and experience in counselling and psychotherapy defined by the Board of Governors or a sub-committee of the Board of Governors.

10.5 Registration fees (if any) shall be determined by the Board of Governors.

10.6 Pursuant to paragraph 5 above, the Registrar will administer the procedures in relation to any allegations of misconduct, civil, criminal and disciplinary or any other action that raises questions about a member/ registrant’s continuing membership/registration of the Association/BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.