Promoting ethical practice

Ethical practice is central to a counselling professional's work. We're committed to promoting ethical practice by developing evidence-based training standards, providing resources to support our members' ethical practice standards, and providing quality assurance to courses, services and individual practitioners through our accreditation schemes. Our Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions assures clients, employers, agencies and peers that our members are committed professionals who practise in an ethical way.

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 work is vital in enhancing public protection and expanding choice, availability and access to safe psychological therapy services. We're committed to improving recognition of the counselling professions as a valuable asset in the workforce and to increasing funding for all mental health services.

Demonstrating the effectiveness of counselling

We have a critical role to play in supporting and publicising the growing research base for counselling. Research helps us to show that counselling changes lives, providing evidence for the range of issues where therapy can be effective and the positive outcomes for clients. It also supports us in making persuasive arguments to policy makers and commissioners for choice, availability and accessibility of psychological therapies. We take a pluralistic approach to research, including data from trials, practice-based studies and qualitative, theory-building cases.

Setting professional standards

Our Register is accredited under the Accredited Register programme set up by the Department of Health and administered by the Professional Standards Authority. We set and uphold high standards for our members, both for initial registration and for maintaining registered status. We audit 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.