Ensuring all students have access to a counselling service within their university or college is a strategic priority for BACP. We want to increase counselling provision in the sector and build an evidence base demonstrating the effectiveness of in-house counselling for students.

We're collaborating with the SCORE consortium, a group of university and college counselling services, and UKCP to develop and analyse a shared routine outcomes database.

Why are we doing this project?

University and college counselling services face increasing demands due to the growing number of students experiencing mental health difficulties related to various personal and academic challenges. Due to COVID-19, we anticipate a rise in student isolation, anxiety and transition issues which will pose even greater demands.

The sector is currently under-funded, rapidly evolving and requires an up-to-date evidence base to demonstrate the effectiveness of counselling. This project aligns with our wider strategy for promoting the use of routine outcome measures in counselling services and evidencing counselling effectiveness. 

What are we doing?

A barrier to pooling this data effectively is the lack of consistency in the way services collect information from clients and their chosen outcome measures. Our role is to facilitate the use of data collection tools, outcome measures and electronic recording through training sessions and ongoing support for SCORE members.  

The project began in October 2018 and pilot and feasibility activities have included:

  • implementing improved data collection standards for services
  • developing a pooled dataset from the current SCORE consortium members
  • training and supporting members in use and recording of outcome measures
  • working with two measures; the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) and the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms (CCAPS)
  • conducting online consultations with practitioners and students to inform the development of a standard minimum dataset for the sector

How can you get involved?

Join the consortium

We're inviting more student counselling services to join the consortium. We welcome practitioners or heads of service working in an FE and HE counselling services, researchers with expertise to add to the group and organisations wishing to shape our work.

Find out more about joining the consortium

Complete our survey

We’re currently exploring the data that services routinely collect about their students to help identify similarities and gaps and inform a recommended minimum set of data that services should collect. We've launched a survey and are holding a series of online focus groups.

Complete the survey

If you’d like more information about this project, please email research@bacp.co.uk