Here you can find answers to some commonly asked questions about the SCoPEd framework itself.

1. What type of framework is SCoPEd and what does it represent?

SCoPEd is a competence framework that maps the core competences, training and practice standards for counselling and psychotherapy with adults grouped under five themes.

 The framework is generic, so doesn’t make any distinctions between the different modalities and approaches that exist across counselling and psychotherapy.

 The SCoPEd framework does not include specialisms, some of which have their own competence frameworks (for example, CYP, Workplace, on-line and phone therapy).

2. What is a competence framework?

Competence frameworks identify and bring together all the relevant standards that are key to working effectively in a specified area.

A competence framework would give us a way of representing the diverse and varied knowledge, skills and experience of our members to external audiences. The SCoPEd framework includes a mapping of training and practice requirements.

3. Is this the final version of the SCoPEd framework?

No. We are anticipating that the next iteration of the framework will be published by the partners in early 2022. 

The current iteration (published July 2020) is an important step on the journey to this final version. The SCoPEd partners are working hard to consider member feedback and make further changes where supported by the evidence.

If BACP adopts the SCoPEd framework, there would be a clearly defined adoption and transition period where we would work with our members to make sure your skills and experience reflect where you would be represented in the framework. You can find more information on our SCoPEd next steps page.

4. What themes does the draft SCoPEd framework include?

Core training and counsellors and psychotherapists’ skills and knowledge has been mapped across five themes:

  • professional framework
  • assessment
  • relationship
  • knowledge and skills
  • self-awareness and reflection

5. What's different in the latest draft iteration of SCoPEd? 

As a result of your feedback, the SCoPEd partners have already made changes to the framework. For example, in the latest iteration of the draft framework (July 2020) we have collectively:

  • added, removed and amended a number of the competences
  • removed initial column titles in order to focus on the competence detail
  • changed some of the language used in and around the framework
  • added more members to the Expert Reference Group (ERG) to make it more representative of different modalities
  • included representatives from the four new partners in the SCoPEd Oversight Committee (SOC), Technical Group (TG) and ERGs

The partnership listens to, reads and considers all submissions made about the SCoPEd framework, but can only consider making changes to the draft framework where the evidence submitted meets the research criteria

The SCoPEd partners are continuing to review and assess the evidence submitted after the publication of the last iteration of the framework and, where appropriate, make recommendations to the ERG for further changes.

6. Why were the column titles removed from the latest (July 2020) iteration of the framework?

Specific column titles were removed from the July 2020 iteration of the framework and replaced with column A, column B and column C in order to focus on the detail of the competences and practice standards included within them.

The column titles that were used in the first iteration of the framework should have been more carefully considered, and we recognise that their inclusion caused concern among some of our members.

7. What will the column titles be in the final SCoPEd framework? 

The final column names will be decided by the wider SCoPEd partnership.

BACP will continue to play an active role in listening to and reflecting on the feedback we receive, with a focus on what is best for our members and those who use and employ your services.  

8. What is the entry point on the draft SCoPEd framework?

Entry points are where the competences and practice standards can be achieved upon successfully completing a core training which meets the criteria for a column of the framework.

The mapped gateways and entry points in this draft framework reflect existing accreditation schemes, registration points and membership categories but, in the future, there could be other mechanisms for recognising post-qualifying training and experience that meet the relevant competences and practice standards.

9. What is the gateway on the draft SCoPEd framework? 

A gateway is a progression point that enables a therapist to evidence that they have met the required competences and practice requirements to progress from one column to another.

The draft framework recognises that therapists will have continued to train and gain experience throughout their career that would mean they meet additional competences. Using the gateways, existing members could move through the columns by evidencing their post-qualifying training and experience.

10. Would I need a degree to be represented in column B or C in the SCoPEd framework?

No. You don’t have to have a degree to meet the competences of column B or C.

The draft framework recognises that therapists will have continued to train and gain experience throughout their career that would mean they meet additional competences. Using the gateways, existing members could move through the columns by evidencing their post-qualifying training and experience.

11. Would a three year counselling or psychotherapy Masters course fulfil column C requirements in the SCoPEd framework?

The SCoPEd framework isn’t entirely focused on course title or level. Therapists would need to meet all of the standards in the column (which includes duration of training, client hours and assessed competences).

12. Would I have to complete additional, expensive training to move between columns in the SCoPEd framework?

No. While some longer, more in depth (and generally more expensive) trainings currently offer direct entry into a different column, the SCoPEd framework would recognise the diverse and varied skills, knowledge and experience our members have gained since qualifying.

The use of entry points and gateways would enable therapists to move between columns by evidencing their post-qualifying training and experience. We believe this would increase access to affordable training and diversity among therapists in all three columns.

13. What types of placement would meet the requirements for a mental health placement?

It’s important that the placement and the associated teaching and practice experience appropriately prepares the student to gain the competence to work in mental health contexts and contribute towards the broader column C competences.

This would depend on many factors such as the tutor team, the placements that are available in your area and the mental health familiarisation content of the course.

However, please remember that column C competence in the draft framework is about much more than the mental health placement. It is also about the length, depth and complexity of the training which is then supported by a mental health placement.

14. Is personal therapy included in the draft SCoPEd framework?

Personal therapy is not straightforward because some trainings put more emphasis on personal therapy than others. This is more to do with the theoretical approach than competences and practice standards. It therefore hasn’t been possible to map a common standard for personal therapy as a requirement. It’s possible that this will continue to be an area of difference.

15. Are specialisms included in the draft SCoPEd framework?

No. At this time, the draft SCoPEd framework only maps the generic competences of the five themes, training and practice standards necessary for working with adults.

All of our members are valued and are trusted to use their professional judgement to practise any specialisms in line with our current Ethical Framework and with support from their supervisor, as they do now. This won’t change.

16. Does the draft SCoPEd framework include vocational training routes?

Yes. The draft SCoPEd framework recognises the diverse and varied entry points into the counselling and psychotherapy profession including vocational diplomas. This is one of the defining features of the draft framework, and is unlike other professions where a degree is the only entry point.

The SCoPEd framework would enable us to better represent the skills of our members, as well as offering clearer progression routes or ‘gateways’ for those who want to do further training.

17. Which courses meet the competences for each column?

Individual courses haven’t been mapped to the framework as part of this work but if the framework is agreed and adopted it is likely that courses will want to take account of the SCoPEd framework in describing the training they offer.

18. When would training providers be able to start mapping their trainings to the SCoPEd framework?

Training providers could start to map their provisions to the framework once a final iteration of the SCoPEd framework is agreed and if adopted by the various partners.

19. Would all tutors need to have formal training that aligns with the columns on the SCoPEd framework?

Any training team should be competent to deliver their course. This includes a combined competence covering the areas being taught, rather than each individual tutor being competent in all areas. 

20. What does ‘mental health familiarisation’ mean in the draft SCoPEd framework?

We understand that it’s hard to define what mental health familiarisation means, in relation to the framework.

The intention is to offer people the opportunity to gain the knowledge, understanding and insight that equips them to work within or alongside other mental health services, with clients who have extraordinary needs and with family members of mental health service users.

This includes a knowledge and understanding of:

  • a working awareness of presentation, diagnosis and treatment in the context of UK mental health care services
  • a range of appropriate models of assessment which include (but are not limited to) learning about how the medical model understands mental wellbeing and mental illness
  • the influence of socio-economics, class, gender, disability, age, culture, religion, race and sexuality on the incidence, definition, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness and mental health
  • the impact of intersectionality (where a person belongs to more than one marginalised group)
  • the wider contexts of mental health provision in order to develop sensitive practice appropriate to the needs of people who experience greater mental and emotional distress

In relation to the wider mental health system it would also include an understanding and appreciation of:

  • the impact on clients and their families of mental health presentations, diagnosis, stigma and social attitudes
  • the different professional and personal roles in mental health care
  • how the role of the therapist sits within the wider system
  • recognising the therapist’s role in provision of non-discriminatory services for people with exceptional needs; preventing additional mental health distress caused by normative social expectations and exclusion
  •  relevant ethical and legal considerations, including appropriate familiarity with the Mental Health Act 2007 and the Equality Act 2010

There is no one way of meeting these standards. Training organisations may choose how to fulfil these standards which may be via lectures, videos, a formal placement. Some practitioners may gain this knowledge through first-hand experience in an appropriate setting.