Here you can find answers to some commonly asked questions about SCoPEd; what it is, our aims for SCoPEd and the likely next steps.

1. What is the SCoPEd framework?

The SCoPEd (Scope of Practice and Education) framework is a ground-breaking shared framework that maps existing core competences and practice standards for counsellors and psychotherapists working with adults.

It’s been collaboratively developed and adopted by six PSA accredited bodies across counselling and psychotherapy, including BACP.

Minimum training standards and required skills, knowledge and experience of counsellors and psychotherapists have been mapped across five themes:

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

SCoPEd is not a stand-alone framework developed in isolation – for BACP it’s an integrated part of our work to promote the best interests of all members.

2. What is BACP's aim for SCoPEd?

We believe the SCoPEd framework will showcase the value of all our members as highly skilled professionals, enabling a credible, diverse and thriving counselling and psychotherapy profession and increasing employment opportunities.

It will provide greater clarity about the wide range of skills, knowledge, training and experience that our members have, and will help counselling and psychotherapy be better understood, valued and trusted by clients, employers, commissioners and society.

3. When was the latest SCoPEd framework published?

The latest version of the framework was published by the SCoPEd partners on 2 February 2022. You can find the SCoPEd framework January 2022 on our web page. 

4. Will the SCoPEd framework restrict the therapeutic services that I offer?

No. SCoPEd is intended to be an enabling framework not a restrictive one. You’ll still be able to provide all the services you currently do, and practise competences in other SCoPEd framework columns providing you have the right skills, knowledge, training and experience to do so.

For example, if you are a therapist in column A, you may have one or more of the competences listed in columns B or C and you’ll be able to continue to deliver therapy based on those competences. Alternatively, you may have additional specialisms which sit outside the framework. The key thing is working within your competence which is a requirement of the Ethical Framework.

5. Will I be able to move between the different columns of the SCoPEd framework? 

Yes. our membership categories are aligned to the SCoPEd framework columns. You can apply to move membership category if you have the right skills, knowledge, training and experience to do so. You’ll will need to meet all eligibility criteria and submit evidence of your reflective practice.

Visit where will I be represented in the SCoPEd framework for details about which column your membership category aligns to and how you can apply to move membership category.

6. Is my existing training, knowledge and experience still valid with the SCoPEd framework?

Yes. All your existing training, knowledge and experience is valid and you’ll still be able to provide all the services you currently do and practise competences in other SCoPEd columns providing you have the right skills, knowledge, training, and experience to do so.

Eligible members who want to apply to move membership category can do so using our transition accreditation mechanisms. In early 2026 we expect more new accreditation routes to be available for members to move membership category. These routes will consider training and CPD alongside other existing skills and experience. More details will be published during 2025.

7. Is the SCoPEd framework a mechanism for bringing in statutory regulation?  

No. The SCoPEd framework isn’t  connected to the issue of statutory regulation. Decisions about statutory regulation are made by the Government, not by professional bodies.

However, if the Government decides to go down that route, we are keen that our profession is prepared and best positioned to inform and influence the way statutory regulation is implemented. The SCoPEd framework, with its emphasis on the distinct characteristics and qualities of counselling and psychotherapy, as distinct from the biomedical approaches, will go some way towards making the argument that this profession needs a bespoke approach by those with strong understanding of the profession rather than a generic health regulator.

8. Is the SCoPEd framework seeking to align counselling and psychotherapy with NICE guidelines and IAPT?

Quite the opposite. SCoPEd maps the current training and practice requirements for counsellors and psychotherapists working with adults which represents the rigour, competences and standards of the profession beyond the NHS context. 

We see the framework as a powerful way of promoting counselling and psychotherapy as an alternative, evidence-based approach which challenges the existing narrow IAPT focus by presenting the skills and competences of all our registrants in a way that is accessible and authoritative. The intention is to inform and influence policymakers and to promote patient choice with far greater access for all to a wider range of modalities.