Here you can find answers to some commonly asked questions about SCoPEd – this page focuses on why SCoPEd is important and the different benefits it can help us deliver.
1. Why is SCoPEd important?
2. How does SCoPEd help deliver BACP member priorities?
3. How will SCoPEd help therapists and trainees?
4. How would SCoPEd help employers, commissioners and wider society?
5. How will SCoPEd help encourage diversity and inclusion?
6. How will SCoPEd enable opportunities for progression?
7. How will SCoPED bring greater credibility to the profession?
8. How will SCoPEd help those who employ therapists and commission our services?
9. Why does BACP believe SCoPEd would increase access to paid opportunities for members?
10. How will SCoPEd make it easier to campaign for paid roles for column A members, or those who have not sought accreditation?
SCoPEd is important because it will bring benefits for all BACP members, clients, counsellors, psychotherapists, trainees, employers, commissioners and wider society.
We are working on our members’ behalf to deliver your priorities – to agree standards for the profession, protect clients from unsafe or unethical practice and provide you with the resources and support you need to practise. SCoPEd is critical to delivering on these priorities.
Beyond our own membership, the challenge is that there’s no common framework for training and standards across professional bodies. Terms such as accredited and registered mean different things in different organisations. This can be confusing for employers and commissioners and ultimately means that you miss out on development and paid opportunities.
By ensuring our profession is better understood, valued and trusted, we believe it will increase access to paid opportunities for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists and enable them to thrive wherever they are represented in the framework.
SCoPEd is key in delivering three of BACP members’ five main priorities highlighted in our 2022 member survey.
- setting standards for the profession
- protecting clients from unsafe or unethical practice, and
- providing members with resources that support professional and ethical practice
The SCoPEd framework will:
- enable opportunities for growth for all trainees and qualified counsellors and psychotherapists at all stages of their professional journey, without having to retrain
- bring greater clarity to the profession as a shared framework, developed and agreed by six PSA accredited register bodies
- encourage a diverse and varied profession accessible by therapists with very different backgrounds and types and levels of training, knowledge and experience
- give employers and commissioners a single framework to use, which would help the profession become better understood, valued and trusted by those who employ therapists and commission our services
By ensuring our profession is better understood, valued and trusted, we believe SCoPEd will increase access to paid opportunities for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists and enable them to thrive, wherever they are represented in the framework.
The SCoPEd framework will:
- present a clearer picture of the wider counselling and psychotherapy profession, showing collaboration across the profession in this way for the first time
- distinguish highly trained and qualified counsellors and psychotherapists – which includes all BACP members – from those who undertake trainings which fall far short of the minimum requirements identified in the SCoPEd framework
- give greater clarity about the range of skills that different counsellors and psychotherapists can provide
- map shared minimum training standards, knowledge and experience in this way for the first time
- enable employers and commissioners to make more evidence-based and informed choices by improving their understanding of the skills, knowledge and experience of a wider pool of qualified therapists
Ultimately, SCoPEd will enable counsellors and psychotherapists to have greater access to more opportunities to provide professional help for people across society.
We recognise and value different entry routes to counselling and psychotherapy.
The diverse range of backgrounds, approaches, philosophies and professional training that our members bring to their work is a huge strength of BACP, and SCoPEd will further enhance and embed that diversity.
Ensuring fair access to the profession is critically important for trainees and clients and a key part of our Equality, diversity and inclusion strategy.
SCoPEd is an inclusive framework that will encourage a diverse and varied profession by:
- ensuring different points of entry for different people at different levels – for example, the framework recognises that you are a qualified therapist with a level 4 qualification or a level 7 qualification
- laying out more accessible routes for progression regardless of where you first enter the framework – for example, enabling all members to move between columns without having to retrain
We believe that having transparent and flexible mechanisms to move between membership categories (and therefore the SCoPEd columns) would make it easier for all members, including those from diverse backgrounds and marginalised and disadvantaged communities to progress.
In time, SCoPEd would help to significantly change the demographic of therapists at those levels which are currently very under represented and difficult to enter unless you do the ‘right’ core training.
Until now there has been no shared framework. As a result, you are faced with an often-bewildering range of options with no clear pathways for you to identify and choose to focus on for your professional development.
SCoPEd will enable you to plan and develop your professional journeys with much more certainty and understanding, and this would apply to trainees and qualified counsellors and psychotherapists at all stages of their professional journey.
SCoPEd will give greater clarity about the range of skills that different counsellors and psychotherapists can provide.
It will present a clearer picture of the wider counselling and psychotherapy profession, showing collaboration across the profession in this way for the first time in a shared professional standards framework.
This is far more credible than each membership body developing its own professional standards framework, which creates a lack of consistency and clarity across our profession.
Instead of having to engage with six or more professional bodies, commissioners and employers would be able to use one shared professional standards framework to inform decisions based on competences and practice standards.
The development of SCoPEd is already creating opportunities that didn’t previously exist. For example, the profession now has representation on the NHS’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Stakeholder Group as a direct result of the evidence that professional bodies are able to work together in the common interests of clients and those who use our services.
SCoPEd is a tool that would enable us to better represent and describe what all of our members can do, wherever they are represented in the framework, which will increase understanding and awareness of the profession.
With the leading professional bodies working together with one voice and acting collectively in the interests of clients, we will be able to engage more effectively with key external stakeholders like employers, commissioners and government.
We believe this mix of increased engagement with key stakeholders and the clearer representation within the framework of the skills and value that BACP members can bring to the clients, employers and commissioners you work with is vitally important.
We truly believe that SCoPEd would create access to more paid opportunities for you at all stages of your professional journey.
Services have welcomed the framework because it’s a way of understanding the different membership categories across organisations as well as identifying the skills that applicants have, especially those in column A. We believe it will help to create paid employment opportunities for people in column A.
It’s already had a positive effect, for example, one particular employee assistance programme (EAP) organisation has removed the requirement to be accredited and are looking at the evidence of what they need for their counselling services with more following. Alongside this, and as a direct result of our advocacy work with employers, there is a growing recognition that affiliate counsellor rates (the hourly rate paid to counsellors working for employers on a self-employed basis) need to and will increase.
We’re advocating for all of our members, building links and relationships with policy makers and working closely with organisations, commissioners and employers, across all sectors in which we know our members could contribute to a workforce and importantly, for them to be appropriately paid for the work they do.