The Scope of Practice and Education (SCoPEd) framework is a ground-breaking shared standards’ framework, developed by six Professional Standards Authority accredited bodies, including BACP, which represent over 75,000 counsellors and psychotherapists.

It transparently sets out the core training, practice and competence requirements for counsellors and psychotherapists working with adults.

You can watch our introduction to SCoPEd animation, and download the January 2022 version of the SCoPEd framework or background methodology information by clicking on the links in the box.

BACP Chief Executive Hadyn Williams said:

“This is a major step forward for our members and the wider counselling and psychotherapy profession, and it’s very important to reinforce that SCoPEd is about evolution not revolution – nothing changes at this stage for BACP or our members.

"We’re continuing to work closely with our partners in this important area, and later this year BACP’s Board will decide whether and how to adopt the SCoPEd framework. If we adopt the framework for BACP, we will take the time to make sure that adoption and transition periods are clearly communicated, with opportunities for members to engage and ask questions.

"I’d like to thank all the BACP members, partners and staff who have contributed to the framework’s development so far. Your input and feedback has been extremely valuable, has been listened to and has helped shape and improve this version of the framework.”

A joint publication

This January 2022 version of the SCoPEd framework is the first to be developed jointly by the six Professional Standards Authority register bodies that make up the SCoPEd Partnership and together represent over 75,000 counsellors and psychotherapists.

The chief executives of the six SCoPEd partners have published a joint announcement welcoming the January 2022 framework and outlining the next steps for the partnership.

What are the key changes in this version of the framework?

There have been significant updates and improvements made to the framework since the previous version was published in July 2020. The key changes include:

  • greater emphasis on the role of the therapeutic relationship and the qualities of the therapist
  • further focus on equality, diversity and inclusion as a theme embedded and integrated throughout the framework
  • additional standards relating to online and phone therapy
  • more consistent use of language that is inclusive and more accessible to a wider audience
  • the addition of a glossary of terms

What will the SCoPEd partnership do now?

BACP and the other SCoPEd partners are now entering phase two of our work together, and we have jointly committed to:

  • continuing to develop the framework to provide essential information to clients, patients and service users to make informed choices about the support they seek
  • conducting an impact assessment of the SCoPEd framework
  • creating a shared set of principles – based around fairness, inclusion and transparency – for implementing the framework
  • working towards agreed shared ‘column titles’ which are not included in this version
  • agreeing transparent and evidence-based mechanisms for members and registrants to progress between the columns of the framework as they develop their training, skills, knowledge and experience throughout their professional journey

We are looking forward to moving ahead collectively on this phase two activity in the coming weeks and months.

Intellectual property notice

The SCoPEd framework has been developed using an evidence-based process. The contents remain the property of the Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC), the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC), the Human Givens Institute (HGI), the National Counselling Society (NCS) and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) as part of the SCoPEd collaboration. The intended use of the framework is to inform the development of course content, curricula and practice standards, and therefore the contents of the SCoPEd framework may not be altered in any way.

Copyright notice

These materials are subject to copyright of the Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC), the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC), the Human Givens Institute (HGI), the National Counselling Society (NCS) and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) as part of the SCoPEd collaboration ©January 2022. All rights reserved.

Shared ownership

From the outset, the partners’ vision has been that the framework would be freely available for anyone to use with the appropriate acknowledgements.

All partners are co-owners of the copyright and framework, with the project and framework overseen by the SCoPEd Oversight Committee.