Since the publication of the next draft iteration of the SCoPEd framework in July 2020, we’ve noticed a number of misconceptions arise on social media and via our inbox. We’ve taken this opportunity to try and dispel some of the most commonly seen misconceptions, to help ease members concerns over how the framework might affect them.

BACP members will be stuck in column A

This is not the case. The new draft iteration of the SCoPEd framework recognises the additional post-qualifying training and experience our existing members have. Using the gateways, members could move through the columns if they can demonstrate that their post-qualifying training and experience meets the competences and practice requirements of that column.

It’s better to be in column C

All registered therapists are respected and valued. It’s not to say that by meeting all of the competences and practice standards of column C that an individual can be classed as a ‘better’ therapist. The framework recognises existing members initial qualifying training along with any post-qualifying training and experience they have gained throughout their career.

BACP members can’t get into column C

This is also not the case. There’ll be a lot of existing BACP members who meet the competences and practice standards of column C. They may not have completed the requirements at initial qualification, but they could have met these requirements through additional post-qualifying training and experience. If this can be evidenced, existing members could move into column C through the gateways.

You’ll have to retrain to get into column C to have 500 face to face training hours

No you won’t. Historically, you would have had to re-train to meet the competences of column C, but the benefit of the SCoPEd framework is that you could use your post-qualifying training to go towards meeting this requirement of column C.

You’ll have to work for free to meet the mental health familiarisation standard

This is not the intention. The mental health familarisation requirement could be met a number of ways. We envision that some members will already have met this requirement through their post-qualifying training and experience.

I’m being defined based on the course I chose to undertake many years ago

We can reassure you that you’re not. The framework recognises that therapists will have continued to train and will have gained 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.

I’ll never be in column C as my training didn’t have 450 client hours

The framework recognises that initial training doesn’t always cover the 450 face to face client hours of column C and that many existing members will have done additional training post-qualifying. Providing this can be evidenced, existing members can use their post-qualifying face to face practice to show they meet this requirement of column C.

I don’t have a degree – I’ll never be in column B or C

You don’t have to have a degree to meet the competences of column B or C. Although it’s true that the most common qualification at level 7 is a degree or a masters, not all are.

Existing members may also have completed their initial training and then decided to do further training at higher levels. This post-qualifying training could be used to go towards meeting this requirement.

Employers will only want to employ therapists in column C

Employers will want to employ therapists that sit in all columns to meet the needs of their clients. The framework will make it easier for employers to see the range of skills and experience that members have. It doesn’t mean that employers will only want to use therapists who sit in column C because they meet all of the mapped competences. Each employer is different and it’s likely that for many employers, therapists who sit in column A or B will be more suited to client needs than those who sit in column C.

This is a money-making scheme to get members to apply for accreditation

This is not a money-making scheme. Accreditation is a personal choice and it’s down to the individual member whether they want to become accredited or not. Although we envision that accredited members will sit in column B, we recognise that there are existing members who meet the competences and practice standards of column B and have chosen not to apply for accreditation. We’ll need to develop agreed mechanisms for those members to evidence that they meet the competences and practice standards of column B (or C!)

The framework is elitist, only those who can afford to do extra training will be able to reach column C

This is not true. While longer more in depth (and generally more expensive) trainings could offer direct entry into Column C, the SCoPEd framework recognises there are different entry points for all members. It now also recognises that an individual’s post-qualifying training and experience could allow them to meet the practice requirements and competences of a column if their initial training didn’t. The framework offers opportunities for progression should members wish to move between columns and we believe this will increase access to affordable training and diversity among therapists in all three columns.

Taking the titles out doesn’t change anything

Feedback from our members was that the framework created a hierarchy. To move away from this and to focus on what the evidence is saying, we removed the titles for this iteration. When a final version of the framework is created, we’ll need to work towards agreeing titles that align with the columns, that’s part of the process and we’re being transparent about it.

SCoPEd is a push towards statutory regulation

Decisions about statutory regulation are made by the government, not by membership bodies. We’re not aware of any plans for statutory regulation and this does not form any part of the project aims. The three membership bodies who form the collaboration have joined together to address the confusion around the current landscape. The framework enables us to demonstrate a shared understanding of the high level of training of all our registered and qualified members in contrast to those who aren’t properly trained to meet recognised practice standards. If statutory regulation was introduced in the future, having a shared framework would put us in a better position to respond and shape the form that regulation might take.

You’re taking money from members, then saying they’re incompetent under SCoPEd

The framework shows that all registered members of BACP are qualified, competent, respected and valued. BACP is committed to promoting the competences and skills of all its members. The SCoPEd framework shows a mapping of the current landscape and the differences between where therapists sit within it, based on a number of different aspects. These include their initial training, their post-qualifying training and their experience. The framework recognises that all members will take different training and practice routes and allows for this to be evidenced through the entry points or gateways.

You think you have the power to rule the landscape

Not at all. We believe that working together to agree shared standards is a positive step for the profession and for the public. BACP, BPC and UKCP have formed a collaboration which has been a hugely positive step forward and was a manageable place to begin the SCoPEd project. We’ve always hoped that this involvement in the SCoPEd framework could be widened to include other PSA register holders and we’re actively exploring how to take this forward.