SCoPEd emerged as part of a joint solution from BACP, British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapists (UKCP) to resolve existing challenges caused by the lack of a shared framework for professional standards when engaging with government, employers, clients and commissioners.

No formal research was needed to identify these challenges – it was clear from our collective discussions with these important external stakeholders that this issue was, and still is, restricting opportunities for our members within the profession.

This page sets out how the development of SCoPEd has evolved since 2016 to where we are today, with a collaboration of six professional counselling and psychotherapy PSA accredited bodies working together to provide long-term benefits for the profession.

If you’re looking for information about the current governance arrangements for SCoPEd, you can find this on our SCoPEd governance page.

October 2015 – BACP, BPC and UKCP start formally working together

BACP, BPC and UKCP establish the Collaboration for Counselling and Psychotherapy Professions (CCPP) to explore areas of common ground for collaboration.

This was a broad collaboration initiative, approved by our Board and publicised to members, looking at areas like policy, lobbying, scope of practice and professional conduct.

September 2016 – BACP strategy agreed

Our 2016-17 strategy is agreed. It sets out a range of strategic intents, including one that states:

"We will define the scope of practice and standards of training and practice for the counselling professions, drawing on evidence and experience, reflected in differentiated membership categories."

Our Professional Standards strategy – which was focused on delivering this agreed strategic intent – was presented to and signed off by the Board. SCoPEd is included within this as a workstream.

October 2016 – Collaborative work on SCoPEd begins

CCPP gets agreement from respective boards to commence SCoPEd to try and bring transparency and agreement on our different titles, trainings and membership categories by mapping them in a competence framework with associated training and practice requirements.

August 2017 – Revised BACP Professional Standards strategy is agreed

As part of the revised Professional Standards strategy which is signed off by our Board, a revised and updated SCoPEd workstream is included.

The key change is to limit the aspiration of the original SCoPEd workstream to focus purely on core training and generic standards.

November 2017 – Collaborative SCoPEd groups formally established

Terms of Reference for the SCoPEd Steering Group (Chief Executives) and Technical Group (TG) (representatives of collaborating bodies) were agreed and their first meetings are held.

January 2018 – Expert Reference Group (ERG) established

Terms of Reference for the External Reference Group (ERG) are agreed and ERG members (external experts recruited according to established criteria) are recruited.

May 2018 – First SCoPEd feature published in Therapy Today

From the Chair, Therapy Today May 2018

November / December 2018 – First draft version of SCoPEd framework approved

The first version of the draft SCoPEd framework is signed off by respective boards of the three partners.

January 2019 – First draft version of SCoPEd framework published

The first version of the draft SCoPEd framework is published and shared with members and wider stakeholders with feedback.

It was accompanied by the SCoPEd methodology (2019) document.

March / April 2019 – Quantitative data on the feedback to first version published

Initial results of the first stage of consultation around SCoPEd are announced.

Initial results of SCoPEd

We update members on the SCoPEd consultation in Therapy Today, April 2019.

SCoPEd - where are we now

June 2019 – Qualitative feedback on the first version published

The feedback given as part of the consultation around SCoPEd is analysed and published.

Qualitative analysis from SCoPEd consultation

June 2019 – June 2020

The SCoPEd TG and ERG work through feedback and evidence and amend and update the draft framework

September 2019 – Board signs off new strategy

The Professional Standards strategy, including SCoPEd, sits under Goal 4 - developing and upholding professional and ethical standards, informed by an evidence base. This replaces the previous commitment to ‘differentiated standards of practice’.

June 2020 – Second draft version of SCoPEd framework approved

The second version of the draft SCoPEd framework is signed off by respective boards of the three partners.

July 2020 – Second draft version of SCoPEd framework published

The second version of the draft SCoPEd framework is published and shared with members and wider stakeholders for feedback.

SCoPEd competency framework July 2020 (pdf 8MB)

The methodology document was updated and published.

SCoPEd methodology update July 2020 (pdf 0.6MB)

July 2020 – Additional PSA accredited register bodies invited to join SCoPEd

All PSA counselling and psychotherapy accredited registers were invited to join SCoPEd.

The Association of Christians in Counselling and Linked Professions (ACC), Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP), Human Givens Institute (HGI) and National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS) accepted the invitation to join the SCoPEd partnership. Roundtable discussions start with an independent facilitator.

September 2020 – BACP Bulletin Board member engagement

BACP, UKCP and BPC members who provided feedback on the second version of the draft SCoPEd framework take part in an in-depth online focus group known as the Bulletin Board.

October 2020 – Quantitative data on the feedback to second iteration published

Results of the Summer 2020 member questionnaire are shared.

SCoPEd member questionnaire

November 2020 – BACP member specific questionnaire data published

Further information is provided about responses from our members to the SCoPEd Summer 2020 member questionnaire.

SCoPEd questionnaire BACP member data

November 2020 – SCoPEd partnership expanded to include seven partners

The first official SOC and TG meetings take place.

April 2021 – Bulletin Board feedback on second version published

Findings from the SCoPEd bulletin board are shared.

SCoPEd updates for members

April 2021 – Independent chair appointed for SOC and Experts by Experience (EbEs) appointed

The Independent chair works closely with the chief executives of the partners on the SOC to help navigate the challenges and opportunities of SCoPEd, building on the new collaboration.

The EbEs advise the SOC from the ‘client and service user’ perspective as the competence framework develops so that it works to improve the quality and safety of counselling and psychotherapy provision in the UK.

October 2021 – ACP to continue their role as observer

As the collaborative work progressed, ACP reviewed its role in the partnership and in October 2021 decided to step aside from the process because the framework is focused on work with adults and much of the specialist training and practice of ACP registrants falls outside the scope of this work. ACP agreed to continue in the capacity of observer to support the ongoing work of the SCoPEd partnership.

January 2022 – January SCoPEd framework approved

The January 2022 SCoPEd framework and accompanying methodology is signed off by SOC.

February 2022 – January 2022 SCoPEd framework published

The January 2022 SCoPEd framework and accompanying methodology is published by us and our partners.

You can download the January 2022 SCoPEd framework and accompanying methodology document on our SCoPEd framework page.

June 2022 – SCoPEd partner update and Q&A event held

The Independent Chair of the SCoPEd Oversight Committee, Paul Buckley, hosted the event. He was joined by representatives from each of the partners along with representation from our Experts by Experience. The free event provided updates about the collaborative work of the partnership and there was an opportunity for attendees to ask questions. 

Summer 2022 – Impact assessment commissioned

The independent impact assessment was commissioned by SCoPEd partners in summer 2022 following a competitive tender process. The contract was awarded to Eastside Primetimers, a consultancy and recruitment provider in the charity sector who advise on development, funding and growth, and have a strong track record of conducting impact assessments.

December 2022 – Impact assessment report published

The independent Chair of SCoPEd Oversight committee Paul Buckley, published an update via SCoPEd partners which included the SCoPed Impact Assesement Report

February 2023 – SCoPEd partners adoption decision published 

All six SCoPEd partners announced their decision to adopt the SCoPEd framework, read the SCoPEd Impact Assessment Report.

February 2023 - BACPs implementation started - Preparation period

We started the implementation period which looked at how SCoPEd will be integrated into our processes and systems.

SCoPEd next steps

April 2023 – Five SCoPEd partners to accredit NHS training 

Five SCoPEd partners have reached an agreement with NHS talking therapies to accredit a new NHS postgraduate training pilot.

Read our news article about the NHS postgraduate training pilot. 

September 2023

SCoPEd – Transition period: what does it mean for BACP members event 2023. The event provided an overview of the BACPs SCoPEd transition period for BACP, view the event on our on-demand service.

February 2024 – BACP transition period opened 

BACP opens the transition period to enable members to move membership categories. Read our news article.