Why do you think the framework is important?

I often hear, ‘Isn’t counselling just listening?’ and ‘What is it that you do?’ and the framework will answer these questions, not only for clients but for employers and commissioners of services. SCoPEd provides a clear outline of the training and experience to expect when acquiring the services of a counsellor or psychotherapist. I look at the framework and am proud of the standards and competences that our members undertake to deliver an ethical, professional and competent service. To me, it shows the care and commitment we have for our clients.

Do you support the aims of the framework?

Yes. Currently, anyone can call themselves a counsellor whether they have had no training or a four week course. The framework will provide the public with clarity on the training and competences required for a counsellor and psychotherapist. However, this requires an agreement between training providers to offer a standardisation of competences, so a client and service provider can be assured that we as counsellors and psychotherapists are proficient, professional and trained. SCoPEd provides an opportunity to bring together our profession; organisations, training providers, counsellors and psychotherapists to work towards a visible representation of our training and professional standards. The framework is offering us all the opportunity to talk about our profession and how we can shape it to improve and maintain standards.

What is your understanding of how the framework will benefit members?

A clear framework of competences and professional standards that is accepted and understood by our profession, the public and employers provides us with an opportunity to achieve a salary/rate commensurate with our level of training and qualifications.

SCoPEd will provide a clear differentiation between those professions using counselling skills, and trained counsellors and psychotherapists who undertake rigorous training and are required to achieve mapped competences.

Are there any aspects of the framework that you are concerned about?

Yes. I believe that we need to continue to develop the framework and continue to consult with members. The titles and career progressions are still a work in progress, but finally we are looking at our profession and what it means to be a counsellor and a psychotherapist, to answer the question; ‘What is it that you do?’.

Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.