Equality, diversity and inclusion are central to BACP’s ethos. As the UK’s leading professional body for counselling professionals, we aim to lead on best practice in EDI, creating a profession where our members, colleagues, staff, partner organisations and clients can thrive and fully be themselves.
Creating a profession for the future means addressing many systemic issues. It requires fundamental change in our culture, values, belief systems, behaviour, organisational and structural systems, practice, services and financial commitment, over a sustained period.
Here you can find out more about our EDI strategy, the projects we're undertaking and the resources we're developing to create knowledge and learn with our members.
Our EDI strategy
Our EDI strategy is the driving force behind all the workstreams and projects we're undertaking. It details our goals and the tactical steps we're taking to embed change.
Projects and workstreams
Our mentoring scheme aims to support counselling and psychotherapy trainees throughout their training journey.
The scheme launched in June 2022 and aimed to match 20 mentees with mentors. Following exception response we currently have 30 pairs working together until August 2023. They meet every four to six weeks to provide and receive support, and to gain opportunities and new insight from the shared relationship.
Our bursary scheme aims to encourage underrepresented groups into the profession by providing financial support for counselling and psychotherapy training.
A pilot scheme for 10 bursaries launched in November 2022 and applications had to close early due to overwhelming demand. We’re planning to open a new round of applications in Autumn 2023, and also hope to increase the scope and number of bursaries so more people can benefit from the scheme.
Third sector grant scheme
In October 2021 we launched a pilot third sector grant scheme for projects that aim to remove barriers to therapy for people from marginalised and racialised communities. In May 2022 we awarded funds to two BACP organisational members, Children of the North East and Metanoia, to deliver projects which will improve access to counselling while also increasing knowledge about how to get support.
Making accreditation more accessible
Based on feedback from a 2021 member survey, we've been taking steps to make individual accreditation more accessible.
To date we have:
- introduced a new online application process
- reduced the cost for those who need additional support
- provided simpler and alternative forms of guidance
- provided alernative support mechanisms or ways of applying for those with a learning difference or disability
We've also appointed a learning and disability consultant to provide specialist guidance and support.
In collaboration with Hackney Council, we've recorded a series of podcasts exploring racism, racial trauma and anti-racism. These open discussions consider how we can unmask, repair and prevent the harm and trauma that racism perpetuates.
Across our website you'll find many resources, articles and perspectives on EDI issues. Our resources page will be regularly updated with the latest views and guidance.
EDI Coalition toolkit
The Coalition for Inclusion and Anti-Oppressive Practice has launched a toolkit called Race is complicated: A toolkit for psychological therapies training.
The Coalition focuses on promoting inclusive and anti-oppressive professional training as part of a greater vision to address further barriers to inclusive practice, particularly in relation to supporting racially and ethnically minoritised communities.