The main purpose of the BACP Register is to protect the public and help them find therapists they can trust. It aims to reassure clients, employers and the general public that a BACP registered practitioner adheres to high standards of safe and ethical practice.

The BACP Register supports public protection by:

  • setting and monitoring standards for our members covering training, supervision and continuing professional development
  • ensuring all registered members commit to our Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions and our Professional Conduct Procedure
  • providing a public record of therapists who meet our standards
  • providing guidance and support to help the public raise concerns or make complaints about our members
  • investigating and acting on complaints about poor practice by our members

If you want to check whether a specific therapist is a registered member of BACP, you can check the BACP Register.

If you believe your therapist is, or was, a BACP registered member but you can’t find them on the Register, check our Withdrawal of membership notices or contact our customer services team

Maintaining standards

All practising members of BACP must join the Register or be working towards registration. To become a registered member, a therapist must either have passed a BACP-accredited training course or our own Certificate of Proficiency. They also have to agree to the Register terms and conditions, which include committing to our Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions and Professional Conduct Procedure.

More experienced members may choose to go through our accreditation scheme, which requires them to demonstrate even higher levels of knowledge, experience and development. They are shown as an accredited member on the Register.

The BACP Register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority and this means that they have assessed and approved our entry standards and other processes such as complaints handling and governance. The PSA Accredited Register programme is only applicable to those who are resident in the UK and has no jurisdiction in either British Crown Dependencies or British Overseas Territories.

Once registered, and depending on membership type, registrants can use the designatory letters 'MBACP' which show on the register as:

  • Registered Member MBACP: registered membership is our main category for practising members and represents the standards that a client should expect from a therapist. This is the membership status that all practising members are required to achieve. Members in this category will have met the entry criteria set by the Register and have completed the online Register terms and conditions. To become a registered member, registrants must already be an individual member of BACP, currently be in practice or have practised within the last three years. They must have either successfully completed and graduated from a BACP accredited course or passed our Certificate of Proficiency
  • Registered Member MBACP (Accred): accreditation is a quality status for experienced practitioners who can demonstrate high standards of competent and ethical practice. Becoming an accredited member involves a detailed application and assessment process
  • Registered Member MBACP (Snr Accred): senior accreditation recognises a practitioner’s experience, accomplishments and development within their specialist area

We carry out an audit of a random sample of registered members every month to ensure standards are maintained. We also investigate complaints through our professional conduct process.

Governance of the BACP Register

The Register is governed by our Public Protection Committee (PPC) and supported by a team of specialist staff.

The Accredited Registers programme

The BACP Register was one of the first registers to be assessed and accredited under the Professional Standards Authority (the Authority) Accredited Registers programme. It must be reaccredited every year to demonstrate that it meets the Authority’s high standards of governance, standard-setting, education and training, management, complaints and information.

The Authority is an independent body accountable to Government. It developed the Accredited Registers programme to provide quality standards for practitioners working across health and social care settings that are not regulated by law.

Accredited registers help people get better care by ensuring that registered health practitioners are competent and trustworthy. The registers are promoted by the Department of Health and the Authority as the first place to look for practitioners, which intends that registration will become a requirement for some employment opportunities.

Information sharing protocol

Together with 17 other organisations running accredited registers, we've signed up to an information sharing protocol. We've all agreed to inform each other about, and to take into account, decisions made through the other organisations' professional conduct proceedings which have resulted in an individual being removed from a register.

You can read the full protocol below.

Accredited registers information sharing protocol (pdf 0.5MB)