Information was received by BACP from Ms Jackson sufficient to refer for consideration under Article 12.6 of the Memorandum & Articles of Association.
The summary of the information is that Ms Jackson disclosed that she was convicted of taking a prohibited item into a prison when she was working at a prison as a volunteer counsellor. Ms Jackson was sentenced on 5 October 2010 and stated that she was no longer fit to practise. She also admitted that her behaviour had breached the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. When making the disclosure Ms Jackson sought to resign her membership of BACP.
The nature of the information raised questions about the suitability of Ms Jackson's continuing membership of this Association and suggested that her actions had brought, or may yet bring, not only this Association, but also the reputations of counselling/psychotherapy into disrepute.
The information further suggested that there may have been a serious breach, or breaches, of the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy and it raised concerns about the following in particular:
- Allegedly, Ms Jackson's conviction suggested her behaviour was incompatible with the values of counselling and Psychotherapy and was lacking in the personal moral qualities of integrity and wisdom to which counsellors and psychotherapists are strongly encouraged to aspire, and further suggested that her fitness to practise has been impaired.
- Allegedly, by attempting to resign membership and in not providing further information Ms Jackson was not prepared to be accountable to her professional body for her reported behaviour.
The member was invited to send in a response, and did so.
The Panel decided to implement Article 12.6 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association in this case, and withdraw membership from Ms Jackson to take effect 28 days from notification of this decision. The Panel gave reasons for its decision as follows:
- The Panel accepted that Ms Jackson had not tried to avoid accountability by attempting to resign her BACP membership and that she was truly remorseful for her actions. However, the Panel considered that her actions were so grave that they may have brought, or may yet bring, not only this Association, but also the reputations of counselling/psychotherapy into disrepute, were the public accurately informed about all the circumstances of this case.
- Ms Jackson's behaviour in this instance was incompatible with the values of Counselling and Psychotherapy and her fitness to practice has been impaired.
Ms Jackson was given the opportunity to appeal the decision, but no appeal was received. Consequently her membership was withdrawn.
Any future application for membership of this Association will be considered under Article 12.3 of the Memorandum and Articles of the Association.