All BACP members have to work in accordance with the Ethical Framework. You should read it, and understand its main principles and points, before working with clients. The framework is designed to help you provide your clients with a secure base for your work together. It is much better to build the Ethical Framework into your practice to help you face challenges and issues rather than just turning to it if something goes wrong.

As a framework it creates a shared structure within which we all work but with space to respond to the needs of different contexts and client groups. There are three main sections:

  • Our commitment to clients provides a summary of working to professional standards and building an ethical relationship
  • Ethics specifies the values, principles and personal moral qualities that inform our work and underpin supervision
  • Good practice considers the application of our commitments to clients and ethics to our practice

The Good Practice in Action resources, and other resources on the BACP website, provide additional supplementary information which you may find relevant or useful. The Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions is mandatory and should be your ultimate point of reference.

For additional support in ethical decision making, you can contact the Ethics hub.

Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions

The current version of the Ethical Framework was formally adopted on 1 July 2018. It was developed through extensive consultation with BACP members.

Each section of the Framework is supported by introductory videos, FAQs and other resources.

Developing the Ethical Framework

How we developed the 2018 Ethical Framework

Good Practice in Action

The Good Practice in Action resources provide additional supplementary information to help you to implement the Ethical Framework within your practice. 


This glossary helps to explain the meaning of the terms used within the context of the Ethical Framework. If you have specific concerns, you can use the glossary as an index to help you find different topics within the Framework.

Ethics hub

Information and resources to support your ethical practice

Competences and curricula

Our training standards are based on the latest research evidence into effective practice. These can be used by practitioners, trainers, supervisors and services to ensure practitioners have the skills and knowledge needed to work in a particular setting, or with particular clients.

Good practice across the counselling professions

This new suite of open access good practice resources is developed in partnership with other professionals to help those working across the counselling professions.