Professionals in a range of settings may use some level of counselling skills to help the people they care for or work with.

Previously, there’s been no recognised standard, training or training requirements for people who use counselling skills within their jobs. Our competence framework gives a clearer definition of scope and standards. It focuses on how the competent use of counselling skills provides the ability to:

  • recognise when someone needs to talk
  • respond using appropriate skills to facilitate a safe listening space
  • refer by sensitively signposting or referring when someone needs further help or assistance, such as from a counsellor or psychotherapist

Training providers can incorporate the framework into counselling skills qualifications to ensure consistent high standards.

We’re also looking to work with organisations, including those within the health and social care sector, to see how you could use this framework within your work and training, to enhance standards for use of counselling skills.

If you’d like to discuss the framework, email us at

BACP competences and curricula

Our competences and curricula are based on the latest research evidence into effective practice. The counselling skills competences can be used to ensure professionals have the skills and knowledge needed to work in many roles and settings. 

Copyright and permissions

All our competence frameworks, user guides and training curricula are copyrighted with all rights reserved. We have developed these resources to help BACP members in their practice development and to support the development of training courses. Permission to use these resources is defined under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

You can find information about when you are permitted to use works without having to apply for permission in Exceptions to copyright.

If you're not sure and would like to seek permission to use any of BACP’s competences, curricula and user guides, please email Professional Standards at