Working online involves a distinct set of ethical challenges – some similar to working face to face and others unique to this way of communicating with clients at a distance.

This resource gives an overview of the issues you need to consider when working online with clients, supervisees or trainees to help you make informed ethical decisions.


  1. Working online
  2. Variations in use of online and digital technology
  3. Technological competence
  4. Security and confidentiality
  5. Responding to any breach of security or privacy
  6. Working with vulnerable clients and arrangements for emergencies
  7. Legal requirements for working in the UK and Europe
  8. Working with clients from other countries
  9. Online social forums for clients
  10. Online information and interactive tools
  11. Insurance
  12. Supervision and training
  13. Personal use of social media by practitioners
  14. Professional vigilance
  15. Useful resources
  16. Guidance on closely-related roles
  17. Online networks and sources of information

Using fact sheet resources

These resources are not contractually binding on members but provide general information on current principles and policy, in the context of BACP’s core ethical principles, values and personal moral qualities.

Individual practice issues are often complex and will vary depending on your clients, models of working, the context of the work and the kind of therapeutic intervention provided. We'd always recommend discussing practice dilemmas with a supervisor, a legal advisor or another suitably qualified and experienced professional.

Please see Good Practice in Action for further information on using these resources.