This section explains reflective practice criterion 9 - practice and supervision.

9.1 How your practice is consistent with your described way of working (in 8.1).

9.2 How you use your self-awareness in the therapeutic relationship.

9.3 How your practice demonstrates your awareness of issues of difference and equality and the impact they have on your counselling or psychotherapy relationships.

9.4 Use of the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions (which replaced the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy in 2016)

9.5 Describing the awareness you have gained through reflection in and on supervision.

9.6 Showing how you apply that awareness in your practice.



Should I get client's consent?

It’s up to you when you apply for consent from a client that you're going to write about and obviously if you’re asked to do so by the agency or organisation that you're working for then you must do. It's not a BACP requirement because we ask that you completely anonymise any case material you send to us, but the onus of responsibility is on you to protect the confidentiality of the client. We shred everything once you've been awarded your accreditation.

What common mistakes do candidates make?

Please avoid going into too much detail about the client’s situation. We're interested in the interventions that you made as a therapist rather than the client's story so just give us enough to give some context to the case material.

A client I worked with some time ago sometimes comes back for shorter periods of counselling. Is it okay to use this client for criterion 9?

Yes. You just need to choose a client that is fairly typical of the type of client you see on a weekly basis and provided you can write evidence which meets all of the sub criterion we don't make any judgement about which client you use. Problems can arise when people submit case material from a client that they have seen a long time ago, usually because they're trying to re-engineer something they've written before, perhaps for a college assignment.

What's the best way to reference the case material in criterion 9?

In the first part of the application form, it's fairly easy to write a paragraph under each of the separate criterion headings. When you write in your case material, it's a little more difficult. Case material doesn't really lend itself to neat paragraphs under each of the sub criterion headings, so you're more likely to be writing a sentence or paragraph and referencing several of the sub criterion.

So when you're presenting your case material, you may describe your way of working and tell us about an intervention that you've made. Put 9.1 at the end of the sentence to tell us that it links with your way of working.

Or you may write a couple of sentences and feel that tells us how you're working, but it also demonstrates that you had an awareness of your own thoughts and feelings, so you might reference it 9.1 and 9.2. Or you may have some self-awareness around an issue that also demonstrates your awareness of some issue of difference, in which case you would reference it as 9.2 and 9.3.

However, we would ask you to guard against 'prolific referencing', as you're unlikely to write one sentence or paragraph that meets all six sub criterion. When people do this it raises an alarm for the assessor as we wonder whether they actually know which of the sub criterion they're evidencing or if they're putting everything in hoping that it will meet one or two of them. It's up to you to signpost us to where you believe you are meeting the individual sub criterion.

This may get picked up in the office and they may ask you to signpost us to the individual criterion but it may come to the assessor. If this is repeated throughout your application you're very likely to be deferred. Showing us where you believe you are meeting the criterion helps us to pass your application.

How much detail and context around the client story is required?

Just enough to contextualise it. So you might say 'I worked with this client between January and March. I saw them for twelve sessions. The client was a female, aged forty five. She presented with these issues... '.

What is the best way to present the case material?

People often mix up their referencing between the individual sections. So when you're writing your case material under criterion 9, we only want you to reference the sub criterion 9.1 to 9.6. Don’t start cross referencing it back to criterion 8 for example because that's confusing.

When you write your individual sections for the application, just reference the 6s when you're writing about criterion 6 and CPD, the 7s when you're writing about your self-awareness, the 8s when you're demonstrating and explaining your way of working, and 9s when you come to the case study.

What is the difference between a case study and case material?

A case study implies a completed piece of work where you present a beginning, a middle and an end. But here it doesn't have to be a complete piece of work or the work doesn't have to be finished - it could be just be a few sessions that you've done with a client and the work could still be ongoing. Just choose a typical client case that you've either worked on recently or are currently working on.

Can you use case material for criterion 8 and criterion 9?

We prefer you not to use case material in criterion 8 because this is asking you about your way of working and your understanding of issues of difference and equality in general. We only want an actual example of case material in criterion 9.