Our Standing Orders set out who may apply for membership and the membership categories that are available. This membership categories policy defines how those criteria may be met and the transition between them.
Student membership is available to those who have been accepted on or who are currently attending a counselling or psychotherapy course that meets BACP membership criteria. The current criteria can be found on this website or detailed in the Invitation to membership application pack.
Extensions as a student member, for a period of up to two membership years, may be granted to allow for the completion of placement hours, dissertations, examinations or the awarding of the graduation certificate. Extensions can be applied for via the completion of a declaration and are granted at the discretion of BACP.
BACP reserves the right to audit student members and request further evidence of their eligibility to remain within this membership category.
Any current member can move into the student member category, upon provision of acceptable evidence that they meet the student membership criteria. However, those within the category will not be entitled to use designatory letters and will lose accredited or registered statuses. The member will also not be eligible for a pro rata refund of previously paid membership fees.
Upon successful completion of and graduation from the course, student members may upgrade their membership to individual member by submitting sufficient evidence to BACP, such as a copy of their graduation certificate. They will not be required to pay any additional membership fees, to reflect the difference between the two categories, during the current membership subscription.
Individual membership is available to those who have graduated from either a BACP accredited course or a counselling or psychotherapy training course that meets BACP’s entry criteria. The current criteria can be found on this website or detailed in the Invitation to membership application pack.
The individual member category is a transitional membership category giving a maximum period of 24 months, during which time all practising members are expected to achieve registered status. Where registered status is not achieved within this timeframe membership will be withdrawn. Details of how to reinstate membership can be found in the Reinstatement of withdrawn membership policy.
All non-practising members within the individual member category are required to transfer to the retired member category within 24 months of entering the individual member category to avoid their membership being withdrawn.
Individual members are not entitled to use designatory letters
Registered member MBACP
This is the minimum membership status that all practising members are required to achieve. Members in this category will have met the entry criteria set by the Register and have completed the online Register terms and conditions.
All members within the registered member MBACP category will have their details published on the online BACP Register and have the use of a personalised logo and designatory letters.
As a registered member MBACP members acknowledge and commit to the annual renewal of their registration alongside their membership. Should the online terms and conditions not be completed annually, their membership will not be renewed until such a time as they are completed again along with any other appropriate terms and conditions or declarations. See the Cancellation policy and the Reinstatement of withdrawn membership policy for further information on reinstating membership.
Non-practising members within the registered member MBACP category of membership may transfer to the retired member category but will no longer have registered status and will not appear on the online BACP Register.
Applications for accreditation are open to any registered member MBACP who has been in practice for a minimum of three years and can meet the eligibility and reflective practice criteria, as published on this website or detailed on the application form.
BACP reserves the right to withdraw or amend at any time, and without notice, the accreditation criteria for any of the schemes. The most up-to-date criterion and application forms will be published on our website. It is the responsibility of the member to ensure that the application form that they are submitting is the correct one.
BACP accreditation assessors will assess your application against the published criteria. The decision given by the accreditation assessors is on behalf of BACP who accept full responsibility for the decision. Without prejudice the accreditation assessors will have no personal liability in respect of their decisions or statements contained in any reports, which shall at all times remain the sole responsibility of BACP.
There are three possible decisions the assessors can make:
- Accreditation successful – we will write to you and enclose your accreditation certificate
- Accreditation deferred – where the assessors feel that you have not fully evidenced one or more elements of the criteria. We will write to you and include an assessment report, which explains why we feel you haven’t met the criteria and what you need to do to address this in a resubmission
- Application unsuccessful – where you haven’t been able to fully demonstrate that you are meeting the criteria. We will write to you and include an assessment report, which explains why we feel you haven’t met the criteria. You will be able to re-apply for accreditation after 12 months to allow you time to reflect on your practice and talk it through with your supervisor.
BACP accepts resubmissions within six months of notification of your deferral decision.
A resubmission received after the six month criterion will unfortunately not be accepted and will be confidentially disposed of. This will also apply to resubmissions that do not meet the criteria for a second time.
Resubmissions that fail to meet the criteria for a second time will be destroyed. Resubmissions will need to be received at BACP with the correct documentation and current fee before they are sent for assessment.
Unsafe and unethical practice identified during the application process may be referred to BACP’s Professional Conduct Procedure.
Unsuccessful accreditation applicants have the right to appeal against the assessor’s decision on two grounds:
- that the assessment procedure has not been followed correctly
- that your application has not been fairly and properly assessed against the published criteria
If your application is unsuccessful you must send an appeal in writing to BACP within two months of notification of your application being unsuccessful along with the correct fee. The letter should detail the grounds on which you are appealing and follow the process detailed on the BACP website for accreditation appeals. The decision of the appeal panel is final.
We reserve the right to withdraw an application if it is deemed to not meet the eligibility criteria. A refund of the application fee less an administration charge will be issued in these instances. BACP’s decision is final.
Members can choose to lapse the accreditation element of their membership but continue as a registered member MBACP subject to meeting the terms and conditions of the Register.
Non-practising members within the accredited member categories of membership may transfer to the retired member category but will no longer have registered and accredited status and will no longer appear on the online BACP Register.
When you lapse, cancel or cease your registered accredited member membership you will not have the benefits this category confers, not be on the BACP Register, no longer be able to use the BACP Register logo and may not refer to yourself using any designatory letters or titles. Please see the Cancellation policy for further information on re-instating membership.
Registered member MBACP (Accred)
The registered member MBACP (Accred) category of membership is only available to registered member MBACPs who successfully submit an application for accreditation and pay the application fee (detailed above).
All members within the registered member MBACP (Accred) category will have their details published on the online BACP Register and have the use of a personalised logo and designatory letters.
As a registered member MBACP (Accred), members acknowledge and commit to the annual renewal of their registration alongside their accreditation and membership. Any member who does not renew their accreditation, registration and membership will have their membership lapsed until such a time as all elements are completed. Further reinstatement declarations, terms and conditions and additional fees may be required.
Non-practising members within the registered member MBACP (Accred) category of membership may transfer to the retired member category but will no longer be registered and accredited and will not appear on the online BACP Register.
Registered member MBACP (Snr Accred)
The registered member MBACP (Snr Accred) category of membership is only available to registered member MBACP (Accred)s who have been accredited for more than three years and whose practice meets the criteria published on our website or application form. They must successfully submit an application for senior accreditation and pay the application fee.
Applications for each of these schemes follow the process as detailed above and are subject to completion of an application form and payment of the correct fee for each of the schemes.
All members within the registered member MBACP (Snr Accred) category will have their details published on the online BACP Register and have the use of a personalised logo and designatory letters.
As a registered member MBACP (Snr Accred), members acknowledge and commit to the annual renewal of their registration alongside their accreditation and membership. For any member not renewing their accreditation, registration and membership their membership will be lapsed until such a time as all elements are completed. Further reinstatement declarations, terms and conditions and additional fees may be required.
Non-practising members within the registered member MBACP (Snr Accred) category of membership may transfer to the retired member category but will no longer be registered and accredited and will not appear on the online BACP Register.
Non-practising members are welcome to transfer to the retired member category through the completion of a transfer form. BACP uses the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions’ definition of a practitioner to determine whether a member is practising or non-practising. This membership category allows non-practising members to stay in touch with BACP and the profession, whilst BACP remains connected with the experience and knowledge of its members.
Members in the retired member category will not retain any designatory letters or accreditation and registration statuses, and will no longer be listed on the online BACP Register.
Each year at renewal retired members will be asked to complete a declaration to confirm that they continue to be non-practising. If a retired member wishes to take up practice again just let BACP know as soon as possible and their membership will be transferred to an appropriate membership category, with the proviso that they meet all the eligibility criteria, before they commence their practice.
The Professional Standards Authority’s accredited register scheme applies to the UK only and has no jurisdiction in either British Crown Dependencies or British Overseas Territories. International registered members (including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) are unable to use the Professional Standards Authority accredited Register logo and must use the advertising logo as shown in Promoting your membership.
All international members who are registered members will be listed on the BACP Register and entitled to use the designatory title associated with their relevant membership category.
This policy should be read in conjunction with BACP’s Standing Orders, Articles of Association, Register terms and conditions, Professional Conduct Procedure and Ethical Framework - see Membership policies.
BACP’s policies are subject to review and can be amended at any time. It is important that you regularly review these documents.