PCE-CfD is a manualised model of practice and is one of the high-intensity psychological therapies offered by the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme for the treatment of depression.

PCE-CfD training is a short, intensive top up course for qualified therapists. It requires in depth knowledge of person-centred and humanistic counselling theory and practice, and familiarity with the application of PCE-CfD competences.

This new PCE-CfD accreditation scheme and application process was launched in January 2019, following an extensive review. It was developed in collaboration with Dr Adrian Whittington, IAPT National Clinical Advisor – Education, the IAPT Expert Reference Group and the existing network of BACP accredited CfD training centres. 


  • gives external verification that your course meets stringent training, practice and quality assurance criteria
  • improves recruitment of students and course staff
  • use of the BACP accredited PCE-CfD training certificates and logos for advertising, publicity and information materials
  • ongoing collaboration with BACP and other stakeholders to continually develop the training programme


To be eligible for PCE-CfD training course accreditation:

  • the training provider must be and remain a current organisational member of BACP for the duration of the award
  • the majority of trainers delivering the programme must be registered or accredited members of BACP or an equivalent professional body
  • the trainers must adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions or equivalent

Training providers must be able to demonstrate that they have the skills, knowledge and experience to teach PCE-CfD. Those new to PCE-CfD can partner with an existing accredited training provider to shadow the delivery of at least one PCE-CfD training programme. Alternatively, at least one member of the teaching staff should have previous experience of PCE-CfD training with another provider. 

Centres must also be able to provide the supervised practice element of PCE-CfD training through suitably trained and qualified PCE-CfD supervisors. They should be familiar working with:


The application process has four stages: 

  • Stage 1: completion of an electronic application form to demonstrate the provider meets all the eligibility criteria   
  • Stage 2: quality assurance visit by BACP assessors to verify the evidence provided and discuss any issues arising 
  • Stage 3: BACP decision report and action plan 
  • Stage 4: annual monitoring of the action plan

New providers must apply for accreditation before running their first PCE-CfD course and successfully complete Stage 1 of the  application process. Interim approval will be granted at this stage but full accreditation will depend on a successful quality assurance visit to the first course delivery. The provider should make it clear to prospective students that they only have interim approval. 


The application and assessment process costs £2,000, payable on application.

The fee includes the costs of annual monitoring visits in the second and third years.


Accreditation is awarded for three years. To retain your accreditation for the full term, you'll need to:

  • maintain your BACP organisational membership
  • comply with the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions
  • continue to meet all criteria for the PCE-CfD course accreditation scheme
  • continue to meet the standards for the annual monitoring visit
  • abide by the course accreditation terms and conditions

If you do not meet these requirements, or if we uphold a professional conduct complaint against you, we may withdraw, suspend or impose conditions on your accreditation. 

You must inform students immediately if your accredited status ends or is suspended. 

Annual monitoring process

Our assessors will visit one year and two years after your original accreditation to observe the teaching of the programme and speak to service providers and students. They will verify ongoing training standards and review any changes made to the content or delivery of the course.

Annual monitoring visit protocol (pdf 0.1MB)

Background to the scheme

The need to provide a choice of therapies in IAPT services led to the introduction of training programmes in additional modalities to CBT, such as counselling for depression, interpersonal psychotherapy, couple therapy and brief dynamic psychotherapy.

Like the training curricula for other approved modalities, PCE-CfD was developed with reference to The competences required to deliver effective Humanistic Psychological Therapies by Roth, Hill and Pilling. The competences describe the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to effectively deliver PCE-CfD and form the basis of the IAPT National Curriculum for PCE-CfD (The manual for the selection, training and supervision of counsellors in the IAPT programme).

The roll-out of PCE-CfD training began in 2010 to 2011, following our work as part of a collaboration set up by the Department of Health to develop recommended psychological therapies for IAPT. A network of BACP approved higher education institutions continue to deliver this training across England.

For further information, see PCE-CfD competences and curricula

BACP’s role:

  • developed standards for PCE-CfD Accreditation in collaboration with the IAPT National Clinical Advisor – Education
  • developed evidence-based competences to underpin this specialist counsellor and psychotherapist top-up training
  • administers the accreditation assessment process
  • confers accreditation on successful training centres
  • facilitates collaborative working with stakeholders (eg IAPT ERG, health education commissioners, IAPT service leads and training providers) in order to promote PCE-CfD and the role of counselling
  • monitors standards of PCE-CfD training provided by accredited training providers
  • continually develops the programme

The training provider role:

  • delivers PCE-CfD training programmes that meet with the IAPT approved National Curriculum and the PCE-CfD competence framework
  • provides PCE-CfD training programmes that demonstrate the student’s ability to deliver interventions coherent with evidence-based competences for PCE-CfD
  • works collaboratively with BACP to facilitate the assessment processes
  • works collaboratively with BACP and other stakeholders to continually develop the training programme