BACP course accreditation is recognised by training providers, employers and students as the mark of a high quality, professional practitioner training course. For prospective counsellors and psychotherapists, it guarantees a standard of training accepted for BACP membership, registration and accreditation.

We are recognised as the leading accreditation body for training courses in counselling and psychotherapy. We build strong collaborative relationships with our accredited course providers, working together to network, share knowledge and develop the highest standards of professional practice.

Benefits of course accreditation

  • gives external verification that your course meets stringent training, practice and quality assurance criteria
  • improves recruitment of students and course staff
  • free listing in our accredited courses directory, used by potential students to search for courses
  • use of the BACP accredited course logo for advertising, publicity and information materials
  • ongoing working relationship with BACP Professional Standards to ensure course continues to reflect highest practice standards

Requirements

To be eligible for accreditation, a course must:

  • be provided by a current organisational member of BACP
  • provide in-depth training in counselling or psychotherapy to practitioner level
  • consist of at least 400 hours of face-to-face training (classroom-based learning or a mixture of online & classroom based learning if including online or phone (OPT) delivery - see Gold book)
  • require students to complete a practice placement of least 100 hours client work as an integral part of the course
  • require client work to be supervised to BACP course accreditation standard as a minimum
  • require all course staff to be members of a counselling or psychotherapy professional body that has a complaints procedure
  • require the majority of its staff team to be accredited with BACP or to an equivalent standard with another professional body

We are unable to accept applications from courses which have not yet graduated a cohort of students; the course seeking accreditation must have run through from its first to final year.

For the full requirements, please see:

Course accreditation eligibility guide (docx 0.1MB)

Process

If you wish to apply for accreditation, we suggest you have an informal conversation with an accreditation officer first so we can talk you through the process. Please email accred.course@bacp.co.uk to arrange for a call back.

To apply, you need to complete a detailed written application showing how your course meets a range of criteria and provide supporting evidence.

The criteria cover:

  • admissions procedure
  • teaching and learning
  • knowledge
  • client work, placements and supervision
  • professional context
  • student assessment
  • course completion and evaluation

The application form is in two parts:

  • Part (A) - Eligibility
  • Part (B) - Course delivery and visit

You need to pass the eligibility application stage (Part A) before progressing to Part B.

The visit allows our accreditation assessors to meet your staff and students, observe teaching and review coursework.

Before submitting Part B, you’ll be able to arrange a telesurgery with an accreditation assessor (up to 60 minutes). We'll ask you to submit your questions in advance so the assessor can prepare and you get the most out of their time.

Once your course is accredited, you will enter a annual rolling review process.

Diagram showing course and service accreditation process

Costs

Initial application fees

Total: £1,620 paid in two instalments:

  • on submitting Part A: £540
  • on submitting Part B: £1,080

Annual fee once accredited

  • £275 a year (£1,375 over the five year accreditation period)

Additional cohort fees

  • £300 per additional cohort payable on submitting Part A
  • £40 per additional cohort a year

Please email us if you need an invoice.

Commitments

Accreditation is awarded for five years. To retain your accreditation for the full term, you must:

  • maintain your BACP organisational membership
  • comply with the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions
  • continue to meet all criteria for the course accreditation scheme
  • complete an annual rolling review form
  • inform us of any proposed changes to the course or the organisation, before they are implemented
  • 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. We may also visit you for a quality assurance check and you will be charged for this visit.

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