Our Counselling young people (11-18 years) training curriculum was published in November 2017 and can be downloaded from Competences and curricula.

We have also revised the Basic YP competences for students working with young people and these are now included in ‘Stage 1: Introduction to counselling young people’ of the curriculum.

This provides a more relevant and coherent set of competences for beginning work with children and young people. The elements within Stage 1 can be delivered as a separate module to the accredited course or as a distinct award. Course providers may also deliver and assess these components in collaboration with a placement provider.

Students who are trained and assessed as competent in the learning outcomes for this stage can progress onto a formal award in counselling young people once they have completed their core training (see Stage 2 of the curriculum).

Key differences

Stage 1 of the new curriculum has fewer competences than the Basic YP competences, which should make delivery and assessment easier for courses and placement providers.

The main differences are summarised in the mapping document below, which should be viewed alongside the Competences for humanistic counselling with young people (11-18 years) (see Competences and curricula)

Comparison of Basic YP competences to Stage 1 of the training curriculum (0.38MB)

Placement requirements

All previous requirements remain the same:

  • Students on adult-focused training courses may undertake placements working with children and young people provided that the training provider or the placement service provider ensure the student is assessed as having the basic competences to practice safely and ethically with children and young people.
  • Before a student counsellor works with children and young people, the training provider or the placement service provider must ensure the student has received the essential training and development required to work with children and young people on placement.
  • Training and development can be achieved by the inclusion of the Basic YP competences or Stage 1 of the training curriculum in the course training programme or placement provider induction. These can be supplemented by free Counselling MindEd e-learning sessions, which provide certificates that students can print out to demonstrate they have completed the training.
  • Training providers and counselling service providers should also use BACP Good Practice in Action resources to support practice.
  • Students undertaking placements with children and young people must receive robust and appropriate supervision from supervisors who are themselves competent to work with children and young people.
  • Training providers and counselling service providers should ensure that students working with 16-18 year old clients understand that this age group falls between various child and adult laws. See Good Practice in Action – Legal resources.
  • If students wish to undertake placements with 16-18 year olds while on training courses oriented to adult clients, BACP will recognise the placement as long as the students are working ethically, competently and have robust supervision. The hours will count towards the 100 clinical placement hours required by the course and towards BACP registration and accreditation.

Our intention is always to ensure high standards of training and ethical practice, especially when working with this vulnerable client group. Our ethical position remains unequivocal, that counsellors are required to work within their competence (see the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions - Working to professional standards point 13). This ensures students can complete the clinical practice element of their counsellor or psychotherapist training and count all their placement hours towards BACP registration and accreditation.

For further information on course accreditation or the revision of the Basic YP competences, please contact Sabine Maltby, Course Accreditation Officer.

For further information about the Counselling young people (11–18 years) training curriculum, please contact Caroline Jesper, Professional Standards Development Facilitator.

Email: BACP_Prof_Standards@bacp.co.uk