Individual members who have not graduated from a BACP accredited course must pass the CoP before they can become registered. (If you've passed an accredited course you can join the Register now by logging into your account and accepting the terms and conditions.)

You have up to 24 months from becoming an individual member to join the BACP Register.

If needed, you can take the CoP up to three times. If you fail at the third attempt, your membership will be cancelled as you won't meet the minimum level of proficiency required for BACP membership. You can apply to rejoin us after six months, but you must sit and pass the CoP first.


You can take the CoP assessment online from your home or place of work, monitored by remote invigilators. You’ll still need to book onto a scheduled assessment (search for a CoP assessment) and follow the booking instructions. 

To take the CoP online, you'll need a pc or laptop with a webcam, microphone and speakers, and an internet connection. You can’t take the assessment on a tablet or mobile phone. You must also be able to use a private and quiet room, where you can take the assessment without any interruptions. You can find out more in our Guide to online assessments

If your pc or laptop doesn't have a built in webcam, you can use a plug-in webcam. Most pcs and laptops have a built in microphone. You can also take the assessment in your workplace if you have suitable facilities there.

If you can't take the assessment online, please email to discuss alternative options.

When you've booked an assessment, you must schedule your time slot at least 72 hours in advance, otherwise you will lose your space on the assessment event and a cancellation charge may apply for your next booking. We'll remind you about this in advance but please contact if you have any questions.

"I feel this is an excellent way of sitting the test. It saves having to travel into the city which has its advantages with regard to both cost and the inconvenience. Taking exams are always quite stressful and I feel that being able to do the test in the comfort of one's own surroundings goes towards reducing the stress and anxiety around this."

BACP member


The CoP assessment is currently free if you book before your registration deadline. You may have to pay if:

  • you cancel within seven days of your booked assessment date (a £30 charge will apply)
  • you miss the registration deadline and want to reinstate your membership
  • you failed the assessment three times and wish to rejoin BACP

About the CoP assessment

The CoP is a computer-based, multiple choice assessment based on case studies of practice situations, written by counselling and psychotherapy professionals. It tests generic principles that apply across all ways of working, so you don't need to learn about specific theories or dates. We'll send you full joining instructions and a preparation guide around three weeks before your assessment. We'll also send you a link to a sample assessment so you can practise.

After your assessment

We review the results of all assessments and will write to you with our decision within four to five weeks. If you pass, you'll be invited to join the BACP Register by completing the terms and conditions.

If you fail, you can book to take the assessment again. You can take the CoP up to three times.

Certificate of Proficiency - a how to guide

See what a sample case study looks like and how they are scored.

Certificate of Proficiency - a how to guide video transcript (opens in a new window)

(The case study name in the video may not match the transcript, but this should appear correctly in your assessment. If you have any questions, please email