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.


From April 2018 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. We only have a few events available at present but we'll be adding more over the next few weeks.

To take the CoP online, you'll need a pc or laptop with a webcam, microphone and speakers, and and 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 you can't take the assessment online, please email to discuss alternative options. 

Pilot assessments

Our CoP assessments from April to June 2018 will be pilot assessments. While we've tested the new online system thoroughly, we'd value feedback from participants so that we can consider any necessary adjustments. As a thank you to members who take an assessment during the pilot phase, we won't count these towards your three attempts if you are unsuccessful. If you pass, you'll be eligible to join the BACP Register.

If you'd prefer to wait until the pilot phase is complete, please book an assessment after 1 July 2018. These should be available on the website soon.  


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

  • 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 two 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.

We don't send results out to lapsed members. So if your membership is due for renewal before you receive your results, please don't wait to see if you have passed.

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)