Benefits of student membership
- good practice resources and other member-only information to help with your studies
- free subscription to our professional journal Therapy Today
- free access to our online research journal Counselling and Psychotherapy Research (CPR)
- discounted places at our events, including our student conference
- free access to our student placement and jobs search
You must currently be taking a course which provides core practitioner training in counselling or psychotherapy. We don't accept core training in disciplines such as psychology, hypnotherapy, social work or coaching.
Your course must include at least one year's full time or two years' part time, face to face classroom-based tuition and an integral, supervised placement of at least 100 client hours. Online and distance learning courses do not qualify, as we believe developing and practising counselling skills with tutors and peers is important for effective training.
Your placement hours must be:
- carried out with genuine clients, rather than peers from your course, for example
- in an appropriate setting with appropriate clients. Counselling services are an ideal setting as they are likely to assess whether clients are suitable for your level of competence. Your training provider should not allow placement hours through private practice or with client groups that have not been pre-assessed as suitable - such as children and young people or those with complex mental health needs.
- assessed (or marked) as an integral part of your training
- supervised. Supervision is important at all stages of seeing clients. For trainees, we recommend a ratio of one hour's supervision to eight hours counselling. We also recommend you see your supervisor fortnightly.
Student membership is also available for full or part-time doctoral students. Your programme may be taught or self-guided and does not have to include a supervised placement.
As a student member of BACP you'll be bound by our Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions and our Professional Conduct Procedure. You must read and agree to these as part of your application process. You should also read our membership policies.
How to apply
Please download and complete the application pack and guide below:
To support your application, you'll need to provide:
- a letter from your place of study confirming that you are taking the course
- references from both a professional sponsor and a referee
You'll find full details in the application pack.
Membership subscriptions run for a year and are reviewed annually.
If you’re receiving certain state benefits or have no personal income, you may be entitled to pay a reduced fee. You’ll need to provide evidence to support your claim, such as a copy of a letter from a benefits agency, with your application.
Careers in counselling
Where therapists work and what they do
Training to become a counsellor or psychotherapist
Ensuring you gain the skills and experience to practise competently and safely
Events and resources
Find professional development, expert guidance, networking opportunities and many other resources to guide and support you in your career.
Renew or upgrade your student membership
Your membership lasts for 12 months. We will send you a renewal notice about six weeks before your renewal date.
You'll need to log into your account on this website to complete the membership terms and conditions, advise us of any changes to your circumstances and pay your membership fees. (If you pay by Direct Debit, your existing payment arrangement will continue unless you ask us to change it.)
When you complete your course, including the 100 hour placement, and graduate you can upgrade to individual membership. You do not have to complete a new application form - just send us a copy of your graduation certificate (not the original). Or you can send us a letter on headed paper from your place of study confirming that you have successfully completed and graduated from your course.
Reinstate your student membership
If you do not renew, your membership will lapse on your renewal date. You have up to 31 days from that date to go online and reinstate your membership.
After 31 days, you will need to contact us and complete our reinstatement forms. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.