Benefits of student membership
As a student member, you'll have the tools, information and support to help you through your studies. And it's easy to upgrade to individual membership when you have completed your course.
From September 2021, we’ve updated our requirements for membership and accreditation to align with changes to how training and placements are delivered remotely.
Find out more about placement and training requirements
To become a BACP student member you must currently be taking a core practitioner training course in counselling or psychotherapy. We don't accept core training in disciplines such as psychology, hypnotherapy, social work or coaching.
Your course must:
- be at least one year's full time or two years' part time
- be either:
- 100% face to face classroom-based tuition or,
- include at least 70% face to face classroom-based tuition and up to 30% live synchronous online training
- include an integral, supervised placement of at least 100 client hours
We cannot accept courses delivered solely online or by distance learning 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. If you're accruing some placement hours remotely, these must be with adults only and in an environment suitable for remote delivery. You should not be required to undertake 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
- delivered mostly face to face. The remaining hours can be delivered online or via a combination of online and phone.
- supervised. We recommend a ratio of one hour's supervision to eight hours counselling in the same mode of delivery as your placement hours. We also recommend you see your supervisor fortnightly.
Full or part-time doctoral students can apply for student membership. Your programme may be taught or self-guided and does not have to include a supervised placement.
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 a reduction in your fees. See our Reduced fee policy.
How to apply
If you're a current or former member of BACP, or have already submitted an application, you probably don’t need to complete a new application. Please contact us before you start if you’re unsure.
To support your application, you'll need to provide:
- supporting evidence from your place of study
- proof of address
- proof of any eligibility for reduced fees
- information and documents to support any disclosures – see our Membership disclosure policy
- evidence of entitlement to use any academic or honorific titles, such as Dr
If you're taking a training course outside the UK, you must provide a copy of your course handbook or transcript with your application so we can assess the level of training you're having. Any evidence you provide should be translated into English by a certified translator.
Full details are given in the application process.
Our online student application process should only take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Please make sure you have all your supporting evidence ready to upload.
If you can’t use the online process, you can download the application guide below and complete the form:
Return your completed form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We're no longer able to accept payment by cheque - please contact us if you need to discuss alternative payment methods.
It may take up to 28 days to process your application as we’ll need to complete some verification checks.
Renewing, reinstating or changing your membership
How to renew your membership, reinstate your membership if it's lapsed or change your membership category
Training to become a counsellor or psychotherapist
Our recommended training routes to ensure you gain the skills and experience to practise competently and safely.
Our membership categories reflect and support the journey you take as a practitioner.