The Department of Health recently announced a consultation called Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation. The purpose of the consultation is to seek views on the UK's model of professional regulation for healthcare professionals. The Department of Health is looking to make reforms to the existing model in order to make it more efficient, effective and affordable.

The consultation is broad in scope and is looking at regulation generally across a whole range of healthcare professions. It's the first step in what is expected to be a long-term project. The consultation itself isn't directly examining how the counselling professions are regulated, but the decisions that are made as a result of it have the potential to impact on the work of BACP and our members in the future.

We’re welcoming of the Department of Health's consultation and we support the Government in its aim to improve the regulation of the healthcare professions. We acknowledge that work needs to be done to make regulation more straightforward and consistent for both practitioners and the public and we anticipate playing an active part in the forthcoming discussions, including responding directly to the current consultation.

Working collaboratively with other professional bodies in the field, we're examining the questions raised in the consultation and putting together our response. By engaging directly with this consultation and the longer project as it develops, we hope to be able to influence the decisions made in order to further our objective of improving standards and public protection within the counselling professions.

We'll aim to update you with more details about the content of our consultation response early in the New Year. We'll also make sure you're kept informed of the Government’s progress on the project more generally and our involvement in it. You'll find our most recent updates on these web pages, in your monthly news e-bulletin and in the 'BACP round-up' pages of Therapy Today.

We can also recommend that you read the report Right-touch reform by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA). The PSA oversees nine statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK. They also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those who meet them. Our own Register of Counsellors & Psychotherapists is accredited by the PSA. Their report provides a detailed summary of current arrangements in several key areas and makes proposals for future development.

For further information, see

Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation

Right-touch reform