BACP chair Andrew Reeves has congratulated the first cohort of students in Scotland to graduate from the new Higher National Diploma (HND) in Counselling.

The HND Counselling was developed by BACP in partnership with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and aims to improve access to the counselling profession in Scotland.

The qualification has been piloted at Glasgow Clyde College with the first group of 19 students graduating this month.

Dr Reeves said: “On behalf of BACP, I congratulate the students on their graduation, which is a chance to celebrate their hard work and achievement, and I wish them every success in the future.

“We're delighted to be able to play our part in developing the HND Counselling and we thank SQA and Glasgow Clyde College for their hard work in developing this unique scheme.

“I’m extremely excited about the continued impact of this project, which will allow us to increase the number of qualified, BACP-registered counselling professionals in Scotland and better support the mental health of people who live in Scotland.”

BACP Approved Qualification

The qualification offers a number of benefits to students of counselling in Scotland, including more straightforward entry onto BACP’s Register of Counselling Professionals which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

We've recognised it as a BACP Approved Qualification, and is the first qualification in the UK to have been awarded this title. Our Approved Qualification scheme differs from our existing Accredited Course scheme in that the agreement is at qualification level with the awarding organisation, not with the individual course provider.

The students have been providing curriculum leaders with real-time feedback on how the course is performing, so it aligns closely with the requirements of employers, placement providers and universities.

Kirsten Amis, course leader and lecturer at Glasgow Clyde College, said: “The new undergraduate diploma is about improving access. I have had the privilege of working with a group of students who are committed to this course, many of whom would not have had the opportunity to take more traditional routes into the profession.

“They are passionate about becoming counsellors, and want to work with the most vulnerable members of our society. I hope the new HND will help remove some of the barriers that may have prevented them from pursuing their ambitions in the past.”

Photo credit: Glasgow Clyde College