As part of our commitment to increasing and maintaining professional standards, we’ve worked with the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB) to develop an approved level 4 diploma in therapeutic counselling which includes the Certificate of Proficiency (CoP). Practitioners who successfully complete this award will have a direct route to join the BACP Register.

This is the second approved practitioner qualification in the UK, following on from the launch of our approved qualification with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) in 2018.

The approved qualification is a pilot scheme at this stage and is open to all CPCAB centres on an optional basis. Centres will be able to register their interest and apply, subject to meeting criteria we’ve agreed with CPCAB.

High standards

We’ve worked with CPCAB to ensure the qualification meets the high standards of both organisations in terms of content, delivery and assessment.

Approved courses will align content with our Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, include our Certificate of Proficiency (COP) exam and students will join BACP as student members.

CPCAB centres that choose to offer the BACP approved qualification will need to make changes to their courses before they can offer it out to students.

Caroline Jesper, our Head of Professional Standards, said: “This approved qualification will give students a clear route into the profession and onto our register. It guarantees that their course meets our professional standards and will help them as they look for employment and progress in their counselling careers or move onto further study.”

Caroline added: “We’re pleased to have worked with CPCAB on the pilot and look forward to seeing graduates in these approved qualifications take the next step into a profession where they’ll be making a difference in people’s lives every day.”


The approved qualification scheme is different to our course accreditation scheme as we’re working with the qualification providers, rather than individual centres. The criteria are different for each scheme and are mapped to relevant competences. The awarding organisation is responsible for ensuring centres are meeting the criteria for an approved qualification.

Kelly Budd, CPCAB’s Head of Qualifications, added: “We're very pleased to announce this qualification partnership with BACP and hope that centres and students will enjoy the benefits of a smooth pathway to the BACP Register as an integral part of their diploma course. Students are guaranteed to experience the same excellent content and high standard of teaching they have come to expect from a CPCAB qualification with the enhanced benefits that come with a BACP approved practitioner qualification.”

As this is a new approved qualification in England, the collaboration with CPCAB will be reviewed and evaluated throughout the pilot period of two years.

This scheme will be open to other qualification partners across England once the pilot period is complete.