Competence frameworks describe the knowledge, skills, abilities and qualities required for practitioners to work with a specific client group or within a specific context or setting. 

BACP competences can inform the development of curricula for the specific specialism, thereby linking the evidence base with training.

Our competence frameworks are accompanied by user guides which will help you understand how you can use each framework to map your existing competence and experience.

They’ll also help you to identify any gaps that you may want to address through further training or continuing professional development (CPD).

The frameworks and user guides can also be a useful tool for educators and employers for mapping trainings and requirements for job roles.

Online and Phone Therapy (OPT)

Previously known as the telephone and e-counselling competence framework, the new Online and Phone Therapy (OPT) framework for working with adults has been reviewed to capture the recent change in remote working. To inform these next stages, please share your feedback about the framework.

Key changes in the updated framework acknowledge:

  • the advances of therapy being carried out via video calls
  • different ways of offering OPT
  • blended or hybrid therapy
  • managing of risks
  • differences between remote and face to face therapy

Later this year we’ll publish a training curriculum and in 2022 we’ll carry out another review which will include the most recent findings in the research literature.


We commissioned a project to produce a supervision competence framework that is underpinned by contemporary research and best practice which is relevant to current supervision practice, training and the varied needs of BACP members.

The framework aims to provide training institutions, supervisors, supervisees, service providers and researchers with an up-to-date resource to inform best practice in supervision. It will also enable activities such as curriculum development and delivery, commissioning, clinical governance, research, and engagement in CPD.

A revised supervision training curriculum, underpinned by the framework, is currently in development and will offer training providers a framework for training counselling and psychotherapy supervisors.


Workplace counselling is increasingly in demand and widely acknowledged as a valuable way for organisations to support staff wellbeing. This is the first time we’ve published a Workplace framework of this kind.

An increasing number of paid or training opportunities are available to counsellors in this area. The framework aims to clarify the different contexts of workplace counselling and explain how the framework can be utilised for the benefit of these contexts.

The framework provides valuable information for workplace counsellors by focusing on the situations, ethical decision making, boundary issues, knowledge and legal areas that are unique to workplace counselling.

You can access all BACP competence frameworks and user guides on our website.