As independent chair of the SCoPEd Oversight Committee (SOC), I would like to update SCoPEd partners, members and registrants on the progress of our recent phase two work.
This work has included:
- conducting an impact assessment of the SCoPEd framework
- creating a shared set of principles – based around fairness, inclusion and transparency – for implementing the framework
- working towards agreed shared ‘column titles’ (which are not included in the SCoPEd January 2022 framework)
- agreeing transparent and evidence-based mechanisms for members and registrants to progress between the columns of the framework as they develop their training, skills, knowledge and experience throughout their professional journey
- The independent impact assessment was commissioned this summer following a competitive tender process. The contract was awarded to Eastside Primetimers, a consultancy and recruitment provider in the charity sector who advise on development, funding and growth, and have a strong track record of conducting impact assessments
- The assessment comprised a qualitative element of interviewing various stakeholders including clients and patients, practitioners, trainers, awarding bodies, employers and commissioners, membership body staff, and the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). A variety of viewpoints were covered, including critical voices from those within counselling and psychotherapy, some of whom were contacted due to their specific skills and experience which included professional networking and campaign groups
- It also comprised a quantitative element which involved statistical consideration of some of the data held by partners and data in the public domain
- The full report from Eastside Primetimers, along with an accessible version, is available to download on this web page
- The partners will now reflect on, and digest, the full impact assessment report which will influence the ongoing work. There will be further updates from the partnership in early 2023
Mechanisms and shared principles
- The Technical Group (TG) has commissioned a new working group to discuss the mechanisms of how the framework might be used for membership pathways should SCoPEd be adopted
- This new Mechanisms Group (MG) comprises of staff and representatives from across the partnership bodies responsible for professional standards and membership. This will ensure they bring the skillset and proximity to the operational detail that matches the requirements of the work
- The group is collaborating to ensure that the pathways to transition between columns are clear for those members and registrants who wish to do so, including how to make these accessible and how to ensure they capture the requirements of the framework as well as reflecting a partner’s own specific traditions and requirements. Each partner will also conduct their own consolidation and review of the schemes that emerge from the collaborative work
- The MG will then take their work back into the TG for consideration and sense checking, with final recommendations to be signed off by the SOC
For now the column titles remain as published in the January 2022 framework – A, B, C. The commitment remains within the partnership to look at titles. Working to agree titles would help ensure consistency across the profession and aid wider understanding. To date, the focus has been on the work for both the impact assessment and the mechanisms of the framework.
The impact assessment interviews included some discussion on titles with a variety of stakeholders. The feedback will inform any future conversations on titles along with other new evidence sources and it looks likely now that the work on titles will be a longer-term goal.
It’s important to remember that even if a SCoPEd framework contained alternative titles, the profession does not have legally protected titles and the advice for therapists remains to use the titles they have the skills to ethically use.
Some of you may be aware of recent announcements from two partners regarding leadership changes. I want to take this opportunity to make clear that this has not affected SCoPEd partner relationships and the desire for collaborative work. This work takes place across a number of working groups and there are strong ongoing relationships and a commitment to the work in all of these groups as well as a considerable knowledge base that has been built over the years. With that in mind, I hope I am able to reassure anyone who is uncertain of what these leadership changes mean for the continuity of the work that the Boards concerned have confirmed their support for longstanding Technical Group members to deputise at SOC and make recommendations back to their Boards until the appropriate handover for CEOs can take place. Similarly, new members have been added to the Technical Group to replace departing members. The SOC has approved both courses of action.
If you have questions regarding any of the above, please contact your membership organisations via their usual channels.
Paul Buckley, Independent Chair of the SCoPEd Oversight Committee.
The SCoPEd framework is a ground-breaking shared standards framework, developed by six Professional Standards Authority accredited bodies, including BACP, which represent over 75,000 counsellors and psychotherapists
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