SCoPEd is a shared standards framework, developed and published by six Professional Standards Authority accredited bodies, including BACP, which represent over 75,000 counsellors and psychotherapists. 

It transparently sets out the core training, practice and competence requirements for counsellors and psychotherapists working with adults.

BACP Chief Executive Hadyn Williams said: "This is a major step forward for our members and the wider counselling and psychotherapy profession, and it’s very important to reinforce that SCoPEd is about evolution not revolution – nothing changes at this stage for BACP or our members

"We’re continuing to work closely with our partners in this important area, and later this year BACP’s Board will decide whether and how to adopt the SCoPEd framework. If we adopt the framework for BACP, we will take the time to make sure that adoption and transition periods are clearly communicated, with opportunities for members to engage and ask questions.

"I’d like to thank all the BACP members, partners and staff who have contributed to the framework’s development so far. Your input and feedback has been extremely valuable, has been listened to and has helped shape and improve this version of the framework."

Natalie Bailey, Chair of BACP, said: "I very much welcome the collaboration between all the partners that has led to the development of the January 2022 SCoPEd framework. The Board has supported BACP's role as part of the SCoPEd Partnership and it's positive news that we now have a wider partnership that also feels SCoPEd could bring benefits to our profession, our members and of course to wider society."

You can:

  • watch our introduction to SCoPEd animation below
  • download the January 2022 version of the SCoPEd framework or Methodology update January 2022 from this page
  • read more about SCoPEd

A joint statement by the SCoPEd partners

The Chief Executives of the six SCoPEd partners have published a joint announcement welcoming the new framework and outlining the next steps for the partnership:

"We’re pleased to announce that the latest version of the ground-breaking SCoPEd framework has been published today, 2 February 2022. 

"This January 2022 version of the framework is the first to be developed jointly by our six Professional Standards Authority-accredited counselling and psychotherapy organisations. Together, we represent over 75,000 counsellors and psychotherapists. We’d like to thank all the members, registrants, partners and staff who have contributed to its development.

"This latest framework version reflects our better mutual understanding and a closer working alliance, underlined by our shared passion and priority of protecting the public. It has been a real pleasure to collaborate with one another, and we are bound powerfully by our joint commitment to promoting the skills and competences of all our members and registrants, at a time of acute societal need.

"We are already seeing the positive impact on how the counselling and psychotherapy profession is perceived, with significant engagement at this early stage from bodies such as the NHS and Health Education England.

"The publication of the January 2022 framework marks the delivery of our phase one work on SCoPEd – a joint commitment to map the current reality of the core training, practice and competence requirements. The framework is written at a high level, is not modality specific, and it is about working with adults over the age of 18, and not about working with children or young people.

"We are now moving on to phase two of our collective work. This means working towards the potential adoption of the framework by each partner organisation, and in due course we will also populate the framework with titles, gateways and much more.

"We want to achieve a basic high-level recognition of the rigour and standards of counselling and psychotherapy as a whole. This is because we are still at an early stage in making sure policymakers, commissioners and the public have a fundamental grasp of our profession.

"As we enter phase two, we have jointly committed to:

  • continuing to develop the framework to provide essential information to clients, patients and service users to make informed choices about the support they seek
  • 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 this version
  • 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 expansion of the SCoPEd partnership to embrace new organisations, and the excellent working relationships we have formed, have made a very positive impact on the framework, and have further emphasised the need for it, its purpose, and its benefits.

"We are looking forward to moving ahead collectively on this phase two activity in the coming weeks and months."

What are the key changes in this version of the framework?

There have been a number of significant updates and improvements made to the content and the language of the framework since the previous version was published in July 2020. These are as a result of:

  • feedback from members, registrants and stakeholders on the previous version
  • input from all new and existing partners and the independent experts by experience recruited to support and review the development of the framework.

The key changes include:

  • greater emphasis on the role of the therapeutic relationship and the qualities of the therapist
  • further focus on equality, diversity and inclusion as a theme embedded and integrated throughout the framework
  • additional standards relating to online and phone therapy
  • more consistent use of language that is inclusive and more accessible to a wider audience
  • the addition of a glossary of terms

Who are the SCoPEd partners?

The partner organisations collaborating on SCoPEd are:

  • Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC)
  • British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
  • British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
  • Human Givens Institute (HGI)
  • National Counselling Society (NCS)
  • UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

Collectively, the SCoPEd partners represent over 75,000 counsellors and psychotherapists from a diverse range of backgrounds, approaches, philosophies and professional training.

The SCoPEd Oversight Committee (SOC) is the governance body for the framework. The SOC was established when ACC, ACP (Association of Child Psychotherapists), HGI and NCS joined the original SCoPEd partners BACP, BPC and UKCP in November 2020.

It meets regularly to oversee, guide and scrutinise the work of SCoPEd. It includes the six Chief Executives of the participating partners, three independent experts by experience and Independent Chair Paul Buckley who was appointed in spring 2021.

You can watch BACP's introduction to SCoPEd animation or download the new framework by clicking on the links on this page or read more about SCoPEd