BACP apologises for the confusion caused by previous CYP statements and for the unintended consequences this has caused for service providers, training organisations and students.

Our intention is always to ensure high standards of training and ethical practice, especially so when working with this vulnerable client group.

While our ethical position* remains unequivocal, in that counsellors are required to work within competence, we have listened to feedback from students, trainers and service providers and revised our position. The revised position will ensure that students are able to complete the clinical practice element of their counsellor or psychotherapist training and count all their placement hours for BACP registration and accreditation purposes. This change will also support counselling training courses and counselling services for CYP will not be compromised by a further lack of student placements.

*See Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions - Working to professional standards point 13

We therefore confirm with immediate effect that:

  • Students on adult client oriented training courses may work with CYP on placement provided that, either the training provider and/or the placement service provider ensure that the student is assessed as having the basic competences to practice safely and ethically with CYP. (
  • Prior to working with CYP, either the training provider and/or the placement service provider must ensure student counsellors have received essential training and development to work with CYP to work on placement.
  • Training and development can be achieved through the inclusion of the basic competences in the course training programme or placement provider induction and can be supplemented by recommended Counselling MindEd e-learning sessions. The Counselling MindEd resources are free to access and students can save and print certificates of completion to evidence their participation.
  • Training providers and CYP Counselling Service providers may also want to access BACP Good Practice in Action resources to support practice.
  • If students carry out placements with CYP they must receive robust and appropriate supervision from supervisors who are themselves competent to work with children and young people.
  • Training providers and CYP Counselling Service providers should ensure that students working with 16-18 year old clients should be made aware that this age group that falls between various child and adult laws. For more information see BACP Good Practice in Action – Legal resources.
  • If students wish to pursue placements with young people (16-18 years old) when on training courses which train them to work with adults, then BACP will also recognise the training placement as long as the students are working ethically, competently and have robust supervision, the hours will count towards the 100 clinical placement hours required by the course and towards BACP registration and accreditation.

The above requirements for training, basic competences in CYP working and appropriate supervision are consistent with those stipulated in previous statements. As such, hours accrued by students prior to 14th June 2016 may be counted as part of their placement hours, provided that all requirements of this statement were met and continued to be met from commencement of the placement. If the requirements were not met, or it cannot be determined that they were met, the hours cannot be counted retrospectively. In addition, placement hours completed as part of an accredited course must also meet all of the requirements for course accreditation.