We’ve introduced changes to our requirements for teaching delivery and placements for new cohorts starting from 1 September 2021, including a requirement for a minimum of 70% of training to be delivered face to face and in person. The remaining 30% can be delivered remotely providing the delivery is synchronous, live and with a tutor.
The current 100 hours supervised practice requirement is a national standard for entry to the profession. We’re encouraging courses to be as flexible as possible to enable you to complete these hours, for example via an extension or mitigating circumstances policy.
We’ve updated our entry requirements to include some remote training and placement hours for any new student cohorts from 1 September 2021, including the ability to carry out up to 50% of placement hours online by video or video and phone. However, it's up to your course provider, as well as your placement, to decide whether this aligns with their protocols and standards. Any practice hours that are not approved by your course cannot be counted towards accreditation or membership requirements.
Your remote placement hours must still be:
- carried out with genuine clients, rather than peers from your course for example
- in an appropriate setting with appropriate clients
- assessed (or marked) as an integral part of your training
The focus of any training and practice should be on using online video platforms or the phone, not text-based or email counselling which requires additional skills and knowledge.
If you've not gained the number of face to face placement hours required by the end of your training, we're asking accredited courses and approved qualification partners to give students an extension to enable you to gain these hours.
We appreciate that gaining the majority of placement hours face to face might be a challenge for some students this academic year so we're open to being flexible about the proportions, where there are genuine difficulties. However, to ensure competence to work face to face with clients as well as ethical and professional standards, these flexibilities don't extend to students having no face to face placement hours. We’re encouraging courses to incorporate this into an extenuating circumstances or extensions policy to enable students to gain sufficient face to face placement hours to ensure competence before qualification.
From 1 September 2021 we’re asking courses to ensure their trainings meet our new membership entry requirements for any new student cohorts. We require accredited courses to map their trainings to our Online and phone therapy (OPT) curriculum if they want to incorporate OPT competences and remote delivery on a permanent basis.
You must also have appropriate supervision in place with a supervisor who has experience and confidence in working online or by phone. We recommend a ratio of one hour's supervision to eight hours counselling, and that you speak with your supervisor fortnightly.
Working with children and young people training requirements
Training providers must develop measures to ensure that appropriate training and assessment (linked to competences) is in place before trainees can practise online or by phone with children and young people.
Now that government restrictions are lifting, all placement hours with children and young people need to be face to face to meet current BACP requirements and professional standards. We’re now developing standards for working remotely with children and young people so we’ll share an update on this in the near future.
Before you begin work with a new client, they must be assessed by an experienced practitioner in the placement for their suitability to work with a trainee and for working remotely.
You may need to register with the ICO if you’re using your own devices to practice.
While you’re in training, clients must be based in the UK as there are additional legislative, insurance and safeguarding issues for practice in other countries.
Your course and placement provider should work together to ensure that you have appropriate support for working remotely. You should:
- have support in place for debriefing or taking concerns about your remote client work
- know what to do and where to go if you have concerns about client risk
- have access to a list of additional support services and referral pathways that can be shared with clients when needed
- have online or phone counselling sessions adequately spaced to take account of the intensity of working in this way
Having supervision online can count towards your required hours, but check the requirements of your training organisation.
Peer supervision alone is not recommended for trainees.