The original framework (telephone and e-counselling competence framework) was first published in February 2016. Since then, this area of counselling has changed markedly as technology has evolved and new media have been developed. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement for many of our members to move to online or phone counselling reinforced the need for the framework and curriculum to be updated.

This updated online and phone therapy (OPT) competence framework and user guide for working with adults provides members with a more robust, up-to-date framework to support training and practice in OPT.

It acknowledges the advances in technology since the original publication and includes the competences to work via video platforms.


The competence framework identifies the knowledge, skills and abilities required by practitioners who wish to work with clients via OPT.


The training curriculum is aimed at training providers who wish to deliver training for OPT. It is designed to be flexible to meet the varied needs of different training providers, students and practitioners with a range of past OPT experience or previous OPT training.

BACP competences and curricula

Our competences and curricula are based on the latest research evidence into effective practice. They can be used by practitioners, trainers, supervisors and services to ensure practitioners have the skills and knowledge needed to work in a particular setting, or with particular clients.

Copyright and permissions

All our competence frameworks, user guides and training curricula are copyrighted with all rights reserved. We have developed these resources to help BACP members in their practice development and to support the development of training courses. Permission to use these resources is defined under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

You can find information about when you are permitted to use works without having to apply for permission in Exceptions to copyright.

If you're not sure and would like to seek permission to use any of BACP’s competences, curricula and user guides, please email Professional Standards at