1. Skip to main content

Frequently asked questions - applicants


Do I need to take the Certificate of Proficiency?

If you are currently an Individual Member or an MBACP who has not passed a BACP Accredited course, you need to take the Certificate of Proficiency (CoP) before you can join the BACP Register. You can check if your course was accredited on our main website.

If you are a Student Member you are not currently eligible to take the CoP. You would need to upgrade to the Individual Member category to take the assessment.

How can I take a CoP assessment?

To take the CoP, you need to attend an invigilated assessment event. We hold assessments at 10 locations across the UK - details of forthcoming dates and venues are on our website.  You can book your place online or contact us.

I can’t find any CoP assessments in my area. Will you be arranging more?

When we first launched the CoP in 2013 we organised assessments all over the UK because of the large number of members who needed to attend. We now hold  CoP assessments in the following 10 locations only:

Belfast
Birmingham
Bristol
Glasgow
London
Manchester
Newcastle
Norwich
Plymouth
Southampton

The next CoP in my area takes place after my registration deadline. What can I do? 

If you are an Individual Member, you should book onto the next convenient assessment. As long as you have a CoP booked by your renewal date you will be able to remain an Individual Member, However you should attend and pass your CoP within your next membership year.

If you are an MBACP, you should also book onto the next convenient assessment. As long as you have a CoP booked by your renewal date you wil be able to renew as an Individual Member to give you time to attend and pass your CoP. If you are not booked onto a CoP by your renewal date, your membership of BACP will end. 

I am based outside the UK. How can I take the assessment? 

This is still in discussion. We will publish further information as soon as a decision has been made.  

How long does the assessment take?

We hold morning or afternoon sessions at each venue. The am session is usually 9.30 - 12 noon and the pm session is usually 1.30 - 4pm. We will send you confirmation of the times for your assessment when you book.

You will be given two hours to complete your assessment and can leave as soon as you have finished.

Do I have to pay?

The CoP assessment is currently free if you book before your registration deadline. You may have to pay if:

you miss the registration deadline and want to reinstate your membership
you fail the assessment three times and want to retake it again 

The current fee is £75. 

What happens if I have a disability or other special requirements?

If you have a disability or special requirement that may affect you taking the assessment, please let us know when you book, either by contacting us or by completing the special requirements field on the online booking form.

What happens if I am not very good at using computers?

When you attend your assessment BACP staff will help you to login and make sure you understand how the assessment works. You will also get an opportunity to practise beforehand. Members generally find the assessment system very easy to use. 

How do I need to prepare for my assessment?

The assessment is based around case studies in practice situations so you do not need to learn about specific theories or dates. We will send you a candidate preparation guide and joining instructions two weeks before your assessment so that you know what to expect. We will also send you a sample assessment via email so that you can try it out. 

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Please have your membership details and password available and bring some form of photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence. If you do not bring any ID, you will still be able to sit the assessment but we will take your photograph and ask you to send us a copy of your documentation.

How many times can I take the CoP?

You can take the CoP up to three times.  If you fail three times, your membership will be removed for a minimum period of six months, as you will not be deemed to have a sufficient level of proficiency to meet the BACP Individual Membership requirements.  

After six months you may apply to re-join BACP but you must sit and pass the CoP first. You will be charged for retaking the assessment; the current fee is £75. 

Can I pre-book more than one CoP assessment?

We would ask you only book onto one CoP assessment at a time.  Spaces are limited and most people pass first time. 

I can no longer attend the CoP assessment I booked. How can I cancel?

If you cannot attend an assessment, please contact us as soon as possible so we can give your space to another member. You can then book another assessment at the same time so you don’t miss the deadline for registration.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Certificate of Proficiency, please contact us.