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What the Register means for clients

Going to see a counsellor or psychotherapist is a big step for most people. You may be experiencing some stressful, emotional situations and seeking balance in your life. Or, you may just find it easier to talk about personal, family or relationship issues with someone who is not family or a friend. 

Choosing a practitioner who is a member of the BACP Register gives you an assurance that they meet the standards of proficiency and ethical practice you would expect.  

Meeting the standards

To become registered, BACP members have to complete the following steps. 

First they must complete a practitioner training course which includes a supervised placement. If this course is not BACP accredited, they also have to take our Certificate of Proficiency (CoP) assessment. 

We developed the CoP to allow members with different qualifications to show that they meet a common standard and are safe and effective practitioners. It assesses 14 areas, such as their ability to:  

  • demonstrate good practice in relation to ethical and professional guidelines
  • establish and maintain clear therapeutic boundaries
  • manage endings 

These areas are mapped to various educational and professional standards and assess knowledge and skills to the level of an undergraduate degree.

Once members are eligible for registration, they must agree to the Register terms and conditions. These include committing to continuing professional development and adhering to our ‘Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions’.

Finding a therapist 

If you want to check whether a specific therapist is registered, you can search the BACP Register.

If you want therapy and are looking for qualified counsellors or psychotherapists in your area, please see our Find a Therapist directory. This is an online directory where members can pay to advertise their services to potential clients. Registered members are clearly identified by a BACP Registered logo.

You can also find further information about counselling and psychotherapy, or about choosing a therapy or therapist, on our It's good to talk website. Or you can download one of our information leaflets below:

Key facts

Information sheets  

What to do if you have concerns 

BACP Register's 'Ask Kathleen' service provides information and guidance on what to do if you have any concerns about therapy or your therapist.

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pdf file Ask Kathleen Flyer 

If you have any questions about good practice you can email the Ask Kathleen team at ask@bacp.co.uk or call us on 01455 883344. Or you may find the answer in our Frequently asked questions.

If you want to make a complaint, you can find more information and advice in our Professional Conduct section.

Have you used the Ask Kathleen service? Please let us know if you found it useful by completing our short survey