Information about our registered members
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
All BACP members must take, or be taking, a core practitioner training course in counselling or psychotherapy. This course must be a minimum of one year full time or two years' part time tuition and include a supervised placement of 100 hours of client work.
Once they successfully graduate from their course, they can become an individual member. They then have a maximum of two years to become a registered member.
We have two routes to registration:
1. Completion of a BACP accredited course
Our course accreditation scheme assesses counselling and psychotherapy courses against stringent criteria to ensure that they provide high quality, professional training. If a member has successfully completed a BACP accredited course we know that they have been trained and assessed to a good standard. They are eligible to join the Register without any further assessment.
2. Passing the BACP Certificate of Proficiency
If a member has taken a course that is not BACP accredited, we don’t have detailed knowledge of their training. We ask them to take our Certificate of Proficiency (CoP) assessment to show that they meet our standards and are safe and effective practitioners.
The CoP assesses 14 areas, such as the member’s ability to:
- demonstrate good practice in relation to ethical and professional guidelines
- establish and maintain clear therapeutic boundaries
- manage endings
These areas are aligned to educational and professional standards and assess knowledge and skills to undergraduate degree level.
Most members become eligible for registration by passing the CoP.
Eligible members can become registered by agreeing to the Register terms and conditions. These include committing to continuing professional development and adhering to our ‘Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions’.
We ensure that they continue to meet the standards through their annual registration renewal process and by auditing a percentage of registered members.
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:
- What do counsellors and psychotherapists do?
- How do I choose a therapist?
- What happens in your first session with your therapist.
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.
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.