1. Skip to main content

All members/registrants are bound to abide by the guidelines set out in the Ethical Frameworks. The Association relies on members of the public as well as members/registrants of BACP bringing matters of poor and unethical practice to its attention. Only in so doing, can the Association act in order to consider any matters of complaint and ultimately to protect members of the public and the reputation of counselling and psychotherapy.

BACP does have a formal Professional Conduct Procedure binding upon all members/registrants which is available to a person seeking or using the services of a member, or by another member who has reason to believe that there has been a true breach of the BACP Ethical Framework. The Association encourages complainants to attempt to remedy their differences before formally bringing the matter to its attention. In the case of organisational members BACP encourages complainants to utilise the internal procedures of the organisation.

When attempting to resolve the situation it should be addressed within a reasonable time frame and you may wish to take into account that a complaint submitted to BACP needs to be received correctly formulated. However, where resolution is not possible or appropriate given the specific circumstances of a complaint, the matter can be brought directly to BACP's attention, but the complainant must give details as to why it was not possible to resolve it by any other means.

The 'Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions (EFfCP) details the standards expected from a member/registrant from 1 July 2016 onwards. The ‘Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy' (EFGPCP) details the standard expected of a member since its introduction on 1 April 2002 until 1 July 2016. If your complaint, or portion of your complaint, relates to a period when a different standard applies, the member will be accountable to the relevant standard. When writing the complaint you will need to give a detailed account of the action or inaction of the member/registrant complained against. While you do not have to cross-reference it to the EFfCP/EFGPCP,  you may do so if you wish where relevant. Your account should be as detailed and succinct as possible. Where you have any other evidence or documents which support an allegation, these should be attached and cross-referenced, if possible. You will find a list attached, which you should use as a reminder system to assist you.

If a complaint, meeting the requirements of the Procedure, is submitted to BACP, the member/registrant is notified and sent a copy. It is only if a complaint is accepted by the Pre-Hearing Assessment Panel, that a member/registrant complained against is expected to formally respond to the allegations made.

Related Content

Welcome to Professional Conduct

Procedure Notices Introduction


Downloadable Documents

Article 12.6

Professional Conduct Procedure