BACP members resolution 2019 – vote to scrap #SCoPEd

Dear colleague

If you’re a member of the BACP, you may be aware that the resolution process will be opening shortly, and if you are concerned about what SCoPEd means for the future of the profession, here is your opportunity to make your vote count.

Erin Stevens and Tara Shennan have submitted an AGM resolution, asking BACP to scrap the SCoPEd project, and to fully consult with members on any future competency-mapping projects. We need your help to make sure that the BACP have to sit up and take notice of their members’ concerns.

Around 2400 votes from BACP members will be needed to get this resolution to the next stage of voting, which as you can imagine, is a huge task! With your continued support this number is more than achievable. Your vote really will count. You can read the details for the resolution at the bottom of this page.

The first round of voting opens on the 19th August 2019, and closes on the 10th September 2019. The approx. 2400 votes we need at this stage will make sure the resolution gets heard and voted on at the AGM (and online by members unable to attend the AGM). If the resolution wins the AGM vote, BACP will be legally obliged to implement it.

On or around 19th August, BACP members should receive an email either from BACP, somebody from the BACP or the independent voting company mi-vote, with a unique link allowing you to vote for the resolution. There may be an option to select “Proxy Vote”; Please do not select Proxy Vote as this will essentially be handing your vote over to the BACP, for them to cast themselves.

We will be back in touch to update you on the resolution process as it progresses.

Please vote for the scrap SCoPEd resolution and help to shape the future of counselling and psychotherapy.

Many thanks

Maria Albertsen – on behalf of Counsellors Together UK

Scrap SCoPEd Resolution 


It is proposed that the BACP discontinue their association with the SCoPEd project, which portrays counsellors as less competent than psychotherapists and questions their capacity for independent judgement. Furthermore, we propose that any future move towards developing a competency framework must be undertaken with member-consultation from the outset.


We propose that BACP discontinue their association with the controversial SCoPEd project, and that any future move to develop a competency framework should be undertaken with member-consultation from the outset.

Communication with members has been poor, and many members are unhappy with the way the research has been conducted. The joint project between BACP, UKCP and BPC was developed without any initial member-consultation. The majority of the expert reference group are psychoanalyst/psychodynamic therapists, and several modalities are unrepresented, including person-centred therapy.

The tiered system presented in the project favours trainings associated with two of the bodies involved with the project – UKCP and BPC. While the authors of this resolution do not suggest any impropriety from researchers, we suggest the absence of declarations of potential conflicts of interest is a serious ethical limitation of the research.

The SCoPEd framework places counsellors and psychotherapists on a competency continuum which deskills counsellors, and is not reflective of the ways in which members work in reality.

Claims that SCoPEd will provide clarity for clients, therapists and other stakeholders are called into question by members who report feeling confused by the project. The SCoPEd team have said the terms ‘counsellor’ and ‘psychotherapist’ are not titles, while presumably the evidence they draw upon in the research would use these terms as titles.

BACP have said that the tiers are ‘entry points’, yet ‘Advanced Counsellor’ is only attainable for the vast majority of members through accreditation or equivalent post-qualification experience, which is not an entry point. Facebook chats and Therapy Today articles appear to have only obfuscated further. Members are concerned about what SCoPEd means for the future, because the BACP are not providing clarity about this.

Additionally, concerns have been expressed about the use of medicalised language in the framework, which does not reflect the diversity of modalities and therapeutic approaches amongst members. This comes as movement to challenge the medicalisation of distress gains traction in the field (See: Power Threat Meaning Framework, Johnstone and Boyle, 2018).

If this resolution is successful, the BACP will discontinue its association with the SCoPEd project. This will mean that the tiered framework will not be implemented for BACP members, and the BACP will not spend members’ fees and resources on its further development or implementation. The authors of this resolution propose that this is in the interests of the organisation, its members and clients.

If this resolution is unsuccessful, we do not know what this will mean for the future of the BACP or the profession. At the very least, it is likely that courses leading to UKCP and BPC membership will be seen as preferable from the perspective of new students, employers and perhaps even insurers, since SCoPEd declares therapists entering the profession with those qualifications to possess higher competencies around assessment, ethics, ruptures, unconscious processes and more. The authors suggest that these propositions are damaging, do not reflect the realities of training and practice, and are based on flawed research.

Submitted by Erin Stevens Tara Shennan

2 thoughts on “BACP members resolution 2019 – vote to scrap #SCoPEd”

  1. I can’t support a framework that seems set on asserting that counsellors are somehow ‘less than’. The counselling profession is already treated as the ‘poor relative’ of other mental health professions. ScopED only feeds into this myth. This is wrong and must stop.

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