**Calling all BACP members – Please vote in favour of resolution ‘Accreditation’ – Voting opens Monday 17th September 2018 and closes 12th October 2018**
Dear BACP member
As you may know each year the BACP holds its annual AGM and as part of this process they invite members to submit a resolution if they wish to do so. This year, Siobhan Crosbie and Tara Shennan have put forward a resolution which seeks to redress the culture of unemployment which permeates our profession.
The resolution, entitled ‘Accreditation’ asks that the BACP amend their member title structure so that all qualified counsellors are labelled accredited upon registration. We believe the terms qualified and accredited have become synonymous and this is one of the reasons newly qualified counsellors are struggling to gain paid employment.
We also recognise that many therapists have already gone through the current accreditation process. We do not wish to detract from members who have already undergone this process. This is why we have asked that a new label is created for those who have already gone through the process, or will go through it in future.
An example of how this may look:
|BACP process||Current title||Proposed title|
|Join BACP register / passed CoP||Registered Member (MBACP)||Accredited Member (MBACP-Accred)|
|Accreditation||Accredited Member (MBACP-Accred)||Senior Accredited Member (MBACP-Snr Accred)|
|Senior accreditation||Senior Accredited Member (MBACP-Snr Accred)||Fellowship (MBACP-Fellow)|
This resolution is aiming to bring the BACP, and its language, in line with other membership bodies and other therapeutic professionals. This will help eradicate the confusion and myths that employers may hold about counsellors.
BACP has been unable to quantify the cost of making this simple change to titles. However, we feel this is simply a case amending titles, as and when your annual renewal occurs, as that’s when new membership cards are sent out.
This is a simple, yet infinitely powerful change to BACP members and future members.
Unfortunately, BACP are not supportive of the resolution to adjust the titles currently available to BACP members in order to allow new, registered members to be seen as accredited. They believe a consultation process of up to two years would be required to assess the impact of such a resolution. We counter that the impact would be minimal if the BACP aligns their goal in line with our own – to create equal opportunity for paid employment for all members. As BACP have already spent a number of years championing accreditation to employers, the majority of employers and EAPs ask for accreditation as a starting point for employment. However, a starting point for employment should actually be the point at which you qualify and gain registration as a member of BACP.
We urge you, even those who have gone through the voluntary accreditation process, to vote in favour of this motion so that the younger generation of qualified, registered counsellors have the same opportunities to apply for jobs. The status that comes with the current accreditation process will never be taken away from anyone; neither are we asking anyone to stop going for the current accreditation process. We are just asking for a change in title that is granted when you complete the process.
We urge all current registered members and accredited / senior accredited members to vote for the resolution as a means of lifting the profile and recognition of our own profession.
We urge all trainee and newly qualified counsellors to exercise their right to vote and to fight for equality across the profession, ensuing they have the same access to employment opportunities and the respect for the profession.
As you are aware, voting is now open. If you do support us then these are the next steps to take;
- Please use the link sent to you via email from the Chair of the BACP to vote in favour of the resolution, ‘Accreditation.’
- To move to the next step we need to gain 5% of ‘in favour’ votes from the entire BACP membership. We estimate this is around 2,550 votes. Please help us by sharing this with all of your trainee and work colleagues and ask them to vote in favour also. Voting closes on 12th October 2018.
- If we gain 5% of the votes needed, then we move to the next stage of the voting process. At this point the votes already submitted will be cleared and won’t count. We will need to you vote again when voting re-opens on 17th October 2018. You will receive a unique number sent by the company mivote to allow you to do so.
- If enough votes are gained a second time around at the AGM stage then the resolution will be upheld from the date of the BACP AGM which is being held in Birmingham on 17th November 2018.
Counsellors Together UK
In response to some CTUK and BACP members views we’d like to offer the following.
To clarify, this resolution was submitted by Siobhain and Tara as individual members of BACP in response to conversations that they have been a part of in the Counsellors Together UK (CTUK) Facebook group over the last year. What is apparent is that from our 3,600+ members, an awful lot feel that the accreditation process as it stands stops them from gaining paid employment for two reasons.
Firstly, a lot of employers ask for accreditation which excludes some counsellors from applying for paid work. Secondly, it encourages a culture of ongoing volunteering post qualification which employers exploit by suggesting to counsellors that volunteering is the only way to gain the hours needed for accreditation to enable them to then move on to secure paid work.
In the spirit of transparency, some members of CTUK have suggested that we are almost ‘targeting’ BACP and so we’d like to clear this up. As BACP members we are entitled to, as invited by BACP, to submit a yearly resolution and Siobhain and Tara have chosen to exercise that right.
The other issue that has been raised is that some people feel angry that they have already been through the accreditation process and the prospect of all registered members having accredited status seems somehow unfair.
Can we just say that as individuals who have also been accredited; we understand those frustrations.
However, we’d just like to clarify that nobody is looking to take away anyone’s hard-earned status. The proposal is simply about changing terminology to match other PSA accredited registers.
Those with a higher level of experience should indeed be recognised but with a different term than “accredited”. Members of other accredited registers are termed “accredited” upon registration, so BACP members are currently being disadvantaged and the misnomer is causing confusion.
We understand that those with a higher level of experience who have gone through the voluntary accreditation route would understandably prefer to be differentiated from those with less experience .
The suggestion is only that BACP review titles within their membership structure. BACP can then structure those already accredited accordingly to show the differing levels of experience and development.
Siobhain and Tara are admins for the group Counsellors Together UK. The main aim of our group is to end the culture and prevalence of unpaid work within the counselling profession. We are involved in so much right now from setting up meetings with major charities, having a resolution upheld to stop BACP advertising for qualified volunteer counsellors at the 2017 AGM, petitioning government to place counsellors in all schools, writing to MPS, and so much more.
We also have plans to talk with other membership bodies and plans to look at what we can do to raise awareness/change things within the NHS.
We hope that even if you don’t support this particular resolution, you feel welcome to join us in campaigning for fair financial remuneration for the work that counsellors do.
Counsellors Together UK