Should I vote in favour of the BACP 2019 resolution to scrap SCoPEd?

SCoPEd – probably the most controversial project, presented by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), in collaboration with the U.K. Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC), in the last decade!

So, what’s SCoPEd all about?

The BACP tells us that, ‘The Scope of Practice and Education (SCoPEd) project aims to agree an evidence-based framework to inform the training requirements, competences and practice standards for counsellors and psychotherapists who are working with adults.’ (BACP, 2019 – link below)

There has been much discussion between  members of BACP, UKCP and the BPC since SCoPEd was released at the beginning of 2019. Discussions have focused on both the potential positive and negative consequences of such a huge project, which, if implemented, could dramatically change the landscape of counselling and Psychotherapy for all therapists, including those therapists who belong to other membership bodies who also sit on the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) register. 

One of the major mistakes that we feel the three organisations failed to do when planning the SCoPEd project, was to consult with their members. Naturally, this concerned members who felt that they should have been asked about such an important project from the beginning, considering the effects it could have on the profession. As members started to look more at the details of the project, many flaws became apparent, and many people started to write about these online and challenge the ethos, purpose and validly of the SCoPEd project. 

Furthermore, in July 2019, two members of BACP, Erin Stevens and Tara Shennan submitted an AGM resolution, asking BACP to scrap the SCoPEd project, and to fully consult with members on any future competency-mapping projects. You can read more about the voting process and view the full resolution here

At Counsellors Together UK we support the resolution asking to scrap SCoPEd.

To be clear, we are against the framework and mapping of this particular project – where a level of work has already been carried out outside of wider consultation, in a role of assumed responsibility by the three parties involved. This is what we reject. From our point of view, we feel that by scrapping SCoPEd, it does not have to in fact halt any and all discussions on where we are at as a profession, but instead allows an opportunity for new discussions and wider collaboration, thereby keeping the minds and hearts of the membership body central to any future process.

The voting process for the BACP ‘scrap SCoPEd’ resolution opens on Monday 19th August 2019 and closes on 10th September 2019, and whilst many members of BACP have already said they are voting to support the resolution, there are many members who are unsure, mainly, as they tell us they don’t understand the project, or, what the implications of it will be, should it be implemented. 

In light of this, for those members of BACP who are unsure how to vote regarding this resolution, I’d like to encourage you to read the following articles, which have been written by those who are both for and against the SCoPEd project, and to vote on the basis of having made an informed decision. 

To begin with, it is perhaps a good idea to revisit the SCoPEd framework, which you can find at the following link, alongside further information the BACP has provided about SCoPEd – www.bacp.co.uk/about-us/advancing-the-profession/scoped/scoped-framework/

Against SCoPEd 

Alliance – (Andrew Samuels)  https://allianceblogs.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/scoped-andrewsamuels-letter/

Alliance – (Andy Rogers) https://allianceblogs.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/scoped_denial_rogers/

Alliance – (David Murphy) https://allianceblogs.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/the-questionable-evidence-base-of-scoped/

Alliance -(Arthur Musgrave and Joe Stuart)  https://allianceblogs.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/scoped_musgrave_stuart/

More from the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy here – https://allianceblogs.wordpress.com/

Erin Stevens (BACP Resolution proposer) – https://aclientfirst.com/2019/06/25/the-medicalisation-of-therapy-what-can-we-infer-from-the-language-of-scoped/

Tara Shennan (BACP Resolution seconder) – https://ukcounsellors.co.uk/why-im-seconding-the-scrapscoped-resolution/

Caz Binstead (Private Practitioner and member of BACPs Private Practice Executive Committee) – http://www.pcsr.org.uk/open-letter-regarding-scoped-by-caz-binstead/

Counsellors Together UK Petition – https://www.change.org/p/british-association-for-counselling-and-psychotherapy-we-are-asking-bacp-to-scrap-the-scoped-project

Counsellors Together UK – https://ukcounsellors.co.uk/initial-response-to-bacp-scoped-project/

National Counselling Society – https://www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org/a/api/download/?id=181

Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility (PCSR) – https://m.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=2355451414466367

Maria Albertsen, things SCoPEd says Counsellors can’t do – https://mobile.twitter.com/MariaAlbertsen_/status/1091807268537069569

The British Association for the Person-centred approach – https://www.the-pca.org.uk/blog.html

FOR SCoPEd 

Andrew Reeves (BACP Chair) – https://www.bacp.co.uk/news/news-from-bacp/2019/25-july-a-view-from-the-chair/

Julia Samuel (BACP Vice President) – https://www.bacp.co.uk/news/news-from-bacp/2019/8-august-julia-samuel-on-scoped-it-works-for-clients-and-the-profession/

BPC – https://www.bpc.org.uk/news/scoped-ground-breaking-project-set-out-training-requirements-and-practice-standards-counselling

UKCP – https://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/news/framework-counselling-psychotherapy/

Also, if you are a member of the BACP, they have a private Facebook group you can join where you’ll find members who have put forward arguments for supporting the SCoPEd framework. This may be of interest to you. 

Lastly, if you use twitter you can follow the hashtag #SCoPEd for further thoughts. 

  • We couldn’t find anymore articles either in support or against SCoPEd online. If you do know of any please do leave a link on the comments below. We do hope this has helped you to decide how to vote for the 2019 BACP resolution to scrap SCoPEd. 

By Maria Albertsen

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