Criterion 8: Knowledge & Understanding


This guide takes you through each of the three questions of Criterion 8, exploring what it means by ‘a rationale for all your client work’ and helping to shape your answers in a way that sets you up for Criterion 9, the case material.


Criteria 8 is a 1400 word section about your Knowledge and Understanding, your use of theory and how that informs your practice with clients. 

It is broken down into three questions:

  • 8.1 Describe a rationale for all your client work with reference to theory/theories that inform all your practice.
  • 8.2 Describe the place of self-awareness within your way of working.
  • 8.3 Describe how issues of difference and equality impact the therapeutic relationship.

Criteria 8 is at the heart of the accreditation process and is your chance to describe how well you understand the theory behind the work you do, and how you use that to the best advantage of your clients. You also demonstrate your awareness of yourself as a therapist and the importance of providing a fair and equal service to all your clients.

8.1 is one of the most common sections for deferral and, if you are deferred on this you will automatically be deferred on 9.1 so it pays to get this section clear and coherent in your mind and your written answer.

In this guide, we go through exactly what is being asked in 8.1, and then 8.2 and 8.3 in turn, with full guidance and example answers. 

When you have written Criteria 8 you have your template ready for the biggest section, Criteria 9. Don’t be put off because you are unsure how to answer this, our guide will take you through it step-by-step.

NB As Criteria 8 and 9 need to match each other exactly, you may want to consider buying our guide to Criteria 9 or the Combined Guide to 8 & 9 together.

This is for guidance only and, in line with BACP policy, is not a template for writing your own submission.


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