The BACP Accreditation Scheme has relaunched…

The new BACP accreditation schemes opened in February (2024) and are up and running for applications.  The previous scheme, which had been in place for many years, was closed last year to so it could be relaunched in line with the long-planned (and quite controversial) SCoPEd framework.  The new schemes for accreditation and senior accreditation, which are part of a ‘transition period’, are going to be in place until January 2026.

There are similarities between the old and new versions, but also some significant changes and updates. If you had thought about applying before and have any of the old guidance, you will need to refresh!

Deferral resubmissions for applications submitted under the old scheme (up to 31 October 2023) will still be accepted up to six months from the date of deferral.

What does this mean?

You can find full details about the new accreditation schemes on the BACP website including how they align to the SCoPEd framework which is behind the changes. 

There are 3 schemes now open for accreditation:

  • If you are a registered BACP member you will automatically be in Column A. You can apply for accredited status to move into Column B. This has two reflective pieces of written work at the heart of the application.
  • If you are an accredited member you will automatically be in Column B. You can apply for senior accredited status to move into Column C. This is a more comprehensive application process and requires you to show evidence of multiple areas of competence, knowledge and skill both with clients and other professionals.
  • If you are currently a senior accredited member you are also in Column B and have until January 2027 to complete a new application to move into Column C and remain senior accredited. It has been a controversial decision by BACP to strip away the pre-existing accreditation status of over 1400 senior therapists.

There are specific eligibility criteria for each category including training, number of practice hours and levels of knowledge and competence. These are mapped against the SCoPEd competenciesYou can find full details including downloads of the criteria and guidance for each of these categories on the BACP page SCoPEd Transition Mechanisms.

What should I do?

Become informed about the new process: there is a lot of information to absorb and understand about accreditation so when you think you are eligible and ready to apply, make sure you read up and get really familiar with it. Read the eligibility criteria, the information you need to submit in the admin form, the reflective criteria questions. Have a clear idea of the structure of the application and what will be required to tackle it.

Keep records and gather information: whichever accreditation you are going for, you will need to start keeping records and gathering evidence to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and will have evidence for your criteria answers. 

Talk to your supervisor: you will need good support if you want to go for accreditation and your supervisor will have to answer some questions about you and your practice. Check that they are happy to support you and work on the process together. If not, you may want to think about finding an alternative supervisor before you start.

Brush up on your references: you will need to be familiar with best practice guidelines for your area of work. These include the new SCoPEd competencies, the BACP Ethical Framework and also any other specific competencies which apply to you like working with CYP or online and telephone working. 

Evaluate: these are very changing times in our profession and the impact of the SCoPEd changes will most likely take years to be properly evaluated. It is worth considering what will best serve your career including personal and professional goals at this point. It may be that you are happy to stay in your designated column or that you feel you need to move columns to improve your chance of paid referral work or employment. Think carefully about your motivation and consider what support you will need with any decision to make.

Get support! We’ve been working hard at My Private Practice to keep up to speed with all the changes and have launched our popular e-book guides to the new accreditation available on our website. We are also offering mentoring support packages if you’d like more personal encouragement and help. We will be launching guidance and e-books on the senior accreditation process at a later date. Sign up to our newsletter if you would like to know when these come out.

As a qualified therapist, in any column, you can start your own private practice. Get help from our e-books or 1:1 mentoring service. To find out about new e-book releases