We are asking BACP to scrap the SCoPEd project
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We believe that the proposed SCoPEd project by BACP, UKCP and BPC creates a hierarchy between counsellors and psychotherapists and is detrimental to the progression of the counselling profession. As members of BACP we ask that the SCoPEd program is stopped with immediate affect.
This project is not representative of BACP members. BACP states in their literature that they have 12 members only on the project panel, only 2 of which are humanistic therapists and the majority of which (7) are psychoanalytic. How can this panel represent the BACP membership? We would ask that BACP consider how this framework is exploitative to its members by promoting such hierarchy. How can a project such as SCoPEd which is being developed without representation of the majority of your membership offer a fair representation of knowledge, skills and attitudes which is what you state you aim to be measuring, when the panel is so deeply rooted in psychoanalytic theory?
If this framework was to be implemented the majority of change would be for BACP members only. UKCP and BPC members would remain largely unaffected. The main change is that there will be ‘qualified counsellors’ and ‘advanced counsellors’ within BACP, with psychotherapists (at the top). Regarding the changes for BACP members, they’d fall into either the ‘qualified counsellor’ or ‘advanced counsellor’ categories. BACP members may choose to be psychotherapists if they undergo personal therapy and meet other criteria. However, most members would predominantly fall into the first two categories. In those two categories the only thing separating ‘qualified counsellors’ and ‘advanced counsellors’ is accreditation. There is no other criteria to separate them. So those who cannot or who choose not to become accredited stay as ‘qualified counsellors’ and are not classed as advanced regardless of experience and training.
We would like to reiterate to BACP that Accreditation is supposed to be a voluntary process. Once qualified, counsellors are deemed fit and competent to practice. Accreditation is a process members can opt to take. In not doing so they should not be penalised by being ranked below those who have chosen to do so. In reality ‘qualified counsellors’ could be more highly qualified, experienced and skilled than those with the title of ‘advanced counsellor.’
Regarding public confusion, BACP have proposed a set of standards that confuse members of its own membership body, never mind the public. Such an exercise undertaken without consultation with your members only serves to enhance confusion. In alienating members from this process you take away our voice and do not seek to represent but rather to dictate to us. You have failed to consult properly with your members. You say that as of January 2019 you are beginning a consultation process with your members. However this is a consultation process that you are rolling out near completion of the project! BACP members should have been consulted from the outset. This is not a democratic process and we feel the process you have undertaken reflects and highlights the hierarchy system in place within BACP, who operate from the top down. What we have is a membership body making decisions on behalf of its members in a way which is not membership led, but rather a reflection of the hierarchal system of titles you seem to be proposing for your members.
Therefore we don’t believe that the proposed frameworks reflects your membership, but reflects the agenda of those who sit on the panel.
We ask BACP to end the SCoPEd project.
By Maria Albertsen and Tara Shennan
On behalf of Counsellors Together UK (www.ukcounsellors.co.uk)
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