We're currently compiling a list of frequently asked questions and will keep adding to it as we get asked. If you've got a question that hasn't been answered here please email it to us.
What is voluntary registration?
At the end of 2012 the new Accredited Voluntary Registration (AVR) scheme for health care professions was launched by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). This scheme includes counselling and psychotherapy and replaces all former plans for statutory regulation by the Health Professional Council (HPC). Practitioners are not obliged to be registered in order to practise but registration is likely to be seen as increasingly important for employment in the public sector.
Organisations that hold voluntary registers can apply to PSA to have their register accredited. This involves meeting standards of governance, setting standards for registrants (including education and training) and managing the register. Visit the PSA website to find out more about voluntary registration.
Which counselling organisations have applied to PSA?
A number of professional bodies in counselling and psychotherapy have applied to the PSA to have their register accredited or have indicated their intention to do so. Currently the only Accredited Voluntary Register for counselling is the BACP Register. BACP was part of the initial pilot phase and the BACP register was approved in February 2013.
What is CPCAB policy on voluntary registration?
CPCAB, in common with other awarding bodies, is not itself a register holder and has no plans to become one. Our policy is to ensure that counsellors with CPCAB qualifications have the widest possible choice of PSA Accredited Voluntary Registers (as these become available) and to make these choices clear to our candidates.
What does this mean for counsellors with CPCAB qualifications?
Counsellors with CPCAB qualifications who are (a) individually accredited by BACP or (b) have completed a BACP accredited course can apply directly to join the new BACP Register. Those who are not individually accredited but are ordinary members of BACP can take their free on-line Certificate of Proficiency (COP) and successful candidates can then join the BACP register – please see the BACP website for further details.
Why is my CPCAB course not accredited by BACP?
CPCAB offers qualifications which are assessed to a national standard. These qualifications are accredited by Ofqual (the qualifications and examinations regulator). Centres have to be approved by CPCAB in order to run CPCAB qualifications and successful candidates are awarded CPCAB certificates at the end of the course. However, the course itself is owned by the centre and since every course is unique centres have to individually apply to BACP for course accreditation. This applies no matter who awards the qualification and no matter whether the course is delivered in FE, HE or in a private training centre.
Some CPCAB centres have chosen to apply for BACP course accreditation, others have not seen the need since candidates with CPCAB qualifications have been able to join BACP and apply for individual accreditation once they have completed the necessary practice hours. However, it is possible that the introduction of the BACP Register may prompt other centres to apply for course accreditation since this offers a more direct route on to the BACP register.
CPCAB will update this information as other PSA registers are approved or if the current information changes.