Ethics, policies and governance

Ethics and guidelines

Our ethics are made up of a number of different documents reflecting developments over time. All our registered counsellors and counselling organisational members adhere to our code of ethics.

In keeping with ACC’s code of ethics, members must keep within their scope of practice by only practising in areas that they have appropriate knowledge, skills and experience in. They must refer a service user to another practitioner if at any point they assess the client’s needs are beyond their scope of practice. Members must ensure that any information used to advertise or promote their practice does not mislead members of the public about their competency.

For counsellors and psychotherapists there are a number of competency frameworks that map out areas of knowledge, skills and experience. ACC have adopted the SCoPEd Framework for adults and the Churchill Framework for working with the client’s religion and spirituality. ACC also references the BACP competency and curricula framework when working with children and young people. These frameworks provide a minimum standard of competence.

ACC members have the same obligation when providing any health related therapeutic or pastoral/spiritual service for which their training as a counsellor/psychotherapist may contribute to a client’s trust in and assurance of competence. That is, they must work only in areas in which they have appropriate training, knowledge, skills and experience. In advertising any adjunct services, members must ensure that there is a clear separation of these from their counselling/psychotherapy practice.

ACC members must not practise conversion therapy. For further information please see Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK Version 2.

ACC seeks to support individuals, churches and Christian organisations to develop good practice in pastoral care. We offer guidelines which can be adopted for use within various contexts in which pastoral care may be offered.

Please find the guidelines here.

ACC’s Research Ethics Policy and Procedure details the research ethics policy of the Association of Christians in Counselling and Linked Professions for its members and staff, and any external researchers who undertake research with ACC staff or members, or research carried out with ACC data (but excludes routine, work-based, monitoring activities by ACC staff). It outlines general guidance for ethical issues that may arise in research, but is not intended to be exhaustive.


We hope that you feel welcomed and respected in all your encounters with ACC, whether you are making an enquiry about accessing counselling, coaching or spiritual direction; seeking to become a member; wanting to attend a training event or conference; or looking to explore our pastoral care resources.

Importantly, you can expect to be treated fairly, without discrimination when you apply for membership, accreditation and/or have a complaint made against you.

If you experience us otherwise, please contact us and let us know.

Please visit this page for our full statement on equality, diversity and inclusion.

The confidentiality of your personal information is of paramount concern to ACC. To this end ACC complies with the General Data Protection Regulations/Data Protection Act 2018 in the collection, processing, holding and transmitting of your personal information.

By using the ACC website and/or services you consent to the collection, processing, holding and transmitting of your personal information for the purposes set out in our Privacy Policy.

All information are held and processed under the UK GDPR legislation and ACC use the Data Retention Policy for each type of data sets.

ACC hold an accredited register of counsellors and psychotherapists under the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) and are committed to meeting the standards set by the PSA which are designed to:

  • protect the public from harm
  • maintain public confidence in the profession
  • declare and uphold professional standards

As part of this commitment, ACC need to assess and investigate any safeguarding concerns that could arise from their membership, i.e. that put clients and members of the public at risk of harm. When registered members are in practice, this is mainly achieved through ACC’s complaints process.

There are situations, however, where a decision needs to be made on safeguarding grounds, as to whether:

  • An applicant for registered membership should be refused membership of ACC.
  • A current registered member needs be suspended from the register pending a complaint investigation.
  • A previous registered member can be restored to membership after having a complaint upheld against them.

Please see our Safeguarding and Restoration Policy that sets out the processes by which these decisions will be made.


The Board of Trustees are responsible for the strategic governance and oversight of ACC. They make sure that:

  • ACC carries out its purposes for providing public benefit.
  • ACC complies with its governing document, charity law requirements and other legal requirements that apply to ACC.
  • ACC’s resources are managed responsibly.

For trustee roles and responsibilities, please visit here.

For documents related to the Board meetings, please visit here.

For the full list of Board members, please visit here.

The Registry Advisory Panel (RAP) are a largely independent body who serve in a voluntary capacity to hold ACC to account in relation to how they maintain the standards required to hold an accredited register. They are ‘critical friends’ who also support ACC in improving our register processes.

The notes from the RAP meetings can be found here.

RAP annual reports to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) can be found here.

RAP policies and guidelines can be found here.

For the full list of RAP members, please visit here.

As part of ACC’s Conflict of Interest policies, there is a requirement for a Register of Interests to be maintained for Trustees/Board members and Register Advisory Panel (RAP) members.

The Register of Interests details directly relevant involvements in the counselling profession, regulatory landscape or other interest, or loyalty that has direct relevance to the role of Trustees or RAP members.

All Trustees and RAP members are required to inform the Chair of Trustees or Chair of RAP of any changes or updates required to register of interests as soon as they become aware of them.

Role Name Recorded register of interests
Chair of Trustees Sue Monckton-Rickett ACC Registered Accredited Counsellor
Deputy Chair of Trustees Chris Williams ACC Registered Accredited Counsellor

BACP Registered Accredited Counsellor

Trustee Sean Charlesworth ACC Registered Counsellor

Member of ATSAC – Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity

Member of COSRT – College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists

Trustee Wien Fung None
Trustee Gathoni Hamilton Foster ACC Registered Counsellor
Trustee Leroy Harley ACC Registered Counsellor
Trustee Sharon Hastings ACC Registered Accredited Counsellor

BACP Registered Counsellor

Member of ACTO – Association for Counselling and Therapy Online

Trustee Phil Martin ACC Registered Counsellor

BACP Registered Counsellor

Trustee Christine Pinder ACC Registered Accredited Counsellor

Trustee of Footsteps – ACC Counselling Organisational Member

Trustee Tony Ruddle None
Trustee Peter Roberts Treasurer and Trustee of Crossline Christian Counselling Service – ACC Counselling Organisational Member
CEO Kathy Spooner ACC Registered Counsellor

BACP Registered Counsellor

Chair of RAP Catherine Clarke None
RAP member Dr Heather Churchill ACC Registered Accredited Counsellor and Accredited Supervisor

BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor

RAP member Doreen Rowland None
RAP member Fiona Stevenson None
RAP member Tim Warren None