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SCoPEd Updates

Five SCoPEd partners have reached an agreement with NHS Talking Therapies to accredit a new NHS postgraduate training pilot

In 2021, it was announced that NHS England was to roll out a landmark three-year pilot programme to provide fully funded training for psychotherapeutic counselling within IAPT services (now called NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression). The training will be accredited by five of the six SCoPEd partners currently recognised in the NHS Talking Therapies manual (ACC, BPC, BACP, NCS, and UKCP), with UKCP acting as lead accrediting body on behalf of the partners.

Three courses began in September 2022 delivering postgraduate level training in person-centred experiential counselling for depression, dynamic interpersonal therapy and couples therapy for depression.
This significant initiative will open opportunities:

  • to improve the choice of therapies available in the NHS, challenging the dominance of medication and CBT treatment options
  • for the counselling and psychotherapy profession and especially for those less able to self-fund training. This will in turn support our equality, diversity and inclusion objectives as applicants are likely to come from a wider range of socio-economic backgrounds
  • to enhance the SCoPEd partnership’s reputation within the NHS, solidifying close working relationships with key decision makers and policy teams
  • to create more pathways to funded training, if the pilot is successful
  • to provide future tendering opportunities for training providers affiliated with the partners of the joint accreditation.

Quality assurance committee

A Quality Assurance Committee is being established to provide oversight for the accreditation pathway. The committee will comprise members from across the SCoPEd partners involved with the project.

The committee will:

  • oversee the accreditation pilot, assessor training and the quality assurance process.
  • ensure standards are monitored and maintained
  • approve updates to the process and reports
  • follow-up concerns or queries.


The quality assurance and accreditation framework is a great opportunity to further our collaboration and work together as SCoPEd partners. Ultimately this is for the benefit of patients, clients the public and the profession by increasing accessibility to the counselling and psychotherapy workforce.

The joint accreditation of this pilot programme allows us to demonstrate the importance of the SCoPEd partnership in developing relationships with NHS decision-makers, promoting psychotherapy and counselling to the public and ensuring a choice of therapies in NHS services.

The course curriculum is aligned with column B of the SCoPEd framework. The course competences have formed the foundation of the quality assurance and accreditation framework. These along with the competences in the NHS Talking Therapies manual for each modality are what we will be using to assess and quality assure the training providers and support the success of delivering a new training programme.

As a pilot programme, the SCoPEd partners are committed to contributing time, resources and experience to ensure that standards of education are met and to encourage further opportunities for funded training and expanded opportunities for qualified counsellors to work in NHS settings.

We’ll keep members and registrants updated as the pilot progresses.

NB. This accreditation pathway is a project of the SCoPEd partners to accredit the HEE training as column B training. Human Givens Institute are not an accrediting partner as their standards don’t currently map to column B of the SCoPEd framework.

SCoPEd partners adopt framework

As independent chair of the SCoPEd Oversight Committee, I’m pleased to confirm that all partners have formally decided to adopt the SCoPEd framework. This has been decided individually by each of the partners.

This means that the six SCoPEd partners have each agreed:

  • to align their membership categories to reflect the SCoPEd framework
  • to develop a shared agreement on pathways and routes between SCoPEd columns

The partners will continue to work collectively as they move towards adopting and implementing the framework. The partners will be in touch with their members and registrants with regards to what the next steps and timelines are for their own organisation.

The SCoPEd partner organisations are:

  • Association of Christians in Counselling and Linked Professions (ACC)
  • British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
  • British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
  • Human Givens Institute (HGI)
  • National Counselling Society (NCS)
  • UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

Collectively, the SCoPEd partners represent approximately 75,000 counsellors and psychotherapists from a diverse range of backgrounds, approaches, philosophies, and professional training.
If you have any questions, please contact your membership organisation via their usual channels.

Paul Buckley, Independent Chair SCoPEd Oversight Committee

From ACC

For the first time in the UK there is a proposed national unifying framework that sets out clearly what therapists are trained and qualified to do. ACC have contributed to and adopted this framework. This is a time to celebrate. The framework is a tangible way of honouring and promoting the work of ACC counsellors, who deservedly have a recognised place within it.

In making the decision to adopt the Framework, ACC’s Board of Trustees recognises that SCoPEd supports one of ACC’s core purposes: to promote excellence in counselling education and practice. We believe that the framework provides a common foundation on which stakeholders committed to good education and practice can build. Moreover, because of the level of our registration and accreditation standards, current ACC membership grades already sit comfortably within the framework.

We believe that our members and clients will benefit from the transparency that the framework provides to its many and different audiences about what ACC members are trained to do, and where they sit within the professional landscape.

Finally, the Board values the unifying dynamic of the framework and the shared project process, as SCoPEd partners respect and embrace the diversity of modalities and approaches, as they also have worked to distil the capabilities of qualified therapists (working with adults) within the shared domains of practice. We think this will help towards the creation of a level playing field for those entering the profession, although it alone cannot solve all the many and various issues arising from structural inequalities.

By adopting the framework, we want to continue to work together with our partners to further develop and promote counselling and psychotherapy practice and realise the project’s anticipated benefits for the good of our members, their clients, the public, and our colleagues in the wider profession.

Latest Update on Phase Two Work of SCoPEd Framework (December 2022)

The SCoPEd partners would like to share the latest update from the SCoPEd Oversight Committee, Independent Chair, Paul Buckley on the recent phase two work. This work has included:

  • conducting an impact assessment of the SCoPEd framework
  • creating a shared set of principles – based around fairness, inclusion and transparency – for implementing the framework
  • working towards agreed shared ‘column titles’ (which are not included in the SCoPEd January 2022 framework)
  • agreeing transparent and evidence-based mechanisms for members and registrants to progress between the columns of the framework as they develop their training, skills, knowledge and experience throughout their professional journey.

Please read the full update from Paul here.

You can view/download the full report on impact assessment using the links below:

Final Report on the Impact Assessment of the SCoPEd Framework
Final Report on the Impact Assessment of the SCoPEd Framework – Accessible Version

Recording of SCoPEd partner update event and Q&A

If you missed the event on 10 June and would like to watch the recording, please click here. You can view the unanswered questions (& their answers) here.

SCoPEd partner update event and Q&A

The SCoPEd partners held a free online event on 10 June 2022, 10am – 12pm, to update on phase two of the collective work, which included:

  • an independent impact assessment of the SCoPEd framework
  • creating a shared set of principles – based around fairness, inclusion and transparency – for implementing the framework
  • working towards agreed shared ‘column titles’ which are not included in this version
  • agreeing transparent and evidence-based mechanisms for members and registrants to progress between the columns of the framework as they develop their training, skills, knowledge and experience throughout their professional journey.

This event invited discussion about the collaborative work of the partners, provided updates regarding the ongoing work of the partnership and offered an opportunity for members and registrants to engage and ask questions.

It was hosted by the Independent Chair of the SCoPEd Oversight Committee, Paul Buckley, who was joined by representatives from each of the partners along with representation from our Experts by Experience and the Chair of the Technical Group, Fiona Ballantine Dykes.

SCoPEd partners representatives:
ACC – Kathy Spooner CEO
BPC – Jan McGregor Hepburn Chair, Professional Standards Committee
BACP – Hadyn Williams CEO
HGI – Sue Gray CEO
NCS – Jyles Robillard-Day CEO
UKCP – Sarah Niblock CEO

SCoPEd Framework January 2022

The SCoPEd framework is a shared standards’ framework, developed by six Professional Standards Authority accredited bodies representing over 75,000 counsellors and psychotherapists. It transparently sets out the core training, practice and competence requirements for counsellors and psychotherapists working with adults.

Please read the joint statement by the SCoPEd partners on the publishing of the January 2022 version of the framework here.

You can view or download the January 2022 version of the SCoPEd framework using the links below.

SCoPEd Framework January 2022
SCoPEd Framework January 2022 (accessible version)
SCoPEd Framework Methodology Update January 2022
SCoPEd Framework Methodology Update January 2022 (accessible version)

Previous Updates

Update 3 November 2021

Expansion of SCoPEd Project

Page updated on 4 April 2023