Dear BACP Board of Directors 

We are writing to express our concern at the sustained period of turbulence within the BACP, culminating in the recent resignation of both the CEO and the Deputy CEO.

There has been growing concern about the direction that the BACP has been taking within the profession. In particular this relates to the following:

  • Changes to the resolution policy. These changes occurred in 2018 to counter members becoming more active and resulted in it being almost impossible for members to pass a successful resolution, thus quashing the expression of legitimate concerns. This has a direct and immediate impact on members’ say in the future direction of the organisation, and raises important questions about transparency and governance within the BACP. 
  • Resignations. In recent months, four members of the board have resigned, but BACP members were not provided with timely or substantive explanations regarding these resignations, or the governance response of the BACP. The reasons for significant turnover of board members remain unaddressed, raising concerns about the obligations of the board as a charity to communicate its risk-management strategy to membership.
  • SCoPEd. SCoPEd will fundamentally alter the professional landscape of counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, for BACP members and members of every other professional counselling and psychotherapy body, whether or not that body is directly involved with the project. Significant and important challenges to SCoPEd have been raised since its inception at every level within counselling and psychotherapy, including within the Board itself. Transparency, specific evidence, and genuine engagement with BACP members during the development of the SCoPEd project have been lacking, and we believe this undermines the stated aims of the project.

Charitable status requires transparency about significant organisational issues and a clear and well communicated risk-management strategy to ensure the sustainability of the BACP.  This is both a financial issue and a reputational one where the BACP’s board is responsible for protecting the legitimacy of the organisation. We believe BACP has not fully upheld this responsibility.

The counselling and psychotherapy profession is in crisis. The National Lead for Psychological Professions has publicly stated that counsellors and psychotherapists are not safe to work with NHS patients unless they are retrained by the NHS. Has BACP not advocated successfully for their membership with the largest employer in the UK? In any case, they have not acknowledged, let alone challenged this statement. BACP members need robust, legitimate and well-led professional organisations to support us and support the profession.  
We ask the BACP to initiate the following actions:

  • An acknowledgement of this letter by the BACP Board.
  • An immediate suspension of the SCoPEd project until a governance review has taken place.
  • The commissioning of a formal and independent Governance Review of the BACP Board.

We look forward to your response.

Partners for Counselling and Psychotherapy