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SCoPEd partnership update

14th February 2024

The six SCoPEd partners are providing this update on the important work currently underway with regards to the SCoPEd framework implementation, governance and impact assessment. 

The scope of practice and education for the counselling and psychotherapy professions, known as SCoPEd, is a partnership which has developed a competence framework that maps the core competences and practice standards for counsellors and psychotherapists working with adults. It was adopted in February 2023 by the following six organisations who all hold Professional Standards Authority (PSA) accredited registers:

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

Our shared vision is for the profession of counselling and psychotherapy to be better understood, valued and trusted by clients, patients, employers, commissioners and society.

The SCoPEd framework can be viewed here


As announced in February 2023, the SCoPEd framework has now been adopted by all six partners and activity to implement the framework across all the partners has started. This includes:

  • work so all partners’ membership categories are fully aligned to the standards of the SCoPEd framework by early 2026
  • agreed mechanisms to enable movement of membership categories and SCoPEd columns, where appropriate and if members and registrants wish to.

It’s important both these are in place to ensure equivalence of the SCoPEd column standards across partners’ membership categories. 

The SCoPEd framework maps the minimum standards required for each of the columns and it’s important to note that some partners may have additional criteria which they require to be met. 

The framework will be implemented using the column titles A, B and C. In the future, the partnership may consider changing these titles, but work on the titles would not be about identifying or creating protected titles. It would be about ensuring consistency and reducing confusion across the profession.

Impact assessment 

Since announcing the adoption of the SCoPEd framework, partners have been reviewing and developing work from the impact assessment report recommendations. 

To recap, the impact assessment: 

  • was conducted by an independent company in 2022
  • comprised of interviews with various stakeholders including clients and patients, practitioners, trainers, awarding bodies, employers and commissioners, membership body staff, and the Professional Standards Authority (PSA)
  • took into account a variety of viewpoints, including critical voices from those within counselling and psychotherapy, some of whom were contacted due to their specific skills and experience, including professional networking and campaign groups
  • involved statistical consideration of some of the data held by partners and data in the public domain.

The impact assessment report, available to view here, prompted reflection on how the governance of SCoPEd has been structured whilst developing the framework. This has led to a decision to re-structure the governance in recognition that the framework is now adopted by all partners and the focus needs to be on implementation. More information on the new structure is detailed below.

Two of the key pieces of work, identified by the impact assessment, that the new governance structure is focused on delivering are:

  • development of a minimum data set for prospective collection and publication by the partnership, to include demographic data on the make-up of the profession and using the protected characteristics identified in the Equality Act 2010 as a guiding framework
  • work to enhance communications and engagement, such as establishing a partner website and a stakeholder engagement group. 

The partnership will issue updates on these pieces of work as they progress. 


To support the implementation phase of the SCoPEd framework, the partners have collectively agreed to restructure the governance of the SCoPEd partnership to better meet the needs of the current work.  

There are four SCoPEd governance groups; the CEO Board, Delivery Group, Clinical Group and Communications Group which replace the previous groups (the SCoPEd Oversight Committee, the Technical Group, and Expert Reference Group) with immediate effect.

CEO Board 

The CEO Board provides strategic leadership. It is made up of all the partner CEOs and is independently chaired. Experts by Experience (EbEs), Delivery Group members and the chairs of the Communications and Clinical Groups may also attend to offer advice and input.

Delivery Group

The Delivery Group includes a chair, a project manager and communications lead. With the exception of the chair, all members are from partner organisations. The Delivery Group is tasked with moving forward the actions agreed by the CEO Board. 

Clinical Group 

The Clinical Group’s main purpose is to help maintain the standards of the framework and provide advice on any future updates or amendments. It includes representatives from each of the partner organisations. 

Communications Group 

The Communications Group includes representatives from each of the partner organisations and is responsible for developing a joint partner communications strategy and delivering communications in relation to the SCoPEd framework, along with any associated future workstreams.

This new structure will enable the partners to continue their work regarding the SCoPEd framework, as well as other workstreams, including the NHS Pathways project, a pilot programme accredited by five of the SCoPEd partners to provide fully funded training for psychotherapeutic counselling within the NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression services. 

More information about these groups is available on the SCoPEd governance page.

Next Steps 

Alongside the work already described above the partnership will also:

  • consider a programme of work to raise public awareness of the SCoPEd framework
  • work with stakeholders to advance the professions of counselling and psychotherapy  
  • continue to strengthen already established links with our partners in the NHS.

We’re looking forward to continuing to collaborate on this hugely important initiative and will be providing members and other key stakeholders with regular updates on our work in the future.  

If you have any questions, please contact your membership organisation via their usual channels.

SCoPEd partner CEOs:

Kathy Spooner, ACC; Phil James, BACP; Greg Ross-Sampson, BPC; Malcom Hanson, HGI; Jyles Robillard-Day, NPCS; Jon Levett, UKCP

Published: 14th February 2024

Latest News:

SCoPEd - latest update

The six SCoPEd partners have published their latest update on the important work currently underway with regards to the SCoPEd framework implementation, governance and impact assessment.

Date posted: 14/02/2024