Health and Social Care Bill

Memorandum submitted by British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (HS 105)

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) would like to submit the following response to the Health and Social Care Bill Committee.

About BACP

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is the leading professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in the UK, with a membership of over 35,000 practitioners across the UK.

BACP has a strong public commitment to high practice standards and public protection. All BACP members are bound by the Ethical Framework for Good Practice for Counselling and Psychotherapy and within this, the Professional Conduct Procedure. These set out the basis of good practice for BACP therapists and for their clients.

Establishment of Voluntary registers

BACP would like to respond particularly to section 212 on the establishment of voluntary registers.

1. In Section 212m 25D ‘Power of regulatory bodies to establish voluntary registers’ Section 4 – BACP would like the Committee to give further consideration as to the reasoning behind the Health Profession Council being excluded from this restriction.

2. Section 8 – BACP can see no public benefit from allowing Regulatory Bodies to jointly set up and hold voluntary registers. BACP believes this will result in confusion for the public.

3. BACP understands the proposal to allow Regulatory Bodies to set up voluntary registers for occupational groups such as healthcare and social care workers, where the professional group is itself subject to statutory regulation by that particular Regulatory Body. However, BACP believes consideration should be given to the range of proposals presented in the ‘Extending professional and occupational regulation: the report of the Working Group on Extending Professional Regulation (2009)’ and the employer-led scheme in use on Scotland.

4. BACP supports the position that voluntary registers for professions should be quality assured by the CHRE/Professional Standards Authority, and not set up by Regulatory Bodies. BACP can see no public benefit or rationale by allowing Regulatory Bodies to set up and maintain professional voluntary registers. We believe that there is no public benefit in this only the potential for confusion from a Regulatory Body holding both statutory and voluntary registers.

March 2011