The Ideological Capture of Professional Therapy Training: the BACP Diversity and Inclusion Coalition Reviews the Course Accreditation Scheme

The following letter has been sent out to trainers/institutions by the BACP. Does this sound like a good faith open democratic consultation/review process to you? Or does it sound more like a rubber stamping exercise carried out by the Diversity and Inclusion Coalition in order to impose its own agenda on accredited training programmes?

NB: For non-UK readers, the BACP is the largest professional counselling and psychotherapy body in the UK. Counselling and psychotherapy professions are not regulated by the state and, consequently, our professional bodies have a quasi-regulatory function. BACP accredited courses are the ‘gold-standard’ and most training institutions would aim to gain this accreditation.

NB: The letter in full is posted below. The author’s name has been redacted. Red font colour for emphasis has been added by CTA

Dear all

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion review of the course accreditation scheme – call for focus group members (Course staff)

Back in September, we let you know about the work of the Diversity and Inclusion Coalition who are developing an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) toolkit for counselling and psychotherapy training programmes. The toolkit aims to support institutions, training programmes and individual tutors to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding for delivering inclusive counselling and psychotherapy training, particularly in relation to supporting racially and ethnically minoritised individuals and communities.

We’re now beginning an EDI review of the Course Accreditation scheme in order inform how we can embed inclusive and anti-oppressive practice into every aspect of professional training.   We’re delighted to have engaged a panel of consultants, led by Dr Dwight Turner, Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton and author of Intersections of Privilege and Otherness in Counselling and Psychotherapy, to support this work. 

An essential part of this process is to consult with staff and students from our accredited courses to ensure their voices are included.  We are therefore planning to hold two focus groups in January 2022.  We’re looking for 8 counselling trainers and 8 students from different accredited courses who would like to take part in these focus groups to contribute to the EDI review. 

For the staff group, we are looking to contributors to tell us about any challenges or barriers there might be to embedding EDI into core practitioner training, and how the BACP Course accreditation scheme could be improved to support greater inclusion. We’d also be interested to hear what support trainers might need to enable them to do this effectively. The EDI consultant, Dr. Dwight Turner, will then consider all the feedback received in the group and use this to inform recommendations to improve the scheme.

The staff focus group will be held on Monday 24th January 2022 from 12 noon-2pm. Group participants will be asked to come prepared with their feedback and ideas.

If you would like to take part in the focus group, please send an expression of interest to by Tuesday 4th January with EDI Staff Focus Group in the subject line. Please tell us in your email, in less than 150 words, which course you are from, why you are interested in taking part and what you can contribute to the aims of the group.

We want to make sure that the staff focus group has broad representation from across the training landscape and the four nations of the UK, and so this will inform our decisions about selection to this group. You will be notified Friday 14th January if you have been selected. 

Please see our Privacy notice  for how we process personal data given to us by volunteers.

Please could you share this information more widely with your course staff?

We have attached a separate invitation for the student focus group – please could you share this with your student cohorts at your earliest opportunity? The focus group for students will be held on Tuesday 18th January 2022 from 9am-11am.

We hope to update you on the outcomes of this piece of work in Spring 2022.

Thank you for your help and support,

Yours sincerely,


xxxx (she/her)

Head of Professional Standards

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP House, 15 St Johns Business Park, Lutterworth, Leics LE17 4HB

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