BPC Registration – FAQs


A. The scrutiny process is detailed and professional and has a cost. The fee is the same as the application fee for BACP accreditation.


A. BPC accredits organisations (such as BCA) rather than individuals and you can only be a member of BPC if you are a member of an accredited organisation (MI). This means that if your membership of BCA lapses so would your BPC registration. This would result in extra admin work for both BCA and BPC and is best avoided by setting up an automatic payment.


A. This is not possible to say since it varies according to the individual circumstances of each application. The scrutiny process relies substantially on references from the applicant’s supervisor(s) and, once all the necesssary information has been received by the scrutiny committee, a decision will normally be made within a few weeks.


A. They are: William Halton, Caroline Payton, David Richards, Lee Smith, Laurence Spurling, Nikky Sternhell and Nina Tebartz.


A. Clinical trustees are people who hold a list of your clients/patients and would contact them, and manage your professional affairs if you suddenly became unable to work (eg through illness or your death). BPC requires you to name two trustees.


A. BACP has (at least) two categories of membership – ‘Registered’ and ‘Accredited’ (with accreditation implying a higher standard of training and experience than registration) whereas BPC does not make this distinction and requires a high standard of training and experience for registration.


A. Firstly the two organisations are different in approach – BPC being a wholly psychoanalytic / psychodynamic body and BACP encompassing many different modalities of counselling and therapy. Secondly, both BPC Registration and BACP Accreditation denote a professional standard, but they define that standard in different ways and have different ways of assessing that standard. More information is available from the websites of both professional bodies.
British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)



A. You may apply for a ‘comparability assessment’ where the scrutiny committee will look in detail at your training, clinical experience and the duration and type of your personal therapy, and assess whether they are comparable to a Birkbeck MSc training. If your assessment is successful, you will be able to continue with an application for BPC registration. There is a separate fee for the comparability assessment process.

A comparability assessment is only available for BCA members. Further details are within the comparability assessment applicant’s guidance notes included in Applications form page.


A. The first stage of making an application is to contact the chair of the scrutiny committee. The comparability assessment guidance notes on the Applications form page will inform you on how to do this.


A. The scrutiny committee doesn’t lay down a precise minimum number of sessions for a long-term case as this may vary according to the setting. However, an appropriate case would rarely consist of fewer than 40 sessions, except possibly in an academic setting which offers counselling only during term time. In this situation an appropriate case would rarely consist of fewer than 30 sessions. Sessions should be weekly (or more frequent).


A. Unfortunately not – Birkbeck (i.e. the university) doesn’t recognise the optional third year as an MSc qualification so the scrutiny committee is also unable to recognise it.


A. During training, student trainees and other applicants for registration are expected to work face-to-face rather than on-line unless circumstances change.


A. Please ask them by email to admin@birkbeckcounsellingassociation.org and we will attempt to answer them.


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