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BPC Registration – FAQs

Further Q&As will be added as they arise.

Yes if you can meet the requirements. If you are uncertain, you are welcome to contact a member of the scrutiny committee to discuss your situation.

No. You will need to apply through the scrutiny committee as described on the previous page. If you meet the requirements for clinical experience, you may do this as soon as you can provide evidence of your graduation (e.g. your degree certificate or a formal letter from Birkbeck).

Yes. You may be a member of BACP (or another professional body) as well as of BPC.

Your application advisor or the chair of the scrutiny committee will explain the decision and advise how you might be able to meet the required standard. There will be a period during which you may re-apply without paying a further fee. There will also be an independent appeals procedure.

Yes, but you must not imply that you are a BPC registered psychotherapist and should describe your BPC registration category as Psychodynamic Counsellor.

No, but your reference(s) must be from (an) appropriately qualified and experienced supervisor(s). From 2025 onwards, student trainees who have started their course and other applicants will need to utilise therapists and supervisors who are BPC registered Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists (or Psychoanalysts). This is a more specific requirement than Birkbeck’s own requirement.  The current requirements apply until 2025.

If you are unsure, you will be welcome to discuss this with a member of the scrutiny committee before you apply.

Not necessarily. Once you are registered with BPC there is a requirement for your annual CPD return to be counter-signed by an experienced psychodynamic/psychoanalytic practitioner (normally your supervisor) who has heard you present your work over a period of time. Your counter-signatory must be either a BPC registrant, or registered with UKCP’s Psychoanalytic and Jungian College, or a BACP accredited psychodynamic practitioner. A proportion of CPD returns is audited in detail each year and, if your counter-signatory is not BPC registered, you will need to seek special permission as described on the BPC website and your return will significantly be more likely selected for audit.

Yes, your registration category will depend on which of the MSc courses you graduated from. Graduates in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy will be registered to work with adults, and graduates in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents, will be registered to work with children and adolescents. Your CPD return will need to be signed off by a BPC member who is registered to work with either adults, or children and adolescents as appropriate to your registration category.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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).

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.

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

Please ask them by email to and we will attempt to answer them.

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