Here is my new logo:
Updated logo as of September 2018
So I quite like the new logo as it has the immediate gravitas lent to it by dint of the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) actually being clearly labelled. Hopefully this will lead to more clients being aware of the existence of the registers and realising their importance. Secondly, the word "Voluntary" has been dropped from the register names entirely. This is interesting. I did wonder whether this was a step closer towards making statutory regulation easier for the profession to swallow (for more on the issue of statutory regulation read my post on the regulation of counselling and psychotherapy).
Seeing as the PSA have been so responsive to questions I have previously put to them I thought I would stop guessing/assuming and ask them why the change of name. I was given the following response:
“In December 2014, Accredited Voluntary Registers became Accredited Registers. The Professional Standards Authority made this change following feedback from stakeholders , who found the word ‘voluntary’ confusing. We have also made it clearer that it is the Professional Standards Authority who has accredited them by including our name within the Quality Mark.
“People working in health and social care must make a personal decision to belong to an Accredited Register. The Professional Standards Authority advises members of the public to use people who belong to an Accredited Register.”
Confusion… yes well I can see that the word voluntary is possibly a bit confusing there, one could think that the register referred to therapists working in a voluntary capacity.
Something else I think is confusing is the fact that the BACP and NCS (National Counselling Society) both have membership categories for their individual membership referred to as "accredited". For BACP members this means the following:
"(Accreditation) is for individual counsellors and psychotherapists who have successfully completed 450 hours of professional counselling/psychotherapy training with an integral student placement element, have been in practice for at least three years, and have accumulated a minimum of 450 hours of practice covered by at least 1.5 hours of supervision per month. Applicants must be Registered MBACP Members."
Many people are told to "look for an accredited counsellor" in recognition of the criteria required for BACP accreditation.
For NCS members to be accredited it appears that the requirements are pretty much the same as for basic individual BACP membership.*
So on top of this, we have the "Accredited Register". It is my understanding that there are clients who are understandably confused and assume that because a therapist is on an Accredited Register that they are an accredited therapist.
I have asked the Professional Standards Authority for their thoughts on this and will report back soon.
* I think loosely speaking these are the rough equivalents membership statuses between the BACP and the NCS:
BACP Student member = NCS member
BACP registered membership (Reg MBACP) = NCS Accredited Member
BACP Senior Accredited = NCS Fellow
It is my understanding that the criteria for UKCP membership is the requirement of more extensive training than either BACP or NCS individual/basic membership.
Please let me know if this is any way inaccurate.
More posts on the regulation issue:
If I had the power to regulate counselling (April 2015)
Regulation - a client and therapist friendly way forward? (November 2014)
The problems with a voluntary regulatory scheme (Sept 2014)
Spreading the word on AVRs - the Professional Standards Authority responds (Sept 2014)
The Regulation of Counselling and Psychotherapy - What the Public Want (June 2013)