SCoPEd consultation feedback
We (the BPC, BACP and UKCP) promised to share with you the recurrent themes of the feedback we received in the recent SCoPEd consultation as soon as we could.
As mentioned, we had some 3,000 individual comments on top of some 7,000 responses to the questionnaire. It seems, however, that we haven’t made it clear enough what this project is for and how it came about. So let’s start there with some important context and clarity.
Many of you who have been members and Registrants of our three organisations for a while will remember a time not so long ago when the very idea of BACP, BPC and UKCP even speaking to one another would be hard to imagine. After three years of developing collaboration we are finding our feet based firmly on what unites us rather than what divides us.
We have joined together as three of the leading counselling and psychotherapy organisations to improve access for clients/service users and optimise their wellbeing. We are committed to advocating for and promoting client/service user choice. We are passionate about what our profession stands for – a united force for society. Therefore, we wish to be seen as change agents, working jointly because the challenges confronting those in need are far, far greater and much more urgent than our organisational differences. In short, we are working together for a profession that serves the future, not the past.
The fact that we meet and discuss common areas of concern centred around breaking down all barriers to the public accessing the expertise of you, our highly-trained and qualified members/ registrants, has not gone unnoticed and is changing perceptions. Even in the infancy of our collaboration, we’ve met together with key policy influencers to discuss workforce strategy, among other issues. They’ve fed back to us that the reason we now have access to them is because we are talking to one another and forging mutual solutions and areas of policy overlap. Together we now represent around 65,000 counselling and psychotherapy practitioners and our sheer plurality is very powerful when you see how many different approaches and modalities are reflected in and through us.
We have heard and appreciate many concerns and much speculation about the purpose of the SCoPEd project and wish to reassure you. We could have set out our stall with more clarity from the outset. In order to promote our members/ registrants most powerfully it was felt we should look to use the evidence available to map out the entry points and requirements to the professions.
Our goal is to identify shared policy initiatives and joint campaigns geared at protecting and promoting the status and quality of all our practitioners when we’re under acute threat because the public urgently need us. We recognize the extraordinary lengths and sacrifices our members and Registrants have made to be able to join our respective organisations, and the incredible expertise and life experience you bring to your clients, service users and patients.
By working together, we can best bring our three organisations out of the shadows and into the full view of commissioners as representing a ready-and-waiting workforce. And we want their investment in funding so our memberships can attend to the wellbeing of people in dire need of our services. That is all SCoPEd set out to do – to encapsulate in one document what is currently the case. The work is in no way complete as you’ll see when you read on. But we wanted to share with you how positively the staff and leaderships of our three organisations have worked together – all united towards the public’s wellbeing.
We also, of course, want to share with you the remainder of the feedback we received following our consultation with members and stakeholders recently. Thank you for your involvement with this. The independent research company, Critical Research, has completed the analysis of the comments, which came from 6% of the memberships. And we have started the process of feeding this data into the project, analysing the comments from members and stakeholders and assessing the evidence.
What has become very clear from the feedback is that there are some crucial areas that can be enhanced, and we are taking steps to respond to these. This includes taking the opportunity to look with fresh eyes at the language used, by recruiting additional experienced members to the Expert Reference Group and enhancing our focus on ensuring this work will assist our members and Registrants in gaining employment, ensuring the public receive the service they need.
The key themes from this initial feedback are explored further below, along with some of our next steps and commitments to you, all of our valued members and Registrants.
Andrew Reeves, Chair, BACP
Susanna Abse, Chair, BPC
Martin Pollecoff, Chair, UKCP
Hadyn Williams, Chief Executive, BACP
Gary Fereday, Chief Executive BPC
Sarah Niblock, Chief Executive UKCP