National Associations

There are a number of national associations operating a code of ethics to which their professional membership are bound.  The most commonly used are –

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

BACP is established:

i) to promote and provide education and training for counsellors and/or psychotherapists working in either professional or voluntary settings, whether full or part time, with a view to raising the standards of counselling and/or psychotherapy for the benefit of the community and in particular for those who are the recipients of counselling and/or psychotherapy; and

ii) to advance the education of the public in the part that counselling and/or psychotherapy can play generally and in particular to meet the needs of those members of society where development and participation in society is impaired by mental, physical or social handicap or disability.

Counsellors who have been accredited by BACP (see Accreditation of Counsellors) may register on the United Kingdom Register of Counsellors and describe themselves UKRC Reg. Ind. Counsellor.

The Association can be contacted at –
BACP House,
15 St John’s Business Park,
LE17 4HB

Tel: 01455 883300


United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

The UKCP’s purpose is to promote the art and science of psychotherapy for the public benefit; to promote research and education in psychotherapy and disseminate the results of any such research; and to promote (or assist in the promotion, preservation and protection of public health by encouraging) high standards of training and practice in psychotherapy and the wider provision of psychotherapy to the public. N.B. The first level of qualified counsellors with UKCP are termed ‘Trainees’ not to be confused with the lower level ‘Students’.

United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
2nd Floor, Edward House,
2 Wakley Street,

Tel: 020 7014 9955



British Psychological Society (BPS)

BPS has three major aims:

● to encourage the development of psychology as a scientific discipline and an applied profession;
● to raise standards of training and practice in the application of psychology;
● to raise public awareness of psychology and increase the influence of psychological practice in society.

British Psychological Society
St Andrews House,
48 Princess Road East,
Leicester LE1 7DR

Tel: 0116 254 9568

There are a number of other national organisations that operate a Code of Ethics under professional membership. Details are available through your local library.

Independent Practitioners Network (IPN)

The Independent Practitioners’ Network (previously the Independent Therapists’ Network) does not have a published national code of ethics. It is an alternative structure for validating and monitoring therapists, counsellors, facilitators, and others in the field.  Founded in November 1994, its central concept is that membership is by peer group. The members of each peer group (of at least five practitioners) stand by each other’s work, and also by the work of at least two other member groups to which they are linked.  In this way a web of self and mutual responsibility is woven, where loss of confidence in an individual or group will mean that links are withdrawn and their membership will lapse.

The contact for the Eastern Region is:

Grace Lindsay, c/o
14 Alpha Street,
PE15 8LT

Tel: 07882 295699