In September 2020, I started in my role at Northern Guild as ‘BACP Liaison’. At the time the UK was around about seven months into the Covid-19 Pandemic and the new academic year was starting as the previous one had finished; online.

Very soon into this role I had the opportunity to attend a number of working groups which BACP hosted for organisations, such as Northern Guild, who provided BACP accredited trainings. At these meetings course representatives met with the BACP training and standards team met to share experiences, discuss best practice and feedback to BACP the challenges and opportunities that course providers were facing. I really valued these sessions to meet and talk with colleagues from across the UK.  I have also really appreciated the BACP approach to supporting organisation such as Northern Guild to manage these unprecedented times and the complexities for our profession that the pandemic has wrought. I have found it to be energising and inspiring to work with colleagues from other organisation who share in the passion that we have at Northern Guild for training.  

Since the beginning of the pandemic BACP allowed all accredited courses to move training to online platforms in order to ensure that it was able to continue and that trainees are able to progress as planned through their chosen course with as little disruption as possible. This means that any and all training that has been attended at Northern Guild via online platforms since March 2020 until Easter is and will be acknowledged by BACP and will not impact eligibility for qualification or registration with them.

These measures were, however, always a temporary arrangement. As Covid restrictions now ease the BACP are expecting accredited courses to begin the transition back to in-person training over the next couple of months. As a temporary option only, BACP are allowing courses to continue with online provision for those who are self-isolating or advised to shield because of clinical vulnerability.

A positive and lasting outcome of the changes brought by the pandemic is that BACP is creating a route for courses to deliver a proportion of training online in the near future. Courses will have to make a formal application to offer this.

Northern Guild is currently reviewing our courses in order to decide how best to write this into our professional trainings. We will then apply formally to BACP to have this recognised as part of our accredited training.

I am grateful to BACP for their flexibility over the past couple of years. It has I think been a mutually beneficial relationship, as we have worked together to find ways to  ride the Covid waves.

02/04/2022 Christine Lister-Ford