Partnerships in course evaluation: The British Association for Counselling accreditation scheme.
journal contributionposted on 19.11.2015, 09:15 by Sally Maxine Dani. Rigby
The British Association for Counselling (BAC) accredits counsellor training alongside its other accreditation schemes (for individual counsellors, trainers and supervisors of counselling practice). At a time when statutory regulation for the counselling profession is on the political agenda, BAC has begun to examine all their accreditation schemes for appropriateness and effectiveness. This research was designed to assess the effectiveness of the partnership stage of the course accreditation scheme. The scheme provides for accredited course teams to be partnered with another accredited course team, with a view to providing support and to monitor the implementation of any conditions or recommendations made upon accreditation. Using qualitative and quantitative research techniques a number of themes emerged from the author's findings. Effectiveness depended upon participants' experience of the scheme. In terms of support and mentoring the scheme was deemed effective, although some administrative difficulties were highlighted. The need for the development of trust between participants was viewed as paramount and whether or not this occurred depended mainly on the personalities involved. There were also some reservations about the monitoring component of the scheme. The findings led to the development of a model for partnership activity, which is based on four dimensions: partnership; mentoring and support; the relationship between the two partners; and the relationship between BAC and the course.