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What is accreditation?
Accreditation is how we reach a view on whether psychology courses are suitable to support students’ achievement of learning outcomes, and are supported by an appropriate resource base. It is how we engage in dialogue with providers of psychology education and training, and providing a detailed external review of each course.
What are the benefits?
There are a lot of reasons why gaining accreditation can be beneficial both for students and educational providers:
- it is a mark of quality that prospective students and employers understand and value;
- it gives graduates the opportunity to gain Graduate and/or Chartered Membership of the Society;
- it keeps open the widest range of training, development and employment opportunities for graduates;
- it is a high-quality benchmarking process that is defined and delivered in partnership with psychologists;
- it is aimed at getting the best out of programmes, through promoting psychology as a science, ensuring quality and providing solution-focused support;
- it provides a direct opportunity for education providers and students to influence the Society, and its policies for the future.
What courses do the BPS accredit?
We accredit undergraduate, conversion and postgraduate courses and training programmes.
The Society's accreditation process is open to all UK providers, and covers provision delivered in the UK and internationally.
At undergraduate level the Society accredits a range of single, joint and combined honours courses leading to eligibility Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).
Conversion courses are intended for graduates with a non-accredited undergraduate degree who wish to obtain GBC.
At postgraduate level, the Society accredits courses relating to the different routes to Chartered Membership of the Society. These include:
- Clinical Psychology
- Counselling Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Educational Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Occupational Psychology
- Sport and Exercise Psychology
These areas also correspond with the seven domains of practice regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
We also accredit training programmes in clinical neuropsychology (a postqualification specialism) and postgraduate training courses for people training to be a psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP).
Do I need to take a course that is accredited?
Our advice to students is always to choose a BPS accredited course to maximise your future options.
Taking a BPS accredited undergraduate or conversion course confers eligibility for the GBC.
GBC is required for Chartered status.
The vast majority of postgraduate programmes accredited by the HCPC for registration as a practitioner psychologist also require GBC.
Taking a BPS accredited Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) course is currently the only way to achieve qualification as a psychological wellbeing practitioner.
Can I make a complaint about the way a course is being run?
If you have a concern about an accredited course or programme, it is possible to raise a complaint. If we believe that the complaint is justified, the Society will work with the course or programme provider to resolve the problem.
In extreme cases, where the problem is unable to be resolved, accreditation for the course or programme may even be withdrawn.
For more information, consult our the following documents:
- Careers in psychology
- Accredited courses & training programmes
- Professional Development Centre
- Society qualifications
- Psychological testing
- About the Research Interests Database
- Postgraduate research degrees