Who we are
Who we are
We, the British Infertility Counselling Association are a registered charity and the only professional infertility counselling Association recognised by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the British Fertility Society in the UK.
BICA was established in 1988 by Jennie Hunt during the period when parliament was drawing up legislation to regulate the field of Reproductive Medicine, which was developing rapidly following the birth of the first baby born as a result of In Vitro Fertilisation treatment. BICA We played an active role in drafting the section on Counselling in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990) and radically altered the status of counselling in the provision of services. This was further advanced during the 1990’s with the introduction of BICA accreditation that became, and remains, the standard requirement in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s (HFEA) Code of Practice.
The best interests of our members
BICA is a platform for interaction and communication between our members, many of whom are working as the sole counsellor in a fertility clinic. Our regional groups, training workshops, conferences and informal networks enable members to stay abreast of new developments, explore and reflect on current issues and access support in their work. The website and Journal are important resources for learning and our many Practice Guides provide essential insights into the specialist requirements of infertility counselling. The BICA accreditation scheme gives members, as well as employers and clients, assurance of their competence as specialist counsellors in the field.
The best interests of our clients
High standards of ethical practice and effectiveness are central to BICA’s objectives. The accreditation scheme, which was developed and revised in consultation with our members over a number of years, aims to safeguard those who seek our services by requiring members to demonstrate their competence, regularly evaluate their practice and maintain their professional development. The members’ listing on our website provides the public with easy access to an accredited fertility counsellor and provides background information to assist in their choice.
Engagement with the Sector
Since 1988 BICA has played a key role in the development of policy and practice in Reproductive Medicine. In the early years, when both the HFEA and Department of Health were forging new guidelines over a wide range of issues that had social and psychological implications, we provided written responses to numerous public consultations, attended meetings and lobbied decision-makers. We are now represented on the Boards and committees of all the main organisations related to assisted conception, working collaboratively and in an advisory capacity wherever we see change is needed.
We are the professional infertility counselling Association in the UK.