I've been asked a few times what the difference is between a Beta Reader and a Critique Partner. I am not sure of the "official" difference, just my own personal classification. For me, it's not a complicated distinction, rather a way I classify my readers.
My Beta Readers are usually not authors; they are readers, primarily in my target market, who I ask to review my completed/ edited/ revised manuscript. I'm solely looking for their opinion on big picture things like characters, believably, did they even like it? I don't beta-read for them and I'm not expecting them to give me a detailed analysis of my manuscript back. At most, I am looking for a "would have stopped reading at this point" response from them.
My Critique Partners are writers like myself. Some read chapter by chapter as I write, some read the completed manuscripts. They work/read with me through several revisions and help my plot out the scene that I just can't get to read right. From them, I am looking for structural points as well as over-all feedback. Things like plot holes, tensing issues, character inconsistencies, pacing, all the things that make up the bones of my story.
So although both my Beta Readers and Critique Partners serve different purposes in my writing, they are equally valuable. For those of you looking to connect with fellow writers/ CP's, I have put a few links below to groups I have used. If you can't find a fit, drop me a line; I am a huge believer in giving back to the writing community and will gladly read for my fellow authors as my time permits :)
YA Stands Beta Community
Absolute Write Beta Readers and Mentor Forum
Ladies Who Critique