UpdateApril 2013 No. 42

Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Update’. We hope your year is going well: here in Somerset it's beginning to feel like springtime might be finally around the corner. To celebrate we're sharing another photograph taken by our very own Steve Spraggon. You may know already that in addition being a very popular member of the CPCAB staff, Steve is an exceptionally talented landscape photographer. For more of Steve's work see his website - www.spraggonphotography.co.uk/portfolio/.

Helping you recruit more students

Sometimes tutors ask us what CPCAB does to boost student recruitment at our centres. As your success is our success, we naturally devote considerable time and resources to this task.

One of the ways in which we do this is via our nationwide marketing programme. Although we do not usually endorse individual centres we run a weekly marketing communications programme – principally using electronic media – which details the benefits of a selected qualification or qualifications, e.g. our new Certificate in Life Coaching Studies (LCS-L3), the unique CPCAB model, and the progression route and how it leads to evidence-based practice.

We use film and video to communicate key facts about counselling and counselling training (no other awarding body does this by the way).

These programmes run throughout the academic year and are targeted at all health and social care education and training providers in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, both public and private, together with a limited number of centres in Scotland. We also target counselling agencies and all former students for whom we have contact details (many, many thousands) together with a large number of other specialist audiences, e.g. drug and alcohol centres. In addition, we routinely collect – with their permission – contact details of everyone who has enquired by email or telephone about one of our qualifications or wants to know more about how to become a counsellor. This information is then incorporated into one or more of our marketing databases. We also refer these enquirers to the online Centre Finder service on our website which shows them where they can find their nearest centre.

In this latter respect, our partnership with the Open University has proved exceptionally fruitful. CPCAB qualifications form an essential stepping stone to the OU's Foundation Degree in Counselling and we and our centres benefit from being part of the joint marketing for this successful course. Our partnerships with other nationally recognised counselling organisations, e.g. Relate and place2be also contributes to raising awareness of the CPCAB brand.

Other ways in which we enhance students' awareness of CPCAB qualifications, courses and centres is through Student Update, an electronic newsletter which is specifically targeted at current and former students on CPCAB courses. This e-publication is sent out each term and helps to keep students in touch with developments and changes in the field, e.g. the likely impact of FE student loans and the eligibility criteria for membership of professional registers. We also run online questionnaires for students which provide useful feedback on a range of topics.

The CPCAB website is, of course, another major source of information for prospective students which is, by definition, designed to promote our qualifications and the centres that run them. By providing site visitors with detailed information for learners on our range of qualifications, funding issues and how to become a counsellor, tutors are in a much better position to answer prospective students' questions about these often complex subjects.

One notable example of how we do this is through our use of film and video to communicate key facts about counselling and counselling training (no other awarding body does this by the way). CPCAB via our sister company The Counselling Channel, produces a number of films on student experiences of CPCAB courses, details of each qualification, and what it is like to experience counselling. The Counselling Channel on YouTube also showcases a changing schedule of short films on a wide range of counselling related subjects, e.g. bereavement, listening skills, self development, counselling concepts and common mental health problems. These receive a large number of hits and help to raise awareness of counselling and CPCAB's role in counselling training in the UK and overseas. The list of training DVDs and expanding range of resources for students found on our website also contributes to this process.

Response to all this electronic, offline and online promotional activity is carefully measured using advanced marketing software. The results are then analysed and used to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of future communications: to date, these efforts have been highly successful.

Finally, we hope this very brief summary of how our nationwide marketing programmes and partnerships with other major counselling organisations and training providers helps to promote centres offering CPCAB qualifications to potential students, has been useful and informative.

Funding updates

Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills:

Just a reminder for 2013-14 that eligible training centres can receive full grant-funding (from the Skills Funding Agency: SFA) for learners who are:

  • older than 18; and ...
  • studying for their first full Level 2 qualification ... such as our Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills.

CST-L3 and TC-L4 have improved their programme weighting from A to B:

Our Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies (CST-L3) and our Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (TC-L4) now both have a programme weighting of B ... which means they have a funding multiplier of 1.12 within the SFA's funding-rates matrix.

This is a 12% funding improvement since both qualifications previously had a programme weighting of only A (a multiple of 1.0) ... and brings them into line with the programme weighting for the rest of our fundable qualifications.

For CST-L3 this improvement now yields a funding-matrix figure of £811 per student, and for TC-L4 it yields a funding matrix figure of £4,670 (spread over the 2 years of the part-time course).

Where students are not eligible for the new 24+ Advanced Learning Loans:

Even where students are not eligible for the new 24+ Advanced Learning Loans – for example because the student is aged under 24 years of age – remember that ...

  • Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies: learners aged 19-23 will be entitled to co-funding for eligible courses leading to this qualification. With SFA co-funding, an employer or learner is expected to contribute towards the costs of learning.
  • Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling: learners can be fully funded by the SFA (via a grant to the training centre) for eligible courses leading to this qualification ... provided that the learner is aged 19-23 and has not yet achieved a full Level 3 qualification (our Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies is not counted as such).
  • Professional & Career Development Loans can still be available for students aged 18+. Visit www.gov.uk/career-development-loans/overview for details.

Unemployed and OLASS (Offender Learning & Skills Service) programmes:

The following CPCAB awards are now also fundable (by the SFA) in relation to both the unemployed and OLASS (Offender Learning & Skills Service) programmes:

  • Level 2 Award in Effective Listening Skills (ELSK-L2)
  • Level 2 Award in Listening Support Skills (LSK-L2)
  • Level 2 Award in Introduction to Counselling Skills (ICSK-L2)
  • Level 2 Award in Understanding Substance Misuse (USM-L2)

You can download a comprehensive CPCAB guide for centres on funding from: www.cpcab.co.uk/public_docs/funding_for_centres.

Free (for students) library resources

Your CPCAB candidates might be interested in an excellent library resource available via the ‘onlinevent’ website. From the website: ‘We specialise in streaming counselling & psychotherapy events live to the internet so that you can access CPD from the comfort of your home. We work with conferences and offer regular virtual events for online audiences across the world’.

The Onlinevents library is free for all students - to register or to find out more visit their website at www.onlinevents.co.uk/membership-signup/

(CPCAB has no connection with Onlinevents).

Standardisation Training

All tutors teaching CPCAB qualifications must be standardised according to the following qualification requirements:

  • ELSK-L2, LSK-L2 & USM-L2 - Tutor/trainers teaching these qualifications will be standardised as part of the centre approval process. They do not need to attend further standardisation training days.
  • ICSK-L2 - All new tutors teaching this qualification MUST attend a standardisation training day before or during their first delivery of the qualification but they do not need to attend again each subsequent year.
  • CSK-L2 and all qualifications at Level 3 and above - All new tutors and at least one tutor from each centre MUST attend a standardisation training day every year. Other tutors are required to attend once every two years provided the training is ‘cascaded’ to them by their attending colleague in the intervening year.

Standardisation dates for next year are as follows:

  • London 4th/5th October
  • Bristol 19th October
  • Manchester 9th November
  • Northern Ireland 22nd November
  • Birmingham 1st February 2014

Please remember that it is a requirement for at least one experienced tutor and all new tutors from every centre to attend one of the standardisation training days listed above. For more details about standardisation requirements please see our website.

Free ICSK-L2 Tutor Support Pack

Centres who become approved to run our Level 2 Award in Introduction to Counselling Skills (ICSK-L2) will from now on receive a free ICSK-L2 Tutor Support Pack worth £29.95. This pack contains a DVD and supporting booklet designed to help you deliver ICSK-L2 more effectively.

To become approved to run ICSK-L2 and take up this offer, speak to us on 01458 850350.

Humour

Two elderly couples were chatting over a cup of tea. One of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?”

“Outstanding,” Fred replied, with enthusiasm. “They taught us all the latest psychological techniques - visualisation, association - it made a huge difference for me.”

“I'll have to try that myself! What was the name of the clinic?”

Fred went blank. He thought and thought, but couldn't remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that red flower with the long stem and thorns?”

“You mean a rose?”

“Yes, that's it!” He turned to his wife... “Rose, what was the name of that clinic?”