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UpdateJuly 2018 No. 63

As another academic year draws to a close, we send our best wishes to you, as always, for a healthy and relaxing summer break. It's a rather odd time for us as normally at this time of year a number of our staff would be recovering after the exertions of Glastonbury Festival, which takes place just a few miles away from our office. 2018 is a gap year though, as many of you already know, and we're sure that some of you will be feeling a bit lost as a result! No doubt 2019 will be extra special to make up for it.

It's been no bad thing, in a way, as we're very busy here at CPCAB (although there's nothing new about that!) but we do have time to offer our thanks to you all for your support and friendly, collaborative style of working together. Here's wishing you all some wonderful summer weather and some time to recharge your batteries. See you in September!

New Head of Business and Development...

In September this year we will welcome Ray van der Poel as our new Head of Business and Development. In this important role his main focus will be on managing the business and developing our range of services for counsellors and counselling trainees.

Ray brings a wealth of relevant experience to his new role. In addition to being a practising counsellor he also lectures on the addictions counselling degree course at the University of Bath. He's no stranger to CPCAB either, having delivered our qualifications at Broadreach House in Plymouth where he was Training and Education Manager for 14 years and built the centre up from a one-man-band to one which employed 20 staff and had more than 700 students each year.

In his spare time, Ray is a keen walker and surfer.

...and a new Finance Assistant!

We are also delighted to welcome Sarah Hellings to our CPCAB family in the post of Finance Assistant. It's a busy role but she's looking forward to getting more involved with all aspects of our operation as well, so your paths may cross at some point.

Sarah lives close to head office in a neighbouring village and comes to us with a background in a variety of roles, including local government. This followed a major change of focus from her previous career in hairdressing, a feeling that will no doubt be familiar to many of our counselling trainees. She's a busy lady out of the office as well, with children, grandchildren and a puppy keeping her occupied. Relaxation, when she can find time for it, comes in the form of gardening and travel, both at home and in more exotic locations. Sarah is another CPCAB-er who is feeling the loss of Glastonbury Festival this year and, like many of us, is counting the days until June 2019! Pleased to meet you, Sarah.

And finally (in staffing news)...

Congratulations! our Qualification Service Manager, Kelly Budd, who has been promoted to Head of Qualifications in recognition of her contribution to CPCAB over the past 18 months. In her new role Kelly will continue to be responsible for the Qualifications Service but will also take a leading role in the management and development of the organisation in the years ahead. Well done Kelly!

A New Vision for Mental Health

The New Vision for Mental Health website asks: “Have you ever wondered what mental healthcare would look like if, knowing what we know today, it was redesigned from scratch?”

The latest posts include:

Social media

As we are all becoming aware, we are living in a world where social media plays an increasing role in our daily lives. We know that there can be very helpful aspects to this, including support groups for tutors, candidates and counsellors.

This is a gentle reminder to be conscious of what information you are sharing with others though; client confidentiality is a key part of the training but there are other considerations too, particularly in terms of external assessment. If candidates share information about question papers with others in different groups, for example, it could be viewed as malpractice and may even result in the later assessments being declared void. Thank you for keeping this in mind.

Standardisation training for tutors for the 2017/18 academic year

Dates for 2018-19 standardisation training plus online booking are now available on our website. Friday 5th October has only 15 places available now although there are still plenty of places available on the other London date, on Saturday 6th October.

Further details and booking form here.

External assessment dates

The dates for all external assessments for CPCAB qualifications are scheduled as far ahead as possible to help with planning for everyone concerned. Please see the CPCAB website for details.


A reminder that we are grateful for your feedback on our qualifications and service. Feedback is a vital part of our annual qualifications review every spring, but we are happy to receive it, both from tutors and from candidates at any time of year.

This link will take you to a simple online form; it should only take a few minutes to complete. Many thanks.

Document Changes this year

We have become aware that our guidance to Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations which has been available on our website for many years has become somewhat dated and we've taken the opportunity to make it more user-friendly and put it into policy format. We hope you'll find it helpful when making RA/SC decisions in your centres.

Other document changes this year include:

  • We will only now accept tutor CVs that come via the CPCAB online CV proforma
  • There have been some changes to our requirements for tutor qualifications and experience (see Update newsletter, April 2018, for more information)
  • Tutor Guides now have further guidance on minimum/maximum group sizes and the process for obtaining a centre's Annual Practising Certificate
  • The Conflict of Interest declaration and policy have been updated with further guidance to centres on what might be classed as a conflict
  • There have been significant changes to the Guidance to External Assessment for the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, including; a reminder that course tutors, including tutors who have being involved in the delivery of the qualification in either year one or year two, MUST NOT invigilate their own candidate groups for the review paper
  • A new extension request form for higher level qualifications will be rolled out this year
  • All documents have been reviewed and updated where appropriate to reflect changes in data protection law

The updated documents for 2018-19, including all new policies, will be uploaded to the website during the summer break.

General Data Protection Regulation

A reminder that our Update newsletters for tutors and students in April contained guidance on this new legislation, which became law during May 2018. We hope you've all managed to get your new paperwork and policies in place but if not, the April articles may be helpful.

We have had some feedback from centres querying our definition of CPCAB and centres as joint data controllers, and have taken advice from a legal firm who specialise in data protection. Whilst this is somewhat of a “grey” area we have been advised that our business model is more accurately that of independent data controllers and we have updated key documents to reflect this, including our data protection policy, centre application form and the new annual declaration form for centres. If you have already sent your annual declaration back to us, please don't worry as we will add an addendum to your form.

Our thanks go to those centres who have taken time to share this with us and apologies for any confusion while we work our way through the minefield of the new GDPR legislation!

Annual declarations for centres

Our thanks go to those of you who have sent back their annual declarations and we were delighted to see that a large number of them came in very quickly.

If you haven't sent yours back to us yet, we would be grateful for it to be a priority – remember that the deadline for return is the end of August. This new process is a vital part of our own regulation by Ofqual, Qualifications Wales and CCEA Regulation and we will chase up any late returns if we have to, but it would help us if the numbers involved could be kept to a minimum! Do bear in mind that we won't be able to release your Annual Practising Certificate until we've had your signed declaration so there is some urgency here – thank you.

If you've mislaid the details, a copy of the declaration template can be found here.

Funding news

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has published information about a new trial that will enable Adult Education Budget providers to fully fund learners who are employed and in receipt of a low wage and cannot contribute towards the cost of co-funding fees.

There will be a one-year trial of this approach for the 2018 to 2019 funding year. The new eligibility requirements for learners to receive full funding during the trial are:

  • those that are eligible for co-funding, and,
  • earn less than £15,736.50 annual gross salary based on the Social Mobility Commission's low pay threshold of £8.07 (hourly rate in 2016) and on the assumption of a 37.5 hour contract with paid statutory holiday entitlement

Further information can be found on

Federation of Awarding Bodies' Learner of the Year Award

You may be interested to know that FAB are once again planning a series of awards to various categories of organisations and individuals, one of which is the “Learner of the year” award.

The award recognises outstanding achievement of an individual learner. The learner must have achieved a professional/technical qualification from a FAB full member organisation [such as CPCAB] within the last two years. The learner must have demonstrated an enthusiasm for learning and have developed a high level of understanding and skill their industry.

The nomination must address all of the following:

  • What was the qualification and level achieved?
  • How did the learner demonstrate an enthusiasm for learning?
  • How has the learner demonstrated that they have a high level of understanding and skill [in their area]? This should be more than purely the award of a qualification.
  • What challenges did the learner face and how were they overcome?
  • What are the future ambitions of the learner?
  • Why does the learner deserve to win the Award this year?

The deadline is 5pm on 17th August and there is a maximum word count of 1,000 words.

We know that there are many inspirational learners out there (supported by inspirational tutors) and would be delighted to discover that one of them has achieved this prestigious award. Please send in your entries to FAB directly, not to CPCAB (although do let us know if you are successful!); further details will be available soon from the FAB website.

Coming shortly - new support book for Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling

Following on from the very successful CPCAB book 'Counselling Skills and Studies', available from Sage Publications, we are happy to announce that a second book is currently being developed by CPCAB. This new book will be an ideal support text for students on the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and include chapters on finding a placement, seeking personal counselling, and how to integrate your theoretical model into your real world counselling practice.

Watch this space for a hotly anticipated publication date in mid-2019!