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Student UpdateJan 2019 No. 40

We wish all of you a warm welcome back after what we hope has been a happy and healthy festive break.

It's good to be able to start 2019 with some good news and our congratulations go to CPCAB's Richard Oldfield, whose dedication and hard work to the New Vision for Mental Health (NVMH) project has been recognised as making an invaluable contribution in the field of person centred healthcare. The NVMH project and website has been awarded the 2018 Presidential Medal for Excellence in Person Centered Healthcare, by the European Society for Person Centered Healthcare (ESPCH).

Richard received the award at the ESPCH conference and ceremony on 6th December 2018.

Ray van der Poel, CPCAB's Head of Business and Development, was invited to cover the aims and objectives of the NVMH via a keynote speech to open the conference which was very well received. Ray's presentation is available on the New Vision for Mental Health website.

The good news continues; recent correspondence from ESPCH advised that

“The Society is currently compiling a 120-chapter, 3-volume text on person-centered care that will represent a highly seminal contribution to teaching and research in the field. If your organisation would like to contribute a chapter to this work then I was be delighted to discuss the next steps with you.”

Our congratulations go to Richard for a remarkable achievement.



We have had some changes in the staff team at CPCAB recently and are happy to welcome two new staff members to the offices in Glastonbury. Firstly we welcomed Sue Boulter in November who has joined us as our Regulation and Complaints Coordinator. Sue brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to CPCAB; coupled with her bubbly personality and positive team-working approach, she has already brought a ray of sunshine to our wintry days. She has moved to this lovely part of Somerset fairly recently and has celebrated by achieving one of her ambitions and adopting two dogs from a rescue centre. Welcome, Sue!


We are also pleased to introduce Emma Weston as our new Counselling Qualifications Professional. Emma has taught CPCAB qualifications in Reading until recently, and is an experienced counsellor and supervisor. She will join the Qualification Service in February to provide support and guidance to our centres and offer her expertise in helping to develop our qualifications in the coming years.

Our team is also being boosted by the welcome arrival of Jennifer Steel, who will be taking over some of our marketing function as the current team move into different directions. Jennifer brings with her experience from her professional background, where she has worked both in the UK and internationally in various marketing roles. With her own personal interest in self-development and therapeutic practice, she hopes to be able to assist CPCAB in defining and growing the role of marketing in the organisation.


However, with the new there are inevitably some goodbyes. We are all sad to see Sandra McKeever relocating back to her roots in Cumbria after making the role of Qualification Leader for Level 4 her own. We thank Sandra for her invaluable contribution in recent years and wish her the very best in her new venture, which will include many different things but, most particularly, as much time as possible spent walking on her beloved Fells.

Newly released: Counselling Research Award 2018 video

A new video featuring Sally O'Keeffe's award winning research was released last month. Sally won the 2018 Counselling Research Award for her research titled "A qualitative study exploring types of dropout in adolescents receiving therapy for depression" which challenges how therapy dropout is understood.

Watch the video below to find out more about Sally's work and research findings.

Levels 5 and 6: External Assessment Case Reviews

We would like to remind both tutors and learners that external assessment case reviews are required to have a total word count within the range specified in the qualification’s documents, i.e. between 3,000 and 3,500 words in total.

Recently we have become aware of a small number of case reviews which have significantly exceeded the maximum number and it appears that there is a perception that a 10% allowance in either direction is permissible. This is not the case; the range of words provided is an absolute one and from September 2019 any reviews that don’t meet requirements will be automatically failed. This may seem harsh, but do remember that the great majority of learners are careful to keep to the word count and it is not fair to disadvantage them by allowing others to bend the rules.

We hope you understand our need to provide “a level playing field” for all of our learners and will be adding extra emphasis to the guidelines in next year’s documentation. Thank you.

Social Media

CPCAB is delighted to have just over 17,000 social media followers now, having added another 1,000 in the final quarter of 2018. This is a combination of:

  • Over 7,800 Facebook followers
  • Nearly 7,500 subscribers to our YouTube Channel
  • Nearly 1,800 followers of our tweets

Open University Foundation Degree

We were delighted to hear from some of our friends in the Channel Islands that Catherine Hallowell of The Tara Centre in Jersey has become the region’s first successful completer of the joint CPCAB and Open University Foundation Degree in Counselling. Catherine says

“it’s been a life changing journey that I feel proud to have been on, with such warm tutors and peers supporting me along the way. I feel like a flower who has just begun to blossom after years of hard frost never allowing me to open.”

We wish you every success with your future career, Catherine. Well done!

Volunteer placements for counselling students

London Young Counselling is an organisation which provides counselling and mental health support to secondary schools across the UK. Their service works closely with schools to provide 1:1 counselling sessions to students weekly, during their school day.

London Young Counselling offers placements to people currently in their second year of a counselling course as well as qualified counsellors, all through the year. They expect counsellors to be able to commit to at least one academic year and be able to commit to at least a 3 hour placement slot per week. London Young Counselling cover the costs of insurance, DBS checks and necessary training for volunteers of the service.

If you would like to apply for a placement with London Young Counselling, please head to their website.

CPCAB is happy to consider articles from our colleagues in the field for inclusion in Update; please note that the views expressed are not necessarily those of CPCAB.