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UpdateApril 2017 No. 58

Here in the depths of leafy Somerset, we tend to mark the progress in the calendar by our natural surroundings and as this newsletter comes to you we are seeing the end of the daffodils, which have been gloriously cheerful this year, but we're all delighted by the bluebells that are taking their place. Once again the world feels like a turbulent place but whether you're feeling excited, scared, or at saturation point with the changes around the world and at home, we send you all our best wishes for a peaceful and healthy springtime and a restful summertime still to come.

The lead image above comes from our Design and Video Production Manager, Steve Spraggon. Steve took the photo whilst visiting Japan during the cherry blossom season.

Hello and goodbye

It's been a time of change amongst our staff here at CPCAB as well this year. We've been delighted to welcome Sandra McKeever (right) to the team as Qualification Leader for Level 4, working closely with Heather Price who is moving into a slightly different role which includes managing our new CPD accreditation programme. Sandra has been part of the CPCAB extended family for many years as a teacher and assessor and has settled into the Lilac Room with hardly a ripple!

We also welcome Kelly Budd (left) as our new Qualification Service Manager; she is admirably equipped for this challenging position and experienced at delivering CPCAB qualifications. Although she has only recently taken up the post, she is already a popular and well-respected member of the team.

Sadly though, we have also had to say goodbye to somebody who has been instrumental in taking CPCAB to its current position as the leading awarding organisation in counselling and associated training; Fiona Ballantine Dykes (right) has left us after 14 years to join BACP in a key role. Their gain is very much our loss and she is very much missed but we send her all best wishes for this exciting new venture. Keep in touch, Fiona!

Withdrawal of LSK-L2

You may already be aware that CPCAB has been monitoring the uptake for the Level 2 Award in Listening Support Skills for some time now and during the year the decision was taken to formally withdraw it because of falling demand. We hope this won't inconvenience you unduly and will be contacting affected centres individually to discuss transfer to the sister qualification, the Level 2 Award in Effective Listening Skills. If you have any concerns about the loss of LSK-L2, do contact us to discuss it and we hope we'll be able to reassure you.

Advanced Learner Loans: maximum rates and the single activity matrix

We hope you find our guides to funding (for centres and for learners) useful and they have recently both been updated to reflect new information from the ESFA; this new body represents a merger between the EFA (Education Funding Agency) and the SFA (Skills Funding Agency.

A reminder ... some accredited qualifications are eligible for funding in the form of Advanced Learner Loans (ALL). Previously this applied only to our CST-L3 and TC-L4 qualifications, but has now – since the start of the current teaching year – been expanded to include every CPCAB qualification at Level 3 and above.

Previously the SFA set maximum ALL rates based on the credit value of qualifications.

But as they expanded the range of loans-eligible qualifications to include those at levels 5 and 6, the SFA also, from the start of the current teaching year (and continuing on into future years), set lower maximum ALL rates based on Guided Learning Hours (GLH) rather than credit value. These GLH bands and their funding rates are set out by the SFA in a table known as the Single Activity Matrix (SAM).

However, it's important to note that reference to SAM does not apply concerning two of our qualifications, namely CST-L3 and TC-L4. (This is because the SFA, going back prior to the start of 2015-16, had already set the maximum loan amounts for these based on credit value and not GLH … and they have decided not to change this.) In these two instances the higher maximum ALL rates – namely a weighted rate of £4,670 for TC-L4 and a weighted rate of £811 for CST-L3 – will continue to apply.

Standardisation training for tutors for the 2017/18 academic year

Dates for 2017-18 standardisation training plus online booking are now available on our website.

Counselling Skills and Studies 2nd edition: A new edition from CPCAB published by SAGE

Exclusive 25% discount for CPCAB students and tutors – UKCOUN25 at checkout on SAGE's website.

Packed full of inspirational activities and written in a supportive conversational style, Counselling Skills & Studies is a book for anyone wanting to learn counselling skills or embarking on their first stage of training to become a counsellor. The new edition now includes a more detailed discussion of key theories, has a new chapter on self-care, and is fully up to date with the occupational and professional standards and ethical frameworks.

Split into 3 parts, it covers:

Part 1: Counselling Skills will introduce readers to the underpinning knowledge and practical tools needed to develop a range of helping skills for use in a variety of helping roles, showing what it means to work safely and ethically.

Part 2: Counselling Studies will help them take their understanding further by considering in detail important theories and professional issues, preparing them to work as a professional counsellor.

Part 3: Counselling Study Skills will offer practical advice and hints and tips to help them make the best start on their counselling portfolio, including journal and essay writing skills, research skills and how to get inspired and overcome blocks to learning.

Written by CPCAB authors Fiona Ballantine Dykes, Barry Kopp and Traci Postings, with an introduction by Anthony Crouch, it provides you with an ideal "way in", showing you what counselling is all about.

Praise for the second edition:

‘I found "Counselling Skills and Studies" a superb introduction into the world of Counselling. Approaching the subject with a view to a second career the book felt pitched perfectly. A clear and concise style pervaded throughout and the format of the book lends itself to good structured learning. Never teacherly, the writing spoke to me and the use of conversational examples was effective. The simplification and analysis of the 3 modalities (Psychodynamic / Person Centered / CBT) was invaluable for me as I grasp these new terms and the final section looking at Study Skills will be an essential reference for me as I progress through my studies' – Student Reviewer

You may also be interested to know that the discount code (above) can also be used when purchasing any SAGE counselling and psychotherapy books.

Understanding Substance Misuse – November workshop

After receiving a lot of enquiries, CPCAB would like to offer you the opportunity to take part in a USM-L2 workshop later this year. The 2 day workshop on 'How to teach Substance Misuse' (leaflet) will be held at Head Office on the 24th and 25th November 2017.

You don't have to be a counsellor to deliver the qualification but by attending this workshop you will gain the underpinning knowledge you require. Diploma students may also find the training helpful to their practice.

The 2 day workshop will cost just £100 per person instead of the normal price of £140. Lunch and refreshments will be provided but please note that accommodation and travel expenses, if required, are not included in this price. Places are limited so please complete the online booking form if you would like to attend.

If you would like any further information please contact Jackie Rice (01458 850350).

Client hours - Chelmsford area

We have been contacted by 5th Avenue Counselling in Chelmsford, who are currently offering student placements to anybody who is studying towards completing a CPCAB course and would like to work with clients to build up their hours. If you and your students would find this helpful, please contact Marianne at the agency direct.

Registering groups and assessment results

This is a plea to tutors and exams departments to remember to register your groups with CPCAB promptly. Once we receive your registration a range of processes click into place, including planning of resources such as external verification visits and assessors, and delays make our work much more difficult. This is why there is a late registration fee of £50 per group (£55 per group from September 2017).

An important point to remember, too, is that CPCAB cannot accept responsibility for any unregistered candidates if things go wrong; fortunately this is a very rare occurrence but in the event that your centre falls into difficulties it's essential to know that your students will be supported and we can't do this if you haven't registered them with us.

Finally, we'd be grateful if you could make sure that your candidates know that their exam results must come from you, not directly from CPCAB. We know you work hard to get this message across but the calls still keep coming in! The serious side of this is that, quite apart from the impact of so many calls on a small team, we have no way of identifying the caller. In any event, tutors are best placed to deliver the news, whether good or bad. Many thanks.

Mock papers and DVDs (CSK-L2 and CST-L3)

A reminder to tutors that now that we have discontinued tutor CDs the process for sending mock assessment materials to you for these two qualifications is as follows:

  • Exam department registers group; at private centre tutors can register groups.
  • When the group has been approved Marina at CPCAB will email the mock paper to the exams department and the relevant tutor/s.
  • At the same time CPCAB posts a DVD of the associated film to the exams department.

When you receive your emailed mock papers, we encourage you to download them immediately and save them in a secure folder; obviously you will need to store the DVD itself safely too. We have had a few phone calls from tutors who have forgotten that they have already received them.

We hope to be able to offer a secure online way of accessing mock assessment material in the near future but in the meantime this process is designed to ensure that students are not able to access the materials themselves and gain an unfair advantage over others. Thank you for your co-operation.


As regular readers of Update will know, we are always grateful for your feedback on our qualifications and provide an online form that you can fill in quickly and easily if you'd like to share your views. Every CPCAB qualification goes through an annual review process, which goes much further than our regulators require of us, and we take account of all feedback received to give the qualifications a health check and then consider on-going improvements. If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd love to hear from you!

Social media

This is just to let you know that we now have 12,000 'YouTweetFacers' (having added 1,000 in the last 4.5 months). This is a combination of:

So there is no excuse for not keeping in touch! Do check out our pages for regular features on counselling and mental health developments.


Following the success of our January "humour spot" via Gathered Images, who kindly gave us permission to share it, here's another offering that we hope will make you smile. More hilarious (sometimes naughty) cards and other products are available on their website.