Jan 2010 No. 29

In this Update


Client: ‘I seem to have a bit of a problem with remembering things’.

Therapist: ‘and when did you first notice the problem?’

Client: ‘what problem?’

A woman made an appointment with a therapist. She said, "Doctor, I'm so depressed and lonely. I don't have any friends, no one will come near me, and everybody laughs at me. I’m beginning to feel I must be really ugly. Can you help me?"

"I'm sure I can." the therapist replied. "Just go over and lie face down on that couch."

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CPCAB core qualifications now on QCF!

CPCAB is delighted to announce that we have migrated our core qualifications to the QCF. These will be available for delivery from September 2010. We are in the process of preparing new qualification documents and will make these available on our website as soon as possible. In the meantime eager beavers can visit NDAQ to see the details and look at the new criteria.

All the qualifications are structured as single unit qualifications (with one mandatory unit) except for TC-L4, which has seven mandatory units. The details are as follows:

QCF Qualification title * Qualification code GLH Credit
CPCAB Level 2 Award in Introduction to Counselling Skills (ICSK-L2) 500/7762/4 30 5
CPCAB Level 2 Award in Effective Listening Skills (ELSK-L2) 500/7794/6 15 3
CPCAB Level 2 Award in Listening Support Skills (LSK-L2) 500/7793/4 20 4
CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills (CSK-L2) 500/7938/4 90 17
CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies (CST-L3) 500/8009/X 90 18
CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (TC-L4) 500/8088/X 420 120

* Please note that there have been some changes in titling; these reflect the QCF’s titling conventions, based on credit value.

In the process of making the necessary changes for the move to the QCF we have also taken the opportunity to update and revise our qualifications to take account of the latest research findings on the principles of effective counselling and the likely requirements for regulation by HPC. We have successfully argued for retaining the CPCAB model and for restricted units which will be unique to CPCAB.

All qualifications on the QCF are eligible for funding and are part of the Sector Skills Councils’ Sector Qualification Strategies. Learners on TC-L4 will complete the current NQF qualification and those centres which are fortunate enough to get funding will continue to be able to do so next year.

At the moment the qualifications have been given a one-year accreditation in line with transitional arrangements but this will be extended to five years as soon as CPCAB completes Ofqual’s Supplementary Recognition process – which we expect to do in the next few weeks.

We expect to complete the accreditation of the level 5 and level 6 qualifications very soon – these are currently in progress. However, we can give you the following important information for planning purposes.

CBT-L5 - under the QCF this will become a Diploma, not a Certificate
PC-L5 – the GLH have been reduced from 210 GLH to 120 GLH (title unchanged)
TCSU-L6 - the GLH have been reduced from 120 GLH to 90 GLH and the title will be ‘Certificate’, not ‘Diploma’

In both cases the reduction reflects the recognition that learners do more self study than classroom study at this level. There will be some changes to the L5 minimum assessment requirements.

CPD workshop: “How to teach Understanding Substance Misuse”

CPCAB will be running the CPD workshop ‘How to teach Understanding Substance Misuse’ in the following venues over the next couple of months.  This workshop is open to both teaching and non-teaching staff so other support staff within learning and counselling are able to attend. 

A few places may also be available on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March in the Wokingham area.  The workshop runs from 9.30am to 5pm each day.  Lunch will be provided plus tea and coffee breaks which will be included in the price of £140.00; this does not include overnight accommodation. 

As places are restricted to 15 in each workshop, please contact Clare as soon as possible by phone (01458 852052) or by email (cbewley@cpcab.co.uk) if you would like further information or to book a place.

External assessment 1: taking EA outside the published assessment ‘window’

In September’s Update we published guidelines on what to do if you are unable to schedule an external assessment session within the agreed times. Thankfully the threat of a swine flu pandemic has now receded, but earlier in the year the exceptional weather conditions produced their own problems... and the winter isn’t over yet! So forgive us for repeating the guidance yet again...

External assessment 2: appointments for feedback

A reminder to tutors to make a careful note of the time and date for your appointments for feedback on external assessment, as an unusually high number of appointments have been ‘missed’ this academic year.

Before each feedback appointment one of our team of hardworking counselling professionals has to do a good deal of preparation, as well as experiencing the frustration of waiting for a phone call that doesn’t arrive This is wasted time that can’t really be justified in such a small team. We do know that from time to time things go wrong at our end too and for that we apologise, but it would help us a good deal if you were able to keep to the time you’ve been given. We have reluctantly had to introduce a charge for offering an alternative appointment where the first was missed without notice; please see ‘New fees from September 2010’, below.

New fees from September 2010

Having kept our fees stable for over two years – three years for qualifications at levels 5 and 6 – we now have to increase some of them to reflect inflation and other costs over this period. We have, however, kept these increases to the absolute minimum – in some cases well below inflation – in order to help candidates, tutors and centres in these difficult economic times. The new fee structure is set out below.

Qualification Initial qualification
approval fee
registration fee
Re-sit fee Appeals
ELSK-L2 £99 £39 N/A N/A
LSK-L2 £99 £39 N/A N/A
USM-L2 £99 £39 N/A N/A
ICSK-L2 £129 £39 N/A N/A
CSK-L2 £159 £119 £69 £119
CST-L3 £159 £119 £69 £119
TC-L4 £219 Year 1: £209
Year 2: £209
£159 £209
PC-L5 £219 £209 £159 £209
CBT-L5 £219 £209 £159 £209
TCSU-L6 £219 £209 £159 £209


Missed appointments for external assessment feedback.

The first EA feedback session is free of charge. If tutors miss this first appointment without informing us in advance an administration fee is incurred. This is £25 for levels 2 and 3, and £50 for levels 4 and above.

Victor Rigby
Business Manager
January 2010

Effective Listening Skills (ELSK-L2) - interesting feedback

As part of the process of resubmitting our qualifications for accreditation CPCAB has to supply evidence of continuing need, so from time to time we approach our centres for letters of support. The following emailed reply was particularly interesting and the author has given us permission to share it with you...

‘I taught an effective listening skills course for the first time to year 12 students in the 6th form.  Since finishing the course many of those students have made a point of telling me that they really have appreciated their learning on the course.  One student told me that all his friends go to him whenever they need to talk about sensitive issues.  Several have asked me to supply a reference about the ELSK course for their UCAS applications because they feel that they have gained some valuable skills from it.  Our school is keen to run the course again this year because of the positive feedback from students.  I would definitely recommend it for the 16-19 age group.’

Funding - useful guidelines

Accessing funding continues to be a worry for many of our registered centres and we are indebted to the friendly staff at ‘The Campaign for Learning’, an independent charity ‘created with the sole purpose of championing ... the cause for lifelong learning’ for the hints and tips that follow.

Some recommended sources of funding:


External assessment 3 - word count for case reviews

Just a reminder for tutors teaching at levels 4 and 5 that, in common with standard academic convention, the word count for case reviews does not include the bibliography or any brief footnotes. It does include all other material submitted with the case review, including appendices, tables, quotations etc.

Writing within the word count is part of the discipline formulating the case review and encourages candidates to be focused and specific in their explanations. It is important to keep this in mind, as any essays with differences of more than 10% in the recommended word count are likely to be returned unmarked.’

We hope you will find this useful.

The Open University - joint Foundation Degree in Counselling

As you know, the OU/CPCAB joint foundation degree comprises three components:

The Open University has now added a new module to the third category, giving candidates a wider range of options. This is “The science of the mind: investigating mental health” (SDK228) – 30 credit points. Full details are available from the OU’s website.

WorldSkills UK 2009/10 is open!

UK Skills is a not for profit organisation. It champions skills and learning for work through the delivery of innovative, high profile competitions and awards which showcase excellence and demonstrate how exceptional performance improves individual and organisational success. Last year, around 4,000 people registered their interest in a WorldSkills UK competition.

You may like to share with students (not just from your own department) this message from the WorldSkills website:

‘In October 2011, come and join us in London for the largest international vocational skills competition in the world - WorldSkills London will be held at the ExCel exhibition and conference centre in London’s docklands from 5th - 8th October 2011.

There are lots of opportunities to get involved in the most exciting, inclusive and inspirational WorldSkills Competition ever. So if you want to support your country’s team, try your hand at hairdressing or learn about robotics, WorldSkills London 2011 could be just what you are looking for.’

Entries must be received by 19th March 2010. A step by step guide to registering for WorldSkills 2009/10.

Regulation of counselling

At the time of writing the anticipated follow-up meeting of the Health Professions Council has still not been given a date. We will, of course, keep you up to date with further developments as they happen.