Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
UpdateJanuary 2019 No. 65

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.

Candidates using visual learning software

In response to feedback from centres, we have redesigned our large font external assessment papers for CSK-L2 and CST-L3 so that the questions no longer appear in boxes. We have been advised that the boxes were confusing for some software programs and we hope this change will be helpful. Your feedback in this area is always appreciated and you may remember that some time ago all external assessment materials were redesigned to make use of a sans serif font, for the benefit of dyslexic candidates.

Remember that if you would like to order large font assessment papers, you should complete the online reasonable adjustment form no later than 8 weeks before the date of the assessment. If you should need any further information please email

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.

Tutor CVs

CPCAB makes it a priority to process all tutor CV applications to ensure that appropriate tutors are delivering and assessing the qualifications. It is imperative that all tutors submit a CV to CPCAB before they begin to teach to ensure that they meet the requirements and are included on the registration list. CPCAB reminds centres that knowingly permitting an un-approved tutor to deliver and assess CPCAB qualifications is classed as centre malpractice.

In 2018 some improvements were made to our guidance to tutoring requirements and our Tutor CV proforma and we advise all centres to ensure that they submit any new tutor CVs in plenty of time.

The Prevent Strategy

You may like to be aware that new Prevent guidance has been issued by the Dept for Education.

We hope this is helpful.


Due to the high demand of tutors wishing to attend our last standardisation training day in Birmingham (which is now fully booked) we have added an additional day in Bristol on Friday 29th March 2019. The day will run from 10am-4pm and lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please book your place using the standardisation training booking form.

If numbers are not reached to make the day viable then the training will be at CPCAB Head Office, near Glastonbury.

As a reminder, all tutors delivering CPCAB qualifications must attend a CPCAB standardisation training session to ensure that they are assessing to a common standard. Tutors must attend standardisation training day every two years and receive 'cascade' training from another team member in the intervening year. These training days are offered free in regional locations. Please see our standardisation training webpage for further requirements.

New fees from September 2019

Please note that our new fee structure comes into force with effect from September 2019. These fees apply to the UK only. For overseas charges please contact CPCAB.

The 2020 exam timetable and fees are available on the CPCAB website.

Understanding Substance Misuse Workshop

We are delighted to be offering our popular USM-L2 workshop again later this year. The two day workshop will be held at our head office near Glastonbury on the 22nd and 23rd March 2019.

You don’t have to be a counsellor to deliver the qualification but by attending this stimulating workshop you will gain the underpinning knowledge you require.

Completion will assist attendees in delivering CPCAB’s regulated qualification ‘Level 2 Award - Understanding Substance Misuse’ within their own centres.

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 see the course information and booking form if you would like to attend.

If you would like any further information please email Jackie Rice or phone her on 01458 852055.

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!

Surveys for both learning providers and learners – Ofqual seeking your views

Ofqual has started a second wave of research, seeking views of Learning Providers and learners on vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs). This follows on from their initial research, which was published in September 2018.

A further survey, run by Pye Tait Consulting, has been opened seeking views on what learning providers think about qualifications to help Ofqual understand how to meet the needs of employers. We would encourage our centres to consider contributing to this survey, which takes 5-7 minutes to complete.

More than one person at each learning provider can undertake the survey. It is open now until the deadline of 15th February 2019.

Ofqual, and Pye Tait, are also interested in feedback from learners and a short online survey, taking about 5 minutes, is available for learners to complete. Ofqual would appreciate it if you could encourage your learners to take part using the survey for learners.

This survey is also open now and also has a deadline of 15th February 2019.

Clare Vokes at Pye Tait on 01423 509433 is the contact for any queries about the research.

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.