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UpdateJuly 2016 No. 55

This edition of Update brings us to the end of another academic year. It's beginning to feel as though they pass by more quickly these days! We all hope it's been a successful one for you. The news has been grim at times and life can be very worrying but we hope that your students will take the skills you've given them and use them to help others.

We wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful summer break.

Image © Gavin St. Ours


Did you know that CPCAB has a specific team dedicated to monitoring diversity, accessibility and equal opportunities? Our team includes staff with responsibility for external assessment, recruitment and policy/legal implications and our aim is not just to comply with current legislation, but to operate within the spirit of equal opportunities law and to encourage our centres to do the same.

The Equal Opportunities Committee has an annual meeting every spring and can meet at any time through the year as well, as required. This year's meeting was long but fascinating and covered transgender issues, candidates with communication difficulties and the search for actors of BME backgrounds. We also examined the government's “Prevent” strategy and its implications for our centres and learners. We have been given valuable feedback from tutors and associates and as a result have been able to provide a guidance document which we hope you'll find interesting.

Image © Dawn Hudson

Document changes

Every year we go through our suite of documents and give them a thorough check – and there are usually a few updates as a result. Some of you have asked us to supply a list of any changes, to make it easier to spot them and to be sure you are using the most up-to-date version. We're happy to oblige – please see the summary that follows. We've tried to give a rationale for each change and hope it helps.

  • From September 2016, there will be a minor change to the external assessment for CSK-L2 Certificate in Counselling Skills and CST-L3 Certificate in Counselling Studies. The external assessment will still consist of a DVD and a written paper. The number of questions and marking scheme also remain unchanged. But from September the questions will be based on learning outcomes rather than on individual assessment criteria. These learning outcomes will be the same year on year which will allow centres to better prepare candidates for the actual external assessment. These changes will be reflected on the mock papers for 2016-17.
  • “Qualification documents” have been re-titled “Specifications” to fit in with the terminology used by national agencies including Ofqual, Skills for Health and the Skills Funding Agency. The new name is already beginning to appear on the website although the full range of downloadable documents won't be available until the summer months. Rest assured that the contents are largely the same, except that the specifications now incorporate certain new features including Total Qualification Time (TQT) figures, statement of purpose and funding statement. The information you have always looked for in the Qualification Documents is still there as before.
  • From September this year, CPCAB will no longer be sending out tutor CDs. This is in response to feedback from many of you that technology is moving on and it isn't always easy to access a CD drive. The CDs can also go astray! The documents that have traditionally been included on your CD are already available to download from the CPCAB website, of course, and we hope to be able to update the way downloads are organised to make it easier for you to track them down.
  • The one exception is mock papers (and associated DVDs). We will be developing a password-protected portal for use by tutors or exams department but in the meantime the arrangements will be:
  • For all qualifications that have a mock paper, it will be emailed to you when you register your groups;
  • For all qualifications that also include a DVD (CSK-L2 and CST-L3), a DVD will be sent to you by post
  • Marina is keeping the whole process under her eagle eye – if you have any concerns, please contact her in the usual way: 01458 850350 /
  • Information for transgender candidates requesting replacement certificates (form CR8).
  • Tutor and candidate support documents have been updated and reduced in number so only the most popular ones remain. All documents will now be saved in Support Documents for tutors and candidates on the CPCAB website (this will be updated in August).
  • Tutor/candidate guidance – please note all mention of BACP information sheets has been removed as they have been replaced by BACP Good Practice Guidance documents which are available to members on the BACP website.
  • TC-L4 guidance to work place experience. Please note our updated FAQ on working with children.
  • Guidance to higher level qualifications - in an effort to increase the clarity and transparency of the external assessment at the higher levels (TCSU-L6 and PC-L5, CBT-L5) you will notice that some of the wording has been altered. The most noticeable change for all higher levels is that the Case Review guidance beneath the seven headings no longer states: ‘Guidance: The assessor is looking for’ but now underneath the headings states ‘You must’...

    For TCSU-L6 the wording for the case review guidance has changed more significantly as highlighted.
    These changes have been made to make the guidance clearer and more specific. As always we welcome your feedback.
  • Updated guidance to TC-L4 assessment criteria including guidance to the new “Prevent” strategy (Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015).
  • Updated RPL policy.

CPCAB logo

We have noticed that a few of our centres are still using the old CPCAB logo which changed in September 2013. Here is our most recent logo for your documents and advertisements.

External Assessment dates

Dates for external assessment windows for the 2016/17 academic year are available on the CPCAB website, together with the remainder of dates for this year.


Dates and venues for 2016/17 tutor standardisation days are now available.

For the first time we will be holding a standardisation day specially designed for tutors new to CPCAB on Saturday 8th October 2016 in London. As well as meeting the team, the day will cover the CPCAB model, assessment, portfolio building, criteria and any issues or concerns new tutors may have. We are very much looking forward to this day to welcome our new tutors and reassure them that they are not alone. Please encourage tutors new to your centre to book and join us on this day.

We have also designed a survival pack for new tutors which we hope will be a useful tool.

Tutor feedback on CPCAB qualifications

It's that time of year again when we ask our tutors to spare us a few moments to complete this survey if you have delivered any CPCAB qualifications during the year. You will be able to complete a survey for each CPCAB qualification you have taught since September 2015. You can include your name and centre details if you like, or keep your feedback confidential. Your comments will help us to continue to introduce improvements to our qualifications.

Many thanks and best wishes, Jackie Rice (Centre Service Manager)


Therapist: “And what brings you here today?”
Client: “It's my wife – she treats me like a dog.”
Therapist: “Would you like to talk about that?”
Client: “Not really.”
Therapist; “You don't want to talk about it?”
Client. “No, that's not why I'm here.”
Therapist: “Would you like to tell me why you're here?”
Client: “Well … it's just a bit of a treat for me. I'm not allowed on the couch at home...”