Mar 2007 No. 17

In this Update

Professional Liability Insurance for Counsellors (and Tutors)

The psychology instructor had just finished a lecture on mental health and was giving an oral test.

Speaking specifically about manic depression, she asked, "How would you diagnose a patient who walks back and forth screaming at the top of his lungs one minute, then sits in a chair weeping uncontrollably the next?"

A young man in the rear raised his hand and answered, "A football manager?"

My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start.

So far today, I have finished two bags of chips and a chocolate cake.

I feel better already.

Age discrimination - recommended ages for qualifications

As you know, in October the Age Discrimination Act came into force and this has direct implications on the recommended ages for learners applying to study CPCAB counselling qualifications. A number of centres have called to seek guidance for course prospectuses.

CPCAB has consulted with QCA, the Federation of Awarding Bodies and ACAS to seek guidance on this issue so that we can advise our centres on how best to recruit students to their counselling courses without contravening the terms of the Act.

We understand from QCA that the age bands that are attached to qualifications as part of the approval process (eg 16-19, 19+) will remain. However, all other age restrictions such as those recommended by the awarding body (eg. minimum age 25 for TC-L4) must be removed. Current advice from ACAS is that this future guidance should not be linked to actual age, maturity or length of experience.

CPCAB has developed new guidance for centres to help them identify suitable candidates for CPCAB qualifications although centres will, of course, still operate their own selection procedure, as has always been the case. APL/APEL requirements (where applicable) will continue to stand but the guidance will also be revised.

This revised guidance will be incorporated into CPCAB documentation for use from September 2007 onwards.

Mentoring skills for peer supporters

There has recently been considerable interest in the development of peer support projects in schools and colleges. Our new level 2 qualifications in Effective Listening Skills (ELSK-L2) and Listening Support Skills (LSK-L2), which are 15 GLH and 20 GLH respectively, have been adopted to support these projects.

Peer supporters need to have access to a mentor or a supervisory facility to ensure that they manage the role safely. Given that counselling support in educational establishments is thin on the ground and stretched when they are in place, we have been asked to develop a qualification in mentoring skills for peer supporters. The target group for this will be those who would undertake the responsibility of providing readily accessible support for the peer listeners in their support roles. These might be, for example, tutors, teachers, classroom assistants or welfare assistants.

I would appreciate feedback from centres interested in offering this qualification. I would also like to know whether you intend to make this available to schools, the young adults in the further education community or to adults and how you might publicise the qualification.

Please reply to

Maureen Moore
Director of Qualifications Development

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

We are pleased to announce that CPCAB’s new qualification, the Level 5 Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Skills and Theory (CBT-L5) qualification has been approved by QCA on to the National Qualification Framework. This 120 GLH qualification is aimed at candidates who already have a diploma in counselling that is not CBT specific. It has the support of the Employment National Training Organisation and the Skills for Health sector bodies.

We feel proud that we have been able to respond to the demand from centres and the sector for a qualification which offers learners a qualification in the theory and the skills required to practise as a counsellor using a cognitive behavioural therapeutic approach.

As with all of our qualifications, we require trainers themselves to be qualified in the approach being taught and also to have current knowledge and experience in applying this therapeutic method.

If you would like to find out more about the qualification visit the CPCAB website.

Maureen Moore
Director of Qualifications Development

The Counselling Training Network

CPCAB is planning to create a Counselling Training Network to support counselling trainers in their personal and professional development. We hope to launch the Network in the autumn of 2007. We hope that the Network will encourage members to actively engage in communicating with each other and to use the resources provided to develop their counselling as well as their teaching and tutoring skills.

We are in the planning stages and want to be sure that the Network will be regarded as a valuable resource for counselling trainers and any other organisation involved in delivering or developing the practice of counselling.

CPCAB trainers and tutors are the focus of our work and we would therefore like to hear from you about what you would like and need from the Network. We have many ideas but would value your contribution. So, for example, if you think it would be useful to be part of a book group in order to discuss ideas you've read about, you may want to create an online ‘Book Blog’.

If you have any idea what would be helpful to you as a counselling trainer – let us know. Please send in your ideas to

Maureen Moore
Director of Qualifications Development

Short courses - What are your needs?

At CPCAB we regularly look to the future and consider the changing or growing needs of the Health and Social Care Sector.

In 2006 we added two short qualifications in Effective Listening Skills and Listening Support Skills. These have proved to be highly relevant to the social care sector as well as the education and health sectors. Also, as you can see from the announcement above, we now have a qualification in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT-L5). This is in response to the demands from centres wishing to include this qualification in their counselling programmes.

In 2007 we are proposing to develop a portfolio of short qualifications which may be taken independently as CPD modules or combined to provide a higher post diploma qualification. These qualifications would be best placed on the NQF or its replacement framework. In order for this to happen we need to support our submissions with evidence that they are required by the sector.

I am therefore inviting you to consider what the training development needs are for yourselves as counselling practitioners and trainers and also for your learners. Please complete the grid in this word document and add any further qualifications that you have identified from your CPD review or from discussions with your learners.

Please indicate which level you feel the individual modules would most appropriately fit.

When complete please forward or post to

Maureen Moore
Director of Qualifications Development

Qualification approval fees - advance warning of changes

As part of a review of CPCAB’s pricing structure, new fees for the initial qualification approval process will be introduced from September 2007. The new fees reflect the level and complexity of the qualification and take note of the actual time spent on the approval process. The approval fee remains a ‘one-off’ and replaces the former flat fee. For details of the new prices, please see the table below. Please note: there has been no increase in candidate registration fees for 2007-08.

Fee structure for 2007-08

Qualification Initial qualification
approval fee
registration fee
Re-sit fee Appeals
ELSK-L2 £79 £33 £22 £33
LSK-L2 £79 £33 £22 £33
ICSK-L2 £99 £33 £22 £33
CSK-L2 £129 £105 £49 £105
CSK-L3 £129 £129 £75 £129
CST-L3 £129 £105 £49 £105
TC-L4 £175 Year 1: £175
Year 2: £175
£125 £175
CSU-L4 £175 £169 £110 £169
PC-L5 £199 £199 £125 £199
CBT-L5 £199 £199 £125 £199
TCSU-L6 £199 £199 £125 £199

Candidate registration fees include CPCAB support materials and are applicable to the UK only. There are no additional group, external assessment/verification or certification fees.

2007-08 External Assessment dates

Below is a table detailing the External Assessment dates for 2007-08.

Qualification Date of EA Date of results
ICSK-L2 03/12/07
CSK-L2 14/01/08
CSK-L3 14/01/08
CST-L3 28/01/08
Qualification Date of EA Date of results
CSU-L4 19/05/08 23/06/08
TC-L4 Stage 1 08/10/07
TC-L4 Stage 2 12/11/07
PC-L5 26/11/07
CBT-L5* 19/05/08 09/06/08
TCSU-L6 19/05/08 23/06/08

*Independent Verification.

Self Review - Level 2 Certificate in Introduction to Counselling Skills

It is important that the self review for this qualification takes place under meaningful conditions and is fair to all candidates. Tutor guidance (ICSK-L2 TUG, footnote 18, p.21) for completing the self review states that it “does not have to be completed under exam conditions” but it “strongly recommends that this activity is undertaken in class time.” This ensures the integrity of the assessment and enables the tutor to “confirm that it is the candidate’s own work.” We have stopped short of making this a requirement in order to offer flexibility where candidates are absent, but it is important that these guidelines are followed as closely as possible.

Counselling hours - should they include working with children or young people?

Recently I have had several enquiries concerning the number of hours a candidate studying for the level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (TC-L4) can work with children/young people, in proportion to the time spent working with adults. I had a real sense that the centres just wanted me to say 20 to 80 as though that would be the answer. I am afraid it is more complex than that.

There are four aspects to this question, none of which are to do with the hours!
These are:

That is our starting point, so we expect the placements to be with adult clients unless the centre has applied for a descriptor, e.g. working with young people.

However, if your centre does not have a descriptor you may consider allowing students to work a small proportion of their client hours with children but ONLY if you can guarantee the following:



As far as the answer regards proportion of hours for child or adult, a great deal will depend on the course you are providing.
If there is a descriptor for working with children and young people then probably all the hours would be for that group because that is what they are learning.

Where there is some specialised training either at the centre or in the placement we would expect no more than 20-30% of client hours to be with children. If there is no descriptor and no special training then no hours should be for children.

If in doubt do call me and we can discuss your particular course or particular candidate.

What I am trying to say is that allowing the candidate to work with children is a heavy responsibility for the centre and tutors. Permission to work with this client group should not be given lightly, for if anything were to go wrong, the centre and the tutors would have to accept liability.

Sue Chance
Deputy Head of Qualifications

Mock External Assessment papers

Eagle eyed users of the CPCAB website may have noticed that the mock exam papers have now been removed from the site.

This is the result of feedback from centres who have found that when candidates have been able to have early access to the papers it has been difficult to set mock assessments under realistic conditions. Mock papers are already included on the tutor support CD sent out at registration time, for tutor access only.

We hope you find this helpful - please continue to send us your feedback and we will always aim to respond where possible.