Counselling Examination Summary – June 2017


D4102-04 Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling




J/506/9114 (F/601/7636)



Series 022 (01 March – 31 May 2017)   

The report below summarises the findings of the examiner team following the recent examination/assessment series.  Tutors are required to take note of the recommendations made by the Lead Examiner to ensure that candidates are supported in achieving the best possible outcome in future assessments.






Understand their placement environment


The organisation structure must explain the hierarchical arrangement within the placement.

The ways of working are associated with the counselling placement and how the counselling aspect of the placement operates. 

Policies and procedures are one and the same. The policy must be named and briefly explained and then the procedure for that policy must be explained.

More than one policy and its procedure must be explained.


The relevance of the legislation to the placement must be explained as well as how it is put into practice within the placement.


An evaluation of the placement experience and not just a description is required. The evaluation must cover different aspects of the placement and not just client work i.e. environment, support, administration, training etc.


Understand the importance of working agreements



All working agreements must contain sufficient content and must be signed by both parties.

It is not good practice for the placement manager to also be the learner’s supervisor.


This must be an evaluation and must cover the contents of all the submitted working agreements from all placements and supervisors in terms of their importance.


Maintain records of placement practice


The logs must be in date order not client order and must use the same format throughout to include client ID, full date, length of session, theme of session and signature from placement/supervisor. For young people client hours the log must contain their age also.


Supervision dates must be in full and in date order. Supervision hours must be recorded on the supervision log (a minimum of 1.5 supervision hours over a period of a month for up to 12 client hours and additional supervision for over 12 client hours a month is 1 hour to 8 client hours pro rata).

Inadequate supervision (i.e. 0 or less than 1.5 hours within a period of a month) will mean that client hours relating to the inadequate supervision session(s) will not be counted towards the overall minimum of 100 client hours.

Inadequate client / supervision hours will result in a referral and will have to be completed and resubmitted.

Client hours offered after the last supervision date will not count towards the overall 100.


Relate theory to practice



The evidence must give an outline of the main key principles / concepts of the therapeutic approaches that the learners have been trained in i.e. the theories/approaches applied when working with the chosen client.

Client details are not required in this AC.

All the key concepts analysed in 4.2 and evaluated in 4.3 must be included in the outline in 4.1.


A minimum of 6 client sessions must be offered.

Evidence must show comprehensive understanding of the key concepts in practice through analysis.

The focus of the evidence must be on the analysis of the application of the key concepts of the theoretical approach(s) to the chosen client.

Although skills and techniques may be included the emphasis must not be on techniques, skills, interventions or integrative models.


The evidence must be an evaluation of the key concepts as they were applied to the client from 4.2 (again not on skills, techniques, interventions and models) i.e. how and why they were effective or not.

This is not an evaluation about own learning and self, which may be included, but an evaluation of the effect of the key concepts on the chosen client and the counselling work.

The evaluation must cover the key concepts analysed in 4.2.


Relate supervision to practice




The chosen client must be a different client than the one used for Learning Outcome 4 and must be taken to a minimum of 2 supervisory sessions.  A minimum of two issues to be discussed.

The main body of the evidence must be an analysis of the actual learning gained from issues taken to supervision related to the chosen client.

The client and the related issues must be carefully chosen so as to offer sufficient evidence for analysis of the resulting acquisition of knowledge from supervision.

The learning gained is not what the supervisor suggests or advises, but is a reflective process following the supervision session.


The main body of evidence must be the evaluation of putting the learning gained into practice over subsequent sessions with the client i.e. how effective or valuable that was.

The evaluation of the learning gained applied to the client must include all the issues taken to supervision.


Reflect on own professional practice


The evidence must show an evaluation of the trainee counsellor’s own practice rather than an evaluation of the feedback alone or an evaluation of supervision generally. It must be based directly upon the written feedback in the supervision report(s).

All supervision reports must be evaluated.


The evaluation must be based on the trainee counsellor’s own practice rather than an evaluation of the feedback alone or an evaluation of the placement generally.  It must be directly related to the written feedback given in the placement report(s).

All placement reports must be evaluated.


The evidence must be based on professional development in terms of recognising areas that would benefit from further professional improvement.

The evidence should not detail personal development.



Additional paperwork is not required only the learner evidence for each assessment criterion.

Appendices must not be used – all the evidence must be offered under each of the AC headings.


Any photographs of placement forms uploaded must be clear and easy to read.

Evidence must not be uploaded in the wrong AC.

Assessment criteria must not be combined.