Therapeutic Counselling Exam Summary September-November 2017


Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling






September to November 2017 (024)

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.



1. Understand their placement environment


Are submitting more than one placement.

Are omitting explanations of submitted diagrams of organisation structure, rather than demonstrating an understanding.

Are not offering details of roles and responsibilities of all organisational members.


Policies have been listed and not fully explained.

Procedures related to the policies are not explained.

Policies and procedures are unrelated.

Only one policy is being explained, when it should be more than one.



The relevance of the legislation to the placement is not explained i.e. how the legislation is applied within the placement.



Compose a description rather than an evaluation of the working agreements, which fails to meet the criteria.

Focused on evaluating client work rather than the placement, which is not in the specification.

2. Understand the importance of working agreements



Did not submit all working agreements, failing to show understanding of their importance.

Not all working agreements are signed by both parties. Candidates should be reminded that this is their responsibility and failure to obtain signatures will delay the confirmation of results.



Made no reference to the importance of the contents of the working agreements.

Described their working agreements, rather than evaluating them as specified.

Made a general overview of working agreements rather than specific evaluation of contents.

Failed to add sufficient detail and reasoning.

3. Maintain records of placement practice


Do not put their Client Logs in date order. This makes verification of the hours difficult to confirm.

Fail to conduct client sessions of the required length i.e. more than 50 minutes

Fail to include the theme of the session and log full dates;

See clients after the final supervision session. All client hours must be supervised




Do not record the number of people in the group supervision sessions.

Have insufficient supervision for the client hours.


4. Relate theory to practice



Fail to provide an outline of the key concepts of their therapeutic approach(es).

Omit some of the key concepts analysed in 4.2, rather than all

Use quotations to explain the key concepts rather than their own words to demonstrate their full understanding.

Describe models rather than specific theoretical approaches.

Present techniques instead of key concepts (especially for Gestalt and CBT approaches).




Analysed the application of the key concepts, lacking depth and understanding of the practice.

Described the counselling sessions rather than analysed the application of the key concepts.

Assessment criteria 4.2 and 4.3 should either be separate out or there should be clear signposting from the evidence to the correct assessment criterion

Analysed skills and techniques rather than the key concepts.

Showed a lack of analytical consideration.



Evaluated some of the key concepts from 4.2, rather than all of them.

Made no reference to the key concepts applied in 4.2.

Evaluated key concepts that were not applied in 4.2.

Showed a lack of evaluative detail and reasoning.

5. Relate supervision to practice



Described what happened in the supervision sessions, rather than the learning gained.

Did not offer two issues over two supervision sessions.

Focused on what supervisor suggests/advises.




Evaluation did not cover a minimum of two subsequent counselling sessions.

Only evaluated one issue rather than a minimum of two.

Evaluated the client progress without reference to learning gained in practice in subsequent counselling sessions.

Evaluated supervision generally rather than of the learning in practice.


6. Reflect on own professional practice



Evaluated supervision generally rather than their own practice based upon the Supervisor’s written feedback.

Provided a description of supervision undertaken generally, rather than.

Failed to submit the report.

Failed to submit the final page for supervisor to sign the declaration.




Evaluated the placement experience generally rather than their own practice based upon placement written feedback.

Fails to submit their reports.




Identified personal development rather than professional.

Discussed professional development already undertaken

Failed to show learning gained from counselling course.



General comments

Submitted documents that are not required as evidence for the assessment criteria i.e. action plans/reviews, placement policies, placement health and safety checks etc.


Added appendices in the portfolio containing actual assessment criterion evidence which should be part of the main body of the portfolio.


Did not provide evidence with the assessment criterion number.


Submitted assessment criteria not in the correct order.


Showed a lack of understanding of the terms analysis and evaluation.