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Standards in Counselling and Counselling Services. Colin McCormack Primary Care Mental Health Development Manager SDF - 20th October 2005. Counselling…. What does it mean to you? What does it mean to your client/patient? What does it mean to the general public?

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Standards in Counselling and Counselling Services


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    1. Standards in Counselling and Counselling Services Colin McCormack Primary Care Mental Health Development Manager SDF - 20th October 2005

    2. Counselling… • What does it mean to you? • What does it mean to your client/patient? • What does it mean to the general public? • What does it mean to ‘counsellors?

    3. …how will we know? • you – we want to help people • clients – I want to feel better • public – safety, quality, vfm • counsellors – recognition, status, support

    4. Counselling - what is it? • A recognised psychosocial therapy • Different ‘orientations’ – person centred, psychodynamic • Evidence based (some caveats) • Structured and delivered by a qualified practitioner (who is also supervised) • Effective for a range of problems – generic • Popular

    5. And what it’s not… • Just talking and/or listening • Tea and sympathy • Directive • Easy • About ‘diagnosis’ and ‘cure’ • For everyone and everything • Regulated

    6. “If counselling is to be one of the recognised interventions for promoting mental health and well-being to the public, then regulation, standardisation and consistency in practice are required.” (FHCP, January 2004)

    7. Background • Counselling services have a significant role to play across a range of services – mental health, youth health, sexual health, occupational health, oncology… • Counselling not regulated by statute; no statutory governance over the term ‘counsellor’ • Multi-professional Working Group set up • Support of professional bodies (BACP, COSCA) • Support of the counsellors in the NHS • Intended to benefit the NHS, counsellors and clients by providing a structured, consistent and quality assured framework

    8. The Framework 16 Standards • Based on standards of professional bodies (BACP, COSCA) • Reflect Division standards for good practice 11 Guidelines • Underpin the Standards • Reflect operational issues • Reflect Division policies and procedures

    9. The 16 Standards • A counsellor in the Primary Care Division is a prescribed role with a protected title which should only be used by people with appropriate training and qualifications. • People employed by the Division who hold only a counselling skills qualification may not call themselves counsellors. • All counsellors employed in the Division must have a postgraduate diploma in counselling accredited by the BACP or COSCA. • All newly appointed counsellors in the Division to work towards accreditation within five years of qualifying. • all current counsellors not accredited are to agree a timescale • should be no longer than three years from the date of the discussion record progress in annual Personal Development Plan.

    10. The Standards • All counsellors in the Division to have access to appropriate Continuing Professional Development opportunities which are recorded in an annual Personal Development Plan. • Identified time for supervision to be part of the terms and conditions of all counsellors in the Division. • minimum one and a half hours of individual supervision per month, within working hours • supervisor should have a qualification in counselling supervision, or be accredited as a supervisor, and have experience of working in the NHS. • Counsellors within the Division to have an identified operational line manager. Ideally counsellors will also have access to professional support.

    11. The Standards • There should be defined competencies for all levels of counsellors working within the Division: develop competencies based on Agenda for Change. • The Division to adopt an agreed structure (one is proposed) for professional development and career progression for counsellors employed in the Division. • Counsellors to adhere to standards of record keeping as prescribed by the Division. These will be appropriate to the needs of the service setting and consistent with records kept by similar professions in that setting, including matters of access to these records. • Counsellors to be bound by the NHS standards and guidelines on confidentiality, in addition to the codes of good practice produced by the counselling professional bodies.

    12. The Standards • Suitably qualified counsellors should be given opportunities to develop their skills as supervisors, advisers and trainers. • The Division to have a structured and standardised approach to placements. • The Division to apply the standards in this framework when commissioning counselling services both from within the NHS and from external organisations. • There should be consistency in the information provided about counselling services within the Division. • The Division to recognise the BACP and COSCA ethical frameworks and codes of practice. • counsellors to adhere to those codes and frameworks and to Divisional procedures for ethical practice.

    13. The 11 Guidelines • It is the responsibility of the counsellor and the operational line manager to address CPD requests within the context of the counsellor’s accreditation requirements, their contracted hours and service delivery needs. • It is the responsibility of the counsellor and the operational line manager to address supervision requirements within the context of the counsellor’s workload, their contracted hours and service delivery needs. • Counsellors within the Division to have both an operational line manager and a professional manager. A working group to be set up to investigate how the professional links can be structured in the Division.

    14. The Guidelines • All referral processes should note a reason for referral and an anticipated benefit of referral. • The caseload for a counsellor to be split 60:40, with direct, face to face counselling hours as 60 per cent of the counsellor’s time and other activities as 40 per cent. • caseload should not exceed 20 clients per week. • caseloads to be monitored through the guideline on supervision. • responsibility of local managers to work with counsellors to ensure this is achievable for both counsellors and their clients. • The Division to carry out further work with both the professional bodies and the training providers to agree a standardised approach to student placements.

    15. The Guidelines • All counsellors to work within the principles and guidelines for working in multi-disciplinary teams as set out by both the professional bodies and the Division. • A guidance note, based on the standards, to be produced to share with the organisations from which the Division is considering commissioning counselling services. • To set up a working group to develop and produce a common set of materials to ensure consistency in the information provided about counselling services within the Division. • The Division to explore the implications of becoming part of the COSCA Recognition Scheme for Organisations.

    16. Summary – what does it mean? • You – focused and effective help, accountability • Client – choice and accountability • Public – safety, accountability • Counsellors – recognition, accountability

    17. Comments or further information: Colin McCormack Primary Care Mental Health Services Development Manager NHS Greater Glasgow Clutha House (2nd Floor) 120 Cornwall Street South GLASGOW G41 1AD Colin.McCormack@glacomen.scot.nhs.uk