Standards of Training and Education

ACCPH Standards of Training and Education for Accredited Courses at Level 2 – 7 (equivalent)

Introduction

In setting its minimum Standards of Training for each level ACCPH accepts it is demanding a great deal from its training providers. As stated elsewhere on this website we are paralleling Ofqual criteria as closely as possible. However; we seek to adopt a flexible approach and take into account the huge range approaches within counselling, coaching, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy. There are other professional bodies that set standards for their area of therapy or coaching and we have to take these into consideration.

Also we require course providers to observe UK National Occupational Standards when appropriate to their courses

ACCPH not only looks at course quality but also quantity. Some providers think that if they add more and more content it will take the course up a level. If all the material is Level 2 the course will be Level 2.

We also recognise that a range of learning platforms are provided in becoming a practitioner in the modern world. With online training becoming widely used rather than face-to-face training in a classroom.

However; all accredited courses must demonstrate that they meet the educational requirements appropriate to their approach and level and scope of training. ACCPH values its stance on maintaining our Standards of Training.

ACCPH will accredit courses that are Home Study and these will allow someone who has qualified to become a Member or an Accredited Member. This will depend on the number of hours of practice required for the course. These sessions must be checked and retained as a portfolio of evidence. Also taken into account are previous experience and qualifications.

Many people are only looking for professional membership and being accredited is not important to them. Accredited Members must have completed specific hours of face-to-face tuition.

 

The General Standards of Training

Course Quality

General Standards of Training and principles to be included in any Counselling, Coaching, Psychotherapy or Hypnotherapy training course.

Training must inform students of the following :

  • Respect for the client’s autonomy, cultural differences and rights.
  • Practitioner awareness of the limits of their level of competence and the vulnerability of the client.
  • Awareness of the importance of personal development and CPD
  • Maintain professional boundaries
  • Use a professional mentor for advice and supervision as required
  • Be able to make ethical decisions

Course content

Training must include a balance of theory (and practice when applicable). This practice may be face-to-face or set home study case studies that have to be recorded and documented.

The course should usually but not exclusively include:

  • How psychological problems develop
  • The process of therapeutic or coaching change
  • The importance of the therapeutic or coaching relationship
  • Ethics and the law
  • Psychopathology
  • Relationship building, rapport with clients
  • Communication
  • Assessment of the client’s situation or condition
  • Formulation of psychotherapeutic or coaching strategies and interventions
  • Evaluation of the treatment or coaching is relation to client progress
  • Reflective practice
  • Specialist skills appropriate to the core theoretical model of the course.

There are many other areas that can be included in a particular course.

Coherence and cohesion

The training course must be a coherent programme which follows a logical progression so that the students’ theoretical knowledge, personal development and practical experience can develop fully.

The appropriate Learning Outcomes must be published and made available for the students to follow. This is one of our Standards of Training that is overlooked by course providers.

 

Accreditation Criteria

Certificate accreditations are in the areas of: Counselling, Coaching, Pyschotherapy, Hypnotherapy, NLP and non-standard courses*.

Diploma accreditations will be provided as follows:

Levels 3 and 4:

Counselling, Coaching, Pyschotherapy, Hypnotherapy, NLP and non-standard courses*.

Level 5:

Coaching, Advanced Hypnotherapy, NLP and non-standard courses*.

Levels 6 and 7:

Coaching, NLP and non-standard courses*.

*Non-standard courses may contain elements of any of the main areas of our remit and other material.

ACCPH expects that if you offer a Level 4 course that it will provide all of the learning of a Level 3 course plus material of a more advanced nature. The exception being a course aimed at post-graduates only. In this case the course must contain advanced material only.

Generally, ACCPH expects all Level 5, 6 and 7 courses to be offered to post-graduates only. However; if a course can show progression from Level 3 right through to level 5, 6 or 7 it will be granted the higher level accreditation.

 

Teaching, Learning (and Contact hours)

The teaching staff must be sufficiently educated and experienced to ensure that students are correctly taught. There should be at least 2 tutors available to complete a course. Should the main tutor be ill a substitute should be available to stand in.

Home Study courses will have no contact hours but we do expect an average student to take the following number of hours to complete any course:

Awards

Awards – Validated CPD

Level 1-2 Course/Workshop duration: 6-24 hours. No practice hours required.

 

Certificate Courses

ACCPH will now award Certificates only to Home Study courses that do not contain practice sessions. Graduates with qualifications without practice sessions will only be able to join as Members. The criteria is the same as those below but no “Supervised Practice Sessions”

Home Study Course Requirements

Level 3 Diploma

Level 4 Diploma

Study time 60-99 hours 100+ hours
Direct student contact time None None
Teaching via video or audio recordings If required by the course If required by the course
Marking by senior tutor Minimum 50% Minimum 50%
‘Supervised’ practical sessions* Minimum 3 Minimum 5
Practice log/portfolio Yes Yes
Theoretical skill assessment Yes Yes
Portfolio of skill assessment Yes Yes
Written assessments based on research No No
Self-directed study Yes Yes
Reflective practice instilled Yes Yes
Constructive feedback on all assessments Yes Yes
UK National Occupational Standards If relevant to the course If relevant to the course
 * Additional to the course requirement hours    
Membership Level Member or Accredited Member Member or Accredited Member

 

Home Study Course Requirements

Level 5 Diploma

Study time 200+ hours
Direct student contact time None
Teaching via video or audio recordings If required by the course
Marking by senior tutor Minimum 50%
‘Supervised’ practical sessions* Minimum 10
Practice log/portfolio Yes
Theoretical skill assessment Yes
Portfolio of skill assessment Yes
Written assessments based on research No
Self-directed study Yes
Reflective practice instilled Yes
Constructive feedback on all assessments Yes
UK National Occupational Standards If relevant to the course
* Additional to the course requirement hours
Membership Level Member or Accredited Member

 

Attendance Course Requirements

Level 3 Diploma

Level 4 Diploma

Study time 60-99 hours 100+ hours
Direct student contact time (minimum 50% of course) Yes Yes
Teaching via video or audio recordings Yes (if required) Yes (if required)
Delivery/marking by senior tutor Minimum 50% Minimum 50%
‘Supervised’ practical sessions* Minimum 10 Minimum 15
Practice log/portfolio Yes Yes
Theoretical skill assessment Yes Yes
Portfolio of skill assessment Yes Yes
Written assessments based on research No No
Self-directed study Yes Yes
Reflective practice instilled Yes Yes
Constructive feedback on all assessments Yes Yes
UK National Occupational Standards If relevant to the course If relevant to the course
* Included in the course requirement hours    
Membership Level Accredited Member Accredited Member

 

Attendance Course Requirements

Level 5 Diploma

Level 6 Diploma

Study time 200-249 hours 250-349 hours
Direct student contact time (35% of course) Yes Yes
Teaching via video or audio recordings Yes (if required) Yes (if required)
Delivery/marking by senior tutor Minimum 50% Minimum 50%
‘Supervised’ practical sessions* Minimum 30 Minimum 50
Practice log/portfolio Yes Yes
Theoretical skill assessment Yes Yes
Portfolio of skill assessment Yes Yes
Written assessments based on research Yes Yes
Self-directed study Yes Yes
Reflective practice instilled Yes Yes
Constructive feedback on all assessments Yes Yes
UK National Occupational Standards If relevant to the course If relevant to the course
*Included in the course requirement hours    
Membership Level Senior Member Senior Member

 

Level 7 Diploma (Equivalent)

Requirements

Study time 350+ hours
Direct student contact time (40% of course) Yes
Teaching via video or audio recordings Yes (if required)
Delivery/marking by senior tutor Minimum 50%
‘Supervised’ practical sessions* Minimum 60
Practice log/portfolio Yes
Theoretical skill assessment Yes
Portfolio of skill assessment Yes
Written assessments based on research Yes
Self-directed study Yes
Reflective practice instilled Yes
Constructive feedback on all assessments Yes
UK National Occupational Standards If relevant to the course
* Included in the course requirement hours
Membership Level Senior Member

 

Assessment

ACCPH standards of training includes a portfolio of evidence AssessmentsThe assessment procedures for home study and attendance will overlap in the way the knowledge of the student is tested. However; practical assessment will realistically be predominantly completed during attendance training.

Suggested examination methods are given below.

Every unit/module must be tested by one or more of the methods below. These have to be retained in a portfolio as evidence for their graduation. This portfolio can be digital or physical.

Please be aware that we do sample moderation of portfolios as part of our ongoing quality control process. It is the duty of every school to provide the required evidence for each student when asked. Failure to do so will result in withdrawal of our accreditation.

Your Assessment Criteria must be published and made available to us and all students.

You must have procedures in place to support trainees found to be in difficulties. There needs to be a mechanism to expel incompetent, incapable or ethically unsound students.

Should your assessment process be found to be not as rigorous as we require we will help you get back on track as an External Moderator will be appointed. They will be involved in monitoring your assessment processes.

Short answer questions

Short answer questions require a reasonably short answer – anything between a few words and a paragraph or so. The number of marks allocated can be used to give an indication of the length of the answer required.

Short-answer questions may concentrate on:

  • Terminology
  • Names
  • Facts
  • Concepts and theories, and examples underpinning them
  • Similarities and differences

Multiple-choice questions

Multiple-choice questions consist of a question or the first half of a sentence (the stem) and a number of possible responses (usually between 3 and 5).
These will only carry 1 mark per correct answer.

Essay-type questions (long answers)

These are questions that require an essay-type answer (i.e. structured in the same way as an essay or a report.) Essay-type questions can be anything from a few paragraphs to a few pages.

The mark allocation will often give an indication of the length required.

Problem solving questions

This type of question requires a student to solve a problem such as a treatment plan or other issue which requires knowledge and critical thinking.

Practical Assessment

Students must be provide evidence of their ability to complete a treatment session successfully. The most practical way to do this is by audio or video recording. This must be retained for 12 months after graduation as we may ask for examples as part of our quality control processes.

Other Requirements

Personal development of students
Your course is required to contain opportunities for students to learn about their self and others. Be able to grow as a person and therapist/coach with the knowledge gained from the course.

Ethics and Equality policies
All training course providers should publish and make known to us and all students their Codes of Ethics or Ethical Framework. Also their Equality and Diversity policy. These should mirror those of ACCPH.

Complaints Procedures and Equality/Diversity policies to which they adhere.
All training course providers must have a written Complaints Procedure. This should be published and made known to us and all students

Philosophy of training
All training course providers are required to provide a statement of its approach/philosophy to training.