Employability Skills in Counselling Programmes: how they are developed and exercised in our Community Counselling Center

This session took place as part of the 2021 Conference. The presenters were Suzie Savvidou.


Good academic performance cannot guarantee effective practice. There are excellent graduates, who do not perform satisfactorily in real practice. In counselling this tendency becomes even more apparent. There have been developments in HE impacting on assessment strategies. Some of them focus on acquiring subject specific skills through experiential learning. There has also been a debate on whether practice alone can be adequate for a trainee to complete a professional training programme, if it is not assessed.

Opportunities for practicing theoretical knowledge become critical in defining not only the attractiveness of a programme, but they now constitute one of benchmark statements for accreditation bodies (e.g BPS, BACP). At CITY College, University of York Europe Campus, we operate a Community Counselling Center free of charge and open to the public. It is run by our ‘MA in Counselling Psychology’ students. Students complete the theoretical part, and when they meet the entry criteria, they attend a ‘Foundation Course’ and upon completion they start counselling external clients. Sessions with clients are videotaped (subject to consent) and trainees get feedback on their skills.

Through operating this service, the aim is twofold:

assess the practical skills of the students,and
have a positive impact to the community by offering services contributing to the well-being of people
This presentation will focus on the rationale of the programme and the procedure by which the local community can be helped.

You can access the recording of this session at this link here:

Employability Skills in Counselling Programmes: how they are developed and exercised in our Community Counselling Center (UoY Panopto log-in required)

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