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As of 29 June 2020

The counselling assessments for use in the 2020/2021 academic year are now available to download on the Portal. These documents must be used in the assessment of the following counselling qualifications:

  • AIM Qualifications Level 2 Award in Introduction to Counselling Skills 603/3984/6
  • AIM Qualifications Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills 603/3985/8
  • AIM Qualifications Level 3 Certificate in Counselling 603/3986/X
  • AIM Qualifications Level 4 Diploma in Counselling Practice 603/3987/1
  • AIM Qualifications Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling 603/3988/3
  • AIM Qualifications Level 6 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling (Informed by Research) 603/3989/5

Please note that due to the additional pressures that the current situation has put on centres, we are permitting centres to use the 19/20 assignment briefs for the following year. 

There have been no major changes to the assignment briefs, with the exception of new L4 case studies in the scenario analysis.

Where specified on the brief, these may be contextualised by the centre, for example centres may choose to incorporate industry set scenarios. Centres must take a best practice approach (where appropriate) to the assessment, such that learners are assessed in a real or realistic working environment. We have also provided mark sheets and grading criteria for each assessment.

The assignment briefs and sample examinations and mark schemes (if applicable) are available to download from your Portal account. Once signed into your Portal account, please select ‘Resources’ and then ‘Documents’. The assessment materials will then be listed to download as required.

You are responsible for ensuring that the latest version is being used. If we update any of the documents, we will notify the counselling contacts we have on our system for your centre. If you have a member of staff who should be listed as a counselling contact (you can have more than one), please let us know and we will update our system and give them access to the assessment materials.

If you have any comments or queries regarding any of the assessments we have provided, please let us know and we can pass the information back to the relevant team and examiners.

Exam Dates

Following feedback from centres, the next available exam dates for the Counselling suites will be the current scheduled exams in January 2021. This will incorporate the delayed exams and any resit opportunity for those with calculated grades from the summer 2020 exam season.

Our regulators have asked us to group all qualifications into three categories:‚Äč

  1. Progression to HE/FE 
  2. Mixed-Use
  3. Licence to Practice/Competency-based qualifications

We have told our regulators that we feel that our counselling qualifications fall into either category two or three, mixed-use or licence to practice/competency-based.

For competency-based counselling qualifications, assessments that have not yet been completed will be delayed. We have made direct contact with centres who have learners registered on these programmes. The agreed mitigation is decided for the qualification and not per centre or individual learners. 

Where an external exam needs to be delayed, this will be rescheduled. For all non-examined components and assessments, this will be up to each centre to agree on a completion date. When deciding this, the centre must take into account their own individual learners situation and be sure that no learners are disadvantaged. If a learner is in the position to continue with remote learning and placement hours, then they can continue and claim the unit/assessments when completed. Where a learner is not in the position to continue, you should be allowing them to delay their programme until such a time that they are able to recommence study. For non-examined evidence, this can be presented to EV for quality assurance and authentication as soon as is reasonably practical to do so, it does not need to wait for the exam to be completed.

This is the last resort and not an approach we would ideally be taking, but where a learner needs to evidence their competency, it would not be appropriate to apply a calculated grade and it could negatively impact on their qualification being recognised by professional bodies.

Where a qualification is categorised as a mixed-use qualification, a calculated grade has been applied. In this case, centres have been asked to provide a predicted grade for each unit/assignment (including any exam) and will be expected to provide evidence to support their decision. 

All centres were sent an update during the W/C 4 May 2020 outlining the plans for moderating and verifying achievement for the summer assessment period. Included with this was a RAG rating of potential evidence within a guidance document, which should be used to identify the evidence your centre will have available in June to be moderated. These can also be found on the VTQs section of the website.

All external moderation for calculated grades will be co-ordinated centrally through AIM and not directly with EV’s. This will be taking place in June/July; therefore, you will be asked to have your calculated grades for all learners/assignments uploaded to the portal by the 19 June.

All external moderation for any delayed assessment will need to be applied for at the same time as the calculated grades to be approved and planned in, however it will not need to be completed until the learners are ready for certification. You should complete and upload to the portal an evidence checklist for these claims, just completing page one and marking it as a delayed claim.

Level 3 Grading Guidance 

We have provided a grading example to support the centre assessed grade relating to the Level 3 exam assessment.


Sides used at the recent clinics are now available to download:

21 May 2020  (PDF)
11 June 2020 (PDF)