Centres
Join a partnership of centres across the UK and abroad

Counselling: FAQs

We have provided answers to some of your most frequently asked questions regarding the counselling exam series and adaptions.  If you still have a question, please contact us on: enquiries@aim-group.org.uk
 

Q   Can centres invigilate the assessment remotely? 
A   Yes, if you plan to assess any of your learners remotely please let us know at the point of scheduling. Please refer to the AIM invigilation guidance for detail of how to conduct remote invigilation. You can also contact your centre lead for further advice and guidance.

Q  Can centres extend the date of exams so that they can spread them out?  ie five this week and five next week?
A  Yes, but please ensure you inform AIM of who is taking exams and when, so we can ensure different papers etc.

Q  How do learners send their work if doing remote?
A   Guidance will be provided to each centre when they request remote. 
Where learners are wishing to word process their responses, this can be emailed.  Where a learner is handwriting, they would either scan and send electronically or take a photograph of each page; this must be legible, clear and clearly labelled, page1, page 2 etc.  Centres should investigate the use of free scanning apps for phones where the photograph can be processed into a scanned document.

Q  If doing remote assessments, what type of software needs to be installed?
A   Goto, Teams, Zoom, Skype. All are free to download and can be used to record the invigilation, there is no specific software required to access the assessment.

Q   What are the fees and charges?
A   Normal rules apply. So if a centre reschedule an exam because someone can’t attend and you notify AIM, the centre won’t get charged. They will only get charged if a learner sits the exam then needs to do a re-sit.

Q   Is it down to the Awarding Organisation or the centre to decide if exams should be remote or sat onsite?
A   The decision is the centres. It’s what's right for them and for their learners.

Q   Can you centres do a combination of offsite and onsite assessments?
A    Yes, as long as they inform AIM who is sitting remote and who is sitting onsite assessments.

Q   Can centres still apply for reasonable adjustments for remote exams?
A   Yes 

Q   Do centres need to send learners' names and schedules to AIM?
A   Yes, please inform AIM of who is taking which assessment, when, and if remote or onsite.

Q   For students doing onsite papers, can they be posted to tutors to be marked?
A    Yes, secure post is fine.

Q   Should centres record the remote exams?
A   Yes and they should be saved for the appeals window which is about 28 days after the exam. If AIM wish to see them, they will be requested usually within a week.
 
Q   If the papers have already been despatched to centres but they then decide to do remote assessments, do they need to return the papers to AIM?
A   Yes

Q   If assessments aren't used (for example they were posted to centres and the centre is closed), should the papers be posted back to AIM or can they be destroyed?
A   AIM will accept written confirmation, via email, that the assessments have been destroyed but they must be destroyed securely. 

Q  For level 4, the learners can bring an open book with them.  But as they cannot access libraries at the moment, can they bring photocopies?
A   Yes as long as the invigilator marks down that they have seen the open book/papers and there are no annotations. This would be the same for remote assessments. 

Q   Are toilet breaks allowed for remote exams?
A   Toilet breaks for remotely assessed learners are not permitted as they cannot be supervised. If a learner is not visible on the screen during the whole assessment, the session will be voided.

Q   What adaptions have been made to the counselling assessments? 
A    Level 2 and Level 3 (old and live) 

  • The Level 2 and Level 3 written examinations have been replaced by a timed controlled task. These are externally set by AIM but are now internally marked by the centre (and then externally verified by AIM).  
  • Centres have a four-week window in which their learners can be scheduled to complete the task. 
  • Two separate four-week windows have been allocated for scheduling learners. These can be found in an appendix in the handbook. 
  • Centres must schedule their learners through the Quartz Portal for this task.
  • Here’s a useful link to the EERF Adopted Assessment doc

       Level 4 (old and live) 

  • The Level 4 written examination has been replaced by a timed controlled task. This is externally set by AIM but remain externally marked by AIM examiners. 
  • Centres have a four-week window in which their learners can be scheduled to complete the task .
  • Two separate  four-week windows have been allocated for scheduling learners. This can be found in the appendix in the handbook. 
  • Centres must schedule their learners through the Quartz Portal for this task.
  • Here’s a useful link to the EERF Adopted Assessment doc. 

      External coursework (old and live) – SSP, research proposals and dissertation 

  • Deadline dates have been set. 
  • NEW: Centres must schedule their learners for these assessments. 

     All other assessments remain unchanged. 
 
These changes were explained at the counselling provider meeting on 15 October. Copies of the slides can be downloaded here.
 

Q  How do centres request reasonable adjustments for their learners? 
A  To make an application for a reasonable adjustment on behalf of one or more learners a reasonable adjustment form must be completed. Please refer to the reasonable adjustment and special consideration policy.  

Q   What happens if centres have any learners who, at the time of the exam, are unable to sit due to self-isolation or COVID-19 symptoms?
A   If you have any learners who are shielding or are required to isolate at the time of the assessment, you can offer the assessment to be taken from home. You will need to facilitate this and conduct remote invigilation. Please refer to the AIM invigilation guidance for details of how to conduct remote invigilations. You can also contact your centre lead for further advice and guidance. 

If a learner was scheduled to complete the assessment at the centre but is then required to isolate at the time of the assessment, please contact us.   

If any learner is absent on the day of the assessment you will need to follow the usual resit procedure and schedule the learner for the next series.  

Q   Where can centres find sample assessments?
A   Sample assessment for the withdrawn qualification can be found here
 
Samples assessments for the live qualification can be found on the Quartz portal. Please contact your Customer Experience Advisor if you require help to access these.  

Q   Does the controlled assessment need to be sat in exam conditions?  
A   Yes, controlled assessments must be sat in exam conditions. Assessments could be conducted as a group at a venue, or can be sat remotely by individual learners. Please refer to the AIM invigilation guidance for detail of how to conduct remote invigilation. You can also contact your centre lead for further advice and guidance.

 

Q   What details do AIM require for learners taking the controlled assessments? 
A    For the controlled task centres will need to provide AIM with the proposed start and end date, and time.  It is expected that a full cohort will undertake the assessment on the same date/time. 
 
For the externally marked coursework submission, centres should enter the start date then tick the learners who will be entered for this assessment.