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Counselling - Level 2 and 3

Updated 6 July 2021

VCRF and AIM counselling qualifications

Our main VCRF information page explains the new regulatory framework and how our qualifications are grouped into the relevant categories. 

The following information explains how the VCRF impacts our Level 2 – Level 6 counselling qualifications and their assessments. This information relates to both the expiring and live suites.

Important Dates

Category B2 (Used mostly for progression)
Non examined assessments (coursework, portfolio etc) have no changes to the format, date or timescales for the release of results. The quality assurance process aligns with the usual approach that all claims will have a sample of evidence requested or will be through direct claims status (AIVs have been informed of their requirements in this case).

Examined Assessments (specifically Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills and Level 3 Certificate in Counselling). These are being quality assured and sampled alongside the non-examined assessments. Results are due to be released no later than 12 August to align with the Level 4 Diploma in Counselling qualification, these will be available on the portal.

Retention of evidence

You must retain all evidence for claims involving a Teacher Assessed Grade for at least 6 months or after an appeal (whichever is later). This can be retained electronically.

Qualification Guidance Document

The qualification guidance document for the explains how these qualifications will be assessed and awarded for the 20-21 academic year.

VCRF Category B Counselling Level 2 and 3 doc

IV Data Review Support Document

To support your data review we have provided the following report:

Provider meetings

Regular counselling provider meetings are being held to help keep centres up to date and create a community of best practice. Future events, and details on how to book your place, can be found on our events page.

Slides from recent meetings can be found below:
15 October 2020: Planned adaptions for the 2021 counselling exam series and FAQs
14 December 2020: Support with delivering controlled tasks
11 February 2021: Planning for summer 2021 in anticipation of regulatory guidance
9 March 2021: Assessing controlled tasks and preparing for your interim EV + VCRF 
20 April 2021: Summer 2021 Adaptations and Teacher Assessed Grades
26 May 2021: AIM Portal/Erac support and preparing for your final EV
5 July 2021: Recapping 2020 - 2021


You can find a range of frequently asked questions here.

Internally marked counselling assessments

There have been no EERF adaptations to these assessments.

The counselling assessments for use in the 2020/2021 academic year are now available to download from 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

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 from the previous year for level 2 and 3.

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 mark sheets 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.

Assessments for use in 2021/2022

The counselling assessments for use in the 2021/2022 academic year will be available shortly, and centres will be emailed with this information.