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We held our Celebration event in September and we invited a learner from the 10 week Introductory class and the 30 week CSK-L2 class to speak to their fellow learners and guests to share their personal statements of their learning....A level 3 CST-L3 learner also spoke about her journey, unfortunately this is not in print hence that's why it's not included.

From an ICSK Learner

"In January I had my second son, Noah, and suddenly was a mom to two children under the age of two. I needed me time, as much as I love being a mom iv realised I'm so much more than just that. I'm bossy, controlling and almost always right!

To tell the truth I didn't think I'd enjoy the course as much as I have! I didn't think I'd be standing here getting ready for the next level. The confidence and way of looking at situations has changed so much so iv convinced myself I can start college on Monday!! I WILL be a social worker 

So for that I would like to thank Lorraina, but more so the people who have shared the experience and opened up to complete strangers! It's made the 10 weeks fly!! "

From a CSK-L2 learner

"This time last year there is no way I would have been standing here, with the thoughts of I can't do this I'm to old what on earth am I thinking all going through my head yet here I am looking forward to level 3...... I did do it I gave it my all and I did it, assignments, recordings, speaking out loud .... its given me the confidence and strength to think I will give it my best shot not doubting myself like I had before. The course has helped me grow as an individual made me think about myself a bit more and not to feel bad its not selfish. I have met some wonderful, kind, inspirational people that under different circumstances probably would never had the chance to have spoken to. The way Ev and Lorraina work together, the structure so it's not just text book, the way they get us all interacting makes it all fun. We really did have a great bunch of people within our group all very different but it gave us the knowledge and understanding that there are no right and wrong answers everyone has different opinions, perceptions strengths and weaknesses which helped the whole learning process. At one point I could have kicked myself why didn't I do this years ago but years ago wouldn't have been right I wouldn't have been ready".

Cllr Bill Richards - Mayor of Coleshill

" I am writing on behalf of Rita Wastell and myself to say how much we enjoyed spending time with you all at the Awards Ceremony. We were interested to hear how the Service had developed, and how it had managed to prosper even in the current, difficult climate. i'd say that that in itself is a clear indication about the quality of the product.

It was really inspiring to listen to the personal statements from some of your students. It certainly demonstrated the empowering effect that their training had in boosting their personal confidence. It also showed their individual commitment to continue their studies at a higher level. However, what was most apparent was the affection they had for their tutors - which had developed from the guidance, knowledge and support they had received through their learning experience. It doesn't get much better than that."

November External Verifier Report from CPCAB

General Observations / summary:

I was pleased to return to Coleshill Counselling Services to find all aspects of the training in good order. 

We had a discussion about the current courses, course development and recruitment of students for the current year. She felt that the team were upbeat and looking forward to new challenges. This was confirmed when I met all the tutors with the exception of Anne Schnoveld (not on site) and was impressed by the motivation and enthusiasm both individually and as a team. They demonstrated commitment to their student’s development, with evidence of excellent work being done. There was a strong sense of mutual support with everyone keen to validate the work on revising and improving the centres documentation and delivery of the courses. 

Ev had worked hard to ensure that all the documents I required for my visit were to hand. She went through the centres processes with me, including moderation and IV systems. All records I examined were clear and indicated that processes were being carried out by the tutor team.  

The quality of students work when examined demonstrated that the students were making progress. The contents of all the portfolios I sampled were of consistent quality and sufficient quantity of evidence for the level and run-time of each course. 

I met with the Diploma group (TC-L4 – year one (107)). I was keen to meet this group to see how the 3 returning students were getting on. They had returned from the disbanded year 1 course from the previous year. They were pleased to be back and that there were 10 students on the course which inspired confidence. The whole group appeared buoyant and the three returners said they loved the dynamics of the group now. I had a very positive and constructive discussion touching on all the key issues.

I am indebted to the team who gave of their time generously and made my visit enjoyable. I appreciated the vigour of the centre and was once again extremely encouraged by my visit.   

Comments including strengths:

As usual at this centre I was offered all the portfolios from each level and I made my own selection of which to examine. Virtually all portfolios contained evidence that demonstrated learning and understanding of the subject at the level studied.

ICSK-L2 – the course was progressing well with portfolios indicating quality evidence, and encouraging tutor feedback.

CSK-L2 – all of the portfolios are sectioned. The spread and variety of evidence was evident. I was impressed by the amount of evidence and the use of the CLR so early in the year.

CST-L3 – A good start made with most portfolios being laid out in readiness for the year ahead. The tutor support of candidates through adaption of course materials and individual preparation for a registered blind candidate is very good and also contains accurate supportive feedback that doesn’t patronise the candidate.

TC-L4 Year 1 – most of the candidates had made a good start on their portfolios’ with sections defined. Considering the date of the visit and the stage of the course there was an adequate amount of evidence in the portfolios. The three returning candidates had considerably more evidence than their peers though I feel sure that that will level out over the year. The depth of understanding was demonstrated and is at a level consistent with the course.

All portfolios for each level were available for me to sample and each group has made an excellent start to their portfolio building. The tutors input and assessment is once again commendable and appropriate for each level of qualification.

Retention and achievement are well within the expected parameters.

June External Verifier Report from CPCAB

General observations/summary: I was pleased to return to this centre and find every aspect of the training in good order. Careful preparation had been made for my visit and I was able to have time with tutors, a student group and sample portfolios. The commitment to high standards is evident throughout. 

All portfolios that I sampled were well organised and the learning reviews in particular reflected a growing self-awareness and sound application of theory and skills. The tutors' commitment to the learning experience is reflected in the thorough marking of assignments and constructive feedback.

The TC-L4 Yr. 1 candidates are thoroughly enjoying their learning experience and highly value their tutors’ supportive facilitation.

The tutor team goes from strength the strength in how they work together and with welcome additions, for example, Steve Goode ‘shadowing’ the tutors on L2. Another welcome addition will be the offering of PC-l5 for the first time and I wish the team success as they prepare and recruit for this. 

Evelyn was unable to attend this time but I do thank the three tutors for your warm welcome and generous hospitality during my visit.

Comments including strengths: My experience of this tutor team is that they are fully committed to their candidates and their developmental learning across all levels; there is an ethical approach to facilitation and training and I enjoyed spending leisurely time with the Team.

I commend the team for their transparency and their invitation for feedback and suggestions.

Retention and achievement are well within the expected parameters.

 December 2014 External Verifier Report from CPCAB 

General observations/summary: Sadly Liz passed away recently and her warm presence will be greatly missed. Her legacy, however, is clearly evident as the high standard is maintained and further developed.

I commend Evelyn and her tutor team for uniting in their pursuit to continue with the robust programme this centre offers their candidates at all levels of qualification. In addition I observed a team committed to developing the learning experience with updates and creative programme changes.

All portfolios that I sampled were organised well and easy to navigate. The work reflected a developing self-awareness and clear application of theory to practice. The tutor’s commitment to the candidates learning experience is reflected in the supportive and encouraging feedback given across all levels of training. I enjoyed meeting the TC-L4 Yr. 1 group and, without exception, they spoke very highly of their tutors and how they value training experience.

Thank you Evelyn for your warm welcome and full preparation for my visit, particularly during this challenging time.

Comments including strengths:

I was pleased to meet with the TC-L4 Yr.1 group and I was well received and had a very positive time; the main discussion points raised by the candidates were:

  •  Candidates voiced how they are experiencing and enjoying a respectful, safe space for learning and appreciate having input from three tutors who offer significant support in facilitating this.
  • Appreciation of the tutors clearly evident and voiced, in particular, the interactive approach to training is having a positive effect on the candidate’s engagement; the candidates new to the centre particularly voiced how they valued this

Sadly, the team have to manage the loss of Liz and the impact this has had on the team and candidates. The team are very supportive of each other and the commitment to the candidates learning experience is very high during the difficult time.

I was well received on my visit and appreciated the unhurried time with the tutors, candidates and all the paperwork

June 2014 External Verifier Report from CPCAB

General observations/summary: Once again I received a very warm welcome and full preparation was made for my visit and I appreciated the leisurely time given to spend with the tutors and candidates.

The candidate’s portfolios across all levels and groups demonstrate a high standard and give robust evidence of their creative and meaningful learning. The developmental approach through the levels of progression is particularly noteworthy. The level 4 Yr.1 group warmly welcomed me and continued to express their appreciation of both the centre and its supportive tutors. They highlighted that in comparison with other training experiences, they know they are undergoing robust professional and personal development.

Liz is sadly missed at present, however, the team continues to be highly committed to all of their candidate’s development that remains appropriate for each level of qualification; therefore robust and ethical training continues demonstrating safe practice.

Comments including strengths:

All portfolios from each groups were available for me to sample; these were presented well and easy to navigate. The quality of work continues to demonstrate a developmental approach through the progression of qualifications.

The tutors are aware of what is required for each level of training and this is demonstrated robustly within the portfolios.

January 2014 External Verifier Report from CPCAB

General observations/summary: Ev had made careful and thorough preparation for my visit; this is the same care and commitment that underlies all aspects of the training within this centre.

There is a significant increase of numbers and courses across the levels 2-4; which is supported well with the current team of 4 tutors.

Work from every candidate was made available and I sampled portfolios from across all the groups; I commend the team for ensuring the programme has the relevant development for the candidates learning experience as they progress through each of the levels.  

I was able to meet with a warm and engaging CST-L3 group. There is a strong sense of being in a safe & nurturing environment where trust and openness is apparent. The entire group voiced an appreciation of the tutoring and the experience of being held in what they described as a ‘sanctuary’; I applaud Lorraina & Dione for their work here.  

I commend the whole team for their ongoing commitment and professionalism they give to all aspects of the robust training offered at this centre.

Thank you Ev for looking after me so well and I look forward to my next visit in June. 

Comments including strengths: The centre uses a range of material including some of CPCAB pro formas. All lesson plans and course files were available and easy to navigate. There are plenty of creative opportunities for candidates to meet learning outcomes and identify evidence for meeting CPCAB criteria.

Candidates are well supported by tutors and work is regularly assessed and includes supportive, challenging and encouraging feedback. Progress and assessment of assignments are monitored and recorded in the centre course file.

This centre continues to creatively develop its programme. Tutors are experienced and offer a rich, supportive learning experience I commend the centre for their high level commitment to all learners which is demonstrated in offering additional workshops i.e. recent skills workshop held on a Saturday.  

June 2013 External Verifier Report from CPCAB

General observations/summary: I appreciate all the preparation that had been made for my visit and I was pleased to be given the opportunity to meander around the centre and chat informally to individual candidates from the diploma group. 

Training has settled very well into the new centre at the heart of Coleshill and the rooms give a safe, creative and resourceful space to work in; the students certainly appreciate the environment. The group of level 4 candidates warmly welcomed me and they expressed their appreciation of the tutor’s commitment to them as individuals and appreciate the robustness of their professional and personal development. In fact, the portfolios for all candidates from each level of training demonstrate considerable and meaningful learning and personal reflection. 

I commend Ev and Liz and the team for their high level of commitment to each individual candidates professional and personal development. You clearly model good, ethical and safe practice to your candidates.

Comments including strengths: "I sampled portfolios from all groups; these were presented well and were easy to navigate. The quality of work from all levels is excellent and reflects a developmental approach to the candidates learning. The tutors are aware of what is required for each level of training and this is demonstrated within all portfolios. "

"Delighted to report the centre is going from strength to strength."

December 2012

visit from CPCAB External Verifier 

General observations/summary: "Building on their first year this Centre continues to maintain its high standard in counselling training and all I saw on my visit impressed me.

This is an outstanding Centre for professional counselling training in times of great challenge and change and I want to commend Liz and the team for the attention that they give to developing good practice. The portfolios from the year 1 Diploma group demonstrates vigorous learning and significant depth of personal reflection, I commend the tutors for their high level of to their candidates professional and personal development."

"Centre continues to develop own material that encompasses a highly creative approach with a comprehensive range of activities that is mindful of all learning styles."

"Clear evidence that candidate support is substantial and notable;"

"Level 4 portfolios evidence that students have made a solid start and their work reflects considerable learning even at this early stage."

June 2012

Visit from CPCAB External Verifier

General observations/summary: "This is the end of the first year for this Centre’s training programme and I commend the team for offering robust learning and ethical training."

"Your commitment to students does you both credit and this is clearly demonstrated within their portfolios and their verbal feedback."

"I was delighted to meet Lorraina and Dione who are welcome additions to the team and this will ensure progression of quality training."

"I can see how supportive of each other you are as a team already, and envisage you will continue to be so."

"Once again, thank you Liz and Ev for preparing so well for my visit and the leisurely time given for this."

Comments including strengths: "Internal assessment programme has been clearly followed; this has enabled the candidates to meet the criteria at the appropriate level of each group. Assessment fair, ethical and safe across both levels within all portfolios; this includes CAS sheets alongside significant tutor feedback. This has been appropriate for each level of qualification with clearly recorded outcomes. Students highlighted their appreciation of support within the assessment programme."

"CST-L3 has recently experienced a mock and is well prepared for the external assessment next week. Both tutors are well seasoned in managing the process."

"All ICSK-L2 were organised well and appropriate for this level.

Portfolios from both levels demonstrate good learning with appropriate content for the relevant course; this included peer feedback and testimony."

February 2012

Our first visit from CPCAB External Verifier

General observations/summary: "This is a new centre and a welcome addition to the CPCAB training programme."

"It is a well-managed and supportive programme with a professional and ethical approach that gives a wide, varied and creative experience for the candidates work within the framework of requirement."

"I am particularly impressed with how both tutors are fully committed in providing quality training within a strong ethical framework; I have no doubts this centre will go from strength to strength as they develop their progression route with other levels of courses."

"The candidates are relishing the course and appreciate the high level of support from the tutors."

"Thank you Elizabeth and Evelyn for preparing so well for my visit and for the transparency with all your endeavours and well organised paperwork. Thank you also for such a warm and welcoming visit and I am looking forward to my next in June."

Comments including strengths: "Centre’s own material that embraces a highly creative approach with a wide range of activities."

"Clear evidence that trainee support is substantial and meaningful; this is verified by the students themselves."