Q&A - Continuous Competency Development Plan

Comments and Questions regarding the new Continuous Competency Development Plan (CCDP)

These Q&As have been developed in response to member feedback.  If you have a question about the plan that isn’t answered here please email admin@acctcounsellor.com, and one of our staff members will be happy to respond.

Competency model will increase the cost of membership.

The implementation of the CCDP will not necessarily increase costs for members. The minimum number of supervision hours would be 8, rather than 10 for RTC/ACs and RCSs. Both MTCs and RCSs have the option of arranging a group contract for reciprocal supervision, most likely a zero-cost arrangement. There are no minimum hours required for self-care, and there are many low or no-cost options for PD (https://www.coursera.org for one offers free university-level courses and up to 10 hours of PD can be self-directed learning).

Goal setting is time-consuming.

It does take some time and effort to set goals. But the benefits of pausing to consider where we need to improve and making plans to extend our skills means that we will continue to grow and improve as counsellors. Our vision is for ACCT to be associated with excellence in counselling. Excellence requires ongoing focused practice. “Experts then, aren’t people with freakish natural abilities in a particular domain. Experts are experts at maintaining high-levels of practice and improving performance.”

“It’s about how consistently and deliberately you can work to improve your performance.” Corbett Barr creator of Expert Enough

Confusing and difficult to understand – actual explanation required.

  • Members will set yearly goals for their CCDP
  • ACCT will audit four members/year
  • Only those members who are audited will be required to submit proof of supervision, PD and self-care.
  • Members will choose supervision, PD and self-care that help them work toward meeting their goals.
  • Members are required to complete 30 competency development hours including:
    • A minimum of 8 hours of supervision
    • A minimum of 8 hours of professional development (only 10 of the PD hours can be through self-directed learning)
    • A maximum of 8 hours of self-care (no minimum required)
  • Members get to choose which category they wish to put the remaining competency hours. MTCs and RCSs have the option of arranging a group contract for reciprocal supervision with all members of the group meeting the ACCT criteria for supervisor (http://acctcounsellor.com/content.php?page=Supervisor_Criteria).

Do not like feeling pushed to do group, rather than private self-care.

We took this into consideration, under the category of “other self-care practices” any additional practices that are not named may meet the criteria, check with ACCT, indicate what the self-care activity is, and how it has benefited you in reaching your professional goal.  If no evidence can be provided you will be required to indicate what the self-care activity is, and how it has benefited you reaching your professional goal in the yearly report to ACCT.

Difficult to meet requirements in remote areas.

There are online options for professional development and supervision. We will consider alternate options for self-care to make it doable for members in all locations.

When implementing, consider those with upcoming renewal dates.

We are giving everyone at least a full one year period to follow the new CCDP prior to being required to report those hours.

Reduce supervision to a minimum of 6 hours per year.

This may be convenient for planning bi-monthly supervision groups, but it does not meet the industry standard.

More details regarding self-care and examples of suitable documentation for free seminars.

We recognize that self-care may be somewhat unique to each member and that it is not possible to anticipate or define every all acceptable form of self-care. We would be open to considering alternate self-care options, please contact ACCT if you have questions.  If no evidence can be provided you will be required to indicate what the self-care activity is, and how it has benefited you reaching your professional goal in the yearly report to ACCT.

Goals are personal and should not have to be shared with the professional association.

Great Point. Goals will only be submitted in the case of an audit. There would be one or two people responsible for an audit, and they would be subject to our ACCT confidentiality agreement and governed by PIPA.

Coming up with yearly goals is onerous and unnecessary.

It does take some time and effort to set goals. But the benefits of pausing to consider where we need to improve and making plans to extend our skills means that we will continue to grow and improve as counsellors. Our vision is for ACCT to be associated with excellence in counselling. Excellence requires ongoing focused practice. “Experts then, aren’t people with freakish natural abilities in a particular domain. Experts are experts at maintaining high-levels of practice and improving performance.

In other words, it’s not about what you’re born with. It’s about how consistently and deliberately you can work to improve your performance.” Corbett Barr

Am I clear in assuming the proof for audit are only required if said person is one of the four chosen for an audit?

Only those members selected each year for an audit would be required to submit proof of supervision, PD and self-care.

Since no more than 10 PD hours and no more than 8 self-care hours are allowed, that leaves at least 12 supervision hours are required.

A minimum of 8 hours of Professional development is required. A maximum of 10 hours of PD can be obtained through self-directed learning. There is no overall maximum for PD. If for example someone did the minimum required supervision of 8 hours and chose not to count any self-care, they would need to complete 22 hours of PD (10 of those hours could be through self-directed learning, such as reading books or articles, or watching videos).

If they did 8 hours of supervision and 8 hours or self-care, they would need 14 hours of PD.

If they did the minimum 8 hours of PD and maximum of 8 hours of self-care, they would require 14 hours of supervision.

Broaden the self-care category to include body psychologies; somatic therapy, sensory-motor, and others. Include personal self-initiated wellness practices.

Under the category of “other self-care practices” we suggest that you check with ACCT if unsure whether they meet the criteria.

Not in favour of including self-care in the 30 hours of professional development.

Self-care is not part of professional development, but it is a category in the Continuous Competency Plan.

Creating additional paperwork and documentation.

Additional paperwork and documentation would only be required to be submitted to ACCT in the case of an audit. It is good practice to keep track of the supervision, professional development and self-care in which you participate.

Please clarify if there is a minimum requirement for any category.

There is a minimum requirement of 8 supervision hours and minimum 8 professional development hours. And since there is a maximum of 8 self-care hours, if one was to only do the minimum of supervision and PD, they would not be able to complete 14- hours of self-care. Therefore, they would have at least 6 hours that they could decide to put into either supervision or PD.

Is there the option to count formal graduate studies in counselling as the entire 30hrs if this is obtained?

This would be possible if the graduate studies included at least 8 hours of supervision.

The "at least" and the "no more than" numbers don't add up to 30. Might it be confusing to some

As per the plan:

  • Supervision: a minimum 8 hours – of the 30 required
  • PD: a minimum 8 hours – of the 30 required
  • Self-Care: no more than 8 hours – of the 30 required.

For example:

  • Counsellor 1: Supervision 10 hrs (8 required + 2) – PD – 15 hrs (8 required + 7) – Self Care 5 hrs = 30 hrs
  • Counsellor 2: Supervision 8 hrs – PD 22 hrs – Self Care 0 = 30 hrs
  • Counsellor 3: Supervision 8 hrs – PD 14 hrs – Self Care 8 hrs = 30 hrs

MTCs and RCSs may satisfy supervision hours via reciprocal supervision. What is reciprocal supervision?

MTCs and RCSs have the option of creating a contractual agreement between group members with a minimum of 5 years’ experience (post eligibility for clinical membership of their respective professional Associations) to provide reciprocal supervision of counselling practice. Download: Reciprocal Group Supervision Contract (sample).

Can I use the hours that I offer to ACCT counsellors as a supervisor as part of my professional development - learning through contribution hours?

Yes. Learning Through Contribution may include:

  • Writing for professional purposes
  • Supervising
  • Volunteering; for example, serving on Committees or Boards
  • Service; example pro bono work
  • Teaching/Instructing
  • Being a Subject Matter Expert in Counselling/Psycho Therapy
  • Serving on a Counselling/Psycho Therapy Educational Advisory Committee

This does, however, change the requirements for already busy counsellors and my concern would be that consideration be given to those whose renewal dates approach soon after this implementation.

The plan has been approved as of April 1, 2018, those renewing prior to April 1, 2019, will adhere to the current criteria for renewal. For renewals after March 31, 2019, those counsellors will have had a year since their last renewal to follow the Competency Development Model.

Maybe self-care could be a separate category not mixed into Pro-D.

Self-care is a separate category from Professional Development.

If I am reading the matrix properly. There is the option to count formal graduate studies in counselling as the entire 30hrs if this is obtained

The education components of a graduate program would satisfy your PD hours and any supervision hours that are provided within the graduate program could be used provided these hours meet the ACCT guidelines for supervision.