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CDS3001 Assessment and Report Writing in Counselling

Semester 2, 2015 On-campus Fraser Coast
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling

Contents on this page


Examiner: James Brown
Moderator: Nathan Beel

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains electronic assessment and submission elements. In order to avoid internet issues, on-campus students should attempt the Quiz in the student computer laboratories and upload their assignments using the same computer laboratories. External students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment submission and electronic assessment attempts. External students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, external students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus. This needs to be requested at least one week before access is required.
The residential school will be held at USQ Toowoomba over five consecutive days from 9am to 5pm daily ? the schedule can be found at // Students are responsible for arranging and financing their own travel, accommodation and meals. There is an on-site student refectory for meals and refreshments. Information about accommodation can be found at// Students are required to bring a pen, writing paper, and USB thumb drive.

For students enrolled in BHMS (Counselling major): Attendance at residential schools (or lectures and tutorials on-campus) are essential for eligibility for membership of the ACA or PACFA affiliates.

Students in the counselling major who cannot attend the residential school may apply to attend the following year, may consider transferring to BHMS (Child and Family) or another major, or stay within the program and potentially graduate without eligibility for PACFA membership.


Assessment, record keeping and report writing are key requirements of counselling practice. Assessment of client issues and treatment progress assists treatment planning to enhance likelihood of positive client treatment outcomes. Counsellors must have ethical, professional, and legal awareness about how to record and manage client information to ensure it meets the highest ethical, legal, and professional standards.


Different theories and therapeutic approaches to the assessment of clients will be covered in this course. The course will build on CDS3002 in teaching students how to incorporate and interpret formal client feedback as a means to guide treatment and improve client outcomes. Students will review common assessment tools. Students will learn how to write information appropriate for case notes and reports to meet professional and legal standards. This course will deal with confidentiality and the issues involved in the writing and storage of personal and statistical information about clients.

IMPORTANT NOTE #: Students studying this in external mode may have important residential school attendance requirements. Please see section 'Other requirements' for more information.

The Bachelor of Human Services (Counselling) is fully accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Association of Australia (PACFA) and is an approved course of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the principles underlying client assessment and the major related problems and issues;
  2. make an appropriate assessment using basic assessment tools;
  3. demonstrate advanced academic and professional literacy skills through an understanding of report writing and record keeping systems that meets the requirements of counselling professional associations;
  4. write a report that meets the requirements of counselling professional associations including reporting for courts;
  5. demonstrate an understanding of psychological testing and assessment;
  6. demonstrate advanced oral and written communication skills in the analysis and discussion of assessment, including record keeping and report writing;
  7. demonstrate problem-solving skills by assessing and addressing client issues.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Assessment of client issues 50.00
2. Utilising outcome and alliance measures 10.00
3. Case writing 10.00
4. Report writing including court reports 20.00
5. Psychological testing and assessment 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Sommers-Flanagan, J and Sommers-Flanagan R 2013, Clinical Interviewing, 5th edn, Wiley.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • American Psychiatric Association 2013, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 5th edn, American Psychiatric Association, VA.
  • Corey, G, Corey, M & Callanan, P 2011, Issues and ethics in the helping professions, 8th edn, Brooks & Cole, Pacific Grove.
  • Duncan, B, Miller, S & Sparks, J 2004, The heroic client, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
    (Also available online via USQ Library site.)
  • Frances, A & Ross, R 2001, DSM-IV-TR case studies: A clinical guide to differential diagnosis, American Psychiatric Association, Washington.
  • Geldard, K & Geldard, D 2008, Counselling children, 3rd edn, Sage Publications, London.
  • Geldard, K & Geldard, D 2010, Counselling adolescents, 3rd edn, Sage Publications, London.
  • Gibney, P 2003, The pragmatics of therapeutic practice, Psychoz Publications, Carlton North, Victoria.
  • Gray, SW & Zide, MR 2008, Psychopathology: a competency-based assessment model for social workers, 2nd edn, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Belmont.
  • Healy, K & Mulholland, J 2007, Writing skills for social workers, Sage Publications, London.
  • Hoshenshil, T & Hildy, G 2001, 'Assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning in counseling', in D Locke, J Myers & E Herr (eds), The handbook of counselling, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
  • Hutchinson, D 2014, The Essential Counsellor, 3rd edn, Houghton Milton, Boston.
  • Johnson, SL 2004, Therapist's guide to clinical intervention: the 1-2-3's of treatment planning, 2nd edn, Academic Press, New York.
  • Kennedy, R & Richards, J 2007, Integrating human services law & practice, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Shum, D, O?Gorman, J & Myors, B 2006, Psychological testing and assessment, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.
  • Zuckerman, EL 2010, Clinician's thesaurus: the guide to conducting interviews and writing psychological reports, 7th edn, The Guilford Press, New York.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 29.00
Private Study 100.00
Workshops 36.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 25 14 Sep 2015
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 50 19 Oct 2015
CMA 100 25 30 Oct 2015

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. To gain eligibility for membership in a PACFA counselling association students need to successfully complete the Bachelor of Human Services Counselling major and ensure they have met the minimum face to face tuition requirements for CDS1001, CDS1002, CDS3001, CDS3002, CDS3004, and CDS3005. Graduates will receive a record of attendance on request. Students may still graduate with the BHMS Counselling major if they do not attend classes or residential schools, however this may affect their eligibility for membership of PACFA Associations. All students in the counselling major are strongly encouraged to attend classes or residential schools for all CDS courses listed here as an integral part of their professional counsellor development and preparation.

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  3. The residential school will be held at USQ Toowoomba over five consecutive days in September from 9am to 5.00 pm daily (for specific dates refer to // Students are responsible for arranging and financing their own travel, accommodation and meals. There is an on-site student refectory for meals and refreshments. Information about accommodation can be found at // Students are required to bring a pen, writing paper, textbook, and USB thumb drive.