USQ Logo
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

CDS3001 Assessment and Report Writing in Counselling

Semester 2, 2020 External
Short Description: Assessment and Report Writing
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090513 - Counselling
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 19 September 2020


Examiner: Paul Scully


Pre-requisite: Students must have successfully completed 8 units prior to enrolling

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.
There will be a four (4) day recommended residential school and 10 hours of online tutorials in this course. The dates and location for the residential school can be found at Attendance at this residential school and online tutorial is recommended to enhance applied knowledge and assist with meeting professional association membership requirements.


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 teach students how to apply different theories and therapeutic approaches to the assessment of clients. Students will review common assessment tools and learn how to incorporate and interpret formal client feedback as a means to guide treatment and improve client outcomes.. 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.

This course contains a recommended residential school and online asynchronous tutorials.


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 key assessments;
  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 30.00
2. Evaluating Counselling Effectiveness 10.00
3. Case notes and record keeping 10.00
4. Report writing including court reports 20.00
5. Key assessments 10.00
6. Considerations for working with special populations 10.00
7. Ethics and Professional Practice 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 2017, Clinical Interviewing, 6th 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 2019, Issues and ethics in the helping professions, 10th 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.)
Healy, K & Mulholland, J 2019, Writing skills for social workers, 3rd edn, Sage Publications, London.
Hohenshil, 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.
Johnson, SL 2018, Therapist's guide to clinical intervention: the 1-2-3's of treatment planning, 3rd edn, Academic Press, New York.
Whiston, SC 2016, Principles and applications of assessment in counseling, 5th edn, Cengage Learning, Boston.
Zuckerman, EL 2019, Clinician's thesaurus: the guide to conducting interviews and writing psychological reports, 8th edn, The Guilford Press, New York.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 29.00
Directed Study 31.00
Online Tutorials 10.00
Private Study 65.00
Residential Schools 30.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
QUIZ 100 25 30 Jul 2020 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 25 03 Sep 2020
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 50 15 Oct 2020

  1. There will be four sets of CMAs throughout the semester, utilising a multiple choice format. Dates and times open will be communicated on CDS3001 Studydesk at the beginning of the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students are recommended to attend the residential school and online tutorials in order to enhance applied knowledge and assist with meeting professional association membership requirements. It is the students' responsibility 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. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  2. As part of the recommended residential school, students may be expected to complete a combination of laboratories, practical classes and assessment as advised by the course examiner.

Other requirements

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The dates and location of the recommended residential school are available from the Residential School Timetable (

Date printed 19 September 2020