Welcome to the BACP guide of how to complete a case study in the Certificate of Proficiency assessment.
This video will run through a sample case study from the Certificate of Proficiency and will give further information on how the responses are scored. Please watch this video in conjunction with other information on the BACP Register website.
Some common questions we receive from members are about how the case studies are scored or whether there is a pass mark. We hope this video will help explain the scoring system used in the assessment.
On the day you will be able to login using your membership number and the password you use to log into the BACP website.
Once you have logged in you will see a screen like this. The orange arrow will lead you to the sample assessment and the green arrow will take you to the main assessment. For now we will go into the sample.
As an example here we are using a case study about a client called Joanne. You will be given some background information about the client including the setting you are seeing them in, for example an EAP or private practice. You will also find out whether it's a closed or open ended contract and what the main issue or problem is the client is bringing to the counselling or psychotherapy.
So in this case you, the practitioner, are seeing Joanne in a private practice setting. It is an open-ended contract and she is struggling to come to terms with the ending of her long term relationship. You can then start the case study by clicking here.
Section A asks you, the practitioner, to choose as many responses as you think are essential. Sections like this are called multiple decision making sections. You are asked what would be important to discuss in the first session out of the nine options below.
You can select the options here and it will always ask you if you are sure you want to make this selection. Since this is an example all options will be selected. For the purpose of this video we have added scores to the answers to give candidates more detail on how the scoring system works. On the day you will not see any scores.
Since this is a multiple decision making section it will say either indicated or not indicated in response to the selections made. The options have either positive or negative scores associated with them.
The table shows you the outcomes of selecting all of the statements or all of the positive statements or all of negative statements. You will notice that the negative scores add up to minus 6 and the positive scores add up to plus 6.
This table shows that if you select all of the answers you will get a score of 0. This is always the case in a multiple decision making section. Therefore if you select all of the positive statements only you would get a score of plus 6. Alternatively you will get a score of minus 6 if you selected all of the negative statements only.
You will also notice that the third and eighth statements have a score of two. These are deemed as the most appropriate responses in this section which in turn makes the pass mark 4. You do not need to select these answers to pass the section but you do need to get 4 points. As an example you could pass the section by only selecting options 3 and 8. Or you could pass by selecting options 2, 3 and 7. However please bear in mind you will lose points if you select negative scoring options like options 1 and 9. You can get a maximum score of 6 in this section, so options 2 and 7 offer two additional bonus points above the pass mark.
You can then complete the question and move on to the next section but please bear in mind you won't be able to change previous answers. You can always view previous information by clicking on the case study display button or by clicking on the ABC tabs at the top of the page.
This section is a chance to gather information about the client. The section asks what areas we'd like to explore with Joanne so on this occasion all positive answers will be selected.
Here you can see that positive answers give you further information about Joanne which may help you further understand her issues. Your success in passing the assessment is not reliant on this as we will always give you the necessary information to complete each section. You do still need to meet the pass mark afford to pass the section.
Again the scores have been added to show you that you can get a maximum score of 6. Here there are two bonus points available which will help counteract any negative answers you may select at any other point in the assessment
Section C is another multiple decision-making section. Here a mixture of positive and negative scoring answers are being selected. The positive answers add up to 6 but the negative answers add up to 3. Therefore you would end with a score of 3 on this occasion. It is important to avoid this outcome where possible since you can lose points despite picking some positive answers. It is important to carefully consider which answers you select.
Here is another example of an information-gathering section. Here you would gain 6 points for the positive responses but you would then lose 3 points from the negative responses. Therefore you'd end this section with 3 points, 1 point short of the pass mark. However if you have gained bonus points in previous sections, this may counterbalance the missing point in this section.
Section E is another multiple decision making section. This is asking you how you would respond to Joanne when she tells you that the sessions are making her feel worse. In this situation responses 5 and 7 are marked with the R meaning that they are deemed as the most appropriate responses, therefore the pass mark is 4. You can gain 2 further bonus points in this section
Section F is a single decision making section. This type of section asks candidates to select the most appropriate answer, therefore you should only choose one unless you are asked to please make another selection. Responses like this are associated with a negative score and so you ideally want to avoid selecting these. The negative scoring answers here have a score of minus two so you can potentially lose 6 points if you select all three negative answers. However you will gain 2 points for the correct answer. As soon as you select the positive scoring answer you will be automatically taken to the next section. On this occasion the single decision making section is at the end of the case study so you were taken to the home page where you can log out.
You can register to attend a Certificate of Proficiency event on the BACP Register website. In advance you will receive a confirmation email two weeks before which will give you further information on what to expect on the day. You will receive a further email giving you access to a different sample case study which you can complete at home to prepare for the assessment.
Some key points to remember on the day are to carefully consider all of the options before you make a selection, to read the instructions carefully regarding how many selections to make and that you may gain bonus points which will help if you select a negative scoring answer.
On behalf of BACP we hope this video is helpful and we wish you the best of luck in the assessment.