One of the things our team at the Society run into time and time again when assessing audits of practice and applications for membership is a lack of record keeping, or confusingly and poorly kept records.

Keeping a record of the CPD that you undertake, how often you have been to supervision and the duration of your supervision sessions, as well as a cumulative log of your practice hours is important not only for providing evidence in the case of audits and applications, but also for your own reflection and professional development.

CPD Records

When thinking about keeping CPD records, it is important that you have the following to hand:

· The date or dates the CPD was undertaken

· How long you spent on it

· A short reflection on what you learned and how you might apply it to your own practice

· A copy of any certificates you have received for attending or completing the CPD, in the case of an event or online CPD course, or any other evidence you have of completing that particular activity

You may want to update your supervisor at each supervision session as to the CPD you have completed throughout the month, and ask them to verify your log for you with a signature. They may also find it helpful to keep a record of what you have been studying.

Registrant members of the Society are required to undertake at least 30 hours of varied CPD per year. It is incredibly important for practitioners to continue to develop their skills, as well as learn new ones, in order to better serve their clients.

Supervision Records

Supervision is a vital part of a practicing therapists timetable. How much supervision you need depends on your own particular circumstances and is something you should discuss with your supervisor. It is one of the most important things that the Society checks when it comes to audits of practice and applications for membership.

The other scenario in which supervision records are incredibly important is in the unlikely event of a complaint being made against you. Being able to demonstrate that you are undertaking regular supervision appropriate to your practice is an important part of the complaints process, and something you would likely be asked to evidence.

When making a note of your supervision sessions, it is important to capture the following information:

· The date of your supervision session

· The duration of your supervision session

· Particular issues brought to supervision – this can be for your own private records only, but is useful in the event of a complaint as mentioned above

· The signature of your supervisor – you can ask them to sign this off at the end of every session.

Practice Hours

The number of hours of practical clinical experience you have is something that you will be asked a lot throughout your professional career. You may be asked to evidence your practice hours by prospective employers, placement providers, organisations, supervisors, further training providers, and your professional body.

From the Society’s perspective, we need to know how many clinical practice hours you have completed as it helps to determine the membership grade that we can offer you. If you are newly qualified and looking to upgrade your membership in the future, then keeping accurate logs can mean the upgrade process is as quick as possible.

When recording practice hours, make a note of the following:

· The dates that you undertook clinical practice

· How many hours you accrued each day

· The location – if you work in a mix of different locations such as privately, through an organisation, on a placement, or via an EAP, then make a note of where the hours were accrued

· Anonymised client identifier – this can be for your own personal records, but there are situations in which keeping this information may be of benefit to you

· Your supervisor’s signature – you should get this on a monthly basis from your supervisor, so that they can verify the number of practice hours you have accrued. This is something the Society ask for on hours logs.

The above lists are not exhaustive – if you feel that there is other relevant information that you want to make a note of, then feel free to do so. The more of your own experience you record, the better.

Members of the Society can access example logs from the Members’ Area of the website.

https://www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org/members/login/.

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