SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Counsel an individual in a structured environment 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
252512  Counsel an individual in a structured environment 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Psychology 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 07 - Human and Social Studies General Social Science 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard replaces: 
US ID Unit Standard Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Credits Replacement Status
114478  Conduct basic lay counselling in a structured environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15  Complete 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This is a generic Unit Standard for learners in a variety of counselling contexts where clients are enabled to go through the process of finding solutions to their concerns or difficulties. It is intended for learners who counsel people in a variety of situations, but who are not registered professionals such as qualified psychologist and social workers. It will be useful for counsellors in a variety of counselling contexts including, but not limited to, schools, Non-Governmental Organisations, Faith Based Organisations, the South African Police Service, Counselling Call Centres, Hospitals, Clinics and Support Agencies, Sports Centres, Education and Training facilities, Government and Health and Social Services facilities. It should develop learners who know their scope of practice, behave ethically in a counselling context, conform to minimum standards and know when to refer a client.

The qualifying learner is capable of:
  • Explaining the functions and scope of practice of a counsellor.
  • Setting up an enabling counselling environment.
  • Explaining the principles and processes of counselling.
  • Explaining the role of values in human behaviour and counselling.
  • Applying a counselling process in a specific context.
  • Reflecting on the counselling process. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is recommended that learners are competent in Communication at NQF Level 3. 

    UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    The typical scope of this Unit Standard is:
  • A structured environment refers to:

    > The physical space that should be conducive to confidentiality, freedom of expression and counselling.
    > The counsellor is managed and mentored including ongoing supervision, monitoring, assessment and debriefing.
    > Sessions may be scheduled or unscheduled.
  • Short term counselling under supervision within a clearly indicated scope of practice.
  • Scope of practice refers to the boundaries within which the counselor operates without referral as defined by own work context.
  • Techniques and skills include, but are not limited to, problem solving, managing difficult clients, creation of a supportive and safe counselling relationship, facilitating decisions and making use of effective, non-threatening, exploring skills. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Explain the functions and scope of practice of a counsellor. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The concept of counselling is explained with examples for different situations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The qualities and skills of a counsellor are explained with reference to personal qualities, skills and boundaries in a selected context. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Qualities include but are not limited to empathy, reliability, integrity, unbiased feelings, non-judgemental and professional stance.
  • Skills include but are not limited to good communication and interpersonal skills.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The aims, functions and elements of counselling are explained with reference to a selected context. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Elements include but are not limited to understanding of a specific approach, deepening understanding of self and others, ability to give insightful guidance and support, respect and acceptance.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Different approaches or theories are explained with reference to selected counselling models. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Models include but are not limited to Rogers-person centred, Egan-skilled helper, Cognitive, Behavioural, Cognitive Behavioural and Interpersonal.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The legal and ethical requirements and limits on scope of practice on counsellors are explained with reference to a selected client. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Ethical and legal requirements include but are not limited to responsibility to the client, values, responsibility, contracts, boundaries, confidentiality, accountability and supervision.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Set up an enabling counselling environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The characteristics of an enabling environment are described with reference to counselling setting. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Characteristics of an enabling environment include but are not limited to physical layout of the room, placing of the table, chairs and lighting, safety, privacy, and confidentiality of arrival, session and exit, supportive, private and receptive climate without distractions.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    An enabling environment is created for a specific counselling session. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain the principles and processes of counselling. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Generally accepted principles of counselling are explained with reference to their application in different contexts. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Generally accepted principles include but are not limited to a non-judgemental attitude, confidentiality, controlled emotional involvement, self determination and client involvement.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    A counselling process is explained with reference to planning and preparation, identifying and prioritising needs, management, initiation, contracting, terminating, and relating to clients. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Techniques and skills required for counselling are explained with reference to when each is appropriate. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Explain the role of values and attitudes in behaviour and counselling. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The relationship between own values and attitudes and behaviour is explored with reference to the implications for the counselling. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Attitudes and values include but are not limited to attitudes to gender, sexual orientation, age, culture, faith-based beliefs and social class.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The importance of an attitude of respect for diversity of values is explained with reference to the counselling process. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Apply a counselling process in a specific context. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    A counselling process is demonstrated to counsel an individual in an authentic situation using appropriate skills and techniques. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The counselling process includes but is not limited to initiating (building relationships, clarifying the nature of the relationship and establishing rapport), negotiating a counselling contract (setting boundaries, mutual expectations, goals and confidentiality), facilitating/managing (termination of relationship, techniques, timeframes, referral, managing own emotions, and understanding the effect of the counsellor on the client and the client on the counsellor.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    An ethical code of conduct is applied in the counselling process. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Respect for diversity of values is demonstrated at various stages of the counselling and problem solving process. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 6 
    Reflect on the counselling process. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The strengths and limitations of the counselling process are identified and motivated based on personal reflection. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Key lessons are identified and changes for future counselling sessions are discussed as part of ongoing professional development. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Personal and organisational strategies to reduce the risk of burnout and secondary trauma are explored with reference to own life and person. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Strategies include but are not limited to a system of counselling for counsellors, personal wellness, technical proficiency, supervision and emotional support.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The concept of supervision is explained and an indication is given of the benefits of supervision for the counsellor. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a candidate against this Unit Standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA or ETQA where a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exists with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this Unit Standard must be accredited as a provider through the relevant ETQA or ETQA where a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) exists with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    The learner is able to identify and solve problems in which responses show that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made in counselling a client following a generally accepted counselling process. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    The learner is able to work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community in that counselling involves working with at least one other person and learners at Level 4 counsel under supervision in a structured environment. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    The learner is able to organise and manage him/herself and his/her activities responsibly and effectively in planning and preparing for counselling sessions and recording and reporting on the outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    The learner is able to collect, organise and critically evaluate information in facilitating the counselling process and in investigating theories of counselling. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    The learner is able to communicate effectively in interacting with clients and supervisors. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
  • The learner is able to reflect on and explore a variety of strategies to learn more effectively in reflecting on the outcomes of counselling sessions exploring strategies to reduce burnout and secondary trauma.
  • The learner is able to be culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts in understanding the importance of respect for diverse values and accommodating difference in counselling sessions. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    This Unit Standard replaces Unit Standard 114478, which is "Conduct basic lay counselling in a structured environment", Level 4, 15 credits. 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  49256   Further Education and Training Certificate: Counselling  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  HW SETA 
    Core  74410   Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Awareness Promotion of Dread Disease and HIV/AIDS  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  HW SETA 
    Core  67373   National Diploma: Orientation and Mobility Practice  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  ETDP SETA 
    Elective  59429   National Certificate: Inclusive Education  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2023-06-30  ETDP SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Agency For Re-Innovation And Development 
    2. Education, Training And Counselling Cc 
    3. Empirical Training Agency (PTY) Ltd 
    4. Gay and Lesbian Network 
    5. Indlela Yempilo Consulting cc 
    6. Kula Institute 
    7. Olipau Health Centre 
    8. Omabogo She and Textile Solutions 
    9. Society For Family Health SA 
    10. South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind 
    11. TMG Quality Services 
    12. Trainyoucan 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.