COSCA Counselling Supervision Certificate & Skills Course


Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA) is Scotland’s professional body for counselling and psychotherapy.

They are a registered charity and a voluntary organisation committed to the promotion of not only counselling and psychotherapy but also the use of counselling skills in a variety of settings.

What is the Purpose of the Course?

The course is aimed at counselling practitioners or counselling skills users with no less than the successful completion of the COSCA Counselling Skills Certificate as their training.

It is designed to stimulate the less experienced practitioner into a better understanding and use of supervision, as well as to provide a significant first step for the longer training and more experienced practitioner in their role as supervisors.

Who Can Attend the Course?

The COSCA Counselling Supervision Certificate course is for supervisors and supervises.

Aims of the Course

The aims of the course are:

  1. To introduce participants to essential theoretical concepts of counselling supervision.
  2. To introduce practice skills essential to supervision.
  3. To provide participants with an opportunity to practise these skills in a safe and supportive environment.
  4. To set these skills and the theory within an ethical framework.
  5. To increase personal growth and self-awareness as pertinent to counselling supervision.
  6. To provide a suitable foundation for possible further training in supervision.

Course Format

The course is delivered in two parts:

  • Part 01: The Certificate in Counselling Supervision Skills is designed for those who complete the 12 Units of the course.
  • Part 02: The Certificate in Counselling Supervision is designed for those who complete the 12 Units of the course and additional elements including a case study based on working as a supervisor.

Course Content

  • Part 01:
    • The course begins with introductions and then goes on to provide a structure for applying the essential skills of a counselling supervisor to a supervision session.
    • It then introduces participants to two models of supervision.
    • Over the next two units it deepens participants’ understanding of hidden communications and highlights the role and function of transference and counter-transference in both supervision and
    • therapy.
    • How to work as a supervisor within ethical statements and frameworks is explored over the next two units.
    • Contracts between counsellor and supervisor are discussed and sample working agreements are offered to participants.
    • With reference to channels of information other than verbal communication, participants are provided with opportunities to develop creative approaches to supervision.
    • The course ends with participants engaging in integrated skills practice and self-evaluation in relation to the learning outcomes of the course.
  • Part 02:
    • Involves participants completing a minimum of 12 hours working as supervisors and having supervision at a ratio of 1:6.
    • It also includes the completion of a case study based on one supervisee.

Learning Outcomes & Competencies for Part 01

At the end of the Course participants will have the Essential Skills of a Supervisor and will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an ability to negotiate the working agreement to include the responsibilities and their limits of both supervisor and supervisee in this relationship.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to negotiate and identify the supervisee’s needs and agree focus/agenda for the individual session.
  3. Demonstrate listening and appropriate allowance of space for the supervisee to reach discoveries and insights.
  4. Use support and challenge effectively.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of non-verbal or unconscious forms of communication, e.g. transference issues, the parallel process and an ability to use them.
  6. Acknowledge, accommodate and make use of the supervisee’s emotional reaction to clients.
  7. Acknowledge, accommodate and make use of their own emotional reaction to supervisee in service of the client.
  8. Use self-disclosure and examples from their own work appropriately and effectively.
  9. Refer to theoretical frames; in particular to models of supervision in analysing and reflecting upon what is happening in the supervision session.
  10. Support supervisee’s growth in areas of skills, theory (conceptualising problem) and selfawareness in the process.
  11. Demonstrate awareness of ethical issues and ability to work with them.
  12. Bring the session to an end sensitively and supportively (summarising).
  13. Be able to give feedback to supervisees.
  14. Use these 13 skills to participate more fully and effectively as supervisees in using supervision as counsellors or skills users.

Learning Outcomes & Competencies for Part 02

At the end of part 02, participants will be able to demonstrate an ability to:

  1. Draw on previous diploma studies in counselling and apply them in the new context of working with a counsellor as a supervisee rather than a client.
  2. Transfer and assimilate the learning in part 01 of the course into a counselling supervision relationship and unite this with their learning on previous diploma studies in counselling.
  3. Know and apply a range of theoretical models in counselling supervision.
  4. Define the aims of the counselling supervision process.
  5. Ethically develop, maintain and end when appropriate a counselling supervision relationship.
  6. Discuss and clarify the emerging themes in the counselling supervisory relationships and their relationships to each other.
  7. Understand the significance of non-spoken and/or hidden communication in the counselling supervisory relationships.
  8. Change position from counsellor to counselling supervisor in a real life context rather than in the training room, and be able to reflect on and understand its significance.
  9. Use supervisory feedback related specifically to their role as counselling supervisors.


The assessment process throughout the programme is a key element of the course. There is a system of formative assessment (ongoing) and summative assessment (at the end).


COSCA’s Counselling Supervision Skills Certificate has been awarded 10 SCQF credits at SCQF Level 9.

COSCA’s Counselling Supervision Certificate has been awarded 15 SCQF credits at SCQF Level 9 (This includes the 10 SCQF credits at SCQF level 9 allocated to the Counselling Supervision Skills Certificate Course).

The course was introduced in 2005, and updated in 2017.