Approval of Practicum Organization

A Masters of Counselling degree with the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology (GCAP) normally involves the completion of an eight month practicum placement (September to April). The nature of a practicum experience and the activities and expectations for supervisors, students, and faculty members will vary from one practicum site to another. However, some activities and expectations are common to all practicum experiences. These are listed below.

1. Students are expected to spend 500 hours on site during the practicum, and do 250 hours o direct client contact. Over the 26 weeks of the course, this is approximately 19.5 hours/week on site, and 9.5 hours of direct client contact. Students may see clients between the Fall and Winter semesters, in the Winter Break period, if permitted by the practicum site. Client contact and supervision will normally occur weekly.

As a condition of the practicum, some agencies may require students to spend more than the minimum time required by the university, or to participate in other activities not required by the university (e.g., training seminars, telephone intake, etc.). Although any such conditions are between the agency and the student, they must be specified on the Learning Plan when it is initially developed.

2. Direct client contact is defined as an activity in which the student interacts face to face with the client(s), and includes:
  • Individual counselling (see minimum expected hours below);
  • Family or couples' counselling;
  • Group counselling;
  • Active participation in reflecting teams with the client; students may count the time that they spend in the view of the client(s) when they are interacting with them;
  • Face to face interviewing and/or testing as part of a formal assessment;
  • Face to face intake sessions, provided the tasks are clinical in nature;
  • Case conferences when the client is present;
  • Co-counselling is acceptable provided the student's role is to interact with the client(s), and not simply observe. Generally, co-counselling is a more appropriate activity at the beginning of a placement.
Sixty percent of direct client contact should consist of individual counselling. Case preparation/treatment planning, psychological test interpretation, writing case notes and reports, telephone intake/contact, case conferences and case management activities without the client(s) present, and observing others perform counselling are not considered direct client contact.

3. Students must receive 1 hour per week in supervision for each 5 hours of direct client contact (an average of two hours per week). At least 50% of supervision must be individual supervision. The remainder may be group supervision. At least 50% of supervision should be based on direct observation (live supervision, video-recording, or co-counselling) of the student's work.

Eligible Practicum sites will:

1. Provide counselling services to individuals and couples, families or groups, with the capacity to provide adequate client contact hours as specified above.
2. Employ professional staff holding a minimum of a Masters' degree in a counselling related discipline, and professional credentials/designations that permit them to practice within their jurisdiction.
3. Provide client contact time and supervision on a weekly basis for the duration of the placement.
4. Have appropriate physical environment (counselling space, work space for administrative duties, secure storage of client records).
5. Provide necessary administrative infrastructure to process referrals and manage client data
6. Permit students to video-record counselling sessions. Students are required to present video-recordings their counselling at two intensive seminars. There is no requirement that client's face be visible on the tape. The video camera may be placed so that only the student appears on the tape, although client audio must be included. Only students registered in the GCAP practicum course and the practicum instructor will view the recordings.

If you have questions about your involvement in this role, please contact the GCAP Practicum Coordinator:
E-mail: gcappracticumcoord@athabascau.ca
Phone toll free 1 (855) 359-2090

Please do not use apostrophes or quotations on this form, as it will hinder the submission.
Name of Organization
Email Address

Is your organization part of a larger organization such as a health region? Yes No

Mailing Address
   Street City Province / State
Country         Postal / Zip Format: A1A 1A1
Contact Person
     Salutation      Last Name      First Name
Position Title                 Phone                 Fax
     (e.g., Director / Manager) Format: 780-123-4567
Types of counselling services provided (individual, group, or family):
Number and qualifications of personnel:
Kinds of clients who utilize the services (ages, gender, common presenting issues):

By submitting this Approval Form your Organization agrees to allow students to videotape their work with clients for use in their practicum seminars, requiring students to transport video-recordings to Calgary or Edmonton. If you have concerns about this requirement please contact Practicum Coordinator.

Approved agencies may choose to be listed on the GCAP website and may be approached by other students seeking a practicum placement. By agreeing to include your organization in our public list, any and all information on this form may be made viewable to GCAP students. You may opt out at any time in the future or you may choose to opt in after placement of one or more practicum students by contacting the Practicum Coordinator.

List of Approved Practicum Organizations:
  Please include our organization in your public list of approved practicum sites.
  Please do not include our organization in your public list of approved practicum sites.
GCAP Email Updates:
  Please include our organization in your e-mail list to keep me informed of new developments in this initiative.
  Please do not include our organization in your email list.

Security Code:

Please click "Submit" to process your request for approval. Thank you.