*Important dates* The awards process opens on Wednesday 1st February 2023. All entries MUST be received by midnight on Tuesday 6th June 2023. Winners will be announced on 22nd June 2023 – National Counsellors’ Day.
Anyone can nominate a UK based Counsellor/organisation for an award in one of the following categories;
- Private Practice. This includes best established practice, best start up and most innovative business.
- Employment. This includes employee of the year, employer of the year and best charity employer.
- Volunteers. This includes most inspirational volunteer counsellor and most inspirational volunteer organisation.
- Training. This includes student of the year, most inspirational tutor/lecturer, best training institute and best CPD training.
- Supervision. This includes supervisor of the year and runner up and best supervision training course.
- Promotion of counsellors/counselling. This includes most inspirational campaigner/activist, best public figure promoting mental health and researcher of the year.
- Products and resources. This includes product of the year, recommended read 2023, book of the year (professional read), students choice book 2023.
- Outstanding contribution to counselling. This includes counsellor of the year and runner up and lifetime achievement award.
- Counsellors Together UK member of the year 2023.
Looking for inspiration as to why you should nominate yourself or another fantastic counsellor you know? Then please check out the previous years winners here: 2020 winners, 2021 winners, 2022 winners.
You’ll find our submission guidelines below and a link to the submission form at the end of this page.
The following 3 private practice awards are designed for self-nomination. If you are a colleague or client who wishes to nominate a private counselling business, please choose from one of the other many awards below.
- Best private practice (established 2 or more years)
Please tell us about your business. If you have scaled-up, we would like to hear about it. Tell us where you started from and where you foresee going. How is your business the best? Please share evidence of your business performance and please demonstrate that this success is sustainable in the long term.
2. Best new private practice (within 2 years of start-up)
Please tell us briefly about your business and any successes you’ve had. Perhaps a successful marketing campaign, for instance. Why would your business stand out? Please share evidence of your start-up performance and plans for the future.
3. Most innovative therapeutic business
Please tell us about the business being nominated and why you believe this business deserves this award. How is this business innovative? Please demonstrate the success of the innovations you have made. Innovation is not just about the success you end up with. Can you please describe an instance where an innovation was not successful, or less successful than you predicted, and what you did next. What lessons did you learn from the innovations that you had to adapt or cease?
4. Employee of the year
Please tell us about this employee and why you have chosen them to be nominated. What makes them stand out? How do they demonstrate your core values and how do they go above and beyond in their role? Please remember that client confidentiality must be maintained and any references to client work need to be anonymous.
5. Employer of the year
Please tell us about this employer and why you have chosen them to be nominated. What separates them from other employers out there? How does this employer support their counsellors within their role? If you are an employer nominating your own organisation, please tell us about your company and what makes you different to the others out there. What is impressive about you? Please share evidence of your successful relationship with employees. The winner of this category will have good employee benefits which may include those related directly to the role of counsellor. For example, providing insurance or supervision (including those who provide some remuneration towards private supervision). They will have robust structures and policies in place and provide opportunities for personal and professional development. Such structures and policies will include the appropriate referral of clients to counsellors within a counsellor’s known competence. These criteria can be shown in your application through sharing your own experience within that organisation. If you are an organisation nominating yourself, please describe how you meet these criteria.
6. Best charity employer 2023
For this category, the charity MUST pay (employ) counsellors within a counselling role. You can nominate a charity who use only voluntary counsellors in the volunteer category. Please tell us about this charity and why you have chosen them to be nominated. What separates them from others? How does this charity support their counsellors within their role? If you are a board member or manager nominating your own charity, please tell us about your organisation and what makes you different to the others out there. What is impressive about you? Please share evidence of your successful relationship with your counselling employees. The winner of this category will have good employee benefits which may include those related directly to the role of counsellor. For example, providing insurance or supervision (including those who provide some remuneration towards private supervision). They will have robust structures and policies in place and provide opportunities for personal and professional development. Such structures and policies will include the appropriate referral of clients to counsellors within a counsellors known competence. These criteria can be shown in your application through your experience within that organisation. If you are an organisation nominating yourself, please describe how you meet these criteria.
7. Most inspirational volunteer counsellor
Please tell us about this volunteer and why you have chosen them to be nominated. What separates them from other volunteers? If you are a voluntary organisation nominating one of your volunteers: How do they demonstrate your core values and how do they inspire you or others? What exceptional qualities do they have? If you are a colleague or member of the public: please share how they have inspired you or others. When you thought about nominating them, was there a particular moment or quality that made you think this person was the best fit for this award? Please remember that client confidentiality must be maintained and any references to client work need to be anonymous.
8. Volunteer organisation of the year
This category includes charities, schools and other organisations that have volunteer counsellors working for them. Please tell us about this organisation or charity and why you have chosen them to be nominated. What separates them from others? How does this charity or organisation support their counsellors within their role? If you are a board member or manager nominating your own charity/organisation, please tell us about your organisation and what makes you different to the others out there. What is impressive about you? Please share evidence of your successful relationship with your counselling volunteers.The winner of this category will have good volunteer benefits which may include those related directly to the role of counsellor. For example, providing insurance or supervision (including those who provide some remuneration towards private supervision). If using trainee counsellors, there will be a hierarchy of supervision and management which is conducive and weighted towards the needs of a trainee (for example some separation between clinical supervisor and the line manager). The winner will have robust structures and policies in place and provide opportunities for personal and professional development. Such structures and policies will include the appropriate referral of clients to counsellors within a counsellor’s known competence. With additional policies in place for when trainees are paired with a client beyond their competence. The winner will also do everything within their power to reduce or eliminate the outlay their volunteers incur in the execution of their duties. These criteria can be shown in your application through your experience within that organisation. If you are an organisation nominating yourself, please describe how you meet these criteria.
9. Student of the year
Please tell us about the person you have nominated and why you have nominated them. How does your nominee embody the title of student of the year and why them over all others? Have they shown exceptional academic aptitude? Do they demonstrate a natural ability to inspire and encourage others?We welcome applications from training institutes, FE and HE institutes, lecturers and students. The student of the year will be a current student or graduating in 2023. Eligible courses are those which provide students with a qualification that enables them to ethically practice the subject taught (for example a level 4 diploma and above) or will be a comprehensive course aimed at qualified counsellors already in supervised practice (for example, accredited EMDR training).
10. Most inspirational tutor/lecturer 2023
We welcome nominations from universities, colleges, training institutes, colleagues and students. However, the course the nominee is delivering must meet the minimum requirements for its students to be eligible for listing on the PSA voluntary register. This usually means an academic minimum of a level 4 diploma course and has a minimum number of placement hours for students. Applications which fall below this standard will be rejected. Please tell us about this person and why you have chosen them to be nominated. What separates them from other tutors/lecturers? If you are an educational organisation nominating one of your employees: How do they demonstrate your core values and how do they inspire you or others? What exceptional qualities do they have? How have they demonstrated encouragement of their students and their students’ aspirations? If you are a colleague or student: please share how they have inspired you or others. When you thought about nominating them, was there a particular moment or quality that made you think this person was the best fit for this award? Please share with us any time you felt this person encouraged your aspirations or particularly built up your confidence and self-esteem as a trainee. The winner of this award will demonstrate passion for their subject, their students and for the future of both. Their teaching standards will be high and they may have been previously recognised for their quality teaching through Ofsted or internal assessments. Please mention these in your application.
11. Best training institute
We welcome nominations from institutions, their staff and, current and former students. Please tell us about the institute and their training course. If you are a department head, please briefly tell us about all the counselling courses currently being run, in addition to the qualifying course. Why does this training institute deserve an award? The winning institution will be able to demonstrate outstanding support of students and hold an exemplary record for equal opportunities. What ways do they support students; both in their academic pursuits but also in their career goals? The winner will have been upfront about employment challenges but is also clear in how to manage this with students choosing this vocation. Eligibility for this award: Institutions must currently deliver a course which leads to a recognised qualification and which allows students to practice counselling; as well as be named on the PSA register. We will be accepting applications from the FE and HE sectors as well as private training institutes, providing they meet this criteria. If your course does not meet this criteria, you can make an application via the best CPD category.
12. Best CPD training
Continuous professional development is the cornerstone of ethical practice and, as such, we would like to recognise the courses which broaden knowledge but which do not directly give additional qualifications. Such examples include: introduction to working with depression, personality disorders and suicide awareness. Or they may be a certificate course in counselling theory with no client placement requirements. They can be a local CPD event or a national training company. The courses must fall under the umbrella of CPD and should not form part of core training i.e level 2 and 3 counselling skills. The training should be aimed primarily at qualified counsellors or trainees engaging in supervised practice. We will reject any application from courses deemed to mislead attendees about post-completion qualifications and practice. Please tell us about the institute and their CPD training. If you undertook this training, what qualities and attributes did this event have which lifted it above all the rest? Do they have exceptional trainers? Did they have an excellent depth of knowledge? Was the course presented in a way which allowed for ease of applying theory to practice? If you are a trainer or training institute, please tell us why your CPD course(s) are the best. What successes have you had in delivering this training?
13. Supervisor of the year and runner up
The person who is selected to receive this award will be an excellent supervisor who demonstrates a broad range of expertise and professionalism. We accept nominations from supervisees, colleagues who have experienced peer supervision with their nominee, employers and self-nomination. In your application, please demonstrate how you or your nominee has been adaptable to supervisee needs. What qualities do you/they possess that you believe makes them an exceptional supervisor? If you/they have experienced an unusual or challenging scenario, please describe how they handled this with extraordinary professionalism, authenticity and how they upheld the values and qualities necessitated by the role. Please remember that confidentiality is of prime importance here. If you are describing a scenario please anonymise as best as possible the client and indeed the supervisee so that we can protect the three people held within a supervisory relationship.
14. Best supervision training course
Please tell us about this course and include the full course title and institution. Describe why you have nominated this course and how it excels above comparable courses. The winning course will demonstrate excellent student support, particularly support specific to the role of trainee supervisor that goes beyond generic student support offered within an institution. They will also offer advice or assistance in attaining a placement or supervisees. If you are nominating your own course as a provider, please demonstrate the success your course has and the support it provides.
Promotion of counsellors/counselling
15. Most inspirational campaigner/activist
This award will be given to a person who has spent a significant portion of their time and energy attempting to improve the rights, treatment and/or public perception of counsellors or counselling, particularly in relation to social and political issues in counselling and psychotherapy. This is an open category which means your nominee could be someone who regularly tweets on this subject or utilises another social media platform to raise awareness. They may host podcasts and they may be the founder of a non-profit. The list is endless! So, please tell us about your nominee and why you think they are the most inspirational campaigner/activist. Do you have a particular media piece in mind when you think of your nominee? Perhaps they started a viral movement or they had a great article in the local press. Please describe and link these where possible.
16. Best public figure promoting mental health
The winner of this award will be a public figure/celebrity who has raised the profile of mental health in the UK and has also championed counselling. Please tell us why you’ve nominated this particular person and why you’ve chose them over other possible nominees. You may wish to include how your nominee’s activism has impacted you or how the actions of this public figure have impacted the people around you; including clients (please remember to keep references to client work anonymous). The winner may not have been in the public eye for very long, or campaigned for very long, but their work will have created positive reactions and potentially positive movement. If you have any links to any campaigns or work from your nominee, please share them in your application.
17. Researcher of the Year
We welcome nominations from universities, companies, researchers and the general public. Please tell us about the researcher you are nominating and why you have chosen to nominate them. The winner of this category will have a single or collection of work into the issues that affect counsellors. Their research may already be having a positive impact on the work or development of counsellors, or, you foresee their work doing so in future. What sets their work apart from other researchers in the field? Please tell us about any work the researcher has done to share their research with a wide audience and if they have made any efforts to make their findings accessible to all (through publications beyond academic journals, conferences and other public engagements).
Products and Resources (*nominations in this category are decided by and voted on by CTUK members in our private Facebook group. If you are a trainee or qualified therapist you can join us here.)
18. Product of the Year
This is a broad category. We want to hear about the products and resources you have discovered and use in your practice or for personal development. This may be a formal or informal resource. If you are a member of the public that wishes to nominate a product or resource aimed at mental health recovery or self-care, please tell us what the product is and how it has helped you or someone you know to understand themselves or relieve distress. Examples include but are not limited to: Emotion or scenario cards, Therapy dolls, Online worksheets (please provide website address), FilmTV series (please let us know if the film or television series has released any materials designed to help address the issues discussed within their show or film). We will accept all entries but only those products and resources which have not been discontinued will be eligible for shortlisting.
19. Recommended read 2023
Is there a fictional or non-professional book that you have found particularly helpful in your work and/or professional development? Please tell us about this book and the impact it had on you or your work. If you could sum up in 3 sentences or less why other counsellors should read this book, what would you say? Please provide Title, Author, Publisher and date of publishing.
20. Book of the year (Professional Read)
Please tell us about a non-fiction book you have read that you feel has significantly changed or informed your practice and/or personal development. Perhaps this book validated your feelings around your practice approach or helped you to move forward in your own development. The winning book will show great depth of understanding for their topic and be accessible to all counsellors. If the book is aimed at practice, the book will be exceptionally written and marry the theoretical knowledge and clinical application with ease. This may be inferred so the book doesn’t have to be a “practical guide”. If the book is aimed at personal development, it will demonstrate a clear understanding of what counsellors need in their personal development. The book may be on a topic within counsellor experiential processing and not necessarily have a heavy focus on “personal development” or “self-care”. For example, a book on transference or secondary trauma. However, both types of books are welcome.
21. Students’ Choice (book) 2023
Please tell us about a book you read during your training that you felt really informed and helped your learning. If you are a lecturer or tutor, please describe a book you feel is most suited to students and why you recommend it to your students. The winning book will be a formal theory or training text. If you are a student wishing to nominate a book you found useful in your training that doesn’t meet this criteria, you can submit your nomination in one of the other categories.
Outstanding contribution to counselling
22. Counsellor of the year (with a runner up)
The winner and runner up of this category will be chosen from all the nominations we receive in all applicable categories. So if you have someone in mind for this award, please make sure to nominate them in one of the available categories.
23. Lifetime achievement award
We accept nominations from general public, colleagues, organisations and self-nomination. The winner of this category will be an exceptional counsellor who inspires others. This inspiration could take any form so please tell how this counsellor inspires you. If you are self-nominating, please tell us about a time you have inspired others to grow or change. Those others can be colleagues or clients, just remember to adhere to confidentiality guidelines when you complete this application. The winner may be an author whose works have informed the training and development of many counsellors. They may also be well-known in academic circles. The winner may also not be academic but are well-known for their training delivery or other contributions to fellow counsellors. Lifetime does not have to mean they have been in the business for decades. Please take this to mean that within their lifetime they have made a big impact on counsellors and the counselling field. The winner of this award will need to be a counsellor that is in some way connected to the UK. This means they need to have been born in the UK, currently reside within it or have trained at a UK institution.
CTUK member of the year (*this award is chosen by CTUK)
This award will be given to a member of Counsellors Together UK whom has shown incredible support of fellow counsellors. This may be through their interactions within the group or through any campaigning they have done to further the progress of the group’s aims.
To make a nomination (self or other) please click the button below. You will be taken to a Google Doc where you will need to agree to our terms and conditions before being allowed to proceed. Once you tick the box to agree you will be taken to the nominations form which is easy to complete and submit. It consists of just 4 questions. Answer the questions, click submit and you’re done.
You can read more about the National Counsellors’ Day Awards, why we set them up and what we hope they achieve here.
If you have any general questions about the awards then please contact us via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
National Counsellors’ Day Awards
Celebrating our profession and the people who work in it!
Simple… we want to celebrate counsellors. We feel that it is important to celebrate the varied and wonderful work that we do and to recognise our achievements within the counselling profession, as many other mental health professions already do, at their own unique awards ceremonies. Celebrating counsellors matters because we are highly qualified and skilled professionals who work out of the public eye, making huge differences in peoples lives. We believe that counsellors are people who give their time to helping others, often holding up communities and failing statutory services, and without the recognition they so often deserve.
Wishing you the best of luck from all at CTUK and National Counsellors’ Day