Assessment for Learning: How to Use the Assessment of Core CBT Skills (ACCS) as a Tool for Feedback and Self-Reflection

What is the ACCS scale?

Many of us have struggled with the available tools for evaluating CBT competency. The Assessment of Core CBT Skills (ACCS) is an observation-based scale that builds upon currently available measures in order provide a tool with improved validity, reliability and usability. The primary intention of the ACCS is to provide a framework which assessors can use to deliver formative and summative feedback about a therapist’s performance within an observed treatment session and which therapists can use as a tool for self-reflection. The scale assesses core general therapeutic and CBT-specific skills required to appropriately deliver individual CBT to adults experiencing mental health problems.

What is the aim of the ACCS workshop?

 The workshop will address the why, what and how of assessing CBT competence. First, in relation to the assessment of CBT competence in general: Why do we assess CBT competence? What aspects of CBT competence should we assess? How should we assess CBT competence? Second, in relation to the ACCS scale: Why was the ACCS developed? What skills does the ACCS assess? How can I use the ACCS as a tool to foster skill-development?

By the end of the workshop attendees should be familiar with and confident in using the ACCS scale and have an understanding of how the scale fits within best-practice guidelines for assessing competence in CBT.

What is the format of the workshop?

The day will involve a mixture of presentations and active participation in discussions as well as the opportunity to practise using the ACCS scale.

A copy of the ACCS manual, feedback form, and submission cover sheet will be provided on the day. However, it would be useful to look over these documents prior to attending the workshop (available at:

Who is the workshop for?

This workshop is aimed at (1) supervisors and training providers who want to use the ACCS as a method of assessing competence and providing therapists with formative feedback and (2) CBT therapists who want to use the ACCS as a tool to evaluate and self-reflect on their CBT skills.



Kate Muse

Dr Kate Muse is a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Worcester. She teaches on a range of Undergraduate and Post-graduate modules in clinical psychology, counselling psychology, and research methods and is the Learning and Teaching lead for the Psychology Department. Kate is also an active researcher with a particular interest in the training and dissemination of CBT, identifying barriers to evidence-based practice in CBT, and developing methods of assessing the competence with which CBT is delivered. Before her appointment at Worcester Kate spent several years within the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford where she completed a DPhil and worked as a Research Psychologist. During this time she conducted research investigating factors that maintain health anxiety, evaluating the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy interventions for anxiety and depression, and exploring the role of intrusive imagery in anxiety disorders.

Additional Information

Cancellation & changes policy

If you cancel more than 14 days prior to your booked event, we will refund your fee minus a charge of 15% to cover our administration costs. We regret that cancellations 14 days or less before the booked event cannot be refunded or changed/transferred.

If you wish to change/transfer your booking after confirmation we will do our best to accommodate you if you notify us 14 days prior to your booked event, and if there is space to do so. However there will be an administration charge of £15 per change/transfer.


Workshops often contain clinical material. This is always anonymised as far as possible but delegates are none the less reminded to respect confidentiality.

All that is discussed in your therapy sessions will be treated as confidential, with the following exceptions.
We are required to seek supervision by our professional body (The British Psychological Society or equivalent) as a means of ensuring good practice. We will usually inform your referrer of your progress, but the details that we disclose will be discussed with you. We do have a statutory obligation to break confidentiality under rare circumstances, namely, if we believe that a client is of danger to themselves or to others (under the Mental Health Act, 2001) or if we believe that a child is at actual risk of physical or sexual abuse (The Children Act, Section 47, 1989).

If we felt that it would be helpful to request additional medical, social or legal information, we could only do this with your consent. Similarly, should another medical, social or legal professional request information from us, we would not release this without your consent.


OCTC makes every effort to ensure that this programme is delivered as advertised. However, should a presenter have to cancel, we will endeavour to find another suitable presenter. We will inform attendees as soon as is reasonably practical and, if requested, will offer a refund. In the rare event that we are unable to substitute a presenter, we may cancel a workshop and refund payments already made by attendees. OCTC will not refund travel and accommodation costs that attendees may incur.
All the workshops in this programme are carried out by highly experienced therapists and trainers. The individual presenter is responsible for the content of the workshop and any views expressed do not necessarily represent those of OCTC.
Although highly informative, none of the open workshops or workshop series confer a formal qualification or assurance of competence in CBT (or a specialist area of CBT) since we are unable to assess attendee competency within the training event. However, credit and award-bearing courses that lead to formal qualifications are offered by OCTC in conjunction with the University of Oxford. More about these courses is available on our website

Levels of competence

Before booking a place on a workshop, please ensure that it is pitched at the appropriate level of competence for you. The guide to levels is as follows:


Basic workshops are for people from a variety of backgrounds, who have at least one year’s clinical experience. Cognitive behavioural knowledge is not necessary for attendance at these workshops, though in practice, a number of attendees will have some skills in the area, and are refreshing/updating their knowledge.


Intermediate workshops are directed towards people who already have knowledge of CBT, and experience in using cognitive formulations and treatment methods – for instance, they are able to identify and test automatic thoughts, and design behavioural experiments. Most participants will be using CBT as part of their clinical practice, and may still be acquiring new CBT skills.


Advanced courses are directed towards those professionals who use CBT routinely as part of their clinical practice. They have probably undertaken a significant number of training courses and/or workshops, and use a broad range of cognitive behavioural strategies to work with a range of presentations at varying levels of complexity.

Making reservations

Bookings can only be considered confirmed after we have received your online registration or application form and payment (or invoicing details, including an official purchase order document). Please note that registration to workshops closes 7 days prior to the event date.

If you are booking a workshop place for someone else, you must complete your own details in the billing field, but ENTER THE WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS NAME/ADDRESS in the shipping field. If you wish to order items using a paper order form instead of online, you can view or download an order form in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Once downloaded, print it out, fill it in, and send off with your payment [cheque made payable to OXFORD HEALTH NHS FOUNDATION TRUST] to the address on the form.


The cost of the workshops includes hot drinks on arrival, mid-morning and mid-afternoon, but not usually lunch unless stated. However, for workshops that do include lunch, if you have any special dietary requirements please let us know at the time of application.

Special needs

We welcome applications from diverse backgrounds. If you have any particular needs, please contact us
prior to booking.