Head of Counselling

In the range £36,400 - £40,200 depending on experience

Closing: 07/08/2024

Contract: Permanent
Location: Home-based, but with on-site meetings
Reporting to: Chief Executive Officer
Hours: Full-time – 35 hours per week. A 50:50 job share may be considered.
Salary: In the range £36,400 – £40,200 depending on experience

Evolve is a Cambridgeshire-based charity (a CIO), founded in 1978, which provides affordable mental health counselling to adults in Cambridgeshire and surrounding counties. We deliver talking therapies to adults – online and in person. The Evolve counselling community is made up of around 50 qualified practitioners working part-time at donated or subsidised rates. Our service delivers around 500 counselling sessions per month to a broad range of individuals, many of whom would not otherwise be able to access counselling support. Evolve also provides supervision, reflective practice, critical incident support and mental health awareness and related training to organisations.

The Head of Counselling works with our counsellor members and executive team to ensure that Evolve is the local counselling charity of choice – managing existing client relationships and service contracts, as well as seeking and securing new business. They are responsible for the clinical leadership of our counselling and related services to clients, and for supporting, motivating, and managing our counsellor members.

The successful candidate will be an appropriately qualified and experienced individual who has leadership expertise, with the ability to engage with colleagues, trustees, counselling clients, organisational contacts and other stakeholders. They will have demonstrable experience of delivering a high-quality service in line with ethical standards and good practice, monitoring and evaluating impact and outcomes, as well as identifying and implementing, alongside other members of the executive team, service development/improvement and growth initiatives. They should also have a good understanding of the commercial considerations of managing a counselling service, and have experience of successful funding proposal/ bid writing and delivery.


Clinical Management
– Overall responsibility for incoming referrals and allocations as well as ongoing management of clients and any waiting lists.
– Monitor the balance between counsellor capacity and client demand.
– Provide leadership and support to the counselling members.
– Be the first point of contact for clinical advice and enquiries.
– Ensure the quality of provision to clients and the care of counsellors.
– Lead on revising, updating of existing, and writing of new, clinical policies and procedures to ensure compliance with charity standards as well as ethical and legal standards.
– Liaise with the CEO as Designated Safeguarding Lead, taking responsibility as the Counselling – Safeguarding Lead. This includes ensuring that Evolve adheres to local and national guidelines for safeguarding and that issues relating to client risk are appropriately dealt with.
– Oversee counselling members’ health and safety including lone working and risk assessment.
– Manage and respond to complaints in line with Evolve’s procedures.
– Monitor, implement and ensure clinical service compliance with GDPR standards.
– Report on clinical service performance and attend Trustee Board meetings as required.

Training and development
– Ensure that all counsellors have the appropriate training, experience, and specialist knowledge required to support Evolve clients, including identifying training and development needs.

– Lead the recruitment of new counsellors, including interviewing potential new members as well as clinical induction and training of new counsellors.
– Oversee the annual membership renewal process, ensuring all members are compliant with Evolve requirements.

Monitoring and impact analysis
– Take responsibility for client feedback, ensuring comments are reviewed and acted on as appropriate.
– Compile reports and impact analysis as required, for internal and external stakeholders.

Business Development and General requirements
– Work alongside the CEO and executive team to represent Evolve and promote awareness of Evolve’s services along with the importance of mental health awareness and support. Provide clinical and commercial input to funding proposals and/or new service developments.
– Participate in Evolve’s committees, support work with the Trustee Board, and through events for the membership, to shape the future development growth and sustainability of Evolve Counselling CIO.
– Build and maintain effective external professional networks within Evolve’s operational areas.
– Work closely with the Administrator to ensure all data regarding members and clients is up to date, appropriately recorded and in line with Data Protection guidelines.
– Provide input to Evolve’s website and social media presence and other marketing channels, suggesting and writing content for posts and resources as required.
– Ensure effective partnership working with those charities and other organisations with whom Evolve collaborates.

The above list of responsibilities is not exhaustive, and the post-holder may be required to carry out such other duties as required from time to time on-site and working from home which are broadly consistent with the status of the post within the charity.


Education, Qualification and Training
– Degree level or minimum level 4 Diploma qualification in Counselling or Psychotherapy.
– Diploma in Clinical Supervision (or equivalent professional qualification).
– BACP accreditation, or equivalent professional status.

Core competencies
– Service planning and project planning/delivery – drive for completion.
– Problem identification and resolving – a ‘solutions’ focus.
– A client focus – negotiation for mutually beneficial results (clients/colleagues).
– Nurturing improvement and innovation – researching and making informed decisions.
– Inspiring others – forging a cohesive and motivated membership.

Essential requirements
– A minimum of five years post-qualification clinical experience.
– Extensive experience of recruiting, leading, and motivating a diverse team of counselling practitioners, including providing clinical support, reviewing performance, and project/change management.
– Significant experience Clinical Supervisor, supervising qualified counsellors on a group, or individual, basis.
– Extensive knowledge of the legal and ethical frameworks that relate to the counselling profession.
– Considerable experience in safeguarding individuals and management of clinical risk.
– Strong professional and clinical judgment.
– Ability to work effectively and collaboratively as part of a diverse team, whilst retaining the flexibility to work independently and the ability to build positive relationships with a range of internal and external stakeholders
– Excellent communication and interpersonal skills including presentation skills as well as the provision of executive level reports.
– Ability to convene and lead committee work, preparing and running to agendas and guiding groups to positive outcomes and consensual decisions.
– Demonstrable understanding of the charity or voluntary sector.
– Experience of costing, pricing, and monitoring financial performance of services, including knowledge or experience in forecasting and budgeting.
– Excellent IT skills including use of MS Office.
– Experience in the use of a clinical case management system, including analysis and presentation of clinical data, and accurate client billings.
– Experience in the planning and successful delivery of service improvement/development initiatives.
– The ability to be flexible and respond reasonably to the needs of the CIO.

Desirable qualities
– Knowledge/experience of statutory mental health services.
– Clinical leadership experience in more than one organisation and across modalities/specialities.
– Experience of providing clinical and commercial input to successful funding bids, including subsequent delivery.
– Knowledge of the local East of England mental health and voluntary/charitable service community, including a willingness to represent Evolve locally as required.
– Ability to support a social media presence that represents and promotes the service.
– Ability to create and plan promotional events.

Please submit your CV and covering letter outlining how you feel your skills and experience meet the key responsibilities and person specification of this role to Gordon Ackroyd, CEO: gordona@evolvecounselling.org.ukgordona@evolvecounselling.org.uk

Apply Now

  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, Max. file size: 8 MB.
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, Max. file size: 8 MB.
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.