COUN5111Professional Development and Reflective Practice

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

COUN5111 Professional Development and Reflective Practice

Level: Higher

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: Counselling Skills 2, Counselling Methods 2, Theory and Practice of Supervision, Fieldwork 1 and Social, Legal and Ethical Issues

Unit description

This unit provides the knowledge and skills for effective professional development, reflective practice and stress management.  Through this unit, you will gain a clear understanding of your own values, needs, goals and priorities and use these as the basis for planning your own professional development.  You will also explore ways to market yourself and develop networks to support your work.

The unit highlights stress from a personal and professional perspective and ways to manage stress, as well as managing your own health and well being.

The emphasis of this unit is on developing self-awareness, accepting personal responsibility and integrating reflective practice into the work role.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • identify 'the self' and the influences upon its development
  • explore your own identity
  • determine your own goals and priorities
  • explain the concept of reflective practice
  • describe the process for integrating reflective practice as part of your professional development
  • develop a career plan
  • identify resources for career development
  • identify and use job seeking skills
  • develop a plan to maintain your own health
  • identify and apply stress management techniques
  • use professional supports to minimise stress

Unit content

  • The Process of Professional Development and Reflective Practice
  • Personal Identity and Personal Development
  • Personal Goals and Priorities
  • Becoming a Reflective Practitioner
  • Developing a Professional Identity
  • Support Mechanisms for Professional Development and Reflective Practice
  • Professional and Personal Networks
  • Marketing Yourself in Print
  • Marketing Yourself in Person
  • Identifying Personal and Professional Stress
  • Managing Personal and Professional Stress
  • Being a Professional and Reflecting on Practice

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9.75 hours per week.

Assignment summary



Word count


Academic Essay




Reflective Essay




Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Creative self-expression
  • Reasoned criticism
  • Multiple research methodologies
  • Complex data acquisition techniques and analysis
  • Written expression and reasoned argument from empirical data
  • Evaluating possible outcomes of alternative courses of action

Recommended text

No assigned textbook.

Relevant journals

British Educational Research Journal
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
Counselor Education and Supervision
Counseling and Values
Education Research
European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling and Health
Journal of Counseling and Development
Journal of Employment Counseling
Journal of Interprofessional Care
Journal of Loss and Trauma
New Zealand Journal of Psychology
Psychology and Health

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.