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FAQ’s about Clinical Pastoral Education and QICPE

How is the CPE course structured?

Participants can enrol in a 10 week full-time unit or a 20 week part-time unit.

A full time unit requires attendance for 5 days per week for 10 weeks.  In some courses, each morning is spent in group time, and the practical component occurs in the afternoon.  Alternately, each week two full days can be spent in group time and three days engaged in doing pratical work.

A part-time unit (20 weeks) requires participants to perform about 10 hours per week of practical work (usually over 2 days) at an approved site.  A third day is spent in a group environment.

Whichever course is attended, the participant is required to complete 200 hours of practicum placement over the duration of the course.

 What does a typical, part-time, CPE theory day look like?

Each course will vary slightly, depending on location and number of students, but it may look like the following.

  • 8am   Individual Supervision
  • 8.50am  Morning devotion led by a student
  • 9am  Verbatim presentation
  • 10am  Morning Tea
  • 10.15am  Verbatim presentation
  • 11.15am  Skills training
  • 12.15pm  Lunch
  • 1pm  Didactic
  • 2pm  Open Group
  • 3pm  Afternoon Tea
  • 3.15pm  Individual Supervision

What is a Pastoral Encounter Review (Verbatim) Presentation?

Participants present to the training group a written account and evaluation of a recent pastoral visit.  The supervisor/s and other participants assist the presenter to objectively analyse their professional practise and consider other possibilities for future encounters.  Through this central activity of the CPE course, training of basic pastoral skills occurs.

What is involved in Skills Training?

One participant pastorally cares for another participant for 10-15 minutes whilst being recorded.  On replay, the carer is able to see themselves “in action” and learn from the collective group.

What is a Didactic?

This is a theoretical/discussion seminar.  Topics will focus on issues that are relevant to, and chosen by, the participant group.

What happens in Open Group?

Time is given without a set agenda for participants to address issues of group dynamics, leadership and authority, to allow pastoral care for members of the group and explore personal issues related to ministry,

What is Individual Supervision?

Each participant meets with their individual supervisor for 10 x one hour supervisory sessions over the duration of the CPE course.  The trainee is usually responsible to setting the agenda for this meeting, often through the presentation of a verbatim.

What assessment is typically involved? 

At the start of the course, participants set learning goals for themselves.  Participants are required to present mid-term and end-of-term evaluations which focus strongly on the participant reflecting on how they are working towards achieving these goals.  Other written work includes keeping a weekly personal log, writing three reading reactions to pastoral books, movies and journals, and writing a Spiritual Journey paper.

What is an approved site for practical experience?

A site agreed to at the initial application interview by the CPE course co-ordinator.  This may include sites such as hospitals, prisons, schools, parishes, defence force bases etc.

What does a practical day involve?

This involves the participant engaging in face to face visits with clients/patient/inmates/students/soldiers etc.

Does your practical placement site require insurance for you?

QICPE is insured to include trainees.  For more details contact treasurer@qicpe.com