AIPC Institute InBrief
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bullet Welcome
bullet Intothediploma
bullet Intostudystrategies
bullet Inspiration
bullet Intostudyimprovement
bullet Intoonlinestudies
bullet Inquotes
bullet Intoupcomingevents

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Editor: Sandra Poletto

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Copyright: 2012 Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors


Students in all fields of study often wonder: how can I improve my learning and make the most of my studies? Studying counselling is no different and, as you will see below, there are many options available that encourage the transfer of theory and knowledge into application.


Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering in the not-for-profit or community sector is an effective way to learn more about working in a counselling or similar support role.  Not only will you have the opportunity to apply your counselling skills and knowledge, but you will also gain the experience of actually working in a community organisation. Volunteering is also a great confidence-booster with the added bonus of feeling positive about contributing to your community. The experience also looks great on your resume and, you never know, you just might score a job out of it!


There are some useful resources available for you to source volunteering opportunities:


Volunteer Organisations

Conducting a search on the term 'volunteering' on, lists a variety of organisations that provide volunteer opportunities in all sectors of the community.  To save you the search time, visit the following links:


Volunteering Australia at

Volunteering NSW at

Volunteering Qld at

Volunteering Victoria at

Volunteering SA at

Volunteering Western Australia at


These are only a selection; there are plenty more websites that provide information on available volunteer opportunities and how to source them.


Some AIPC Student Support Centres also have a Volunteer Opportunities Booklet that lists details of organisations that regularly accept AIPC students for volunteer work during their studies.  The Booklet provides detailed contact information, the organisation's activities and at what point during your studies to approach the organisation.


The Opportunity to Practice

The Institute provides students many opportunities to practice their counselling skills. For example:


Workshops (ASMs)

Many AIPC students are enrolled in specialty field Advanced Study Majors (ASMs) as part of their course.  ASMs are a fantastic way for Diploma students to specialise in contemporary counselling issues. Students are able to complete ASMs externally or by attending a two-day workshop.  The workshop option includes students applying the theoretical knowledge they have learned.



Many of the Institute's Student Support Centres schedule regular tutorials for their students, both on a small group or one-on-one basis.  Tutorial sessions are flexible and interactive with the learning requirements of the students determining the topics covered. Many students also enjoy the additional occasion to get together with other students in the informal environment of a Tutorial.


In-Class Studies

The Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth Student Support Centres deliver regular classes for each unit of the Diploma.  In-Class Studies are an ideal way for students to receive face-to-face learning and study support from an Institute Lecturer and provides valuable opportunity to network with other students and counselling professionals. The classes include plenty of interaction and opportunities to apply counselling skills.


Student Networks

Many AIPC Student Support Centres have a Student Network that lists the contact details of students who would like contact from other students. So if you are looking for a Study Buddy or Group, ask your Student Support Centre for a Student Network List.  And the best thing is, in this age of electronic communication, email is a popular and effective communication tool that aids studying together.


Industry Involvement and Professional Development

Even as a student of counselling, there are many opportunities for you to become involved in the counselling industry, learn about industry trends and developments, and contribute to your network of industry contacts.


ACA Membership

The Australian Counselling Association (ACA) is a peak industry membership association for practicing counsellors, students and other allied mental health professionals. The Student Member category is available to those individuals who are currently undertaking a course of study in counselling with an ACA-recognised educator.


Industry Seminars

Participating in industry seminars, workshops and conferences is an ideal way to get in touch with industry developments. Check the ACA website at for national, state and local industry events.


Read Widely

Read as many informative resources (journals, texts, websites, e-newsletters) as you can so that you keep up with how your industry is evolving and its new developments. Industry journals and magazines offer a great range of information that will help you adapt to your future environment. AIPC also has a list of popular textbooks that students can purchase at competitive prices to support their wider reading in fields of interest. 


People's use of and reliance upon the internet is becoming more and more prevalent in today's society.  The internet is becoming a popular method to communicate, research, shop, bank or to 'do business'.  These days, many organisations realise the advantages of enabling customers to enquire, transact and purchase products and services online.


The education and training industry is no different.  Combined with the push towards more flexible learning opportunities for students, online learning is becoming a popular delivery method for many types of courses.


Over the last few years, the Institute has spent considerable time developing our Online Resource Centre (ORC), an interactive study and learning option for our students.  Along with a number of study tools such as a Knowledge Base and Study Hints and Tips, the ORC has an online learning section.  This section enables students to study online by:


  • downloading the workbooks and books of readings for each unit,
  • completing the workbook activities and uploading them for marking,
  • after marking, the marked workbook is then uploaded back to the student.

There are a number of benefits for students studying online including:


  • Faster marking of workbooks, because workbooks do not spend time 'in the post'.  This also means less expense for students because they are not paying for postage.
  • Improved security - completed workbooks are immediately received by AIPC and logged into our system.
  • Easier access to online study assistance such as the Online Education Adviser, Knowledge Base and Study Hints & Tips. 

For those students who may be a little apprehensive about studying online, rest assured the system is easy to use.  Detailed instructions are provided so that you can start using the system quickly and easily.  And, if you do run into the odd problem, just call Head Office on 1800 657 667 and the helpful staff there will be able to provide assistance over the phone.


Students can access the ORC through our website at  The first time you go into this section of the site, you will need to register for use.  Your password for registration to the ORC will be emailed to you promptly.


So why not give online study a go?  It doesn't cost anything and if you find it's not for you, you are able to revert back to a more traditional mode of study.

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