Inherent Requirements Master of Guidance and Counselling

Master of Guidance and Counselling

James Cook University is committed to enhancing student access, participation and success in higher education and embracing the diversity of the communities we serve. The inherent requirements listed for the each course are designed to assist prospective students and all current students to make informed decisions for study.

Inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are the identified abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours that must be demonstrated, during the learning experience, to successfully complete a course. These abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours preserve the academic integrity of the University’s learning, assessment, and accreditation processes, and where applicable, meet the standards of a profession.

Reasonable adjustments

JCU assists students who are experiencing a disability to participate in this course, and achieve the inherent requirements of the course, on the same basis as someone who is not experiencing a disability. To do this, JCU works with our students and placement providers to develop agreed reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Student Disability Policy.

A reasonable adjustment is an arrangement, support, or modification, agreed in an Access Plan  to enable participation in learning and achievement of course requirements. Contact JCU’s AccessAbility Services to discuss possible adjustments. Please note that the process of negotiating and implementing reasonable adjustments may take several weeks.

In assessing whether an adjustment is reasonable, the University is entitled, in accordance with the Disability Education Standards, to maintain the inherent requirements of a course. If inherent requirements cannot be met with reasonable adjustments, the University provides guidance regarding other study options.

How to interpret the inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are presented below as domains and sub-domains and contain the following information:

  • The definition of the inherent requirement
  • A rationale as to why it is an inherent requirement
  • Examples of the knowledge, skills, and capabilities that are required to satisfy the inherent requirements of this course.

The inherent requirements for this course should be read in conjunction with the Course and Subject Handbook. This course is accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and by the Singapore Association of Counselling (SAC). Graduates are eligible for professional membership of the ACA or the SAC.

The inherent requirements of the Master of Guidance and Counselling are:

Inherent requirement:Demonstrate knowledge of, and engage in, ethical and professional behaviour consistent with all relevant standards.
Rationale:Compliance with standards, codes, guidelines, and policies that facilitate safe, competent interactions and relationships for all students/graduates and the people they engage with, supports the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of all.
  • Uphold standards, codes, guidelines, and policies that facilitate safe, competent interactions and relationships within professional and academic environments.
  • Engage in complex ethical decision-making, reflect on ethical dilemmas and issues, and take responsibility for ensuring awareness of ethical behaviour.
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity in academic and professional settings.
  • Apply ethical and professional standards in the workplace and academic settings.
Inherent requirement:Safe practice is sufficient to meet professional and academic performance standards.
Rationale:Safe practices protect the rights, interests, and safety of all stakeholders in professional, community, and academic settings.
  • Promote awareness of the culturally safe practice, and work to prevent and eliminate discrimination.
  • Initiate and uphold relevant workplace health and safety policies in professional and academic settings.
  • Ability to assess risk, and practice safety assessment and risk reduction.
  • Identify and respond to alarm systems in a time-sensitive manner.
  • Ability to work effectively, responsibly, and safely in diverse contexts and interdisciplinary teams.

Knowledge and cognitive skills

Inherent requirement:Demonstration of the necessary knowledge and cognitive skills to acquire disciplinary understanding.
Rationale:The ability acquires information, accurately convey messages, and read, decode, interpret, and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for safe and effective practice.
  • Capacity to locate, recall, and process appropriate and relevant information, and evaluate its significance to make informed academic and professional decisions.
  • Ability to critically review, analyse, consolidate, and synthesise information and evidence, and evaluate its significance for practice.
  • Communicate ideas, arguments, designs, and conclusions clearly and coherently to a variety of audiences.
  • Ability to integrate the knowledge of the diversity of cultures and peoples, their differences, and their commonalities.
  • Ability to apply independent judgement, intercultural sensitivity, and national, regional, and global perspectives to identify and solve professional and academic challenges.


Inherent requirement:Ability to apply English literacy skills to accurately acquire and interpret information and convey appropriate messages in professional and academic environments.
Rationale:The ability to read, decode, comprehend, interpret, and apply multiple sources of information are essential competencies required for safe and effective assessment, treatment, and professional support in the counselling placement context.
  • Engage in discussions, make verbal presentations, and participate in tutorials and group work, conveying spoken and written messages, including complex academic perspectives, accurately, and effectively.
  • Capacity to understand and implement academic conventions to construct the written text in a scholarly and discipline-specific manner, and within a specific timeframe.
  • Interpret written and spoken language to enact verbal or written directions.
  • Ability to develop a range of texts, including digital, written, and visual texts.
  • Produce accurate, concise, and clear documentation which meets legal and ethical requirements, and respects clients’ dignity and autonomy.


Inherent requirement:Demonstrate accurate processing and reasoning with numbers and numerical concepts.
Rationale:Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts are essential competencies required for effective professional and academic practice.
  • Ability to accurately interpret quantitative counselling assessment data relevant to professional and academic practice.
  • Apply numeracy skills to interpret and solve problems in a range of professional and academic contexts.

Information and communication technology (ICT)

Inherent requirement:Apply ICT processes and tools fundamental for effective practice.
Rationale:Competent knowledge and application of ICTs are necessary for effective professional and academic practice.
  • Select appropriate ICTs to successfully accomplish professional and academic tasks in a timely manner.
  • Effectively use ICTs in professional and academic environments.

Verbal communication

Inherent requirement: Effective, respectful, and professional verbal communication in English.
Rationale: Highly developed communication skills are necessary to establish and maintain effective and appropriate counselling relationships with clients.
  • Ability to process complex verbal information, convey instructions, and respond clearly, accurately, and appropriately, in time-constrained academic and professional environments.
  • Convey spoken messages clearly, accurately, and effectively, and communicate in a sensitive manner that responds to cultural and individual differences.
  • Participate in meetings and professional consultations, and present to groups in academic, professional, and community contexts, for example, presenting information and results formally to diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to communicate in a timely manner when speed and interactivity of communication are critical for individual safety and/or assessment.

Non-verbal communication

Inherent requirement: Recognise, interpret, and respond to non-verbal communication skills that enable respectful communication with others.
Rationale: The ability to recognise, interpret, and respond to non-verbal cues, communicate with congruent and respectful non-verbal behaviour, and be sensitive to individual and/or cultural variations in non-verbal communication is required for safe and effective professional and academic interactions.
  • Convey non-verbal behaviour that is respectful of others and consistent with the nature of discussions and presentations in both professional and academic environments.
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise non-verbal cues.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to cultural and individual differences when using non-verbal communication.

Written communication

Inherent requirement: Ability to produce English text to a standard that provides clear and professional communication, with language usage and style which can be tailored to a specific audience.
Rationale: Effective written communication, in English, is an essential professional and academic capability.
  • Construct and communicate complex academic and professional perspectives in writing, in a time-constrained environment, using appropriate formatting and referencing when required.
  • Demonstrate applied skills in academic writing conventions and sustained and organised academic arguments.
  • Ability to understand and communicate using discipline-specific characters, symbols, vocabulary, and language.
  • Produce accurate, concise, and clear documentation which meets legal and ethical requirements, and respects clients’ dignity and autonomy.


Inherent requirement:Sufficient visual acuity to meet professional and academic performance requirements.
Rationale:Elements in the teaching, learning and working environment are delivered by visual means, and the ability to learn from, or respond to, these inputs is required to provide safe and effective academic and professional performance.
  • Ability to understand and apply visual information accurately and effectively.
  • Ability to process, and respond to, the visual information required to provide safe professional and academic environments.
  • Follow diagrams and models to understand the progression of concepts for practice.
  • Observe physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional behaviours.


Inherent requirement:Ability to interact with auditory inputs sufficiently to meet professional and academic performance requirements.
Rationale:Elements in the learning and working environments are delivered by auditory means, and the ability to learn from, or respond to, these inputs is required for effective professional and academic performance.
  • Actively listen, and contribute to, professional and academic discussions.
  • Respond to the verbalised needs of clients in a timely manner.
  • Ability to attend to nuances in staff, peers’, and clients’ disclosures for the enhanced meaning of their situation.

Gross motor ability

Inherent requirement: Strength, range of motion, coordination, and mobility sufficient to meet professional performance needs
Rationale: A range of physical actions in a time-constrained environment is required to provide safe and effective professional performance.
  • Set up safe environments with resources and equipment.
  • Apply gross motor skills to prioritise client care and safety.

Fine motor ability

Inherent requirement:Manual dexterity and fine motor skills are sufficient to meet professional and academic performance needs.
Rationale:A wide range of fine-motor skills is required to complete various tasks and is necessary for safe and effective performance.
  • Apply fine motor skills to prioritise care and safety.
  • Model the use of resources and equipment.
Inherent requirement:Sustained physical, cognitive, and psychosocial performance sufficient for safe and complete professional and academic performance in a time-constrained environment.
Rationale:Sufficient physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to perform multiple tasks in varying periods of time to provide safe and effective practice.
  • Ability to sustain study performance to sufficiently engage with the learning workload for a study period, and for the degree, within a timeframe.
  • Capacity to maintain consistency and quality of professional performance and complete all required tasks throughout a designated period of time.
Inherent requirement:Demonstrate behaviour that adapts to diverse and changing situations in professional and academic environments.
Rationale:Behavioural adaptability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Students and practitioners can be exposed to highly complex human situations and are required to have behavioural adaptability to manage these events.
  • Ability to function and adapt effectively and sensitively in complex and time-sensitive situations.
  • Adjust ways of working within teams of varied personal and professional backgrounds and opinions to facilitate effective decision-making.
  • Ability to manage your own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with multiple and/or changing demands in a range of settings.
  • Maintain respectful communication practices in times of increased stressors or workloads.
  • Demonstrate capacity and willingness to be self-reflective and open to feedback and personal growth and be receptive and respond professionally to constructive feedback.
  • Manage tensions and challenges in relationships with clients, individuals, groups, and communities appropriately in all professional settings, including while on placement.