Why log your client hours?
Published 8 March 2023. Written by Chris Worfolk.
Trainee practitioners will often keep a log of their client contact hours. But keeping these records can be useful for qualified practitioners as well. In this article, we will explore why.
Managing your workload
How many client hours are you doing per week?
Some professional bodies and organisations place a limit on how many client hours you should do. But even if not, it is important to keep your weekly hours to a manageable level.
Measuring how many hours you are spending with clients each week can be difficult due to cancellations. If you have a large caseload, say 20 clients, chances are there will be some cancellations, so tracking the specific hours you do will help answer this question.
Although qualified practitioners are typically not required to maintain certain supervision-to-client hours ratio, tracking your ratio can be useful.
Let's say you are doing 10 client hours a week and one hour of supervision. How does this feel? If it feels like you have too much to talk about, you know you would probably benefit from a greater supervision ratio. If you then scale up your client load (or scale down) you will know what supervision ratio works for you.
Billing and records
Did a client have a session booked? Are they behind on their payments? Doe the EAP scheme only provide for six sessions and if so, how many of these do they have left? All of these questions can easily be answered but only if you have proper records of what sessions you have done.
Trainees need to keep records to ensure they can get their required hours of client contact time. However, even if you are already accredited, you may benefit from those records in the future.
For example, let's say you want to switch from BACP to BABCP. How many hours do you have in the modalities BABCP accepts? Do you need more hours? Or let's say you want to join a doctoral programme. Can you explain how many hours of client contact time you have done?
Another benefit might be if you choose to become a supervisor, you may want to advertise your impressive number of client contact hours to reassure potential supervisees that you have a wealth of experience to draw from.