Article 13: Professional Counsellors

13.01 In evaluating professional counsellors for appointment, reappointment, and continuing appointment, consideration shall take account of:

(a) formal qualifications or their equivalent;

(b) relevant professional experience;

(c) where applicable, effectiveness of the professional counsellor’s performance of the duties and responsibilities specified in Clause 13.06.

13.02 Appointments of professional counsellors shall be of three kinds:

(a) probationary appointments;

(b) continuing appointments;

(c) limited-term appointments.

The duration of these kinds of appointments and reappointments are described in Article 14 of this Collective Agreement. Limited-term appointments shall only be made to replace a professional counsellor on leave, to appoint a professional counsellor for a special project of limited duration, or to hire staff who will be paid fifty percent or more salary from limited-term external contract or grant funds awarded to the University, or to replace a professional counsellor who has left the University with less notice than that specified in Clause 24.01 where a regular appointment cannot reasonably be made in the time available, and in the last case, the appointment shall not exceed twelve months. The length, and any special conditions, attached to a limited-term appointment shall be stated clearly in writing. Professional counsellors who hold limited-term appointments for three consecutive years shall be entitled to consideration for one of the appointments specified in Clause 13.02(a) or (b) (in the latter case subject to Clause 13.04) in accordance with Clause 14.20.


(a) There shall be a Counsellor Appointments Committee composed of all professional counsellor Members. Its procedure with respect to appointments and reappointments are given in Clause 14.11 of this Collective Agreement. In case of consideration of continuing appointment, the Director shall make a recommendation after consulting with the Counsellor Appointments Committee, which for this purpose shall be augmented by a person mutually agreeable to the Director and the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs).

(b) In no case shall deliberations be transacted in the absence of a quorum, which shall be two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Committee (rounded to the nearest whole number). In the event of a resignation from the Committee before the Committee has begun to interview candidates, the resulting vacancy shall be filled by election. If interviews with candidates have commenced, the vacancy shall remain unfilled for the balance of the deliberations.

13.04 Unless early consideration for continuing appointment has been agreed to take place in the fall term of the third year of the professional counsellor’s appointment at Dalhousie University, such consideration being possible only in the light of two or three years of relevant experience, consideration for continuing appointment shall take place in the fall term of the fifth year of the professional counsellor’s appointment at Dalhousie University. If continuing appointment is denied, the reasons shall be stated in writing to the Member and shall include the evaluations of the Member’s performance of those duties in Clause 13.06 that are included in his or her workload. Recommendations on continuing appointment shall be made by the committee specified in Clause 13.03 on or before 15 December. The decision by the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs) shall be reported to the Member by 31 January.

Duties and Responsibilities of Professional Counsellors.

13.05 An appointment as a professional counsellor at Dalhousie University carries with it the right to professional freedom in the practice of counselling, the responsibility to protect that freedom for others and to strive to provide counselling and psychological services, within the professional counsellor’s competence, to clients in order to enhance their learning and academic performance through improved study skills, and the relief of emotional, personal, and psychological problems. The Board undertakes to provide the facilities appropriate to the level of counselling services to be provided.

13.06 The duties of professional counsellors, in varying proportions dependent upon the Member’s qualifications and actual workload, fall within the following categories:

(a) counselling for career, study effectiveness and personal concerns, individually or in groups;

(b) professional study, especially as related to counselling, both in assessment and in intervention aspects, and the outcome of these;

(c) service to Dalhousie University both in administration and providing professional expertise which may include, but need not be limited to the development and implementation of preventive services and programmes, and working in cooperation with other members of the University community to enhance the academic excellence of the University and the quality of student life;

(d) supervision and training of students;

(e) professional responsibilities outside Dalhousie University.

13.07 Members presently employed as professional counsellors in the Students’ Counselling and Psychological Services Centre shall be deemed to hold probationary appointments and shall be considered for continuing appointment in accordance with Clause 13.04. Any Member employed before 1 July 1977 to perform duties which would now be considered those of a professional counsellor shall be deemed to hold a continuing appointment at the time of the signing of this Collective Agreement.

13.08 The duties in Clause 13.06 to be carried out by a Member shall be recommended by the Director to the Executive Director, Student Wellness and Development for approval, and this approval shall not be unreasonably denied.

Special Leave.

13.09 Special leave to pursue studies or similar work that complements their work at Dalhousie University may be granted to professional counsellors, on the same conditions as those applying to other Members to whom special leave is granted, in accordance with Clause 30.24 of this Collective Agreement.

In lieu of the periods specified for leave in Clause 30.16, special leave for professional counsellors, when granted, may be for a period of three (3) months during the summer. Two such periods of three months’ leave shall substitute for a continuous period of six (6) months’ leave and four such periods of three months’ leave shall substitute for a full year of leave. The eligibility for leave shall be subject to Clauses 30.17 and 30.18, but if periods of three months of leave are taken, eligibility for subsequent leaves shall be counted from the end of the previous period of eligibility plus one year.

13.10 Members employed as professional counsellors, with appointments in the Students’ Counselling and Psychological Services Centre, shall be subject to the provisions of Article 26 and 27 in the same way as provided for other Members in those Articles. In other circumstances, before the Board takes any action to reduce or terminate the provision of counselling and psychological services offered through the Centre, it shall inform the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs) and the Director of the Centre by a written report. This report shall cite any proposed reduction or elimination of the services provided in accordance with Clause 13.05, the reasons for such action, the number of steps (a) to (f) listed in this Clause 13.10 to be taken, and the number of Members to be affected. A special advisory committee to consider the Board’s report shall consist of the Vice-Provost (Student Affairs), the Director of the Centre, a student enrolled at Dalhousie appointed by the Dalhousie Student Council, and two other persons agreed to by the Vice-President and the Director. The committee shall have a reasonable period of time, not less than 45 days, to report on the likely impact of the proposed action on students and on the quality of student life at Dalhousie University and may propose alternative means for dealing with the situation. The Association and the Senate shall be given a copy of the committee’s report at the time it is given to the Board. The Board shall allow a reasonable period, not less than 45 days, for the Association and the Senate to respond to this report. In any case where the committee, the Association or the Senate has recommended against taking a particular action, the Board shall not take that action without advising the Association and the Senate of the Board’s reasons for the proposed actions.

13.11 If it is necessary to reduce the number of Members employed in the Centre, the following steps shall be taken in order until the necessary reduction is made:

(a) Through the following arrangements in cooperation with Members and the Association-Board Committee:

(i) regular retirements and resignations and the non-replacement of Members who leave the university or otherwise terminate their employment;

(ii) voluntary transfers to other duties within Dalhousie University;

(iii) voluntary early retirement or voluntary reduction in workload and commensurate salary;

(iv) voluntary separation;

(v) voluntary retraining for other available positions within Dalhousie University for which the Member may, in the judgement of a concurrent majority of the Association-Board Committee, be reasonably qualified.

(b) If the arrangements set out in Clause 13.11(a) will not result in the elimination of the number of positions required within a reasonable period of time, the Board, in consultation with the Association-Board Committee, may proceed with the following steps in sequence as necessary to make the required number of reductions:

(i) non-renewal of initial probationary and of initial limited-term appointments under Clause 14.16(b);

(ii) non-renewal of renewed limited-term appointments under Clause 14.16(b);

(iii) non-renewal of renewed probationary appointments;

(iv) redeployment of Members with continuing appointments (on the recommendation of the Association-Board Committee) to other available positions for which they are qualified (or for which they can reasonably be retrained) and which they are willing to accept.

The Association-Board Committee will make all reasonable efforts to find alternative positions for Members affected by steps under Clause 13.11(b).

(c) If Members holding continuing appointments are unwilling to be redeployed or if there is no possible job for which the Member could qualify with reasonable retraining, the Board may lay the Member off with at least the same notice, recall rights and any other rights and privileges provided to Members or laid-off former Members under Clause 27.28(b), but with an additional six months’ severance pay.

In the case of retraining under (a)(v) and (b)(iv) above if carried out at Dalhousie University, the Board shall provide that without cost to the Member or Members. If retraining will be at another institution, the Board shall pay the tuition costs as these are judged to be necessary by the Association-Board Committee.