English version of the ACCS

Please feel free to download and use the ACCS scale using the links below. There is no cost involved in using the scale.

The ACCS Manual

The manual provides guidance about how to use the scale. We recommend that you spend some time reading and familiarising yourself with the ACCS manual before conducting an assessment.

ACCS feedback form

This form can be used by assessors to provide therapists with feedback about their performance or for therapists to reflect on their own performance. It is designed to highlight the therapist’s key strengths as well as any learning needs.

ACCS submission cover sheet

The ACCS submission cover sheet provides additional contextual information which will help assessors make an informed rating of the therapist’s performance.

German version of the ACCS

The ACCS has been translated into German. Please feel free to download and use the German version of the ACCS scale using the links below. There is no cost involved in using the scale.

Has the ACCS been evaluated?

In 2014/15 we completed a mixed-methods evaluation of the ACCS scale. During this evaluation study, the ACCS was used within real world CBT training and NHS routine practice settings. Results from this study are promising, indicating that the ACCS is a useful learning tool, is easy to use, and has good psychometric properties. Results of this study have been published in the Journal Psychological Assessment and can be accessed here. The German version of the ACCS scale has also been evaluated and can be accessed here. This evaluation study also found that the scale had good psychometric properties and was a useful tool for supporting competence‐based training and supervision.

What training do I need to use the ACCS?

The ACCS was designed to be as easy to use as possible. We have provided detailed rating guidance in the scale manual and have found that simply providing therapists with the ACCS manual is sufficient to achieve acceptable levels of both usability and agreement between assessors (i.e. inter-rater reliability). However, we did find that inter-rater reliability and therapist’s usability ratings for the ACCS did improve after attending a one-day workshop in using the ACCS scale. Training could also be useful for those new to using competence assessment measures, or those who would like to consider how to use the scale as an effective tool for feedback and self-reflection.

Independent Training

If you would like to use the ACCS scale in your service we would suggest the following plan:

  1. 1.   All staff download the ACCS manual, feedback form, and cover sheet (see above) and then watch this ’ACCS Overview’ video below. This will provide you with key information and guidance on how to use the ACCS.
  2. 2. All staff complete ratings of a recorded therapy session or role-play session. Ratings should first be completed independently. Staff should then come together as a group to discuss the ratings they provided for each item and to reach a group consensus. This will help to improve reliability across the group.

We have developed a recorded role play sessions and acompanying standardised ratings which you can use in your training. You can view the session recording and explore the ACCS ratings provided by scale authors in the video below.

You can also download the supporting documents for this standardised rating session below:

ACCS submission cover sheet for ‘Sarah’

Eating diary for ‘Sarah’s’ session

Related publications

Kühne, F., Lacki, F. J., Muse, K., & Weck, F. (2019). Strengthening the competence of therapists-in-training in the treatment of health anxiety (hypochondriasis): Validation of the Assessment of Core CBT Skills (ACCS). Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. Online FirstView.
Muse, K., & McManus, F. (2013). A systematic review of methods for assessing therapist competence in cognitive behavioural therapy. Clinical Psychology Review, 33, 484–499.
Muse, K., & McManus, F. (2015). Expert insight into the assessment of CBT competence: A qualitative exploration of experts' experiences, opinions and recommendations. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 23(3), 246-259.
Muse, K., McManus, S., & Rakovshik, S. (2016). Development and psychometric evaluation of the Assessment of Core CBT Skills (ACCS): An observation based tool for assessing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy competence. Psychological Assessment, 29(5), 542-555.
Rakovshik, S., McManus, F., Vasquez-Montes, M, Muse, K., & Ougrin, D. (2016). Is supervision necessary? Examining the effects of internet-based CBT training with and without supervision. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84(3), 191-199.
Click here to find these articles on Research Gate.

Who developed the ACCS?

The ACCS was developed by Kate Muse, Freda McManus, Sarah Rakovshik and Helen Kennerley. This research was supported by a grant from the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) awarded to Kate Muse and Freda McManus and was conducted in affiliation with the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry and the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre (OCTC). The ACCS was translated into German by Franziska Kühne, Fiona Lacki, and Florian Weck at the University of Potsdam. A number of individuals also participated in the development and evaluation of the ACCS. In particular staff at OCTC, First Step IAPT service, University of Derby CBT course, and South of Scotland CBT course.

Contact Details

You can contact the lead author, Kate Muse on k.muse@worc.ac.uk.