The aim of this study was to determine the validity of role play as a method for assessing counsellor skill. Video recordings of twelve counsellors' performance in both real and simulated counselling interactions were analysed. Skill assessment included molar ratings of eight skill areas and molecular measures of 28 behaviours. A comparison of counsellor performance between conditions indicated that there was little difference between the real and role-play situations. It is concluded that the modified extended role-play format employed in the present study might be a valid technique for assessment of counselling skills.