Does the consensus hold that it is describing actual science?

No; defenders of the consensus held that the philosopher of science was concerned with developing a "model" or account of an ideal perfected science. They fully well realized that actual real sciences always fell short, often severely, of this ideal picture of what a science should be. But this fact merely indicates that real science is incomplete and part of a human, historical process; thus it is heir to all the errors of which humans are capable.  Thus for the consensus the philosophy of science was concerned with stipulating what an ideal science ought to do to rationally justify its beliefs; when philosophers make claims about what ought or should be the case (rather than what is the case) they are said to be making "normative" claims.  Thus the empiricist consensus was a normative philosophy of science.