Becoming a Counsellor

CPCAB qualifications allow you to study part-time to become a counsellor. They're tried and tested, and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) in England, Qualifications Wales in Wales and the Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.

What qualifications do I need?

To work as a counsellor you'll need a minimum of a Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. This qualification will prepare you to work as a counsellor and join a recognised professional association, for example BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), NCS (National Counselling Society) or ACC (Association of Christian Counsellors). To take this qualification you'll need to have completed our Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills plus our Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies.

How long will training take and how much will it cost?

It can take up to 4 years to complete the qualifications needed to become a counsellor.

Each of our qualifications consists of Guided Learning Hours (GLH), which are the taught hours for the qualification. There is additional study required away from the classroom.

We would love to be able to give a guide price for training but course fees are set individually by each centre depending on many factors such as class sizes, staff team size and location. It's best to check several centres to find a centre which suits your requirements and budget.

This qualification introduces you to the three main theoretical approaches to counselling and shows you what you can expect from working with counselling agencies.

How long will it take?

It's generally taught over 30 weeks at 3 hours per week. You'll receive a minimum of 90 hours in the classroom - these are called Guided Learning Hours.

How will this qualification help my employability?

This qualification won't make you a qualified counsellor but it's the next step towards practitioner training. The new skills and knowledge learned can potentially improve employability for a number of job roles, including: mental health settings, education settings, advocacy and support roles, Human Resources and any role dealing with people.

How do I enrol?

Contact a training centre using our centre finder to enquire about enrolling.

This 2 year qualification enables you to work as a counsellor in an agency setting. In year 1 you'll learn how to apply a number of approaches to the therapeutic counselling process and work in an agency as a trainee counsellor.

You'll also start your own personal counselling sessions which will give you an invaluable insight into the work of a professional counsellor.

How long will it take?

It's generally taught 1 day per week over 2 years. In addition you'll need to complete 100 hours of client work, clinical supervision and personal therapy. You will spend a minimum of 210 hours in the classroom each year - these are called Guided Learning Hours. That is 420 classroom hours across the 2 years.

How will this qualification help my employability?

This qualification is the final step in practitioner training. As a qualified counsellor, you can seek work in organisations offering counselling services, such as: counselling agencies, charities, healthcare and education settings. Also, with experience, managerial and programme lead roles as well as private counselling practice and counselling training roles.

How do I enrol?

Contact a training centre using our centre finder to enquire about enrolling.

Am I ready for counselling training?

Counselling training is not suitable if you're currently experiencing a state of severe emotional difficulty and/or severe psychological distress. Courses involve experiential elements that will involve some personal disclosure and personal developmental activities.

Will my existing qualifications count?

Your prior learning may allow you to move on to CPCAB qualifications. When you know where you would like to study, contact your chosen training centre and their tutors will let you know if this is possible and which qualification you should enrol on.

Can I do my training online?

Training centres may offer our Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in a classroom (face to face), in a virtual classroom (online) or a mix of both (blended) - it varies. Use our Centre Finder to select a training centre and contact them to find out if they are right for you.

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