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What qualifications do I need to become a counsellor?

The counselling profession is regulated as some other professions are, this means that the job description of ‘counsellor’ is not protected by law. Unfortunately, this means that some individuals with minimal training can set themselves as a ‘counsellor’. There are however, benchmarks set by professional bodies such as the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) which stipulate clearly what training is needed to become a registered or accredited member. The absolute minimum training requirement is a Level 4 Diploma in Counselling or above.

How long will it take for me to qualify as a counsellor?

Generally, it will take you between 3-4 years to qualify depending on your training route.

I have a degree, can I join the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling?

The entry requirements onto the level 4 Diploma are the CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills and the CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies or their equivalent. As a minimum you need to have completed 150 guided learning hours in counselling. Counselling courses are relationally and practically focused rather than academically focused.

If I already have counselling qualifications do I have to start with the Level 2?

If you have successfully completed 150 guided learning hours you may be eligible for entry onto the Level 4 Diploma however the course tutors would need to assess your prior learning. If you have had a gap in your training of 4 years you would need to re-take Level 2 if you are not in a role where you use counselling skills.

Is there any funding available to help with the costs of training?

There is no funding available for Level 2, we work really hard to keep the costs for this course low. There is funding available for the levels 3 and 4 in the form of and Advanced Learner Loan also known as the 24+ loan. More information can be found at