Further Training in Counselling

Many of our students complete our foundation courses as the first step towards professional counselling training.  Others use our Foundation courses to explore whether counselling training might be for them and discover they’re hooked!

The Next Step

Our foundation courses have been designed to enable you to progress on to the  Certificate in Counselling Skills at the Norwich Centre and elsewhere.  A Certificate will qualify you to use counselling skills within a helping role at work or in voluntary work.  It will also provide the basis for further training at Diploma level to practice as a counsellor.  You will find further details of the Norwich Centre Certificate here:


Professional Counsellor training

Our students often take up counselling as a second career so for example they may be teachers or nurses who are able to work part time while they train and build up their counselling work after qualifying. Some of our students have been keen to develop a new role post retirement, maybe building on the skills and experience they developed in the course of their work life or maybe seizing the chance to do something completely different!

Not sure?

We offer the opportunity for you to talk to a trained counsellor with experience of working in a number of settings and who has been involved in counselling training at all levels.  So if you’re not sure whether counselling training is for you or what kind of counselling training you should be considering, you could book a career development advice session. These are held over the phone (landlines only) at a time to suit you and last 45 minutes.  The cost is £25 and you can book using the ‘Contact us’ form.  We will reply by email to organise a time that is convenient for you.

The kinds of questions and concerns people bring include:

  • What are the costs involved over and above course fees?
  • What about distance learning?
  • What kind of experience is needed?
  • I have found a course in my area but its not accredited, does that matter?
  • How much will I be able to earn once I am qualified?
  • I use counselling skills in my work so do I really need to complete a foundation and certificate course before applying for a diploma?
  • I have been a counselling client, should I mention this in an application?
  • I don’t have any experience of working with people, will that count against me?
  • What are the pros and cons of full time and part time training?
  • What are the different theoretical orientation or approaches to counselling?
  • I would like to work with children but there are no Diploma courses in my area, what should I do?
  • Can you help me with my application or prepare for my interview?


Finding a suitable course: There are various factors to consider:



The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)offer an accreditation scheme recognising those Diploma courses that offer a proper professional training. For a full list of accredited diploma courses see: http://www.bacp.co.uk/accreditation/Accredited%20Course%20Search/

Beware courses that have advertised as accredited but are not listed on their website, or about courses that claim to be ‘applying for accreditation’, ‘eligible for accreditation’, ‘teaching to BACP standards’, ‘approved’ or ‘recognised’ by BACP.  If the course isn’t listed, it is not accredited.


A diploma should be at least one year full time or two to three years part time depending on the intensity of study. Distance learning courses can provide a very basic introduction to counselling theory. However they would not count as professional training or allow you to progress on to university level Certificate or Diploma course as there would be little, if any, formal contact between the tutor and student and no opportunities for skills development and face to face interaction with people which is after all what it is all about!



Course fees will vary.  In addition you will need to find out whether there are any additional costs such as personal therapy, BACP membership, insurance or supervision.

BACP offer help with course fees to anyone who has been accepted on to a BACP Accredited Course. There are a limited number of £500 bursaries awarded each year. The guidelines and application for bursaries can be found on their website: Bursary Guidelines and Application


Orientation or theoretical model

Our Foundation courses provide introductions to the person centred and cognitive behavioural models.  There are a number of other theoretical models and it is important that you find a way of working that sits comfortably with you.



Diploma training will require you to be working with real clients.  You should check with the course providers whether the course includes a placement or whether you will need to organise this for yourself.   There is often a lot of competition for suitable placements and you will not be able to qualify without the appropriate client experience.


Further Reading

These books discuss students’ experiences on Diploma Training courses:

Experiences of Counsellor Training by Harding Davies, Alread, Hunt and Davies (Eds) Published by Palgrave in 2004

Experiences of Person Centred Counselling training: A compendium of case studies to assist prospective students by Buchanan and Hughes published by PCCS Books in 2000.