Counselling qualifications (A full guide)

In this brief blog, we will be talking about counselling qualifications, the requirements needed for counselling qualifications, the purpose of counselling qualifications, and more information about counselling qualifications. 

What are counselling qualifications for these mental health professionals?

The counselling qualifications for counsellors as kinds of mental health professionals are those kinds of qualifications needed by employers and clients who are looking for these mental health professionals.

These kinds of qualifications typically comprise of the Code of Ethics for counsellors and practical skills needed to be given by this kind of mental health professional.

You can get these counselling qualifications by taking any of the following training paths that are typically recommended and be discussed thoroughly in the later sections:

  • Introduction to counselling – this kind of counselling course offers fundamental counselling skills and an introduction of training before dedicating to a complete counselling course. These kinds of courses typically last 8 to 12 weeks and are accessible at further education (FE) colleges or adult education centres.
  • Certificate in counselling skills – this kind of counselling course offers a profound theoretical understanding of counselling, builds your counselling skills and readies you for the core training at the next stage. These kinds of courses typically last one year part-time at FE colleges.
  • Core practitioner training – this kind of counselling course should be at the minimum a Diploma-level qualification in counselling but can also be an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. This kind of training at this level must comply with internationally known standards of quality and cover reflective, competent and ethical training. These kinds of counselling courses should be at least one-year full time or two years part-time with a minimum of 100 hours in supervised placements.

There are professional bodies for counselling can also assist in you getting your counselling qualifications if you are a member such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and UKCP.

You can search through the qualifications that can offer you to help you in earning your counselling career.

These kinds of professional bodies can give you counselling courses to help you get your counselling qualifications.

You only need to find the requirements needed for the counselling courses they are offering. 

You can also find counselling courses to earn your counselling qualifications in UCAS.

You can also find some courses and take them that are relevant to a counselling career such as for nursing or social work. 

You can also add some previous training experiences in counselling which can help you get this kind of career aside from your academic achievement.

Skills as part of counselling qualifications

The following are the skills needed in your counselling qualifications:

  • self-awareness, subtleness, and empathy
  • excellent observation and listening skills to clients
  • An open-minded, non-judgemental attitude and a respect for the dignity of others
  • A comprehension of your own attitudes and responses
  • the capacity to work well and think clearly under pressure
  • good verbal and written communication and presentations skills
  • A capability to build rapport with others
  • time management skills
  • the capacity to work well as a member of a multidisciplinary team
  • common sense
  • A comprehension of the significance of confidentiality and also an awareness of its restrictions
  • a belief in people’s inherent capacity to change and build
  • a sense of humour and an energetic and optimistic approach
  • A comprehension of equality and diversity concerns

You can learn more about how to build rapport with your client by buying this book on this website.

Responsibilities in counselling qualifications

Counselling can take you for 6 to 12 sessions with your clients based on their mental health needs.

You need to do the following as a counsellor:

  • build a relationship of trust and respect with clients
  • Comply with a counselling contract to identify what will be covered in sessions such as confidentiality concerns
  • motivate clients to talk about concerns they feel they cannot normally open up with others
  • actively listen to the complications of the client and empathise with their standing
  • confirm without bias the concerns opened up by clients
  • help clients towards a profound comprehension of their issues
  • contradict any inconsistencies in what clients say or do
  • support clients to choose between decisions and options relevant to possible ways forward
  • refer clients to other references of help, if necessary
  • attend supervision and training courses for counselling
  • undergo personal therapy which is obligated for accreditation
  • liaise, as appropriate, with other agencies and individuals like GPs, hospitals and community mental health teams, to help make changes based on the concerns opened up by clients
  • work to complied targets regarding client contact
  • undergo group and individual therapy on occasions
  • keep records and apply reporting materials.

Work experience as part of counselling qualifications

Counselling is typically a second skill in another helping career such as nursing and social work.

This is why the appearance of a work experience on your part is necessary for these kinds of qualifications. 

There are many volunteering careers that surround those people who are qualified as counsellors.

Some employers are even willing to train you in their voluntary works. 

Voluntary experience can help you grow your counselling work and can lead you to paid work.

You can learn more about getting into voluntary work by buying this book on this website.

As mentioned before, you can be qualified as a counsellor if you have had a three-part training route that you have taken in your counselling studies.

You must also have personal therapy, supervised experiences, and research reports assigned to you in your counselling course.

Phase 1: Introduction to counselling

Some professional bodies such as BACP would suggest that you should take an introductory course in counselling.

This can help you be knowledgeable about the basic skills necessary in counselling.

These courses are administered in further education colleges where you will take them for 8 to 12 weeks.

Phase 2: Certificate in counselling skills

This part of the training is where you will learn about counselling skills and the self-understanding you need to implement counselling skills well.

These courses are helpful when you apply them to your helping job to help you become a credible helping worker.

These courses are administered in colleges and each session is a part-time session.

Phase 3: Core practitioner training

Your core practitioner training course should be equivalent to the minimum level of the master’s degree and doctorate degree.

This can help you get the ethical awareness you need to practice counselling in a proper way and the skills needed to make you competent in this career.

In this case, this training should include the following:

  • knowledge-based learning – for instance, psychological approaches and their application to practice, philosophy, human development, typical medications, ethics and the law, functioning of groups and supervision
  • therapeutic competencies – for instance, monitoring and evaluation, relationship building, communications, techniques and interventions, self-awareness, reflective practice and an application of supervision
  • research awareness – for instance, deep awareness of research findings, methodology and application

This course that you have taken should have at least 2 full-time courses and two part-time courses to make sure you are well learned and guided.

You must also have a minimum of 100 hours of client training where you will be supervised in your practice.

You can learn more about how research is implemented for counselling by buying this book on this website.

Professional development for counselling qualifications

You are welcome to the proper advantages of being in a membership in one of the professional bodies such as BACP or UKCP.

This also means that your membership has already made you well aware of practising the ethical frameworks needed in counselling.

When you have registered as a member of the professional, you are expected to have a continuing professional development in your profession.

This means that you have to take further courses in counselling which can help you build your professional development. 

You’ll need to monitor and organise the kinds of courses you need to do to fill your continuing professional development.

There are also private organisations who can give you training programs and seminars that are needed in this kind of development. 

These kinds of training programs are for counsellors who are willing to develop their careers more and help them in the long run.

You can also avail more experiences from these kinds of organisations to help you practise your counselling skills with different people. 

When you have enough experiences, you are setting yourself to promotion such as being a supervisor.

You can also keep taking counselling courses that can help you enhance your practising profession and help people come to you thanks to your competence.

How to get counselling qualifications?

To get these kinds of qualifications, you need to access the following:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • volunteering
  • training with a counselling organisation


You could do a diploma or postgraduate course in a University that offers counselling courses.

There are also undergraduate courses that you may have taken integrated with other courses that combine with counselling such as criminology and social work.

You should find a university course that can give you an opportunity to experience counselling such as supervised placements.

You can look for these courses in universities through the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Entry requirements

The following are what you will need to get in these courses:

  • 2 to 3 A level or similar for a degree
  • a degree in any topic for a postgraduate course

You can adapt to university courses by improving your study skills which you can learn by buying this book on this website.


You can begin with an introductory course in counselling in a college. After you’ve finished with this course, you can go ahead to take the following:

Colleges are most likely to have their own eligibility requirements but you typically need to have taken a relevant course or something that is the previous course of the course you are currently taking.

Entry requirements

As mentioned before, the eligibility requirements will depend on the college and you should ask an authority to verify the requirements

Volunteering and practicum experience

Experience is crucial if you want to take a course in a counselling career.

You can do this by getting a student membership in some professional bodies who can give you an opportunity to experience volunteer work.

You can learn more about BACP if you are leaning towards membership to this professional body by buying this book on this website.

Other routes

You can also try to inquire on counselling organisations such as Relate if they are offering training for people who are leaning towards counselling.

Professional and governing bodies

The Professional Standard Authority can help you get the counselling training you will need and you have the opportunity to be a counsellor in this organisation.

What are counselling qualifications used for?

These kinds of qualifications are used for your career needs and the goals you have as a counsellor but these qualifications don’t immediately get you to promotion.

You should be able to learn more in your counselling career because this is what matters the most in this kind of profession.

You can specialize in the following areas once you have enough of these qualifications:

  • bereavement
  • family therapy
  • mental health
  • sexual health
  • substance abuse.

You can also work abroad if you want to broaden your options in your counselling career.

You can do this by registering in an international charity.

You can also bring yourself to self-employment where you will create your own counselling business.

Finding clients will be slow at first but you will have more opportunities if you engage in this kind of practice.


In this brief blog, we have talked about counselling qualifications, the requirements needed for counselling qualifications, the purpose of counselling qualifications, and more information about counselling qualifications. 

If you have any questions about counselling qualifications, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your questions.

FAQs: counselling qualifications

What jobs can you do with a diploma in counselling?

The jobs that you can do with a diploma in counselling is a crisis intervention worker, counsellor, phone counsellor, therapeutic services coordinator, mental health support worker, family support worker, and residential support worker.

How much does it cost to do a diploma in counselling?

To do a diploma in counselling, you need to pay $8,925.

This kind of cost of the most typical cost for this kind of diploma.

This is because there are a lot of activities involved in this kind of counselling course to help you earn this kind of diploma if you have the appropriate skills needed in a counsellor. A

How can I be a psychologist?

You can be a psychologist by finishing a bachelor’s degree, get a doctorate degree, get in a master’s degree program, get a license for this kind of mental health professional, and finish clinical training as a psychologist.

Is Psychology hard to study?

Yes, Psychology is hard to study.

Some students who are considered diligent find themselves overburdened by this kind of college course.

You can learn in this kind of college course topics like the background of Psychology, social development in people, personality psychology, cognitive psychology, and biological psychology. 

Is a psychologist a doctor?

Yes, a psychologist is considered a doctor when this kind of mental health professional has earned his or her doctorate degree.

These kinds of mental health professionals are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders.


Bacp. Training to become a counsellor or psychotherapist.

National Careers Service. Counsellor.

Prospect. Counsellor.