Female therapist talking to a female client

The counselling profession is self-regulating which results in many courses being advertised at various levels and different costs. This variety even extends to online courses.

It’s also important to remember that Levels ascribed to other types of vocational courses may not always equate to counselling training. This can make it difficult for you to choose the best course and it is more reliable to choose a counselling course based on number of hours studied and the organisations which accredit or quality check courses. All Iron Mill courses are accredited, or quality checked.

  • Step 1: You need to complete an Introductory Course which offers a minimum of 72 hours directed learning. The Iron Mill offers a 12 day, NCPS quality checked, Certificate in Counselling course or our Blended Learning Certificate which will give you entry to the next stage of counselling training. 

  • Step 2: In order to qualify and work as a counsellor, you need to complete a 2-5 year course in Counselling. Typically, this is a two-year taught programme of theory, skills practice and personal development lasting a minimum of 400 hours in total. In addition, you will also have to complete 100-150 hours of supervised counselling practice with clients in an organisation which can be completed during the taught part of the course, but which may take up to another 2-3 years to complete. You will also need to undertake 40 hours of personal therapy. This can be achieved through a Diploma course or Foundation Degree course. The Foundation Degree is eligible for a Higher Education loan; the Diploma is not. The Iron Mill College offers an Advanced Integrative Counselling Diploma and the Foundation Degree. Both courses are validated by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). The Degree is validated by Worcester University as well. Both courses also offer training in competences to counsel young people. Successful completion of Step Two qualifies you to work as a counsellor. The Iron Mill courses offer immediate entry to BACP registration as a counsellor.

  • Step 3: If you have completed an acceptable Diploma or Foundation Degree course of study, you can apply for a Degree in Counselling. This one-year course offers you graduate status. The Iron Mill College also offers a BA (Hons) in Counselling.

  • Step 4: Accreditation is, currently, an optional advanced status in the counselling profession. This is the hallmark of the qualified counsellor and involves further CPD, supervised practice as a counsellor and a written application outlining your style of counselling and ethical practice. Accreditation can only be granted by a professional counselling body. The Iron Mill offers a viva exam which helps students prepare for accreditation.

Integrative Approach:
The Iron Mill offers an integrative model of counselling which provides students learning opportunities in a wide range of different theories, topics and practice. An integrative approach has become increasingly popular because of the wide range of problems and personalities that present in counselling.

For more information, please contact us and we will be happy to help. Our diagram demonstrates the study progression if you choose Iron Mill College as your training provider. 

Routes to becoming a counsellor (2)

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Course Venues:   Exeter   |   Poole

Certificate in Counselling