CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills

Duration:10 months
Day/time:Tuesdays, 6-9pm, commencing 20th February 2023
Delivery:ONLINE via zoom
One Saturday workshop – Best House, Shefford (August)
Tutor:Kate Williams
Cost:£699 + VAT, plus CPCAB fee £176

This qualification is intended for candidates who have already acquired a recognised qualification in counselling skills and want to:

    • take the next step in training to become a counsellor
    • learn more about counselling theory, ethics and mental health
    • be prepared for work as a professional counsellor in an agency setting.

This qualification does not lead to employment as a counsellor. It is designed as a pre-practitioner training for professional counselling qualifications but it could also lead to employment in a related field.


Course outline:

The BACP Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions underpins this training.  There are seven learning outcomes that will be taught in a variety of ways including lectures, small group activities, whole group discussions, student-led presentations, individual reflective writing, DVD’s, exploration via the creative arts and small group skills practice:-

    • Apply an ethical framework to a counselling skills session.  We will be looking more closely at the six ethical principles and how they can be used to support ethical and safe practice.  This will include counselling assessment and referrals.
    • Boundaries and the therapeutic frame; you will learn the importance of boundaries particularly from a psychodynamic perspective and explore how your personal boundaries may affect your professional boundaries.
    • Your understanding of difference, your own prejudices and blocks to empathy
    • Your ability to stay focused on your client’s issues and concerns using active listening to stay within their frame of reference, showing awareness of your implicit process (your own triggers, personal material, assumptions)
    • You will learn more about the structure of your personality, patterns of relating and personal history.  You will have the opportunity to explore your early defence mechanisms, shadow qualities and early relationships as we venture into the work of Freud, Jung, Winnicott, Klein and Bowlby.   There is a one day experiential workshop in term two.
    • Counselling Theory and Common Mental Health problems.
        • You will gain a deeper understanding of theory: Humanistic and Psychodynamic models and how each of their frameworks underpin the use of counselling skills, the philosophy of the counsellor and how a client’s process is understood.
        • The Mental Health module will include a series of student-led presentations where you will have the opportunity to research a mental health issue of your choice. 
    • Supervision and feedback. You will learn more about the role of supervision and will engage in group supervision.  Feedback is an ongoing and integral part of counselling training where you will both give and receive feedback to your peers. 


Entry Requirements:  

Applicants must be 19 years or older and hold a CPCAB Level 2 Counselling Skills Certificate or its equivalent.   



There are two forms of assessment: internal assessment and external assessment.

Internal Assessment:- You will compile a portfolio during the course which will be submitted in the final term. 

You will gain this evidence for the seven learning outcomes in a number of ways:

    • Weekly journals of 800 words.
    • Approximately four assignments including a theory essay, self-review, presentation and a taped transcript.
    • Tutor feedback and peer feedback
    • Various worksheets 
    • 8 hours of personal counselling

There is an expectation that journals and assignments are typed.  You can download a Candidate Guide detailing CPCAB’s seven learning outcomes and you will be well supported by your tutor throughout the course.

External Assessment:- During the summer term you undertake a Q&A paper in your own time, which will be submitted to CPCAB for marking.  In order to gain your qualification both internal and external assessment must pass


Progression routes:

The CPCAB Level 4 Diploma is a two-year, part-time, professional training where learners are in supervised practice for 100 hours, counselling clients 1-2-1.  Learners are also required to have a minimum of 40 hours personal therapy.

Level 4 learners will become student members of BACP (The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) and upon completion of the course can gained employment as a counsellor and work towards registering on the BACP Register of Counsellor & Psychotherapists.  This register became the first psychological therapists’ register to be accredited under a scheme set up by the Department of Health in 2013.  To join this register counsellors will sit a short computerised exam known as the Certificate of Proficiency.

From here, if they wish, counsellors can work towards accredited status with the BACP.



  1. Complete the application form here and email to fiona@bedfordshiretherapeuticstudies.co.uk
  2. You’ll be invited for a telephone or Zoom interview
  3. Upon offer of a place you have up to two weeks to accept your place and pay your deposit of £275.  Please note that this is a non-refundable deposit.
Be aware that places are limited and are given on a first come basis.

2020 Level 3 group completed under lockdown

What our students say

“I have learnt so much about myself and I don’t want this journey to end.” Anne

“This has been the most transformational year…thank you.”  Chris

” I really enjoy the teaching style of the tutor.  Lessons are different every week.  Roll on the diploma!” Ed.

“Charlotte creates such a safe and boundaried environment.  It enabled us to share and be real with one another.  I learnt so much about myself this year”  Diane

“I loved the Jung day workshop and all the creativity with did.  The masks were fun and the part work enabled me to learn more about my projections and shadow”  Sue

“the shadow work on Level 3 was my favourite part.  It made total sense to me and has supported my development and has released me from my past”  Lee

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