Become a Counsellor
Use our Find a Course tool to find the nearest training providers who offer NCPS Accredited, Advanced Specialist, Quality Checked or CPD courses.
- Quality Checked
A Quality Checked course is a shorter or more specialised course which does not in itself provide a route to our Register but which offers valuable experience and may in some cases be used for Continuing Professional Development.
- Accredited Course
An Accredited Course has been through a full assessment and inspection and meets our Standards of Training and Education for Accredited Courses.
Graduates from Accredited Courses have fulfilled the training requirements for our Accredited Register of Counsellors.
- Advanced Specialist
Advanced Specialist Training is primarily aimed at qualified/experienced practitioners of counselling, psychotherapy or a closely related activity such as coaching. It does not in itself provide a route to our Register. Still, it offers extensive support to practitioners in developing a specialist area of work, for example working with Children and Young People or Counselling Supervision.
Are you Thinking of Training as a Counsellor?
Training as a counsellor is a substantial investment of time and money and you should choose carefully. There are many different courses which can make the choice a confusing one. In general, a course should include a balance of theoretical study and skills training and should encourage personal as well as professional development. It should, preferably, be recognised by a professional body like the NCPS and agree to abide by that body’s Code of Ethics.
There are a variety of different training providers and courses at different types of recognition on offer that have been assessed by us. If a course is recognised by the NCPS, this means that in the opinion of the Society, the training offered is safe, ethical and delivered competently.
Course Types and Qualifications
Important information: to Join the Accredited Register distance learning and/or online-only delivered courses are not accepted. By choosing an NCPS Accredited course, you can be assured that the course has been mapped to our Training Standards criteria and therefore meets the highest standards of professional training with regard to content, delivery and assessment. If you're considering a course that is not accredited by the NCPS our guidance would be to check if the course has been awarded recognition by an Ofqual awarding body or another relevant professional organisation. Courses that don’t have external recognition may still offer high-quality training, but we'd advise checking that the course meets the training criteria required to enable you to graduate with a qualification that enables you to apply for an Accredited Register.
Some key criteria to look out for to help you make the right choice:
- Is awarded a minimum of Ofqual Level 4 or equivalent.
- Provides in-depth counselling/psychotherapy training that enables graduates to work with adult clients who present with a range of commonly encountered issues.
- Is taught in a live, face-to-face (predominately classroom-based) environment.
- Is taught over a minimum of one year full-time* or two years part-time.
- Offers at least 300 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) of tuition in total.
- Requires a supervised placement of a minimum of 100 hours in an organisation/agency.
*As of 2025, one year full-time courses will no longer be accepted for registration
Things to Consider
- What is the time commitment?
- Do you want to study full-time or part-time?
- Your budget - and payment options are available.
- What qualification will you get at the end of the course?
- Is this qualification recognised by a professional body like NCPS or a government body like Ofqual?
Please be aware that the Society cannot recommend one course over another.
Why is it Important to Choose an Accredited course?
An Accredited course has been through a full assessment and inspection and meets our Standards of Training and Education for Accredited Courses.