Certificate in Counselling Skills

Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills


Almost one third of people in the UK have undergone some form of therapy, according to the latest survey conducted by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Many people benefit from counselling, and support from those with the correct understanding, knowledge and skills can help people improve their personal well-being.

Ideal if you are looking to progress your personal development and increase your understanding of counselling skills theories, this qualification will develop your knowledge and skills, enabling you to provide support and help others.

Qualification gained: Level 2 Certificate

Place of study: Learn from home

Type of course: Distance learning course with no exams

Course duration: 10 to 16 weeks

Full tutor and customer service support will be provided throughout the course.

*If you order a course in a paper-based format and live outside of the UK then there will be an additional charge for postage. Click here for more information on postage outside of the UK.

As part of your assessment, you will be asked to complete a competency element- this can be demonstrated through either a witness observation or video recording.

Witness observation - to take this option, you must have a suitably qualified witness* to observe you complete the task and document a statement of this. The witness will observe you demonstrating particular skills before completing a witness statement form. The witness statement form will act as evidence to prove you are capable of certain skills.

Video recording - for this option, you will record a video of yourself completing the task and demonstrating particular skills to meet the assessment criteria.

*To be suitably qualified, the witness must hold a minimum of the below:

  • A counselling or interpersonal skills course at level 1
  • A completed or partially completed counselling course at level 2
  • A completed counselling skills unit as part of a larger qualification at level 2 or above
  • A short course or courses about counselling skills (e.g. a full day workshop where there was training and practice of counselling skills, or the training provided for workers at voluntary agencies that provide emotional support)
  • A short CPD course in counselling skills.

If the qualification does not include counselling in the name, we must see proof of the unit or module breakdown of the qualification where a counselling unit was studied.


This course is split into manageable units. These are:

Unit 1: Using counselling skills

In this unit, learners identify core counselling skills alongside understanding how these are practised in a counselling relationship. Throughout this unit, students will gain an understanding of how to establish an effective working relationship and will consider the boundaries which need to be respected in this sensitive role.

Unit 2: Introduction to counselling skills theories

This unit introduces learners to the key elements of the main theoretical approaches in counselling, psychodynamics, person-centred therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.

There are key practical differences between these theories and you will hone your skills in understanding the significant importance of counselling theory.

Unit 3: Diversity and ethics in the use of counselling skills

This unit covers the concepts of diversity and ethics. Learners will gain an understanding of anti-discriminatory practice; discover the key aspects of an ethical framework, as well as discovering various ways to address diversity in counselling skills practice.

Unit 4: Counselling skills and personal development

This unit allows learners to develop self-understanding, identifying their own values and beliefs and the ability to reflect on their personal qualities and skills. Potential future areas of development for each individual are also explored within this section.



Do I have to meet with my tutor or support advisor?


No. The communication you have with your tutor will be either via email or telephone. Any communication you have with our support team will also be via email or telephone.

Does the qualification expire?


No. Once you complete a course you will gain a nationally recognised qualification which lasts forever and will be beneficial to you throughout your entire working career.

Is there a time limit or any deadlines?


Depending on your fee status, there will be deadlines for you to meet within your course. We will suggest targets for you to aim towards to encourage you with your study. You will be reminded of this throughout your course via email and should try to meet these targets when submitting your assessments. Your tutor will provide guidance and support throughout your course through email and telephone communication.

Do I need any computer skills?


You only need very basic skills to complete a course. If you do any shopping online or use any social media websites then you will find our online learning platform, EQUAL, very easy to use. Even if you do not regularly use a computer, as long as you know how to turn it on and access the internet, then the helpful guides and videos on EQUAL will provide you with all the help you need to get started online.

Do I need a computer to take the course?


Yes. You will need a computer to access your emails and use the internet when carrying out research. Even if you choose to complete a paper-based course, you will need to access your emails throughout your study and access the internet when completing further research tasks.

Do I need to buy anything else to go with the course?


No. As long as you have a working computer, a pen and some paper, you will have no problems completing a course with us. If you complete an online course, all of the resources you need will be accessible online, and if you complete a paper-based course or paper-based course with online assessments, we will send you everything you need in the post and via email.

What is in the course content?


Each course covers a particular area of study through a detailed exploration of the subject matter. This includes subject specific case studies, thought provoking activities, further research tasks, key facts, summary pages and ‘Stop and Think’ sections where learners are encouraged to consider how the learning content may mirror reality. If you decide to study a course that is fully online, a wide range of exciting games and interesting videos will also be included in the course content. Within the courses, there are often prompts for further personal exploration and sometimes you will carry out some research yourself, which will help you answer the assessment questions fully.

Is the course paper-based or online?


Both! The majority of our courses are available in a paper-based format, as well as paper-based with online assessments. This means you will use the learning materials to complete the course, but will complete and submit your assessment questions online via our interactive online learning platform, EQUAL. This allows you to work closely with a tutor who will mark your work and send you feedback which you can view online. Some of our courses are available entirely online, so you can use EQUAL to complete your course and answer the assessment questions as you go along. Whichever way you to choose to learn, you can study when you like, where you like! When you are browsing through our courses, look out for the icons which tell you the format each course is available in.

What level is the course at and what does this mean?


This is a Level 2 course, which is equivalent to a GCSE level qualification. If you successfully complete your course, you can progress on to the next level of study in your chosen subject area if you wish. Certificates are nationally recognised and will be issued to learners once you have successfully completed your course.

How much is the course and when do I pay?


The course costs £225, which includes all of the learning resources and materials you will need to complete the course, it also includes the cost of registration and certification with the awarding body. You can either pay for the course in full in a single payment, which is required before you begin your study, or start a course using our flexible payment plans. Use our online calculator to work out your initial payment and subsequent payments to suit you.

How am I assessed?


Learners are assessed throughout their course by a series of short answer assessment questions which are built into the course. If you choose to complete your assessments online, your answers are automatically saved and are available for you to revise and edit at any point before submission.

How do I submit my assessments?


Depending on your choice of learning method, you can submit your assessments for your tutor to mark either online via our learning platform, EQUAL, or by post, fax or email. Each course is broken down into manageable units and sections, and assessment questions are strategically placed at the end of each section to test you on the content while it is fresh in your mind. Your tutor will assess the standard and style of your work for each section and provide feedback. Once you have obtained your feedback, you will either move on to the next unit if you passed, or review the previous unit you have submitted until you pass.

How long will it take me to complete a course?


On average, a learner completes a course with us in around 10 to 16 weeks. We will provide flexible guidelines to encourage you to progress with your learning at a steady pace, but if these are unsuitable for you, you can learn in your own time when you are ready.

What will I gain from completing a course?


After completing a course with us, you will gain a nationally recognised qualification. This not only increases your general knowledge, but also increases your chances of securing a job, allowing you to develop your career and improve your chance of progressing in the workplace to reach your goals. Alongside this, the course materials will help you to develop the necessary knowledge and confidence surrounding your chosen subject area. The activities and assessments are also designed to help you develop relevant research and academic writing skills.

What happens if I fail an assessment?


You try again! You will receive an email from us when your feedback is available online, so that you can take a look and find out whether you have passed or not. There is no such thing as failing an assessment, because your work is not graded; assessments are simply identified as pass or referred. If your answers are referred, your tutor will simply point out the answers which need a little bit more attention in order for you to rework your answer, resubmit and pass! When you pass a unit you move onto the next one, and when you pass your final unit you simply wait for your certificate to arrive!

Where do I complete the course and do I have to go to a local college?


You do not have to attend a local college at any point and you can complete the course anywhere you like! Learners can complete our home-based distance learning courses either fully online, paper-based or paper-based with online assessments. Our learning resources are designed to allow you to study where you like, when you like. If you choose to complete a paper-based course, you can study where you like once you have received your booklets from us. Similarly, by studying through our online system, EQUAL, you can choose where and when you do your work as long as you have access to the internet.

How long will my certificate take to arrive?


Your certificate will take between six and eight weeks to arrive. Once you complete the course and submit your final piece of work, your assessments will be marked and your work will go through an external moderation process. Once this process is complete, we send your certificate to you as soon as possible.

Will the course help me get a job?


Successfully completing a course with us can definitely improve your career prospects as you will have gained a nationally recognised qualification. All of our awarding bodies are highly respected with strict standards and requirements which each course is tailored to, meaning your qualification will be recognised by employers within the relevant sector.

Is there a word count for my assessments?


No. There are no maximum or minimum word counts for the assessments and the majority are short answer questions which you can answer in as many words as you like. It is important that you demonstrate to your tutor that you have fully understood the question and applied your knowledge to each answer in a logical way. If your tutor feels that an answer needs a little more detail, they will point this out in your feedback and you will be able to go back to the answer and rework it until you pass.

Is the course accredited? If so, who by?


Yes, the following awarding bodies have approved and endorsed this course:

• TQUK; Training Qualifications UK, a national Ofqual regulated awarding organisation

• CACHE; the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education, which is owned by NCFE, a national awarding organisation. CACHE certificates are awarded by NCFE.

Successful students who complete a course will be awarded with a certificate of achievement. All of our learning resources have been specifically designed by a team of sector specialists so you can be assured that the qualification you gain is of the highest quality.

Can anyone complete the course?


Yes, anyone who has a reasonable standard of basic education is suitable for this course. Our learning resources are all written in simple everyday language with no jargon and all in a logical structure, making the information easy to process and understand. Should you experience any difficulties with your course, you would have the support of your tutor and our Student Support Team who can guide you through any part of your learning.

How can I progress after I complete the course?


Once you complete a course with us, your opportunities are endless. Not only will your employment opportunities improve by adding an accredited qualification to your CV, but you could also progress on to other areas of study.

Who is suitable?


This qualification is ideal for anyone who wishes to increase their understanding of counselling skills and techniques, to complement their current role or in order to engage in helpful interaction. It is an ideal basis for anyone hoping to continue study to attain a higher level qualification in this sector.

Are there any exams?


No. This course does not involve any examinations and learners are assessed entirely through their answers to the assessment questions which they complete throughout the course.


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