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Please help: CPCAB, NCPS OR SEG accredited counselling course?

Been meaning to apply to a counselling course for months but I don't know what to pick. The prices are below for all 3 including lvl 4.

The CPCAB course will be online for Lvl 2 and 3 and for Lvl 4 I would have to commute to another city. It's also the most expensive with £11k in total .

The NCPS one would be around £7k. I heard this one is good too but Lvl 2 and Lvl 3 are self paced online, which I heard BACP doesn't like but Lvl 4 is in person so that should be ok, right? I also have the option of having Lvl 3 remote learning instead.

The cheapest one (£6.5k) is accredited by SEG Awards but I don't know if that says much or if it's recognized as a valid course by BACP?

So what should I do? Does it matter which I pick or as long as the Level 4 meets all criteria (they all do) then it's fine? I don't want to waste my time doing a useless one or waste my money when I can do a cheaper one that's as good.

Don't know if I will find an answer here but if you know anyone or any place online where I could ask this please tell me. I want to apply as soon as possible.
Reply 1
Original post by Asthro
Been meaning to apply to a counselling course for months but I don't know what to pick. The prices are below for all 3 including lvl 4.

The CPCAB course will be online for Lvl 2 and 3 and for Lvl 4 I would have to commute to another city. It's also the most expensive with £11k in total .

The NCPS one would be around £7k. I heard this one is good too but Lvl 2 and Lvl 3 are self paced online, which I heard BACP doesn't like but Lvl 4 is in person so that should be ok, right? I also have the option of having Lvl 3 remote learning instead.

The cheapest one (£6.5k) is accredited by SEG Awards but I don't know if that says much or if it's recognized as a valid course by BACP?

So what should I do? Does it matter which I pick or as long as the Level 4 meets all criteria (they all do) then it's fine? I don't want to waste my time doing a useless one or waste my money when I can do a cheaper one that's as good.

Don't know if I will find an answer here but if you know anyone or any place online where I could ask this please tell me. I want to apply as soon as possible.

I did a level 4 diploma through SEG. As it wasn't accredited by the BACP, I just had to do their certificate of proficiency after in order to register with them and be eligible for accreditation in future. This was easy enough.

I was able to access placements easily enough on this course, and went on to do further training to become a high intensity CBT therapist, so the job opportunities are there, certainly with further training.

Also, I used an advanced learner loan to cover all my level 3 and part of my level 4 tuition fees, so that could be an option.

I hope this helps!
Reply 2
Original post by undefined
I did a level 4 diploma through SEG. As it wasn't accredited by the BACP, I just had to do their certificate of proficiency after in order to register with them and be eligible for accreditation in future. This was easy enough.

I was able to access placements easily enough on this course, and went on to do further training to become a high intensity CBT therapist, so the job opportunities are there, certainly with further training.

Also, I used an advanced learner loan to cover all my level 3 and part of my level 4 tuition fees, so that could be an option.

I hope this helps!

Thank you so much for your reply. I haven't been able to get an answer anywhere else. So basically any accredited course is fine and I'll just have to take a test to register with BACP afterwards. Did you find your course to be good and what you expected? Do you have any knowledge of NCPS accredited courses? With that one I have the opportunity to jump straight into Lvl 3 remote and then Lvl 4 so it would save me one year. Also, for your Lvl 4 did you have to pay for your placement or personal therapy or was it provided for you? Thank you!!
Reply 3
Original post by Asthro
Thank you so much for your reply. I haven't been able to get an answer anywhere else. So basically any accredited course is fine and I'll just have to take a test to register with BACP afterwards. Did you find your course to be good and what you expected? Do you have any knowledge of NCPS accredited courses? With that one I have the opportunity to jump straight into Lvl 3 remote and then Lvl 4 so it would save me one year. Also, for your Lvl 4 did you have to pay for your placement or personal therapy or was it provided for you? Thank you!!

I don't have experience with other courses, so I can't be of much help there.

I enjoyed my course and found it helpful. It could have been better organised, maybe, but other than that it did what it needed to. Lockdown measures were still in place during my first year of level 4, so a lot of that ended up being over Teams. Year 2 went to in-person, which I liked better.

I had 2 placements during my level 4 training, which I had to find myself. I didn't have to pay for these, but also wasn't paid for the hours I worked. One of the placements provided supervision for free, the other didn't. My course provided supervision, but I think they have stopped that now. It also didn't require us to have personal therapy, though courses that do require this would expect you to fund that yourself.
Reply 4
Original post by Nerol
I don't have experience with other courses, so I can't be of much help there.

I enjoyed my course and found it helpful. It could have been better organised, maybe, but other than that it did what it needed to. Lockdown measures were still in place during my first year of level 4, so a lot of that ended up being over Teams. Year 2 went to in-person, which I liked better.

I had 2 placements during my level 4 training, which I had to find myself. I didn't have to pay for these, but also wasn't paid for the hours I worked. One of the placements provided supervision for free, the other didn't. My course provided supervision, but I think they have stopped that now. It also didn't require us to have personal therapy, though courses that do require this would expect you to fund that yourself.

Can I ask what your placements consisted of? Did you shadow people or do counselling sessions?

And what job did you manage to find after completing lvl 4? did you receive any help with this?
Reply 5
Original post by Asthro
Can I ask what your placements consisted of? Did you shadow people or do counselling sessions?

And what job did you manage to find after completing lvl 4? did you receive any help with this?

Placements involve doing counselling sessions with clients - 100 hours minimum.

I was already working as an Assistant Psychologist alongside my counselling training, so just stayed in this role until starting my CBT training. There was no support for looking for paid work after the level 4 course, and paid counselling roles are not the easiest to find, to be honest. I used the training as a stepping stone into other training, so I've not actually had a paid counselling role.
Reply 6
Original post by Nerol
Placements involve doing counselling sessions with clients - 100 hours minimum.

I was already working as an Assistant Psychologist alongside my counselling training, so just stayed in this role until starting my CBT training. There was no support for looking for paid work after the level 4 course, and paid counselling roles are not the easiest to find, to be honest. I used the training as a stepping stone into other training, so I've not actually had a paid counselling role.

Oh, what jobs have you had since getting your level 4? I've heard the skills you get can be used in most jobs but do you feel that it was worth doing the course for the job you do? Are you getting paid more because of it?
Reply 7
Original post by Asthro
Oh, what jobs have you had since getting your level 4? I've heard the skills you get can be used in most jobs but do you feel that it was worth doing the course for the job you do? Are you getting paid more because of it?

I went straight into training as a high intensity CBT therapist, and have now qualified, so it has been directly relevant to my work and helped me get onto the training. I am paid an NHS band 7 salary & there are a lot more paid opportunities for CBT therapists than for counsellors. This was my aim all along, but I knew having the counselling diploma alongside my psychology degree and relevant work experience would give me a good chance at getting onto the CBT training.
Reply 8
Original post by Nerol
I went straight into training as a high intensity CBT therapist, and have now qualified, so it has been directly relevant to my work and helped me get onto the training. I am paid an NHS band 7 salary & there are a lot more paid opportunities for CBT therapists than for counsellors. This was my aim all along, but I knew having the counselling diploma alongside my psychology degree and relevant work experience would give me a good chance at getting onto the CBT training.

I might consider that as well. Do you enjoy the work you do? Is it difficult?
Reply 9
Original post by Asthro
I might consider that as well. Do you enjoy the work you do? Is it difficult?

I love the work. The course was tough and a lot of work, but it's a full-time paid position if you apply for the IAPT trainee HIT therapist roles through the NHS (how long this will be the case, I do not know). I love figuring out how to help clients and getting creative with interventions and techniques. Every day and every client is different. I also do hybrid work, 2 days in person, 3 days WFH, which I like.

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