L3 Certificate in Counselling Studies

Our level 3 course is designed for anyone who has already acquired a recognised qualification in counselling skills and wants to take this to the stage towards being a qualified counsellor.

You may also be someone who wants to learn more about counselling theory. Ethics and mental health or someone wanting to work within agency as a counsellor.

This qualification does not lead to employment and is designed as a pre-practitioner course. It also benefits several different employment opportunities / paths because of the skills that you gain.


CST-L3 is regulated by the Office of the Qualifications & Examinations Regulator (Ofqual)

Qualification/learning aim number: 600/5104/8

Guided Learning Hours: 90 hours (minimum)

Total Qualification Time; 196 hours

Credit value: 20

What qualifications will I achieve?

1 mandatory unit: A/503/9737 Developing Understanding of Counselling

Entry requirements

Minimum age 19 years

You must have undertaken counselling skills training, e.g. our Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills (Please link to L2 course page) or equivalent units/qualifications of at least 75 Guided Learning Hours.

  • Able to cope with course content
  • Ability to translate intra-personal experience into language
  • Able to benefit from self development
  • Be motivated towards developing as a helper
  • Emotional stability
  • Identify reasons for training beyond just personal development
  • References
  • Awareness of difference and diversity

This qualification is not suitable for those who are currently in a state of severe emotional difficulty or severe psychological confusion as the course involves some personal disclosure and associated personal development activities.

What will I learn on the course?

This qualification is made up of seven learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria. This structure is based on the seven processes of the CPCAB model.

  • The professional framework of the counsellor
  • The counselling relationship
  • Client diversity
  • The service user-centred approach
  • Personal awareness in counselling
  • Counselling concepts and skills
  • Supervision and self-reflection.

This course’s core model is Person Centered counselling although you will learn about other modalities.

The course will give you an opportunity to:

  • Prepare to use a professional framework within a counselling setting
  • Develop an understanding of the counselling relationship
  • Prepare to use diversity understandings and skills in a counselling relationship
  • Prepare to manage the counselling process within a user-centred contract
  • Develop personal awareness and understanding in preparation for counselling work
  • Develop an understanding of the counselling process
  • Prepare to use supervision as a self-reflective counsellor.

How will I be assessed?

Your qualification is split into two sections. You will build a portfolio of evidence throughout the course covering the required criteria and sit an external exam. Portfolio evidence will be collated from written work, assignments, skills observations by tutors and peers. The external exam is made up of 6 questions answered in a written format. It is done over a week in an ‘open book’ format.

Course activities

  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Personal development workshops
  • Training group work
  • Projects and Presentations
  • Review of skills and understanding
  • Review of learning

All classes are predominantly taught face to face at our centre in Hockley Heath (Near Solihull / Shirley) with an occasional zoom classroom session to experience the differences working online.

How long will this course last?

20 weeks (Adhering to Solihull term dates)

The CST-L3 qualification is a step in a series of CPCAB qualifications. Once you have completed this qualification you may wish to progress on to CPCAB’s Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling.  

Current courses start dates:

Sept 2024

Monday 2nd Sept 2024 – 10am – 3pm

Wednesday 4th Sept 2024 – 10am – 3pm

Wednesday 4th Sept 2024 – 4.30pm-9.30pm

Feb 2025

Monday 24th Feb 2025 – 10am – 3pm

Wednesday 26th Feb 2025 – 10am-3pm

Wednesday 26th Feb 2025 – 4.30pm – 9.30pm.

If you are interested, please complete the application form below and pop yourself in for interview using the link that will be shown upon application submission.

Link – https://forms.gle/1bxJETB8eBFqNix49

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2024 / 2025 Academic Year Fees (All fees are payable in full and non-refundable)

Registration fee: £195 – This will be required as a deposit upon acceptance of your place.

Course fee: £795 – This can be paid in 5 instalments of £159.

All course fees must be paid before certification and results are released.