L5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling

This one-year course is designed for candidates who want to train to become independent autonomous practitioners. Successful completion of this course means you will be able to work as an independent, professional counselling practitioner.

You are undertaking a course that leads to a nationally regulated qualification on the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) awarded by the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB) – the only Ofqual approved awarding body to specialise in the field of counselling and supervision.

This is a great leading to working for yourself, self-employed as a private practitioner. We cover a range of PP elements on the course as well as taking a deeper look into theoretical application of working with adults (+16yrs).

This qualification will enable successful candidates to work as counsellors in a range of job and career opportunities, which include but are not limited to:

• An autonomous counsellor in private practice or agency settings.

• Work as a senior counsellor within a counselling agency.

• The graduate may choose to diversify into the area of teaching counselling within a FE or HE context providing they have suitable teaching experience or qualifications.

You will deepen your understanding of the profession, including; the counselling relationship, client assessments and integrated theoretical approaches. You will gain the expertise and qualification to work in independent practice, or take a senior counselling role within an agency.

The course is suitable for students progressing from Level 4. It will add to your existing knowledge and prepare you for employment. The qualification you gain can also count towards a Foundation Degree in Counselling.


PC-L5 is regulated by the Office of the Qualifications & Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) and is on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)

Qualification/learning aim number: 500/8386/7.

Guided Learning Hours: 120 hours

Total Qualification Time: 458 hours

Credit value: 46

Entry Requirements

Minimum age: 22 years

Minimum Hours: 100 qualifying hours and a minimum of 50 hours post qualified.

Personal Therapy: Minimum of 30 hours personal therapy undertaken during L4 training.

CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (TC-L4) or the Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) equivalent (minimum 420 Guided Learning Hours), in addition to appropriate pre-TC-L4 (or equivalent) training.

  • Ability to identify reasons for training beyond just personal development
  • Provide references
  • Academically and emotionally able to cope with this level of training
  • Ability to work with difference and diversity
  • Possess personal qualities of imagination, intuition, openness and ability to benefit from self-development.
  • Ability to form a therapeutic relationship
  • Have self-awareness, insight, honesty and integrity
  • Emotional stability and the absence of personality disturbance
  • Ability to challenge and be challenged
  • Ability to respond sensitively and empathically to others
  • Professional qualities required for autonomous practice

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.

This qualification has been designed to take account of the latest research findings on what makes

counselling effective and is underpinned by the CPCAB model of practitioner development.

The qualification currently offers routes on to the following professional body registers accredited by the

Professional Standards Authority (PSA):

• BACP – British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

• NCPS – National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society

• UKCP – United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (Standards for Psychotherapeutic counselling). Learners applying to UKCP must also acquire CPCAB Level 5 diploma in psychotherapeutic counselling.

• COSCA – Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland

• ACC – Association of Christians in Counselling and Linked Professions

The qualification is also mapped to following professional and occupational standards:

  • QAA benchmark standards for counselling and psychotherapy
  • Counselling and Mental Health National Occupational Standards
  • BACP

The assessment strategy maintains a focus on practitioner skills and qualities as well as on written

evidence. The combination of tutor assessment and separate external assessment by CPCAB values both

objective independent assessment and the relational knowledge of the candidate and their work. The

qualification is reviewed annually to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose.

Centres have to meet robust centre approval requirements before they can deliver this qualification. All

tutors are approved and standardised by CPCAB, and centres are visited twice a year by a CPCAB external

verifier. (CPCAB 2024).

We invite you to attend a group interview bookable through Eventbrite. Please make sure you have booked your interview slot as you will be asked to pop the chosen date on your application form.

Our Approach

The course is based on a Humanistic and Integrative approach.

The emphasis is on working with a humanistic as a core model and exploring the integration of theory, research, practice, and self-awareness.

The integrative counselling aspect explores, challenges and compares contemporary theories to life. It also addresses the thinking, feeling, and behavioural aspects of human functioning.

The integrative perspective draws from a range of theoretical orientations including: Person Centred, Psychoanalytic and DBT, Cognitive Behavioural therapy.

The course is designed to help develop and train counsellors to become competent and ethically-sound practitioners.

The ultimate aims are to equip counsellors with the tools and interventions they require to develop their own styles, enabling them to work with clients experiencing a range of common life problems to more complex issues.

Units of Study (L5)

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

To achieve the qualification you must be (a) assessed by your tutor as Proficient inall seven learning outcomes of the mandatory unit; and (b) externally assessed by CPCAB as Proficient.

  1. Work safely, legally and ethically as an independent counsellor
  1. Work with complex aspects of the counselling relationship
  2. Use theory and research to work with client diversity in independent practice
  3. Use a coherent approach to respond to the needs of individual clients
  4. Work with self-awareness as an independent practitioner
  5. Use theory, research and skills within a coherent framework for independent counselling practice
  6. Monitor and maintain professional effectiveness as a counsellor in independent

Assessment (L5)

Assessment will be both external and internal;

External Assessment: You will be required to write a 3000-3500 word structured case review, which will be externally assessed.  

Complete 60 hours minimum of one-to-one, formally contracted counselling as practitioner; exercising autonomy in your role as counsellor and carry the responsibility for assessment.  This could be as a senior practitioner in an agency/organisation or working as a private practitioner working for an external organisation, a counsellor working for an Employee Assistance Programme or a counsellor in private practice.  

You will also be required to complete a minimum of 10 hours of personal counselling therapy (total of 40 hours from level 4 to end of level 5 – if 30 hours have not been undertaken before this then additional therapy throughput the course will be required)).  

Supervision requirements – Supervision – in the form of either group or one-to-one supervision – to meet BACP minimum requirements (min 10 hours).

Internal assessment: You will be expected to build a portfolio. The three assessment methods used throughout the training are Review of Documents, Tutor Observation and Testimony in order to meet the course criterion.  You will also be expected to include a review of a 15-minute transcript of clinical work.   

Research and additional ‘homework’ is expected to help you achieve the necessary learning level and criterion.

Course activities include:

  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Personal development workshops
  • Training group work
  • Projects and Presentations
  • Review of skills and understanding
  • Review of learning
  • Self-reviews
  • Research
  • Placement – 60Hrs
  • Clinical and internal group supervision

All classes are predominantly taught face to face at our centre in Hockley Heath (Near Solihull / Shirley) with up 25% of the course being taught remotely so as to experience working in different mediums.

Current Course Start Dates: (For a full breakdown of course dates click here) (Pls link this to a sperate page with dates on as it will become too much info – I have sent them over on a separate sheet)

Sept 2024

Thursday 5th Sept 2024 – 10am – 3pm

Thursday 5th Sept 2024 – 4.30pm – 9.30pm

Sept 2025

Thursday 4th Sept 2025 – 10am – 3pm

Thursday 4th Sept 2025 – 4.30pm- 9.30pm

Next steps – 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. (Application Button Pls)

Link – https://forms.gle/3MgJTSBaTiMKRZf59

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Can you also auto request 2 references from the two contact details given in the form? To be returned to same email address above.

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

Registration fee: £385 per year – This will be required as a deposit upon acceptance of your place.

Course fee: £1850 per year – This can be paid in 10 instalments of £185.

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