CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (TC-L4)

BACP Approved Practitioner Qualification


This is a 2 year qualification that is delivered as 2 distinctly separate years from September to July over 34 weeks per academic year. The course is Person-Centred and most of our work is based around the theory and skills of the Person=Centred approach although we do acknowledge and give a respectful nod to other approaches.

During the course we spend time learning about the theory and history of Person-Centred counselling and the application of theory to practice. We engage in weekly personal development activities (usually associated with the theory learnt that week), Group Training Supervision to develop our knowledge and thinking, weekly peer skill sessions with peer and tutor observations, a Mental Health unit, presentations, professional issues, practicums, case studies and so much more. We have a set scheme of work but we are flexible in meeting our student's needs so no two weeks are ever truly the same or predictable.

At Chapters we really believe that learning should be fun and creative as well as challenging so it's not unusual to find our Diploma students up to the elbows in  glitter and glue, paint and feathers. It's one of the benefits of studying at Chapters - we have lots of arts and crafts resources and we're not afraid to use them!

We enjoy lots of laughter on this course and the friendships created can be strong and rich. We do however also challenge our students to change and grow which can feel difficult and challenging at times. The great thing is that the more you put into counselling training the more you get out...so if you are prepared to give it blood, sweat & tears as well as the laughter and fun you'll come out all the richer at the other side.

During the 2 years on this programme, as well as meeting the written work and attendance requirements, students are required to:

  • Undertake a placement (or placements) that allow them to accrue a minimum of 100 supervised counselling hours with clients

  • Attend supervision in accordance with CPCAB requirements 

  • Become student members of the BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy)

  • Engage in at least 20 hours of personal therapy with an approved Person-Centred counsellor

  • Ensure that their counselling work is insured - either through their placement or via a personal policy

We also have a residential weekend which is usually planned for the early stages of year 2. This is a mandatory weekend and a really important time for staff and students to spend together. We are unable to plan too far in advance as we go when the group is 'ready' but we always ensure we give everyone as much notice as possible. The cost of the residential is an additional cost and should be taken into consideration when accepting a place on the course.

This qualification does give you everything you need to become an ethical, skilled, respectful and knowledgeable counsellor. Being newly qualified is the beginning of a new Chapter though and it is important that we never stop learning and growing. Ongoing CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is an absolute must in order to stay updated, increasingly well informed and become experienced and established in your role.

Please note that you should usually be 25 years or over to study for this qualification

This can be somewhat flexible depending on the student themselves, everyone is evaluated on their own merit. If you are not sure if this may affect you, please get in touch and we can talk things through with you.

You also need to have completed the CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills and the Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies (or equivalent) in order to be considered for the programme.

As this programme is BACP approved, students will sit the Certificate of Proficiency test whilst on the second year at Chapters rather than having to wait until they are qualified and arranging it independently afterwards. This means that on successful completion of that test (and meeting all the necessary requirements of the course), students will leave the course both qualified and as a Registered Member of the BACP.

Learning aims of this programme:

  1. Working ethically, safely and professionally as a counsellor

  2. Working within a counselling relationship

  3. Working with client diversity within counselling work

  4. Working within a user-centred approach to counselling

  5. Working with self awareness in the counselling process

  6. Working within a coherent framework of counselling theory and skills

  7. Working self reflectively as a counsellor

Course start date and times:

Year 1 - Wednesday 15th September 2021 - 6th July 2022   (34 weeks) 1-8pm

Year 2 - Wednesday 14th September 2022 - 5th July 2023  (33 weeks)  1-8pm

Final Weekend - Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July 2023 10-4pm

Tuition fees - £2,500 per year plus approx £339 per year CPCAB Registration fees

Registration fees are due in September of both years - tuition fees payable as agreed with Chapters during the enrolment process.

As with previous courses there are 2 parts to complete successfully in order to achieve this qualification. The internal assessment is the creation of a rather impressive (and fairly large) portfolio of work that you will complete over the two years of the course. This will include learning reviews (journals), assignments, case studies, practicums, independent research, placement documentation, tutor and peer skills feedback sheets, self reviews and so much more! 

The External Assessment is a formal recording of your skills and subsequent written paper that is externally marked by the CPCAB. Whilst that can feel quite daunting for some people, it is a really important aspect of your qualification that gives it the status that it deserves and you the recognition that you deserve. It's not just your tutors being nice, ticking a box saying that you're good enough...we're doing that along with an official stamp of approval on both your knowledge and skills from an external source. That's valuable.

TC-L4 is accredited by the office of Qualifications & Examinations Regulator (OFQUAL)  into the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)

Qualification Number: 500/8088/X