Level 4 Certificate in Counselling Skills

Level 4 Certificate in Counselling - accredited by OCNWMR

October 2020 - July 2021 - Fully ONLINE with 2 additional skills practice days (held in Carlisle, Cumbria)

If you use counselling skills regularly as part of your role this Nationally recognised qualification will enable you to enhance those skills, increase knowledge and provide a stepping stone to those wishing to pursue a career in counselling.



Who is the course for?
This course provides a further step for those having studied counselling skills at an introductory level or those with experience of using counselling skills and will provide an opportunity to:

- Use counselling skills within your existing professional or voluntary role with a greater degree of efficacy and professionalism
- Provide you with a firm stepping stone onto either a Level 4 Diploma or level 5 foundation degree in Counselling (after which you would be able to see clients as a counsellor, become a member of the BACP and work towards accreditation)
- Use the course as personal development to change your personal and professional life and expand future opportunities

What will the course cover?
There are 4 modules to cover:
•    Developing practical counselling skills
•    Personal development
•    Theoretical approaches to counselling
•    Working Ethically

Learning Outcomes

A full list of learning outcomes is available on request but briefly by the end of the course you will:
•    Know yourself better
•    Be able to create a safe and conducive place for a person to talk with you
•    Develop practical skills and knowledge to cope with a range of presenting problems
•    Understand basic ethics and application in the work place and when and how to refer on
•    Know about and differentiate between the major modalities of therapy
•    Write level 4 assignments

Course Format

All the work will have strong links to practice and there will also be an academic element. Learning methods will include: skills practice in different formats, learning journal, large group work, personal development groups, lectures, exercises and essays, Case studies and scenarios, tutorials and study groups.  There is a strong emphasis on personal reflection and sharing and therefore a lot of work goes into creating a safe space to facilitate that. All sessions, including weekly skills practice and small group work will be undertaken online using Zoom video conferencing (using the breakout rooms facility). In addition, there will be two attended skills practice days in Carlisle, Cumbria. Help and support is offered to assist people to set this up and ensure it is working correctly before the course commences.


Students will be registered with OCNWMR (National Awarding Organisation) for 4 Units with a total of 21 Credits. On successful completion students with be awarding a national qualification 'Level  4  Certificate  in  Counselling'

Placement Requirement

As part of this course there will be a placement requirement of approx. 20 hours. This is a placement outside of the course where you can practice some of the skills used by counsellors, but is not formally contracted counselling. Working with family and friends will not be sufficient for a placement. A placement is a situation in which you take on a helping role that involves the use of counselling skills. This might be within your paid employment if your work requires a helping role, such as a nurse, pastoral work as a teacher, carer etc. It does not apply to paid employment where the focus is not helping – for example bar work, hairdressing etc. If you are employed and your employer is not suitable, you will need to research agencies or charities where you may become a volunteer in good time for starting the course.   You may be required to have  DBS checks etc which can take time, and you may be required to do some specific agency training.


This course gives students a broad experience in counselling skills and is also preparation for undertaking a L4 Diploma (we are scheduled to run in September 2020) or Foundation degree. The progression diagram to becoming a BACP registered counsellor with Hope is below:

When and where is the course running?

The course will next run between October 2020 and July 2021 one evening per week (evening term time on Tuesdays) from 6.30pm - 9.30 ONLINE via Zoom. There will also be 6 Saturdays to be held from 9:00am - 4.30pm. 2 of the 6 Saturdays will be Skills practice days and full attendance (physical attendance) will be required (Jan 9th & 27th February) These skills practice days will be held in Carlisle and, subject to demand, within the West Midlands. Exact dates below:

Session No.  Day Date Time
1 & 2 Saturday 17th October 2020 9.00am - 4.30pm
3 Tuesday 20th October 2020 6.30pm - 9.30pm
4 Tuesday 3rd November 2020 6.30pm - 9.30pm
5 Tuesday 10th November 2020 6.30pm - 9.30pm
6 Tuesday 17th November 2020 6.30pm - 9.30pm
7 Tuesday 24th November 2020 6.30pm - 9.30pm
8 Tuesday 1st December 2020 6.30pm - 9.30pm
9 Tuesday 8th December 2020 6.30pm - 9.30pm
10 & 11 Saturday 9th January 2021 (SKILLS PRACTICE ATTENDED DAY) 9.00am - 4.30pm
12 Tuesday 12th January 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
13 Tuesday 19th January 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
14 Tuesday 26th January 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
15 Tuesday 2nd February 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
16 Tuesday 9th February 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
17 Tuesday 23rd February 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
18 & 19 Saturday 27th February 2021 (SKILLS PRACTICE ATTENDED DAY) 9.00am - 4.30pm
20 Tuesday 2th March 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
21 Tuesday 9th March 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
22 Tuesday 16th March 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
23 Tuesday 23rd March 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
24 & 25 Saturday 27th March 2021 9.00am - 4.30pm 
26 Tuesday 30th March 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
27 Tuesday 20th April 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
28 Tuesday 27th April 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
29 Tuesday 4th May 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
30 Tuesday 11th May 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
31 Tuesday 18th May 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
32 & 33 Saturday 22nd May 2021 9.00am - 4.30pm
34 Tuesday 25th May 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
35 Tuesday 8th June 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
36 Tuesday 15th June 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
37 Tuesday 22th June 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
38 Tuesday 29th June 2021 6.30pm - 9.30pm
39 & 40 Saturday 17th July 2021 9.00am - 4.30pm


The majority of sessions must be attended to receive accreditation and certification. Whilst every effort must be made to attend all sessions we understand illness and emergencies can happen. There is however a minimum requirement of 80% course attendance in order to achieve accreditation and certification.

Entry requirements

- Minimum age for access to this qualification is 19 years

- Learners  must  be  at  a  minimum  of  Level  2  in  their  literacy  and  communication  skills and  will  need some experience of working with people. It is recommended that individuals who embark on a course of study leading to the award of this qualification will have already undertaken basic counselling skills training.

Students should have sufficient IT skills to produce short assignments in either Microsoft Word or Mac Pages etc. Many Students find the course highly rewarding, exciting and also emotionally challenging. Applicants should therefore be in a fairly stable emotional state when applying (e.g. those with recent bereavement/loss/relationship breakdown/trauma may find they struggle with the emotional impact of the course). Students should also ensure their IT equipment is sufficient for working online with zoom (a good internet connection, web camera and microphone - this will be tested during informal interview.

Informal Interview / short written piece

All applicants will be required to have an informal interview as part of the application process. Applicants should ensure they meet the entry requirements for the course before applying. A short written piece of work is also required as part of the application process.

Course Fees

Course fees for 2020/2021 are £1439 + £56 OCNWMR registration fee = £1,495 (total). For those who wish to pay by instalments this is available over 10 payments of £149.50 (interest free).


To apply, please download the booking form by clicking here and return it either via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to Nathan Laxton, Hope CIC, Harker Grange, Harker, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA6 4HY. To pay deposit/course fees online click here.

What previous level 4 students had to say:

"Be amazed at what you don't know about yourself! The practice skills I've learned help so much now when listening to people" - Dean Glover
"This course has had a profound affect personally and has given me the confidence to progress" - Tess Moran
"It was truly excellent - a standard setter" - Coops
"Thank you Hope for a well organised, sensitively delivered course which has refined my skills and helped me understand myself more" - Judy Pitt
"Fantastic. Really benefited from the hard work and organisation of everyone involved" - Megan Davies

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register your interest or if you have any queries.