Level 4 Diploma in Counselling -  accredited by OCNWMR

Sept 2020 - July 2022 - Carlisle, Cumbria

This Nationally recognised qualification will qualify you to gain entry on the BACP register and start working towards accreditation.



Course Price Duration Delivery Method Where Delivered?
tbc 2 years Part time - every Wednesday  evening (tbc) term time 4:00pm - 9.30pm and 4 Saturdays per year Carlisle, Cumbria

The course reflects the mission of Hope Psychological services to prepare and support individuals to develop the essential practical, personal and professional skills required of counsellors to develop the therapeutic relationship with clients. We are especially committed to a relational approach to training and therapy and hold strong beliefs about the importance of the personal development of the therapist being of central importance. In relation to this we also focus on the challenges posed by diversity in the therapeutic relationship. Essentially we think that counsellors need to thoroughly know themselves and be able to work with differences in order to build a strong therapeutic alliance.  We are fully committed to an individual relationship with each student we take on to the course. We make it our business to provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for ethical successful progress into the profession. However, we do recognise that some people are not suitable for the profession. We do our best to identify this as early in the process as possible and offer support for those who don’t make it.  

Training to be a counsellor can be incredibly rewarding and is also demanding emotionally, academically and financially. Please consider carefully the time commitment and your current family and work life situations. Outside the guided learning hours there is reading and assignment writing time, personal therapy, placement and supervision and a research project in the second year. Although we have arranged as little overlap with traditional working hours as possible in an attempt to be inclusive it will be a challenge to run the course alongside full time employment where there is no concession for the extra work that you will be engaged in. Other things to consider would be the level of other commitments you might have like caring or community activities or any health issues you might have. To be successful you will need a high degree of personal organisation, commitment and discipline. 

Who is the course for?

This course provides a further step for those having already completed 150 hours of counselling training and will provide an opportunity to:
  • Become a qualified counsellor and apply for employment opportunities.
  • 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 level 5 foundation degree in Counselling or Masters Programme
  • Use the course as personal development to change your personal and professional life and expand future opportunities

What will the course cover?

There are 11 Units, covering:

  • Action Centred and Solution Focused Approaches to Counselling
  • Analysis and Evaluation of Practice Outcomes in Counselling
  • Applying Counselling to the Human Condition
  • Cognitive and Rational Approaches to Counselling
  • Continued Professional Practice in Counselling
  • Current Issues in Counselling Practice and Research
  • Eclectic and Integrative Approaches to Counselling
  • Person Centred Therapy
  • Personal Development
  • Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues in Counselling
  • Using Counselling Supervision and Other Support Systems

Learning Outcomes

A full list of learning outcomes is available on request but briefly by the end of the course you will:

  • Develop self awareness and enhance personal development
  • Be able to provide a safe and conducive therapeutic space for a person to talk with you
  • Develop enhanced practical skills and knowledge to cope with a range of presenting problems
  • Understand professional, ethical and legal practice and application
  • Know about and differentiate between the major modalities of therapy and develop an individual integrative stance
  • Write level 4 assignments
  • Have experienced 100 hours of supervised counselling placement
  • Covered current issues in counselling practice and research

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.


Students will be registered with OCNWMR (National Awarding Organisation) for 11 Units with a total of 53 Credits. Guided learning hours (GLH) for this qualification is 420 hours and Total Qualification Time (TQT) is 530 hours. On successful completion students with be awarded a national qualification - 'OCNWMR Level 4 Diploma in Counselling'  The Open College Network West Midlands  Level 4 Diploma in Counselling is  accredited by Ofqual.

Placement Requirement

As part of this course there will be a placement requirement of 100 hours. This is a placement outside of the course where you will fulfill the role of a trainee counsellor. You will therefore need professional indemnity insurance and student membership of the BACP or ACC. This work will be supervised and perspective students are advised to consider the extra costs this will incur. You will need to research agencies or charities where you may become a volunteer in good time before starting your placement in the January of the fisrt academic year.  You may be required to have DBS checks etc which can take time, and you may be required to do some specific agency training dependent on the placement provider.

Personal Therapy Requirement

As part of this course you will be required to have 20 hours per year of personal therapy.  This is not only so you can experience therapy from the client’s point of view but also for personal development and to help you cope with issues and emotions raised on the course and when counselling others.


Following this course students are eligible to join BACP as an individual member and apply to take the BACP Certificate of Proficiency assessment. BACP individual members then have 24 months to progress to the Registered Member MBACP category.

When and where is the course running?

The course will next run between September 2020 and Summer 2022 one evening per week (likely to be a Wednesday early evening term time) from 4.00pm - 9.30pm at a Carlisle venue. There will also be 4 Saturday 'away days' to be held throughout each year - from 9:00am - 5.00pm  Exact dates are to be confirmed.


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
  • Students must have attended a minimum of 150 hours of counselling training before enrolling on this qualification
  • Students must be at a minimum of level 2 in their literacy skills to be able to undertake training at level 4
  • Students will need experience of working with people

Students should also have sufficient IT skills and access to a computer and printer to produce assignments in either Microsoft Word or Mac Pages etc. Students will also need to purchase or have access to a digital voice recorder. 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).

Informal Interview and Short assignment

All applicants will be required to submit a short assignment and have an informal interview as part of the application process. Applicants should ensure they meet the entry requirements for the course before applying.

Course Fees

Course fees for 2020/22 are to be confirmed.

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.