Level 4 Diploma in Counselling -  accredited by OCNWMR

Sept 2020 - July 2022 - ONLINE with 6 Attended Skills Practice Days per year

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?
£2395 per year (12 instalments of £199.58 2 years Part time - every Thursday  evening term time 4:00pm - 9.30pm (online) and 6 attended Saturdays per year ONLINE & Saturday Skills Practice days held in Carlisle, Cumbria - venue tbc

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

Who is offering this course?

Hope Psychological Services CIC is a community interest company (social enterprise) established in 2013. We are an organisational member of the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and adhere strictly to their ethical framework. We strive for excellence in all we do.

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. All weekly sessions (which will include a skills practice element) will be undertaken online using Zoom video conferencing (using the breakout rooms facility). In addition, there will be six attended skills practice days in Carlisle. Help and support is offered to assist people to set up Zoom and ensure it is working correctly before the course commences.


Students will be registered with OCNWMR (National Awarding Organisation) for 11 Units with a total of 53 Credits. We provide 450 hours of Guided Learning for this course (GLH) and Total Qualification Time (TQT) is around 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 (Thursday) term time - from 4.00pm - 9.30pm online via Zoom conferencing. There will also be 6 attended Saturday skills practice days to be held throughout each year - from 9:00am - 4.30pm in Carlisle, Cumbria.  Exact dates are as follows:

Session Date Time Format
S1&2 Sat 12 Sept 9:00am - 4:30pm Attended
S3 Thurs 17 Sept 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S4 Thurs 24 Sept 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S5 Thurs 1 Oct 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S6 Thurs 8 Oct 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S7 Thurs 15 Oct 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S8 Thurs 22 Oct 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S9 Thurs 5 Nov 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S10 & 11 Sat 7 Nov 9:00am - 4:30pm Attended
S12 Thurs 12 Nov 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S13 Thurs 19 Nov 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S14 Thurs 26 Nov 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S15 Thurs 3 Dec 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S16  Thurs 10 Dec 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S17 Thurs 17 Dec 4:00pm- 9:30pm Online
S18 & 19 Sat 16 Jan 9:00am - 4:30pm Attended
S20  Thurs 21 Jan 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S21 Thurs 28 Jan 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S22 Thurs 4 Feb 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S23 Thurs 11 Feb 4:00pm- 9:30pm Online
S24 Thurs 25 Feb 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S25 Thurs 4 Mar 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S26 Thurs 11 Mar 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S27  Thurs 18 Mar 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S28 & 29 Sat 20 Mar 9:00am - 4:30pm Attended
S30 Thurs 25 Mar 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S31 Thurs 1 April 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S32 Thurs 22 April 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S33 & 34 Sat 24 April 9:00am - 4:30pm Attended
S35 Thurs 29 April 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S36 Thurs 6 May 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S37 Thurs 13 May 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S38 Thurs 20 May 4:00pm- 9:30pm Online
S39  Thurs 27 May 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S40 Thurs 10 June 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S41 Thurs 17 June 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S42 Thurs 24 June 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S43 Thurs 1 July 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S44 Thurs 8 July 4:00pm - 9:30pm Online
S45 & 46 Sat 24 July 9:00am - 4:30pm Attended


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, good quality webcam with microphone 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 £2395 per year - including accreditation fees. Students may take advantage of 12 interest free instalments of £199.58.


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.

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.

Booking Terms and Conditions
1)The total fee for Year 1 of this course is £2395. Learners have the option of paying in full prior to the course commencing or by 12 staged payments. For staged payments, a first instalment/deposit of £199.58 must be paid prior to the course commencing (by August 31st 2020) to secure a place. With the exception of the course being cancelled (see 3 below), this is a non-refundable deposit (this is largely due to us having significant upfront costs). For those paying online through the website, PayPal fees are charged in addition (details can be read on payment screen prior to submitting).

For those who wish to pay in instalments the following 12 payments are required:
1st Instalment & Deposit - by August 31st  (prior to registration) - £199.58
2nd Instalment - by 30 September 2020 - £199.58
3rd Instalment - by 30 October 2020 - £199.58
4th Instalment - by 27 November 2020 - £199.58
5th Instalment - by 31 December 2020 - £199.58
6th Instalment - by 29 January 2021 - £199.58
7th Instalment - by 26 February 2021 - £199.58
8th Instalment - by 31 March 2021 - £199.58
9th Instalment - by 30 April 2021 - £199.58
10th Instalment - by 28 May 2021 - £199.58
11th Instalment - by 30 June 2021 - £199.58
12th Instalment - by 30 July 2021 - £199.58

Notice of cancellation must be received by email (to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) a minimum of 10 days before start date (please also confirm by telephone 01228 558987 and leave a message if necessary). Please note if you cancel within 10 days of course start date, your 1st Instalment/deposit is non-returnable, however, it may be possible in some instances to provide a substitution. For those who have paid the full amount within 10 days prior to the course commencing and wish to cancel, the fee will be returned less the cancellation fee of £199.58 (the same as the 1st instalment/deposit).
2) We reserve the right to reschedule or to cancel the training event as necessary at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances. This may include illness, train cancellation or strike, exceptional weather conditions, numbers dropping below the minimum required and power failure.
3) If the course is cancelled you will have the option to reschedule the course at a later date or have a full refund of any deposit paid.
4) Responsibility will not be accepted for any consequential loss arising from cancellation or curtailment of any course.
5) There may be a delay to delegates receiving their certificates until external verification of portfolios has taken place, NB a minimum of 80% of sessions must be attended and full course fee paid to receive accreditation and certificate.
6) Students should have level 2 English and 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). Places are therefore offered on the basis of a successful informal interview. Students should also ensure their IT equipment is sufficient for working online with zoom - specifically a good internet connection, web camera and microphone (this will be tested during informal interview).