Counselling Practice Level 4 Diploma

Adult Skills & Training

Date (from)



Part Time - November 2018


Course introduction

This course is suitable for any individual whose goal is to achieve professional status in counselling. It is also appropriate for candidates in work roles where counselling skills are needed e.g. nursing, teaching, social work, working in voluntary organisations, the police and armed forces. It is delivered by experienced counselling trainers and complies with current BACP guidelines on moral and ethical practice.

At this level, students embark on practice working within an ethical framework and developing their understanding of legal and ethical requirements. They are expected to make appropriate use of counselling supervision and evaluate their own work. The 100 hours placement requirement in this qualification is essential to the personal and professional development of the practitioner. Two options provide an opportunity to deepen their theoretical knowledge of one of the core theories and also to focus on a particular context in the counselling profession.

On completion of the AIM Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling candidates would have acquired the knowledge and competence in counselling skills necessary to ensure the health and safety of both counsellor and clients and, significantly, be qualified to access higher level awards both within the AIM range of counselling awards and those of other higher education awarding bodies. They would have evidenced a commitment to continue their professional development in counselling.

Mandatory: Embarking on Practice

This unit is intended to provide students with a solid theoretical background in one of the three major schools of counselling: humanistic, psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioural. You will need 50 hours of practice in order to undertake this unit.  This theoretical knowledge will support students as they begin client work.

Mandatory: Counselling Practicum

The aim of this unit is to enable candidates to record and evaluate 50 hours of their own counselling practice. They will learn about and demonstrate working within an ethical framework and using appropriate counselling supervision. They will be able to reflect on and evaluate the development of their self-awareness as a result of clinical practice.

Optional: Humanistic Theory

This unit will provide candidates with an overview of the key concepts of humanistic theory and allow them to explore the particular opportunities and challenges of working with clients in this module. It aims to enable candidates to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of a humanistic approach.

Optional: An Introduction to Transactional Analysis

This unit will provide learners with an overview of the key concepts of transactional analysis and allow them to explore the particular opportunities and challenges of working with clients in this model.

Course structure

You will be taught through a range of methods including lecture, discussion, group work and role play.

You will be expected to undertake substantial additional private study.

Minimum entry requirements

You will require a Level 3 Certificate in Counselling or equivalent to participate in this course.

We will assess candidates initial suitability for counselling as a vocation, commitment to personal development and respect for the privacy of others within a context of confidentiality that exists on counselling courses.

Candidates must be aware of the high degree of ethics required within environments where counselling training takes place. They should be at Level 2 functional skills in English in order to undertake the academic rigour of the course.

How will I be assessed?

Course work: weekly reflective journal, academic essays and practical skills, role play, assessment.

Task-based controlled assessment.

Written examination for Reflective Practitioner and externally marked report for Therapeutic Practice.

Information & support

Students should bring an A4 file, paper and pen to each session.

Please let our staff know if you need any additional support or reasonable adjustments - we will do all we can to help. We can also tailor learning materials to suit particular needs.

Experienced staff at our adult learning centres can help you decide on your course and progression options. 

You may be eligible to apply for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan.  Please see the page on our website  for further information and also have a look at to find out about the financial support for tuition costs.

Course fees & Duration

Course fees are £2882.

What can I do with this qualification?

This qualification provides access to further study for accreditation at higher education level, university study.

It provides a sound basis towards practitioner status and provides a wider range of employment opportunities in the public health sector and private voluntary sectors for counselling professionals.

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