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  4. Foundation Degree in Counselling
  5. Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

There are some minimal entry requirements designed to ensure all students fully understand what they are about to undertake and are prepared for their studies. All students on the award will need to have completed

    1. an introductory counselling theory course (such as the discontinued OU module D171 'Introduction to counselling', or an equivalent course, for instance, the CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies) and also a counselling skills course (such as the CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills, which is delivered throughout the country).

Completion of these two courses will ensure that students are able to apply to a training provider for an interview for the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, which is part of the OU FD in Counselling and comprises the main element of their work-based learning. It is important to note that progression on to the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma is not an automatic process and is dependent upon a successful interview with the training provider.

Interview for the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma

Please be aware that progression from the two counselling courses (theory and skills) on to the CPCAB Level 4 is not automatic and all students will be interviewed by the individual training centre to ensure they are ready for this course. It is vital that all students who complete this award are fit to work as a counsellor and so additional requirements are necessary beyond academic achievement, as is common with all such training. Whilst many students who have completed these courses (including the discontinued OU module D171) will have the necessary experience to progress some students may need to take additional steps to ensure they are ready for the commitment that is required for the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma (and indeed, future work as a counsellor).

Interviews for places on the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma will include consideration of the following.

The need to:

  • Identify reasons for training beyond just personal development
  • Provide references
  • Cope academically & emotionally with this level of training
  • Be able to work with difference and diversity
  • Possess personal qualities, imagination, intuition, openness and ability to benefit from self-development
  • Be able to form a therapeutic relationship
  • Demonstrate some self-awareness, insight, honesty and the ability to make links
  • Be emotionally stable and be without personality disturbance
  • Be able to challenge and be challenged
  • Be able to respond sensitively and empathically to others

It is important therefore that you prepare yourself for such an interview and ensure that you adequately meet these requirements. There are three key elements that definitely need to be addressed (especially if you wish to use the completion of the discontinued OU module D171 to meet the entry requirements) - should you wish to continue your training to become a professional counsellor and these include:

    1. knowledge of counselling agencies
    2. self awareness
    3. additional skills practice (beyond that achieved by completing an initial counselling skills course).

There are a number of ways you can do this to enhance your chances of success in securing a place on a CPCAB Level 4 Diploma (assuming you do not already have such experience):

    1. Undertake some personal therapy/personal development work;
    2. Search for an agency/do voluntary work with an agency;
    3. Practise your skills (if you have already done the skills training) with a peer group of fellow students or helping agency (e.g. Victim support, Samaritans).
    4. Approach a centre delivering the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma and discuss how you might prepare for the assessment interview at that centre (in advance of applying for the Diploma).

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