Counselling Skills Diploma Level 3

The NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Counselling Skills is for those aged 19 and over who want to progress to become a qualified professional counsellor, or gain counselling skills as part of their current profession, for example teachers and nurses. The course is run one full day a week for a full academic year and is taught in a supportive environment which involve seminars, role plays and discussion groups.

National Skills Level 3 Offer

From April 2021, the Lifetime Skills Guarantee gives adult learners (who will be studying for their first full Level 3 qualification) the opportunity to study a fully-funded course. It is part of the government’s National Skills Fund to help adults to gain the skills they need for employment, and to improve their job prospects.

This Level 3 course offered at Colchester Institute is included in the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

This programme will be free if you meet the eligibility criteria listed below. If these do not apply, you may need to pay a fee, and the fee is located further down the course information page. You can apply for a loan to cover all of your tuition fees.

Do I have to pay a fee?

This course will be free:

  • If you are aged 19+ and enrolling on a full level 3 course and you do not already have a qualification at this level*. (In some cases, if you need to enrol on a lower level to be able to progress to Level 3 you may also be eligible for free training)

* This means that you have not previously attained a full level 3 or equivalent (2 A Levels or 4 AS Levels, or QAA Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma at level 3, or a level 3 Tech level or applied general qualification (e.g. BTEC)).

Who is this course aimed at?

Experienced professionals who wish to further their counselling skills to support their main employment role or those people wishing to obtain an introduction to counselling as a career option.

Course Content

The Counselling Skills Diploma Level 3 course is made up of five mandatory units including:

  • Developing Counselling Skills
  • Theoretical Approaches in the Use of Counselling Skills
  • Working Ethically With Counselling Skills
  • Counselling Skills and Diversity
  • Counselling Skills and Personal Development

The content of the qualification will support the personal development and development of counselling skills and knowledge.The course is classroom based with role plays to evidence and support development of practical skills. Classroom work is delivered in a mixture of taught and research sessions with fully trained and experienced counsellors. Assessments are conducted in a variety of methods to create a portfolio across the year in order to achieve the qualification.

Entry Requirements

The ability to work at Level 3 and a desire to help others is more important than formal qualifications. Progression onto the Degree programme will require Level 2 (GCSE or equivalent) Literacy and Numeracy although these can be obtained whilst studying on the Level 3 programme.

Career Opportunities

Entry level posts within the Counselling sector. Learners can progress onto the BA (Hons) in Person Centred Counselling Studies at University Centre Colchester UCC, MA or other CPD course in child therapy or other specific courses such as Counselling for Depression.

How To Apply

The application window for part-time courses starting in September and October 2022 will be open from January 4th 2022.

Applications for this course are made via our online application form and you will be able to access it from this course page.

Once we are accepting applications and you are ready to apply then please click the ‘Apply Online‘ button which will appear below in the next menu.

Upon successful submission of an application you will receive an acknowledgement email from our Admissions team. If you do not receive this you should contact the team to check that your application has been received.

We will begin to process applications for courses starting in the 2022-23 academic year from January 2022.

During the spring-term applicants will receive further correspondence from the College about the next stages of the admissions process. These will include details about interviews with the course tutor or any pre-assessments and trades tests, which start to take place from May.

If you have any further questions about the application process or next available start date, want to check the progress of your application or if you are unsure about anything please contact us using the enquiry line or enquiry form below.

Counselling Skills Diploma Level 3
Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Counselling Skills
LevelLevel 3
Duration36 weeks (One Year)
Study ModePart-Time
CampusColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2022 - Applications open on 4th January 2022
AttendanceOne day per week (Monday). Lesson times will be confirmed upon application.
Awarding/Validation BodyNCFE
*This course will be free to any adult meeting the eligibility criteria under the Lifetime Skills Guarantee


All Fees and prices shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.