NCS | What can you expect from a counselling course?

We have officially changed our name to the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society!

Information for members

As of the 15th of May 2023, we have officially changed our name to the National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS).

Our new and improved website is coming soon!

Training as a counsellor is a substantial investment of time and money and you should choose carefully. There are many different courses which can make the choice a confusing one. In general, a course should include a balance of theoretical study and skills training and should encourage personal as well as professional development. It should, preferably, be recognised by a professional body like the NCS and agree to abide by that body’s Code of Ethics.

In this section you can find details of the different training providers whose courses are either accredited or quality checked by the National Counselling Society.

An Accredited Course has been through a full assessment and inspection and meets our Standards of Training and Education for Accredited Courses.

Please download our Training Standards.

Graduates from Accredited Courses have fulfilled the training requirements for our Accredited Register of Counsellors.

A Quality Checked course is a shorter or more specialised course which does not in itself provide a route to our Register but which offers valuable experience and may in some cases be used for Continuing Professional Development.

An Advanced/Specialist Training is one which is primarily aimed at qualified/experienced practitioners of counselling, psychotherapy or a closely related activity such as coaching. It does not in itself provide a route to our Register, but offers extensive support to practitioners in developing a specialist area of work, for example working with Children and Young People or Counselling Supervision.

There are a variety of different training providers and courses on offer that have been assessed by us. Accreditation, Advanced/Specialist or Quality Checked status means that in the opinion of the Society the training offered is safe, ethical and delivered in a competent fashion.

You can use our Find a Course tool to find your nearest training provider from the list. We have added the courses that the NCS has assessed in the information for each training provider. It is important to be aware that we accredit or quality-check each course on its own merits. This may mean that not all the courses offered by a particular provider have been assessed by us.

We advise potential students to take as much care in choosing their course as they would in choosing an individual therapist. Ensure the ethos and philosophy of the training provider is right for you; don’t be afraid to ask questions and certainly look at as many courses as possible before making a choice.

The contact details and website links are provided and so you should take time to read through all the information about both the training provider and the courses you are interested in.

Practical issues that you may want to consider are:

  • What is the time commitment?
  • Do you want to study full time or part time?
  • Your budget - and payment options available
  • What qualification will you get at the end of the course?
  • Is this qualification recognised by a professional body like NCS or a government body like Ofqual?

Please be aware that the Society cannot recommend one course over another.

Please note: to Join the Accredited Register distance learning and/or online-only delivered courses are not accepted.

  • Find a Counsellor

    Find the help you need...If you are a potential client looking for a counsellor, you may search our registrants by location or name and you can also check whether someone is on the NCPS accredited register. A member of the Society may be a Registrant or a non-registrant member.

    Find Out More
  • Train as a Counsellor

    Use our Find a Course tool to find the nearest training providers who offer National Counselling Society Accredited, Advanced Specialist, Quality Checked or CPD courses. These courses are currently run across the the UK.

    Find Out More