Qualification in Counselling Psychology
Discover what this qualification could offer you in your career.
Thank you for your interest in the society’s Qualification in Counselling Psychology (QCoP).
The QCoP is due to fall into a review period very shortly, which is part of our usual monitoring processes. Therefore, with immediate effect, we will not be accepting enrolment applications.
It is expected that the review will take a number of months and that there will be some changes made. We’ll be able to inform you of any changes once the review has concluded and the website will also be kept up to date with developments.
If you would like to be contacted once the qualification has been re-launched, please fill in your details here.
What is the Qualification in Counselling Psychology?
The Qualification in Counselling Psychology (QCoP) is the independent route to training as a counselling psychologist, which is an alternative route to those undertaking a professional doctorate at university.
This is an integrated, doctoral level qualification which leads to eligibility for chartered membership of the society and full membership of the Division of Counselling Psychology.
You will be working in practice to meet the competencies required for the qualification and will also be required to complete the QCoP specific assessments, alongside your proposed core therapy and secondary model training if not previously completed and subsequently approved of in an application for accreditation of existing competence (AEC).
Both courses would need to be delivered by a University or relevant course provider at postgraduate level i.e. minimum level 7 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or level 11 (Scotland), with both your core therapy needing to meet a minimum of 350 hours and your secondary model course being at least 150 hours of teaching.
- 3 years minimum (or part-time equivalent)
Enrolment (entry) requirements
- Graduate Membership of the society with the Graduate Basis for Chartered membership
- An approved coordinating supervisor
- Access to a suitable placement (paid or voluntary)
- Consideration of your core and secondary model training (if not previously completed and approved of in an application for AEC)
- Flexible: you can enrol throughout the year.
With the support of your supervisor, you will design your plan of training to accommodate your interests and circumstances (for instance, the therapeutic approaches that you study and the placements where you undertake your supervised practice), so long as this fits into the broad framework for the qualification.
You will also be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council.
For any questions, contact us via [email protected] or by phone 0116 252 9505.
The QCoP involves undertaking a self-determined plan of training built around appropriate postgraduate courses in two different models of therapy, supervised client work, your own personal therapy, a written examination, and a range of written pieces of work, including a piece of research.
Through this process, you will develop and demonstrate your skills to doctoral level in order to practice independently as a counselling psychologist.
You will receive supervision and support from your Co-ordinating Supervisor, who will act as your mentor throughout your training on the qualification, in addition to your practice supervisor (for your client work), and support from the society’s Qualifications team.
The QCoP usually takes a minimum of three years full-time, or the equivalent if you are training on a part-time basis.
If you have already completed some relevant postgraduate training, you may be eligible to apply for accreditation of existing competence and reduce the amount of assessed work that you need to complete.
For further information consult the appropriate handbooks and guidelines:
- Guidelines for candidates with dyslexia (Under Review)
- Guidelines for supervisors & placement providers of candidates with dyslexia (Under Review)
Code of Conduct
The BPS sets standards that it expects candidates to follow.
In order to guide candidates in understanding their responsibilities as a trainee, the society has adopted this Code of Conduct for Members enrolled on a Society Qualification.
Please note: the QCoP is due to fall into a review period very shortly, which is part of our usual monitoring processes.
Therefore, with immediate effect, we will not be accepting enrolment applications.
The QCoP consists of Documentary Evidence Units (DEUs) designed to ensure that you undertake appropriate developmental experiences including teaching, supervised client work and personal therapy, and Assessment Units (AUs) designed to ensure that you are able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills which you have developed.
Your Co-ordinating Supervisor is available to provide feedback on your work, prior to submission, although this does not constitute a formal assessment of your work.
The final assessment on the qualification includes an oral examination, which will explore your overall competence and your professional identity as a counselling psychologist.
Further details can be found in the Candidate Handbook.
All the documents you will need as a Candidate can be found on our BPS Learn platform.
We offer a telephone service for you to speak to us directly regarding any queries relating to the qualification.
Appointments must be made in advance by booking online.
Video calls can be requested on a case by case basis (i.e if you were looking to hold a conversation with your Co-ordinating Supervisor and the Registrar).
Please contact the Office a week prior to the session so this can be arranged.
Appointments must be made in advance by booking online.
The Counselling Psychology Qualifications Board will be running Supervisor training workshops for those wishing to supervise on the new QCoP (post-2018) qualification and to refresh their QCoP pre-2018 training.
The Supervisor training is a requirement that needs to be completed by anyone wishing to supervise candidates on the QCoP.
To be a supervisor you must be:
- HCPC Registered
- A Full Member of the Division of Counselling Psychology (normally for at least two years)
For those already supervising on QCoP (pre-2018) route, you will be required to complete a new Module 2 distance-learning training.
For those who are not already supervising on QCoP, you will be required to complete Module 1 & 2 distance-learning trainings.
- What sort of courses can I do for my core therapy and secondary model training?
- Can these be the same course?
- Can they be short courses?
- What level do these courses need to be?
- Can I use a course or other work that I have previously completed?
- Can I use a course that I am currently completing?
- Where can I do my supervised practice?
- Who can be my practice supervisor?
- Can my Co-ordinating Supervisor also be my practice supervisor?
- How many placements do I need?
- What is the difference between the QCoP and a HCPC approved, BPS accredited professional doctorate?
- I am currently enrolled for a professional doctorate but want to transfer to the QCoP. How do I do this?
- How do I pay the qualification fee? Is any funding available?
- How do I submit work for assessment?
- How long does it take for my work to be assessed?
- When do I submit my portfolios?
- What are the Documentary Evidence Units (DEUs)?
- What is an Assessment Unit (AU)?
- What are the Quarterly Review Forms?
- How do I appeal a result?
- How do I submit a complaint?
- If I am re-submitting work for assessment will my work be sent to the same assessors?
- What will happen at my viva?
- What is the development logbook?
- Do competencies awarded through AEC need to be included in the development logbook?
- Can competencies be submitted within a different assessment unit to the original submission?
- What is the difference between the unit cover sheet and the competency matrix?
- Can a resubmission be fast-tracked or reviewed quicker?
- Do I need to be supervised for the entire time I am enrolled on the Qualification?
- What is the practice report form and final practice report form?
A different fee structure applies to candidates who enrolled prior to 31 December 2014 – details of that payment structure can be sent upon request.
- Amount: £120 (£100 + VAT)
- When: upon submission of an enrolment application
This is a non-refundable fee which covers the processing and review of your enrolment application.
An invoice will be sent to you when we receive your enrolment application and this must be paid within 30 days of the date on the invoice.
We will not be able to confirm your enrolment until this fee has been paid.
- Amount: £360 (£300 + VAT)
- When: upon submission of an AEC application
This is a non-refundable fee which covers the processing and review of your AEC application.
An invoice will be sent to you when we receive your AEC application and this should be paid within 30 days of the date on the invoice.
We will not be able to confirm the outcome of your AEC application until this fee has been paid.
- Amount: £7754.40 (£6462.00 + £1292.40 VAT)
- When: upon confirmation of enrolment (either in full or by monthly Direct Debit)
This fee covers any support and expert advice you might need, as well as administration carried out during your enrolment by either the society’s staff or members of the Qualifications Board.
- Amount: £385.20 (£321 + VAT)
- When: one month prior to submitting your amended work
The re-submission fee covers the cost of work carried out during the re-assessment of your portfolio.
We offer flexible payment plans via direct debit to spread the cost of a qualification over your period of study. These are monthly interest free payments and you can choose to pay over 12, 24, 36 or 48 months.
We only charge you for the cost of the qualification once. If you need longer to complete the qualification we won’t charge you extra.
Please be aware that if you complete your qualification before the payment term has been completed you will be required to pay the outstanding balance before your results can be released.
Please note that you may incur additional costs during your training which are not set by the society, may include, but are not limited to, supervision costs, travel and accommodation costs (for instance, for supervisory meetings, events and conferences) and professional indemnity insurance.
These fees are not set by the society so we are unable to advise on what rates will be charged.
A fee reduction of 20% is available to candidates who are in receipt of state benefits or a state pension.
Requests for reductions for other reasons will not be considered.
Formal requests for reductions must be submitted to the Professional Development Delivery Officer along with evidence of income and level of state benefits.
All fees charged by the society are reviewed annually and, therefore, are subject to change from 1 January each year.