CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling

This page will provide you with all the necessary information that you may need to support and guide you in your application for the Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies.

York Learning has been delivering the CPCAB Counselling Training Courses since 2013 and in that time we have grown to become one of the biggest training centres for CPCAB in the whole of Yorkshire.

All members of the Counselling tutor team are fully qualified counsellors as well as qualified teachers with an extensive amount of knowledge and experience that they bring to the classroom.  We are very passionate about providing the highest quality training from Level 2 to Level 4 and we put our learners at the centre of everything we do.

Here at York Learning we pride ourselves on being aware of and responsive to the specific needs of adult learners.  We respect and appreciate that on most occasions our learners will be balancing their counselling training with other commitments and priorities such as work, family and child care; often our learners also travel from out of the local area to attend weekly sessions.

With this in mind, all of our courses are delivered through a blended learning model so that we can continue to offer our learners an inclusive and engaging learning environment.  The courses combine high quality, interactive online teaching (via Zoom) with more traditional face to face learning from our premises at The Centre @ Burnholme.

We look forward to welcoming you onto the Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies as you continue your journey of counselling training with York Learning.

Warm Regards

Anna-Marie Gillman
Programme Lead: York Learning Counselling

All you need to know about the Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies

Who is this course for?

This qualification is intended for candidates who have already acquired a recognised qualification in counselling skills (minimum Level 2) and want to:

  • take the next step in training to become a counsellor
  • learn more about counselling theory, ethics and mental health
  • be prepared for work as a professional counsellor in an agency setting.

This qualification does not lead directly to employment as a counsellor but it will provide you with an enhanced skill set for those already working in a related field.

The course is specifically designed as a ‘pre-practitioner’ course for the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling.

Duration of course

This course is run over a period of 32 weeks.  You will meet on a weekly basis either in person or on line for 3 hours per week.  (Excluding half term holidays, Easter and Christmas).   You are required to attend each session to ensure that you get the most out of the course and absence from sessions will only be accepted due to unforeseen circumstances such as sickness or other work commitments.

Time required completing homework outside of the sessions

An essential part of your learning is the homework tasks and related reading that you will be set.  At this level we advise that you allow between 3 – 5 hours per week to complete your homework related tasks.

Entry Requirements

You are required to have completed the CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills (or equivalent) to be eligible for a place on the course.  Special consideration may be given to those who do not hold a Level 2 qualification in Counselling Skills if they are able to evidence that they have recognised prior learning (RPL).  RPL will be awarded to those who have qualifications in other related fields and / or actual practical experience within the helping / counselling sector.   For those wishing to apply for this course through the recognised prior learning route you will also be required to write a short essay (1,000 words) on a relevant topic area and may be required to attend an interview with the course leader.

A further requirement is that you purchase the two essential course text books to support you in your studies:

  1. The CPCAB Skills and Studies book which can be purchased from SAGE by following a link directly on the homepage of the CPCAB website.  For more information visit the CPCAB website at www.cpcab.co.uk
  2. Margaret Hough [2014]  ‘ Counselling Skills and Theory 4th Edition’

Important to note

This qualification is not suitable for those who are currently in a state of severe emotional difficulty and /or severe psychological confusion. The course involves experiential elements that will involve some personal disclosure and self reflection through associated personal developmental activities.


The course costs £936. You can pay the full £936 at the start of the course or in a number of agreed instalments. If you are paying in instalments you are required to pay a non refundable £125 deposit to secure your place


There are 2 elements to the course and both are required to be passed in order to gain the qualification

  1. Completion of a portfolio to evidence knowledge and skills through written work and skills practice: this is assessed internally by your tutor and verified by CPCAB
  2. An external exam where you are required to evidence knowledge and understanding of the 7 learning processes.


The Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling or equivalent

Areas and topics studied

This qualification has 7 Learning Processes that will be covered in a range of ways as follows:

  1. Prepare to work within an ethical framework for counselling
  2. Understand the counselling relationship
  3. Understand difference and diversity issues to develop empathic understanding
  4. Work within a user-centred approach to counselling
  5. Use counselling theory to develop self awareness in counselling practice
  6. Understand theories of counselling and mental health
  7. Use feedback, reflection and supervision to support counselling studies

For more information about the qualification why not down load the Candidate Guide for the Level Certificate in Counselling Skills.