Training FAQ

Becoming a Counsellor
Since counselling is not a statutorily recognised profession, the term "counsellor" is not legally protected. It implies that anyone, regardless of their level of education, can refer to themselves as a "counsellor." However, there are approved standards for practitioner training established by professional bodies and awarding organisations and are associated with entry into practitioner registers and employment prospects.

What qualifications do I need to become a counsellor?
To become a professional counsellor in the UK, you must at the very least be listed on a register for counselling or psychotherapy approved by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). The PSA protect the public by overseeing the regulation and registration of healthcare professionals.
Counselling training is available in a wide range of forms and levels, including at the diploma, degree, and postgraduate levels. Some are part-time, while others are full-time. Not all, but many, result in registration. Reflect On Academy Psychotherapeutic Counselling Diploma Level 5 meets the BACP requirements. Graduates of the Diploma are eligible to apply for the Registration with the BACP (successfully completion the course requirements, which includes the appropriate clinical (150) and supervision hours (35) - allowing you to practice as a registered counsellor). After successfully completing 450 post professional hours of supervised clinical experience graduates may apply for accreditation.

Validation Endorsement
Reflect On Academy (ROA) courses are validated by Quality Licence Scheme (QLS)

Quality Licence Scheme (QLS)
The Quality Licence Scheme recognises provider's commitment to high-quality courses in the non-regulated sector, by evaluating quality processes and endorsing an organisation. This demonstrates to the people you work with that there is a commitment to delivering a high quality of learning and learners can receive an endorsed Certificate of Achievement upon completion of their course. QLS validation are perfect for bridging the gap for when there are no subjects available on the RQF.

What is QLS Certification?
The Quality Licence Scheme is a part of the Skills and Education Group, a non-profit association that brings together organisations focused on education and skills development with similar goals and values. The Skills and Education Group's strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence, and represent the broader education and skills sector by providing high-quality qualifications and assessments for the education and skills sectors, thereby assisting employers, organisations, and students in developing relevant skills.
Their knowledge and experience in the awarding sector enable them to work with organisations such as ROA through their Quality Licence Scheme to help ROA develop high-quality training courses and programmes for the non-regulated market.

What is difference between QLS and BACP?
QLS is a form of Certification offered by The Skills and Education Group, while BACP is a professional membership body representing counselling interests. Endorsed Certification is used when there are no suitable subjects or units on the Regulated Qualification Framework but does not form part of a regulated qualification.

All Awarding Organisations use the same Level descriptors for Endorsed Certification to indicate the depth of study and level of demand and complexity involved in successful completion by students and will often have the same features as regulated units and provide clear learning outcomes and assessment criteria whilst offering flexibility in teaching methods and evidence. BACP also approves course content but cannot award qualifications and is not externally regulated.

How do I join a voluntary register?
ROA graduates can potentially access the following counselling register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) in the following ways:
BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy): BACP recognises ROA Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling as an appropriate qualification to gain BACP membership, either Student Membership whilst studying or Individual Membership once qualified.
Members then have 24 months to take the BACP’s online Certificate of Proficiency to gain access to the BACP register. Once on the register, individuals can progress towards BACP accreditation by fulfilling the additional requirements set by the BACP, see BACP Accreditation. Alternatively, students who have completed a BACP accredited course can apply directly to join the BACP Register.

How long does it take to qualify as a professional counsellor at ROA.
It takes 3-years to complete the level 5 diploma in psychotherapeutic counselling (excluding the certificate in counselling).

How much does the full course cost in total?
The cost is approximately £1 950 per year. Information can be found on the website: ( Please note that costs are subject to change.

What cost are not included in your advertised course fee?
Fees for Supervision, personal therapy, and retaking the course (if you fail to meet the course requirements) are not included in our overall course fees.

Do I have to pay for supervision?
ROA graduates can potentially access the following counselling register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) in the following ways:
Whilst training as a counsellor, trainees must undertake external clinical work experience (placement) in a voluntary agency (unpaid). Some placements may ask for a small contribution towards supervision costs, whilst others may not.
Students are required to be in placement supervision; usually, this supervision meets the BACP requirement for twice-monthly supervision sessions. However, if the placement supervision does not meet the twice-monthly requirement (hours), you must book private supervision sessions at an additional cost.

Do you offer bursaries or student loan?
As we are a small organisation, our ability to offer bursaries is limited. However, we are an inclusive organisation, and if you are interested in training with us (Level 5 Professional Diploma) and would like to discuss your options, please get in touch at Unfortunately, we do not offer student loans or funding for our other courses currently. Any changes to this will be updated on our website. You can pay for all our other training courses in instalments to help spread out costs.

What happens if a training session is cancelled?
If ROA cancels a training for any reason, we will endeavour to let you know as soon as possible and will outline the next steps and your options.

Is course fee refundable?
We have a published deadline after which fees are not refundable. Refunds are subject to a small admin fee. Please see the course for information.

Graduate Job Prospects
What kind of work can I expect to begin on completion of your training programme?
Various employment opportunities are then open to graduates. Graduates may choose to work as self-employed counsellors in private practice. Alternatively, apply to work within the NHS, in the workplace, in education establishments or the voluntary sector. Some of our graduates have set up their private practice. Alternatively, apply for the Level 7 diploma in creative expressive therapeutic arts, couples, supervision (post-qualified two years), or advanced diploma in psychotherapy.

Online Training
Do you offer online courses?
Traditionally, our courses have been offered only in person due to the experiential nature of our teaching. However, the unfortunate implications of the Coronavirus pandemic have allowed us to adapt our training successfully to an online format. We now offer online training for some of our units (within the BACP guidelines), the certificate in counselling, and some CPD events.

Professional Bodies, Registration and Accreditation
The Academy is an organisational member of BACP – so we meet their criteria for membership and abide by their ethical and professional codes. QLS also validates our courses.

Are your courses university awarded?
No. However, we have had graduates’ complete university master’s qualifications after completing the Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling.

What is the difference between qualifying with a university award and not?
Having a university award attached to your counselling course will not affect your ability to practice as a counsellor, so choosing a course with or without a university qualification attached is really a personal preference.