Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we are most frequently asked about studying with Heartwood. Please click on the questions below to find out more.

The short answer is yes! Our 12-week Foundation in Counselling (Level 3 equivalent) is the perfect course to prepare you for a professional level qualification such as our accredited two-year Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accred (Level 4 equivalent), which will qualify you to work as a professional counsellor. Very soon you could be making a living out of something you love!
Explore our courses here.
You may also find the following links useful if you are interested in becoming a counsellor (links to third party websites):https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/counsellorhttps://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs/job-profile/counsellorhttps://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/counsellor
No, to start the training to become a counsellor on our Introduction to Counselling (Level 2 equivalent) or Foundation in Counselling (Level 3 equivalent) Counselling courses, you do not need to have any previous experience in counselling.
No, it is not a requirement to have studied a Level 2 course before taking our Foundation in Counselling (Level 3 equivalent) course. Most students tend to start their studies with the Foundation in Counselling (Level 3 equivalent) course.

Yes, our tutors offer tutorials on request to support you as you go (included in fees) and also give plenty of additional course materials which are designed to supplement your learning. We also offer mentoring free of charge, where we feel it would be helpful to your progress on the course. We can also offer some learning support to students who will find this beneficial.

Our team are also here to help you. You can contact them on 01803 865 464 or enquiries@heartwoodcounselling.org, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Our main training centre is on the beautiful Dartington Hall Estate in Dartington, near Totnes, South Devon. We also run courses online, as well as in Regent’s Park, London.

Our training will also be available in venues in the Midlands and in the north of England in the near future.

Find out more about our locations here.

On completion of the Foundation in Counselling (Level 3 equivalent) Course you will receive a Foundation Certificate in Counselling which is quality checked by the National Counselling Society.On completion of the Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accred (Level 4 equivalent) you will receive a Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accred (Level 4 equivalent) accredited by the National Counselling Society. This will enable you to apply to be included on the Accredited Register recognised by the UK Government through the Professional Standards Authority.We also offer courses at equivallent Levels 2, 5 and 6. Find out more by visiting the course you are interested in from the courses page.

The Introduction to Counselling (Level 2 equivalent) course is studied weekly for 6 sessions.

The Foundation in Counselling (Level 3 equivalent) consists of 12 sessions, either taken one per week for 12 weeks or 6 two-day weekend sessions per month.

We also run the Foundation in Counselling (Level 3 equivalent) nationally online, one evening a week for 19 sessions and one full day session.

The Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accred (Level 4 equivalent) consists of 40 sessions taught over two years. There are three options available with courses running for one day per fortnight; one evening per week; or one weekend per month.

The Advanced Specialist Diploma in Psychotherapy runs fortnightly for 12 sessions.

The Advanced Specialist Diploma in Relationship Counselling runs one weekend per month for 6 months (12 sessions).

The Advanced Specialist Diploma in Counselling Young People runs one weekend per month for 6 months (12 sessions).

The Advanced Specialist Diploma in Clinical Supervision runs fortnightly for 12 sessions.

The recognised path is to progress from the Foundation in Counselling (Level 3 equivalent) onto the accredited Level Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accred (Level 4 equivalent), which opens the door into a counselling career, and allows you to work doing something you love, employed by an organisation or running your own private practice.

The governing body is the National Counselling Society (NCS).

Our courses are either quality checked (Level 2 and Level 3 equivalent) or accredited (Level 4 equivalent) by NCS, or have Advanced Specialist Training recognition with NCS (Advanced Specialist Diploma in Psychotherapy, Advanced Specialist Diploma in Relationship Counselling and Advanced Specialist Diploma in Clinical Supervision courses).

Securing a place on your chosen course is on receipt of a non-refundable deposit. The remaining balance can then be paid before starting the course, or via a monthly payment plan (T&Cs apply). Deposit payments or payments of the full course fee can be paid online via our website.

You can find the exact fees for each course on the relevant course pages, in the ‘Fees’ tab.

Payment of the deposit is required to secure a place on a course, and places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. You can book online.

Upon booking you can select your chosen payment method for the remaining fees. Once you have paid a deposit your place will be secured upon receipt of completed application form and ID. 

Where a pre-course interview is required, your booking will be reserved until you have been accepted onto the course. 

The information you provide upon enrolment will be passed to the interviewer, who will arrange a time for a short face-to-face interview with you at the centre (this can be carried out over the phone or video call if visiting the centre is problematic).

At the interview, the interviewer will be interested to hear about your experience and training, and will want to ensure the course you have applied for is the right one for you. If you have completed the Level 3 course with another provider, they will also look at this provider, the awarding body, and may ask about the syllabus.

Most of the assessments are done ‘in house’ by our team, however on the Diploma courses you will also be required to submit a case study which will be externally assessed. This case study can be written at a time to suit you, and although it does not have to be written under exam conditions it must be your own work. You have two years after your Diploma finishes to complete this case study.

The two-year Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accred (Level 4 equivalent) is accredited by the National Counselling Society (NCS)and, subject to their Terms & Conditions, is a route onto a national register of counsellors which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) and will qualify you to work as a professional counsellor.

The Foundation in Counselling (Level 3 equivalent) Course is Quality Checked by the National Counselling Society (NCS).  As well as attendance-based, this course is also available to study online wherever you are on our virtual learning platform – this has been Online Quality Checked by the National Counselling Society (NCS). This course alone is not a route to the Accredited Register nor does it fully equip a graduate to practice as a qualified counsellor. This course gives you the essential theories and skills involved in becoming a counsellor. This course offers you a direct route onto our Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accred (Level 4 equivalent) course. 

The Introduction to Counselling (Level 2 equivalent) course we offer is also quality checked by the National Counselling Society (NCS).

Our Advanced Specialist Diploma in Psychotherapy, Advanced Specialist Diploma in Relationship Counselling and Advanced Specialist Diploma in Clinical Supervision courses have Advanced Specialist Training recognition with National Counselling Society (NCS).

Yes, both of these governing bodies accept (at their discretion) our students. It is a matter of personal choice as to which organisation would suit your needs best. The BACP and the NCS are the two largest organisations and many counsellors choose to register with either one or both – this is really a personal decision.

It is possible to apply for a TOTUM card (previously known as NUS card) when studying our Advanced Diploma in Counselling – NCS Accred (Level 4 equivalent).

Our courses are very experiential, and therefore there is a minimum attendance required from 85% – 90%.

Don’t worry we will do our best to help! While we cannot guarantee to find you a placement, we do have connections with agencies which take our students on placement. These agencies include: schools, colleges, universities, doctors’ surgeries, prisons, hospices, youth support, Domestic Violence and Abuse Service, bereavement charities, and others.

Some of our students secure their own placements. If you find your own placement, we will take the placement provider through an agency approval process; this is a short process and can be completed in a couple of weeks. We are creating new links all the time.

It is recommended that you are supported in a way that feels right for you whilst you are on the course. We request a minimum of 20 hours of personal therapy, and in some cases you may be required to have more.

There is no deadline for applications but our courses are popular and places are limited. Course places are filled on a first-come, first-served basis with places being allocated only after the deposit has been paid.

After you have paid your course fees you will also need to budget for your personal therapy, and in some cases (where not provided by your chosen placement) you may also need to pay for supervision.

We do not charge any extra for assessments, registrations, tutorials, case studies or mentoring.

Please note that you will be responsible for paying your membership fee for any governing body that you choose to join.

Our courses are often fully booked, however we create a waiting list for each course in order to give speedy access to your desired course should a space become available.If the course you would like to attend is fully booked, we are happy to still process your booking on to the next available course to guarantee a place and hold you in reserve for this course, this will involve paying a deposit and attending an interview (for Advanced Diploma (Level 4 equivalent) only).