York College

Who is this course aimed at?

The ABC Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills, or equivalent, is a pre- requisite for admission to the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. Learners will develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of self.

These qualifications are designed for those learners who :

  • Seek the course as an entrance to their training to become a qualified professional counsellor
  • Wish to acquire a repertoire of counselling skills for use in other work areas, and who have no wish to become a professional counsellor, e.g. nurses, social workers and teachers.

Overview of the course

This qualification is made up of credit rated units developed in association with Skills for Health, the Sector Skills Council for the Health and Social Care Sector. It develops a repertoire of interpersonal skills and counselling skills, promotes personal growth, and provides essential industry knowledge to help learners make informed career decisions.

Prospective learners should be made aware that this level of qualification is not intended to train counsellors and that they will not be qualified to practice as a counsellor on completion of the qualification. To do this, learners will need to undertake further training and they will need to check with centres offering this training what their entry requirements are.

Learners will complete this qualification with a comprehensive and full understanding of the following:

  • How to identify, practise and develop a range of interpersonal and counselling skills
  • the main theoretical approaches to counselling

Entry Requirements

Level 2 Award in Counselling or alternative suitable experience.

Dates and Times

21st September 2020 - 28th June 2021, Monday evenings

23rd September 2020 - 30th June 2021, Wednesday daytime

23rd September 2020 - 30th June 2021, Wednesday evenings

21st January 2021 - 1st July 2021, Thursday daytime

Course Length

20 - 34 weeks depending on dates.

Course Modules/units

It is intended that learners be given the opportunity to develop a range of counselling skills and skills in self-awareness and self assessment. These skills will be more effectively developed through a process which encourages learners to assume an active responsibility for their own learning and which enables them to establish principles and good practice from a shared analysis with fellow learners and staff of experiences on the course and related experiences.

The ABC Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills aims to:

  • Develop a repertoire of counselling skills at a consistent level
  • Underpin these skills with an understanding of one major therapeutic model
  • Increase the self-awareness of the person and their awareness of the impact that they have on people

Learners must complete all 4 mandatory units:

Understanding the context for the use of counselling skills

Understanding counselling theory

Using counselling skills

Personal development for users of counselling skills

Whilst you will gain personal benefit from these courses, they are not for personal therapy.  If you are having personal therapy or receiving psychiatric treatment, then it is advised that evidence will be sought from an appropriate person, as to your suitability for the course.

Teaching Method(s)

Classroom based with some E-learning through York College Blackboard and Microsoft Teams. There will also be a 1 day, mandatory, weekend workshop.


This course encourages feedback from peers and tutors and also a process of self-reflection using weekly journals which is assessed through completion of a workbook. 

Course Fees


Reasons to choose this course

Outstanding college and learning environment. Highly qualified and accredited Counselling tutors

Skills you will develop

The course can be a valuable introduction to communication skills, critical and thinking skills, interpersonal skills and team working transferable into a range of career and educational opportunities.

Course progression

Learners who complete this qualification may be able to progress to the ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. Please be aware that Reasonable Adjustments which may be permitted for assessment may in some instances limit a learner’s progression into the sector. We are requested, therefore, to inform learners of any limits their learning difficulty may impose on future progression

Career progression

This qualification, or an equivalent, will be a prerequisite for entry into the ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic  Counselling  or the YSJ Certificate in Counselling Skills. However, for those who do not intend to continue their studies further in the field of counselling, the course can be a valuable introduction to skills transferable into a range of career and educational opportunities.

About the course tutors

Susan Simpson: PgCert Counselling and Psychotherapy; PgCert Applied Positive Psychology; Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Authority; PGCE in the Lifelong Learning Sector; BA(Hons 2.1) Counselling Theory (CBT, Coaching and Mentoring); FdA Counselling Skills and Theory.

I am a qualified professional counsellor in private practice and member of the BACP.  I have taught counselling from level 2 to level 6 in various universities, colleges and adult education in the community.  I had the pleasure of teaching concepts of positive psychology to people with mental health issues with great success, such as, change your mindset, developing the best possible self and mindfulness in the moment.

I endeavour to help individuals to recognise that they are their own best resource, facilitating a process of self-direction and empowerment, enabling them to become fully functioning.  I also hope that I am able to pass this passion and excitement onto students, based on clinical and theoretical experience.


Contact Us

If you would like to enrol, you can do so via our Enrol Now page.

If you have any further questions about York College please email info@yorkcollege.ac.uk or call (01904) 770770.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this webpage, the content is subject to change where necessary.


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