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Student Counsellors

Understanding your progressive journey

The ISPC is a professional body in the field of Counselling and Counselling Psychology. The ISPC awards accreditation to students of counselling and qualified counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and most of the talking therapies.

The ISPC also awards accreditation to Colleges teaching counselling skills and theory. The ISPC has provided accreditation to Ridgeway College for its professional approach to teaching.

Student membership requirements

You must currently be taking a course which provides core practitioner training in counselling or psychotherapy. We don't accept core training in disciplines such as psychology, hypnotherapy, social work or coaching.

Your course must include at least one year's full time or two years' part time, face to face classroom-based tuition and an integral, supervised placement of at least 100 client hours. Online and distance learning courses do not qualify, as we believe developing and practising counselling skills with tutors and peers is important for effective training.

Your placement hours must be:

Carried out with genuine clients, rather than peers from your course, for example


In an appropriate setting with appropriate clients. Counselling services are an ideal setting as they are likely to assess whether clients are suitable for your level of competence. Your training provider should not allow placement hours through private practice or with client groups that have not been pre-assessed as suitable - such as children and young people or those with complex mental health needs.


Assessed (or marked) as an integral part of your training


Supervised. Supervision is important at all stages of seeing clients. For trainees, we recommend a ratio of one hour's supervision to eight hours counselling. We also recommend you see your supervisor fortnightly.

Example of studying framework

Ridgeway College is an Organisational Member of BACP. The College has applied for and been granted accreditation from three professional bodies. The accreditation is for recognition in three core areas.

These being professional accreditation within the field of counselling, accreditation of course material and of course content and accreditation of the managerial professionalism in course structure.

Your journey with Ridgeway College is as follows:

The Level 1 course will teach you the basic knowledge you need to understand just what counselling really is. It is taught over the first five weeks of a 35 week combined course with the Level 2 Counselling Skills course.

Counselling Skills Level 2

We will introduce you to the skills of Active Listening, Paraphrasing, Transference, Empathy, Congruence, and Unconditional Positive Regard. You will be given an introduction to the theorists, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Albert Ellis, Carl Rogers, Eric Berne and others. We will look at the models of counselling such as Psychodynamic, Person Centred, Cognitive, Behavioural and Rational Emotive.

After completing the Level 1 and 2 courses you will be entitled to enrol on the Advanced Diploma path, set out as follows:

Counselling Theory Level 3

Students will learn the psychological theories behind the leading authorities of the mind. Freud, Jung, Klein, Berne to name a few.

Once you have completed an assessment of your counselling knowledge, this will grant you access to a 100 hour volunteer placement where you will learn to grow your knowledge of clients and of yourself. There are plenty of amazing volunteer opportunities within your local area, explore and be curious!

Counselling Skills Advanced Level 4

The advanced course allows students to increase their knowledge of counselling beyond level 1 and 2 and 3. Students adopt a clinical approach and examine examples of contemporary problems using various counselling techniques. This will be applied to working with individuals and groups who are coming to terms with the emotional and psychological problems that modern living can cause.

An integral part of the Level 4 Diploma course is 100 voluntary placement hours under supervision.  After successful completion of the 50 minute practical assessment at the end of Level 3, the student once enrolled onto the Level 4 course will be ready and able to seek a placement where they will obtain their practical counselling experience.

After the successful completion of this course the student will be awarded their advanced certificate in counselling skills.

Holders of the Ridgeway Advanced Certificate Level 4 will be entitled to practice as a counsellor and as such would be entitled to apply for accreditation by the ISPC at associate level. This course puts the theories into practice.

The Advanced Diploma in Counselling Level 5

This course is available to students who have gained their Level 4 counselling qualification.

The course includes self development and reflective practices:


Group process discussions

Self awareness practical group exercises

Personal Values

Awareness of others

The influence of family

Our unconscious agreements in relationships with others

Primal wounds


How we relate to others


There are no modules during the classroom based personal development exercises.  All activities are practical exercises and discussions.  The student will be expected to keep a personal journal on what they learn about themselves during Level 5.

The student will be expected to take the final question paper open examination and submit two case studies of their work that will lead to the qualification of the Ridgeway Advanced Diploma in Counselling Level 5.

Attaining the Level 5 allows a membership upgrade.

Your Journey






Level 1 The Basics

The Beginning of your Journey in Counselling

Level 2 Counselling Skills

Understanding the Practical Skills

Level 3 Counselling Theory

Sign up for Level 4

100hrs client hours

Apply for Student Membership

Get Insured

Level 4 Counselling Skills

Using Theory and Skills

Complete 100hrs

Qualified Counsellor Status

Upgrade to Associate Member

Level 5 Advanced Diploma

Self Development and

2 Years in Practice

Upgrade to Full Member

We are recognised by CMSL

The CMSL School of Psychology is a provider of post-secondary education programmes for adults, and a research foundation. It provides assessment-based programmes using systems following those recommended by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. The CMSL therefore provides accreditation to Ridgeway College’s course content from a psychological perspective.

Address: The College of Management Science, BCM Unifaculty, London WC1n 3XX
Web Address:

Apply Now

Become a member of the ISPC. It is an effective way to gain recognition for your hard work. If you're in need of further information please contact us and we'll endeavour to help.

Become a member

If you're looking to enhance your counselling framework and ethics please join the ISPC. We want to provide the same level of service that you would provide to your clients.

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