This page sets out the clear requirements for course accreditation with the Society

As holders of a Register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, we have a duty to ensure that those training courses which offer a route to registration are fit for purpose. We therefore keep our Training Standards for Accredited courses under review. The Society has decided that standards of entry to the Register will in future be benchmarked against Ofqual levels or their equivalents. Training Providers will be expected to adhere to these new requirements, where relevant, for any course commencing after September 1st 2017. 

Many of our training providers offer a range of courses which vary in length, depth and context. It is important to be aware that when assessing a course for Accreditation, Advanced/Specialist status or Quality Checking, it is the course itself rather than its provider on which we focus. A training provider may be offering either an Accredited course, an Advanced Specialist Training or a Quality checked course, or a range of these. Providers whose current offering does not match our requirements for either Accreditation, Advanced Specialist Training or Quality Checking may still join us as an Organisational Member.  Awarding bodies or professional organisations who wish to have their qualifications or members considered for a route to our register are welcome to contact the Society for an initial discussion.


This is appropriate for those training courses that have fully demonstrated to the Society high standards of course content and delivery, and are considered to develop students who are safe, competent and ethical to practice. The course must demonstrate a commitment to the NCS Code of Ethics and meet our current Training Standards. Accredited status is granted for a period of 5 years and is subject to annual renewal.

Successful completion of an NCS Accredited course is one of the routes to becoming a Registrant. Applicants should be aware that course Accreditation is a robust process which can take some months to complete.

The NCS approach to course accreditation is to adopt an easy to understand process for training providers which commences with an informal or initial enquiry and a preliminary assessment of how the course may or may not meet the Society's assessment criteria. This initial enquiry utilises a list of our Standards as a "rough guide" which enables trainers to determine easily whether a course may be accreditable or what elements of the course would need improvement to meet Society standards.

Subsequent to this initial enquiry, should the preliminary indication provide that a course may be accreditable, the formal process begins with a request for documentation and the formal assessment commences.

The NCS values the qualitative and subjective in counselling training alongside the quantified tests employed against the appropriate sets of standards. The overall determination for accreditation shall be whether or not the course under review will graduate counsellors who are safe, competent and ethical to practice.

The NCS does not require trainers to have courses recognised by Awarding Bodies, but we recommend it for the following reasons:

  • Recognised courses allow students to gain Ofqual credits and independent certification
  • Courses are future proofed against long term changes in regulatory requirements, if any
  • For courses without this recognition, there is an additional burden on the course provider to prove that they meet NCS standards at the time of re-accreditation.

That said, the NCS respects individual trainer choice in this matter.  Providers with accredited courses and no awarding body should have satisfactory arrangements for external examination and/or verification of their assessment processes. External examination must include the opportunity for independently assessing at least one piece of students' work.

In devising its Standards, the society has consulted: 


For full details of the Accreditation application process and other levels of course recognition please click here.


Tutor Criteria


Tutors and course assessment staff are expected to have qualification levels of at least equal to, or higher than, the level of course being taught and assessed and should be able to demonstrate competency to deliver and/or assess all elements of the course.  The same expectation applies to any specialisms taught.  

It is desirable that tutors have obtained some form of teaching, coaching and/or mentoring qualification

Practical Experience

Tutors teaching on courses of Ofqual Level 4 and above (or courses that are equivalent to Ofqual level 4 and above), are expected to have at least three years professional counselling experience post qualification.   It is also desirable that tutors on such courses have previously obtained some form of teaching, coaching and/or mentoring experience before becoming tutors on such courses.

Tutors on courses that include training on specialisms (i.e. Working with Children and Young People; Supervision etc.) are expected to have significant experience in the specialist field being taught.


Evidence of appropriate qualifications and practical experience would need to be included on staff CVs


Documents and downloads on this page:

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