Counsellor qualifications and training

Being able to quickly and clearly demonstrate counsellors’ qualifications and training gives credibility and confidence in your approach to survivors and stakeholders. Furthermore, funders will ask for details of qualifications and training as part of their assessment. 

It is good practice for individual counsellors to be accredited or working towards accreditation.

Five standards should be in place:


All counsellors supporting adult survivors of childhood abuse must have completed or graduated from a Counselling or Psychotherapy practitioner training course of a standard approved by one of the following organisations:


All counsellors must have completed a supervised placement of a specified number of hours as part of their course.


All Counsellor roles should be aligned with the NTTP enhanced level (Level 3) – unless delivering EMDR or TF-CBT, which should instead be aligned with NTTP trauma specialist level (Level 4).


You should be able to demonstrate which of your counsellors are Accredited Counsellors. Nb It is good practice for qualified counsellors to be either working towards individual accreditation or be accredited.


It is good practice to use only accredited counsellors to supervise trainees or volunteers who are gaining experience pre or during training.

Things to watch out for:

  • When checking whether qualifications are the required standard, the language used by the different organisations can be confusing, e.g. some of the organisations list ‘approved’ courses and others ‘accredit’ them. We recommend checking standards carefully with the relevant organisation.
  • Organisations may offer different levels of accreditation e.g.. An Accredited Member is not the same as an Accredited Counsellor. Be sure to check carefully with the relevant organisation.
  • In the situation where a qualification has been issued by an organisation not listed above, it is worth checking whether there is reciprocal recognition with other national/international accreditation bodies.
  • Accreditation is with an individual counsellor rather than accreditation of the service as a whole.


The following organisations offer individual accreditation.  For more information on the specific accreditation processes and routes offered please see the links below.

To apply, you must be able to demonstrate that you meet the required standards and complete a rigorous application and assessment process.

Over the past few years, the leading counselling associations have been working to establish an agreed skills and competency framework. In 2022, the Scope of Practice and Education (SCoPEd) framework was published which is hoped may help to improve understanding for survivors of therapists’ skills and experience. Consultations and discussions are underway to consider how this framework might be implemented in practice.


Ensure staff have access to up-to-date Safety and Stabilisation skills and information


Requirements for specialist techniques