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Admissions Policy

Chelmsford Counselling Foundation is committed to providing excellent psychodynamic Counsellor training that complies with the requirements of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. 

This policy should be read in conjunction with our equality and diversity policy.  We welcome all applications and aim to create a high quality training environment with high quality teaching and resources that supports the personal and professional development of trainee counsellors.

Three counselling training courses are offered, each separate but forming a succession of milestones towards a recognised qualification as a psychodynamic counsellor.

  • Certificate in Counselling Skills
  • Diploma in Counselling Skills
  • Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling

The first two courses are non-clinical; the last includes an in-house supervised placement. All three courses taken together form a BACP Accredited training programme.

Selection for courses is by application form and interview; for the non-clinical courses there is one interview with a member of the training team and for the Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling there are interviews with the heads of training and counselling and an additional in-depth personal interview. All applications are considered by an assessment committee, comprised of Head of Training, Head of Counselling, External Moderator and Course Consultant, who decide whether places can be offered.

Responsibility for admissions 

The responsibility for recruitment, selection and admission lies with the head of training, seminar leaders, co-leaders and training co-ordinator, who work closely together with the assessment committee to provide effective and fair admissions services and processes. 

Criteria for admission

The following are assessed by application form and interview at all levels:

  • Motivation and commitment to learning and self-development
  • Ability to reflect on personal experiences and their impact
  • Ability to identify strengths and areas of difficulty
  • Ability to cope with the academic and experiential aspects of the course
  • Ability to engage in experiential learning
  • Personal readiness for the demands of the training
  • Openness to forming and maintaining therapeutic relationships with others
  • Openness to feedback form peers and tutors

Entry Requirements 

Chelmsford Counselling Foundation has clear documented entry requirements for all programmes which aim to ensure that applicants are suitably qualified and experienced for the level of training for which they are applying.

The Application Process

 Applications are invited for all programmes from January prior to the commencement of the training. However places are allocated on a first come first served basis so early applications are encouraged. Application forms can be downloaded from the website. Applications are assessed by the Head of Training and the relevant Seminar Leader in relation to entry and assessment criteria to decide if an applicant should be invited to interview.

Interviews for non-clinical courses

All candidates will be invited to participate in the interview process unless there are very strong contra-indications. If the candidate has successfully completed a course deemed equivalent to the Certificate in Counselling Skills, both in content and in seminar contact time then they may be suitable for the Diploma in Counselling Skills. They will be invited to interview for this course and should be asked to provide as much detail as possible about the previous course. The final decision about its acceptability will be made by the Head of Training in collaboration with the assessment committee and a place may be offered on the Certificate or the Diploma in counselling skills. 

The candidate’s previous exposure to therapy and their plans and expectations of therapy as a trainee will be explored and the role of therapy advisor discussed even though there is no therapy requirement in the pre-clinical part of the course. If they intend to apply for the Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling, they will need to begin their counselling with a therapist from our approved list at least a year in advance, although progression is not guaranteed. If there is reason for the candidate to change from their current therapist (because they have been seeing a therapist who would not be suitable for our approved list or boundary issue, for example), then this will be discussed and the candidate appraised of the implications both for the therapy and the application.  They may need to make a choice.

The candidate will be made aware of the emotional impact of the course and that it is demanding of time, inner resources and money. Candidates will be encouraged to ask questions about the course and its requirements.

Interviews for the Diploma in Psychodynamic Counselling

The assessment process is designed to give time for the candidate to reflect on the nature of the course and the training, to ask practical questions about the course and to ascertain whether they are ready to progress to clinical training. 

All candidates will be invited to participate in the interview process unless there are very strong contra-indications. The initial interview will last about 30 minutes and is normally with the head of training. No fee is charged for the initial interview. The objectives of this interview are:

  • to provide information about the clinical training course and its requirements
  • to establish that the applicant is a realistic candidate for the course,
  • to assess their intellectual suitability for the training,
  • to assess their personal support systems
  • to discuss practical issues such as the time commitment, and ability to pay the fees
  • to attempt to filter out those whose primary need is for therapy

The first interview is not intended to test the candidates’ emotional or psychological suitability for training although inevitably the interviewer will form some opinion about this. 

The second interview is with a psychotherapist who has no direct role in teaching the course and will last about 50 minutes. It is a searching and in-depth interview which will attempt to understand the candidate’s pathology and assess their suitability to undertake a clinical training. The primary task is to determine whether the candidate is safe to work with clients. There is a fee for this interview, payable on acceptance of your application.

Candidates will receive a written report on this interview and have an opportunity to reflect with their personal therapist before attending a third and final interview with the head of counselling, where they can ask any further questions and discuss in more detail the practicalities of their training placement at CCF. 

In all cases, the Assessment Committee will meet to decide whether a place will be offered and applicants will be informed of the decision in writing. All candidates are offered feedback from the head of training if they are unsuccessful in their application.