Interested in training as a counsellor? See below for FAQs and explanations.
We currently run a diploma and a certificate course. The diploma is for people wanting to start their training as counsellors who work with individuals and couples. The certificate is for those who are already qualified counsellors and want to diversify into working with couples. The Diploma in Relationship Counselling is currently undergoing professional validation with COSCA and has credit rating with Edinburgh Napier University. The next diploma course begins in September 2013 and is open to anyone who has completed the COSCA skills training course or equivalent. Applications are welcome – download application pack and prospectus. Our Certificate in Couple Counselling is a COSCA-validated short course open to anyone with a generic counselling diploma. Either of these two courses will qualify counsellors to work with couples within one of our affiliated local services or in an external setting. We also offer continuing professional development courses and events for counsellors to develop their knowledge and skills further. These include courses and workshops on sexual therapy.
Relationships Scotland was formed through the merger of Family Mediation Scotland and Relate Scotland in 2008. We have over 60 years of experience in delivering training in couple and relationship counselling and sexual therapy, both independently and in association with Relate in England. As a merged organisation, our vision is to offer integrated family support services in our 22 local services throughout Scotland, and the national office delivers a range of training courses to make that vision possible. Counsellors trained with us can access placements and supervision through these local services, which makes Relationships Scotland a great place to train. We constantly review and develop our training and have rigorous quality assurance procedures.
It is important that counsellors are articulate and self-aware, with excellent communication and listening skills and a natural empathy for people. They must also be able to study at degree level, as our courses are set at level 9 Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF). Participants need to have a practice base in a local Relationships Scotland service or an approved external placement. Selection is carried out via an interview with the course director in Edinburgh and a placement interview.
Yes, the national office follows a formal selection process that includes the completion of an application form and an interview. Placement interviews are likely to be less formal.
Our courses are delivered by qualified and experienced counsellors and trainers from the national office or the Relationships Scotland network. We also bring in specialist presenters where appropriate.
The Diploma in Relationship Counselling takes place over 25 weekends, delivered over approximately two and a half years and includes 200 supervised counselling practice hours. The Certificate in Couple Counselling is a 12-day course, spread over approximately one year and includes 120 supervised practice hours. The courses are planned to allow the practice hours to be completed within the duration of each course.
Both courses are run at weekends to allow students to fit them in around families and careers. It is important to factor in time for around three counselling hours a week and a reasonable amount of study time, to allow for written assignments to be completed. Relationships Scotland placements require attendance at group supervision as well as individual supervision, but these can be negotiated locally.
The Diploma will be awarded by Relationships Scotland and has 120 credits at Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) level 9 from Edinburgh Napier University and is pending COSCA professional validation. The Certificate is accredited by COSCA and is intended as an additional specialist course for counsellors who already have a generic counselling diploma that meets the requirements. Upon successful completion of the Diploma or the Certificate, counsellors will also be registered with Relationships Scotland and be eligible to practise within the network. Relationships Scotland is a corporate member of COSCA and BACP.
Some local services contribute towards the cost of the training and may also pay supervision costs in return for a set number of voluntary hours. Contact your local service manager for more details. Fees for the Diploma in Relationships Counselling are available in the current prospectus
The COSCA Certificate of Counselling Skills is a pre-requisite for entry to the Diploma, but it may be possible to offer an equivalent training in a related discipline such as psychology. Assessment is made through the Relationships Scotland ‘Accreditation of Prior Learning and Experience’ process. Each application is considered on its own merit and evidence of prior learning or experience needs to be provided. There is no APLE route for the Certificate as it is a short course with intensive input.
Counsellors who have had a Relationships Scotland placement usually continue working for their local service after the successful completion of their training. Most services expect a basic number of voluntary hours per week and some may pay additional hours at a sessional rate. Counsellors registered with Relationships Scotland are required to undertake continuing professional development and a minimum number of hours of supervision and practice per year, in order to continue working within the network. Both the Certificate and the Diploma will equip counsellors to work with couples in a variety of clinical settings.
For more information, contact your local service
or ring 0845 119 2020 and speak to Alice in the Professional Practice Department.