Course

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete the course?

The HIV counselling course can take five months to complete. But you can do it as quickly or slowly as you want. That's the great advantage of distance learning.

Do I need to finish the course within a certain time?

You can take as long as you want. Unlike other organisations, we don't set any time limits.

Course costs

Does the cost for the course include everything I need? Or are there any extra fees?

There are no other costs or fees. To see the price, click here.

Can I spread the cost of the courses over a period of time?

Yes. You can make four monthly payments. It costs 20% more. You can find the cost of paying by installments by clicking here.

How could I get my money back if I don't like the counselling course?

Just return the course in good condition within 60 days of receiving it, and we'll send you a full refund.

Can I start the course at any time?

Yes. You can start today. Or tomorrow. Or next week. Whenever you want.

Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a school and sit tests?

It's all done from home.

I live in Nigeria, Botswana etc. Is the course suitable for me?

Yes. We have students in 28 countries.

How can I contact my tutor or the Blackford Centre?

There have two types of people you can contact - your tutor and a course advisor. The tutor marks your work, and helps you with any problems. You can fax, email or post assignments to your tutor, whenever you want.

We don't give out the tutor's phone number, because a few people would spend all day talking to their tutors, who would never get any work done.

But sometimes students get stuck, or have an urgent question. If so, you can phone a course advisor at the Blackford Centre at any time during work hours. If you leave a message out of work hours we'll call you back the next day. You can contact course advisors as often as you want, and about anything to do with counselling.

Is the course accredited or endorsed?

Yes. Our course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards and Certa Awards Quality License Scheme.

This means we have undergone an external quality check to ensure that our organisation and the courses we offer meet certain quality criteria.

ABC Awards’ And Certa Awards’ endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met. A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

To this end, the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 Award against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

ABC Awards and Certa Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual and the Welsh Government. It has a portfolio of over 650 Ofqual regulated qualifications on the National Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a range of professions.

When you successfully complete this course you will receive a Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and Certa Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).

Read more about course accreditation here

Will the course give me credits towards a degree or some other study?

No. But it will help you set up and run your own business. And we encourage all students to continue their studies after completing the course.

What sort of jobs can I do with this qualification? Is it just a case of building your own practice? Or could you get salaried pay?

The course is primarily for people who wish to know more about HIV and AIDS. They want to be better at their work, which is often in the healthcare field. They may even want to set up a counselling practice.

There aren’t many openings for salaried work in counselling. Some vacancies exist in the health service or schools but generally they want higher qualifications (PhDs etc) than we offer.

However, some of our graduates have got experience in their own private practice and have then got work attached to doctor's surgeries.

Will the qualification get me a job in a hospital or school?

To get a job in a public organisation, you'll need more qualifications than we can offer. Our course is designed to help you work with private clients.

Remember, the easiest way to earn a living is to work for yourself. So in the course we focus on how you can work from home as a counselor.

What organisations can I join as a member?

On completing the course you can join our counsellors' register free of charge, here: www.inst.org/membership/counselling. It could bring you valuable clients.

You may also decide to join one of the many professional bodies such as:
- Counselling' a registered charity, which lets you use the initials 'CCC' after your name.
- The Counselling Society
- ISPC: the International Society of Professional Counsellors
- BACP

Each of these organisations has different grades of membership and changing requirements for membership, and so you are best to check them out.

You may join the International Guild of Professional Practitioners as an International, Associate or possibly Full Member, depending on experience.

Our US counselling graduates can join the American Counseling Association as a Regular Member. They can join as a Full Member (Category B) of the Canadian Counselling Association.

Remember that you don't have to join any of these organisations to practise. In most countries, including the UK, counselling is not a regulated profession. But they can help you network and keep up to date.

What can I call myself in South Africa?

You may not call yourself a 'Registered Counsellor' in South Africa. Currently you may call yourself a 'Counsellor', though this may change in future years if the word becomes a controlled title. You may call yourself a Therapist or a Therapy Counsellor, and you can legally practise using those titles.

When can I do the course?

Can I start the course at any time?

Yes.

Where can I study the course?

Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a test centre?
It's all from home.

Will I be able to get insurance?

Yes, we provide you with the names of organisations that provide insurance to students who complete our course.

How are you different from other organisations?

When you start comparing us with other organisations you might notice that:

  • Some organisations limit the amount of time you have to complete the course. Many organisations only allow you 12 months to complete the course. And after those 12 months are up they may require you to pay a fee to continue. With our course you can take as long as you need, without paying additional fees.

  • Some organisations will only give you 7 days to return your course if it’s not right for you. If our course is not what you expected and you want a full refund we allow you 60 days to return it and claim your money back.

  • Some organisations will charge you an administration fee to return the course. We refund all of your fees.

How can I be sure that you're legitimate, and that you won't disappear with my money?

Here are some answers we hope will reassure you.

  • We've been in operation since 1995; so we're very established.

  • We publish our physical address at the bottom of each page.

  • We're audited by ABC Awards twice a year (you can phone them to verify they do that).

  • You can read the Reviews of our students on the web site.

  • We publish an Ethical statement here.

  • We're registered at Companies House: registration number 352 4886

  • Our VAT number is 729 1528 23

  • We're registered with the UK government's Register of Learning Providers (www.ukrlp.co.uk); Number 10009490.

And finally, we love what we do; and we wouldn't do anything to jeopardise it.