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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn more about the theory and principles of careers counselling.

  • Suitable for anyone wishing to improve their job prospects or set up their own business in this area.
  • Taught and written by highly experienced and qualified tutors.
  • This course will develop your understanding of factors affecting career choices and planning, and your ability to help others plan and achieve career goals.
  • The course is aimed at students who have prior experience or training in a related field such as counselling or social work, but will benefit anyone in their own career planning and development.

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Train as a Careers Counsellor. 

  • Study in your own home with support from our highly experienced tutors.
  • Whilst you learn more about careers counselling, the principles and theories behind careers counselling and how this can be used in a practical way.
  • This course is a great addition to your CV and will improve your job and career prospects.
  • Course Duration: 100 hours of self paced study.



The course comprises 10 lessons, as follows:

Lesson 1. Introduction: Scope & Nature of the Industry
  • Definitions: career, careers counselling, counselling
  • Broad employment options
  • Services offered in the employment industry
  • Assumptions about career counselling practices
  • Cross cultural careers counselling 
Lesson 2. Nature of Careers: What is a career, what makes it successful? 
  • Introduction
  • Elements of career building and job seeking
  • Factors contributing to career success
  • Realistic expectations
  • Range of options
  • Persistence
  • Case study 
Lesson 3. Careers Advice Resources
  • Brochures, Publications, Web Sites
  • Employer considerations: qualifications, experience, personality, age, adaptability, productivity, etc.
  • Case study 
Lesson 4. Career Services
  • Where can people get help (Social Services, Work Experience, Education)
  • Career counselling services
  • Careers and vocational guidance
  • Vocational planning
  • Setting goals
  • Job seeking support
  • Job seeking strategies
  • Other services 
Lesson 5. Developing Counselling Skills 
  • Key areas for career counselling
  • Helping clients focus on reality
  • Helping clients identify opportunities
  • Helping clients consider all elements
  • Overcoming resistance from clients
  • Listening skills
  • Questioning skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Essential reality checks
  • Improving clients predictive ability 
Lesson 6. Conducting a Counselling Session 
  • Why people come to a career counsellor
  • Strategies to develop trust
  • A career counselling session
  • Individuals who know the job they want
  • Psychometric testing for individuals still choosing a career
  • Types of psychological tests that may be used
  • Referring people elsewhere 
Lesson 7. Counselling Students and School Leavers (with little work experience)
  • Understanding youth
  • Career counselling for adolescents
  • Assisting indecisive teenagers
  • Career counselling for students
  • Giving advice on study
  • Choosing a course
  • Workshops for students
  • Workshops for university students
  • Resources for counselling students 
Lesson 8. Counselling Adults (inexperienced or facing career change)
  • Identifying adult needs
  • The training program
  • Advice and support during job hunting
  • Course of action
  • Career changing
  • Easiest paths to career change
  • Challenging path to career change
  • Starting a business
  • Case study
  • Writing a business plan 

Lesson 9. Job Prospecting 
  • Ways of finding work
  • Supporting clients decisions
  • Prospecting for work
  • Tips on getting a job
  • Writing resumes (CV's)
  • Preparing for a job interview 
Lesson 10. Nurturing and growing a career once it has started 
  • Getting a job is only the first step in a career
  • Self management for business people
  • Marketing and pricing
  • Case study
  • Advising clients about career advancement 

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Identification of people and organisations which offer career advice or support and the services they offer.
  • Improved ability to distinguish successful from unsuccessful careers, and to prepare for anticipated changes in the workplace.
  • Skills that will enhance your ability to guide others in the establishment or development of a career.
  • Ability to plan and execute an effective Counselling Session.
  • Understanding and strategies for dealing with the needs of inexperienced young people.
  • Identifying and meeting the needs of inexperienced adults or those facing career change.
  • Understanding of how and where to find employment in the job market.
  • Appreciation of the need to nurture and grow a career and plan for change. 


  • Undertake research into the scope and nature of employment services and service providers in your region or locality.
  • Research a career area to identify the kind of work involved, requirements, who offers it, trends etc.
  • Role play a counselling session to practise and evaluate your skills in helping a client with an issue.
  • Conduct research to improve your understanding of what careers counselling entails.
  • Plan a careers counselling session, including the session goal, time frame, and anticipated issues.
  • Discuss career concerns with young people who are leaving or have recently left secondary school.
  • Discuss with adults their experiences of career change.
  • Plan strategies to assist young and adult clients deal with common and important identified issues.


Helping Clients Find their Goals 

Careers counsellors inevitably deal with people who lack a clear focus on what they should do with their working life. They may be an adult who has worked; but lacks direction; or they may be a younger person who has never worked, and is just contemplating a working life.

  • Some people are simply unaware of their options and the careers counsellor's job may be mostly one of raising awareness.
  • For others, their expectations may be unrealistic.
  • Yet others may lack the basic life skills or appropriate attitude to make a start on a careers path.

Most need to learn something; whether that learning is a different attitude; a different way to secure work, or specific knowledge that will heighten their attractiveness to employers. 

Goals Need to be Set

Setting goals for learning is the same as setting other goals in your life. If someone doesn't have a goal they will never have any measure for success. 

Goals, refining goals, keeping on going, troubleshooting any obstacles or hurdles, break it all down into tiny steps, and celebrating the wins summarises what is involved in good learning. 

The first step is to know a persons strengths, talents and interests, what they are good at and most interested in. This can fuel a desire to reach goals whether through study, or some other way. 

Making positive choices and changes can affect a life at any time, and could lead you to personal and or career success. Setting a new goal is a positive choice and change. 

If uncertain what could be achieved with study or work experience, have the client brainstorm on a piece of paper with you. Write out all the things that might be studied, then next to each one ask how achieving that would make a difference

Put a mark next to that out of say 10 as to how important that is. This should give a list of things to learn and a priority for each one. 

Make a list of all other the things to achieve or be changed in the clients life 

This should now give a direction.

“I know of a number of adults who have enrolled in various courses or attended workshops; and until they did this they had not idea what they really wanted to do but felt unfulfilled, until they had to actually address questions what do you really like? What are your goals in life? What do you love to do? It is easy to get caught up in the day to day speed of life and not sit still and devote some time to working out whether your life is really on track and what things you could do or how, to change your path. Remember there is only one chance at life, so grab it now!” 

Ask Your Client to Consider:

  • What do I want to do, what is/or are my goals in life/ career?
  • How will I achieve this?
  • What studies, experience, resources and people might help me achieve this?
  • When I achieve this how will it make me feel?
  • What changes will I have made?

ACS student comment

"I have really improved my knowledge in this field. It has also given me the confidence to start my own small business in private Careers Counselling. The presentation allowed the course to become very accessible and practical. Even for those with a lower level in English like me." Charles Mboning, student in Careers Counselling.

Why choose this course?

  • Because you plan to start a new career in Careers Counselling.
  • You are looking to improve your knowledge of careers in your existing job role.
  • You want to set up your own business in Careers Counselling.
  • You want a course written by specialists in their field - ACS tutors are highly experienced and qualified.

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Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Kate Gibson B.Soc.Sc.15+ years experience in HR, marketing, education & project management. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia.

Check out our eBooks

Working With PeopleAre you a "people person" looking for a job; or a better understanding of careers that might suit you? If so, this book was written for YOU!
Working with AnimalsIf you enjoy interacting with animals, are interested in biological science, or are passionate about wildlife, pets or farming; you may thrive in the type of jobs outlined in this book. Get to know more about the industries and the occupations that you could do. The Working with Animals ebook is a comprehensive catalogue to inspire you in your career in working with animals!
Getting Work in a Modern WorldGetting Work in a Modern World is a must read; for students, parents, the unemployed, careers advisors or anyone interested in changing or forging a sustainable career. This is realistic guide to getting a job or starting out in business and understanding different industries. Topics covered in this book include 1/Career Myths, 2/ Finding Your Path, 3/ Understanding Employers, 4/ Preparing for a Job, 5/ Jobs to Consider: Looking to the Future, 6/ Information Technology, 7/ Business, Management and Sales, 8/ Health and Wellbeing, 9/ Horticulture, 10/ Wildlife and Environmental, 11/ Animal Care, 12/ Agriculture, 13/ Hospitality and Tourism, 14/ Media and 15/ Education.
Getting Work in HorticultureExplore what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse this industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.