Careers Counselling

Career Advisor or Counsellor course. Help make sound career decisions and set realistic career goals, this course can set you on that path.

Course CodeBPS202
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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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, Republic of Cameroon - Careers Counselling.

Starting or changing a career can be quite a challenge. Without help, a person can easily become discouraged or overwhelmed. If you want to help others (or yourself) make sound career decisions and set realistic career goals, this course will set you on that path.

Career Counselling is also a valuable addition to your teaching, counselling, management, life-coaching, or community services qualification. It can improve parents' ability to help their children choose suitable career paths, or student's ability to plan their own career or career change.

Reasons to Study This Course

Everyone seeks employment, whether part time or full time, whether a career or a job. Consequently, good careers counsellors often find themselves inundated with enquiries. Sometimes people want to change careers, sometimes they just want to get off in the right direction. At other times people might want to gain a better insight into themselves and what they could do. Careers counsellors can help with all these things. This course will help careers counsellors and employment advisors to organise their own resources so that they are better able to help job seekers.

This course is aimed at people looking to work in:

  • Careers guidance
  • Employment offices
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Personnel management  
  • Resume Writing Services
  • Teaching, Youth Work, Media

"In the modern day, many people do not have a “job for life”. People change jobs and retrain throughout their lives. This course considers how we support people leaving school, college and university to decide on their future, find jobs, undertake training and so on. But also how we support the adult who wishes to retrain, return to work after maternity leave or redundancy. This course provides students with an interesting career option in the current economic climate." Tracey Jones, B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies), ACS Tutor

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction ...Scope & Nature of the Industry
    • Definitions: career, careers counselling, counselling
    • Broad employment options
    • Services offered in the employment industry
    • Assmptions about career counselling practices
    • Cross cultural careers counselling
  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
  3. Careers Advice Resources ...Brochures, Publications, Web Sites
    • Employer considerations: qualifications, experience,personality, age, adaptability, productivity, etc
    • Case study
  4. Career Services ....Where can people get help (Social Services, Work Experience, Education)
    • Career counselling services
    • Careers and vocational guidence
    • Vocational planning
    • Setting goals
    • Job seeking supportJob seeking strategies
    • Other services
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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.


  • Identify people and organisations that offer career advice or support and the services they offer.
  • Distinguish successful from unsuccessful careers, and prepare for anticipated changes in the workplace.
  • Develop skills that will enhance your ability to guide others in the establishment or development of a career.
  • Plan and execute an effective counselling session
  • Explain strategies for dealing with the needs of inexperienced young people.
  • Identify and meet the needs of inexperienced adults or those facing career change.
  • Explain how and where to find employment in the job market.
  • Describe the need to nurture and grow a career and plan for change.

What You Will Do

  • 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, timeframe, 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.

Be Aware of Assumptions Underlying the Practice of Careers Counselling

Careers counselling has a number of underlying assumptions, which should be considered when supporting clients. The following assumptions are however not always true for everyone. A good Careers Counsellor will look deeper into the client's individual and unique situation, before giving advice.

1. People have the ability and opportunity to make careers choices within their lives. The amount of freedom of choice will depend on their economic, social and cultural context.

2. Individuals are presented with career choices throughout their lives.

3. Opportunities should be available to people regardless of their disability, sexual orientation, age, cultural background, gender or religion.

4. People will have a wide range of work roles during their lives. These include paid and unpaid work.

5. Careers counsellors support people to explore, pursue and attain their career goals.

6. Careers counselling has four main elements –

a. Helping individuals gain a greater self-awareness in areas of interests, values, personality style and abilities.

b. Connecting students to resources so they can become knowledgeable about jobs and occupations.

c. Engaging students in the decision making process, so they choose a career path well-suited to their individual needs, abilities, values and personality.

d. Assisting individuals to be active managers of their career path – such as career transitions, balancing life roles, as well as becoming life long learners to develop over their career.

7. Individuals will enter particular occupations according to personal preferences, interests, external influences etc.

8. Career decision making happens throughout a person’s life. It is an ongoing process. It doesn’t happen only once.

9. All forms of work are valuable and all contribute to the well-being of society.


Perhaps you would like to extend the ways you can help clients -beyond purely finding employment.

Certificate in Life Coaching

Life Coaching

Relationship and Communications Counselling

Or are you interested in how psychology relates to business, why not try –

Psychological Assessment

Careers Counselling

Stress Management

Marketing Psychology

Industrial Psychology

Multicultural Awareness

Social Psychology

Or if you are not sure if psychology is for you, why not try our Introduction to Psychology -

If you would like to see our range of psychology books, please visit -


Crises happens to everyone. Losing a job and struggling to find a new one can be a common crisis, that may have effects well beyond a temporary reduction of income.
Intervention can take many forms, apart from the obvious help you might give to find new employment.
Careers coundellors may need to go beyond strict careers advice, or refer the client to other professionals for additional support while unemployed. Professional counselling strategies aimed at helping the individual cope with crisis, can reduce the negative psychological, physiological and behavioural effects of trauma on that person and his or her environment.

The purpose of counselling is to deal with the person’s current status by dealing with a crisis. Chronic exposure to stress or trauma can lead to mental illness. Therefore, it is important that counsellors have the skills and knowledge to help clients cope with their current stressors and trauma. Crisis counselling is not intended to provide psychotherapy or similar, but offers a short-term intervention to helps clients receive assistance, resources, stabilisation and support.

Crisis intervention differs from other counselling interventions in that it focuses on short-term strategies to prevent damage during and immediately after the experience of trauma. Crisis counselling is often followed by counselling for long term improvement of the client’s mental health and personal wellbeing. These will be discussed in more detail later in this lesson.

Crisis intervention has several purposes. It aims to reduce the intensity of the person’s physical, mental, emotional and behavioural reactions to a crisis. It also helps the individual return to the level of functioning they were at before the incident.

There is also an educational component to crisis intervention. The individual will be advised of the normal reactions to an abnormal situation. The individual will be told that their responses are temporary and that there is not a specific time that the person can expect to recover from the crisis.




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John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. J
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Jacinda Cole

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo
Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE. Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc. 25 years industry experience in writing,
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