Certificate in Careers Counselling

Study career counselling at home, by distance education to work as a careers officer, employment officer, jobs counsellor or careers counsellor.

Course Code: VPS018
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Careers Counselling - Where will this course take you?

  • Work in a school as a careers counsellor
  • Work with unemployed to help them fulfill their potential
  • Work for a private employment agency
  • Work in a government support agency 
  • Work in personal development - help people discover their life path
  • Work in professional development
  • Work in the HR department of a large company

Careers Counselling is an important service that can help clarify an individual's career goals, and the steps they will need to take to get there.
The Certificate of Careers Counselling with ACS Distance Education is a comprehensive course that can be applied to a number of different settings. This course provides you with options to specialise in an area that most interests you.

All these options can be available to you when you study a Certificate of Careers Counselling with ACS Distance Education.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Careers Counselling.
 Careers Counselling BPS202
 Job Profiling BPS228
 Life Coaching BPS305
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 12 modules.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Educational Psychology BPS105
 Industrial Psychology BPS103
 Motivation VBS111
 Stress Management VPS100
 Adolescent Psychology BPS211
 Counselling Techniques BPS206
 Developmental Psychology BPS210
 Entrepreneurship BBS204
 Business Coaching BBS304
 Professional Practice For Consultants BBS301
 Psychopharmacology (Drugs & Psychology) BPS302

Note that each module in the Certificate in Careers Counselling is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.




Having empathy for other human beings (and animals) is an important skill for anyone working with others. Empathy is the ability to step into the shoes of another person, to imagine how they may be feeling. If we are not able to do that, it is hard to communicate well with others. We can never REALLY know what another person feels and experiences, but we can try to imagine how we would feel, how we think they would feel. We can only find out if we ask them and they tell us truthfully.  But will most people answer us truthfully?  They may not want to tell us how they truly feel? They may be scared we will judge them? They may not want to tell us the truth about how bad they feel?  How many times have you asked someone how they are, only to be told “I’m fine”, when obviously they are not fine? People will often respond in certain ways out of politeness or because they don’t want to divulge how they truly feel.

However, we should try to consider how they might feel.  Imagine a friend has lost her keys and breaks down in tears. If you sit there thinking “What a drama queen, it’s only her keys”, you might not fully appreciate why she is crying. What if she has to pick up her daughter from preschool in ten minutes and she needs her car keys? What if she doesn’t have a spare set of keys? What if the keys are on a sentimental key ring given to her by her mother? What if she has had a really bad day and this is the final straw? A simple example, but by just assuming she is overreacting, we are not really considering WHY she is acting the way she is. OK, there are some people who may cry about something like that, with no other reason, but we need to try to imagine why people feel the way they do.  So when working with others, in a counselling situation or just in our daily lives, we should really try to consider what they are feeling and perhaps why they might be behaving the way they do.

Showing respect to clients and people we deal with is important for successfully counselling and communicating with others.  If we are dismissive, disinterested or do not show respect, why would the person want to talk to us OR respect us?  It is not a good basis for communication. We can show our respect by listening to others, listening what they have to say, trying to understand what they are attempting to say, not being dismissive of what they say, and not putting them down.  All of these things will show a person that we are listening to them and are interested and respectful of what they have to say. We don’t have to agree with everything a person says to show respect, we just need to show that we are willing to listen to them, and what they have to say. We all have different points of view, but that doesn’t mean that WE are always right.

Related to respect is respecting people’s wishes. A client or another person may make a decision we don’t agree with. But it is THEIR decision and no matter what we think, they have the right to make that decision.  Now there are some amendments to this, obviously if a client or another person tells us that they are going to harm another person or themselves, we might have to take action about this, perhaps tell the police, call an ambulance, social services etc.  So we have to use our common sense and ethical standards when considering respecting other people’s wishes. But in general terms, we should respect them.



What is Involved in Providing Careers Guidance?

This is the process of helping a client identify the kind of work or field that most suits them. 

The basic question is "What vocation is this person most suited to?" The answers for this depend upon:

  • What they enjoy doing
  • What they are able to do
  • What they want to contribute and to whom
  • What they can and are willing to learn
  • How much time and effort they are willing or able to commit to developing their vocation
  • The current job-market and existing or anticipated need for their services.

While a client has come to you as an expert, your main role is to empower the client to make their own decisions.  You will, of course, discuss decisions the client and help them understand the likely consequences of their decisions, but in the end, your job is to support their decision making and their decisions. Make sure that you are helping the client develop his or her goals, not what you think their goals should be.

Careers/Vocational Planning


This part of your service refers to the process of establishing clear, realistic career goals and planning how to achieve them. It includes breaking those goals into achievable tasks that will take the client ever closer to the desired outcomes, though not necessarily in a straight line.

When you develop a plan, you need to:

Set goals and objectives  
Establish the outcomes you wish to achieve, first in a broad sense (goals) and then more specifically, in measurable terms (objectives).  For example, a goal may be “to return to work after a maternity leave”. An objective might be “to attend a refresher course”

Estimate and anticipate current and future events & situations …assumptions made become the framework for the career plan

Create an action plan
First, identify your client’s priorities. List all tasks that have to be done to achieve each of the objectives. Then, identify priorities: most important and urgent things first, then most important but less urgent, and so on. For example, for the objective above – “to attend a refresher course”, this may involve the client researching local refresher courses, finding out costs, finding out about child care whilst she attends the course and so on. Once the list of tasks is determined, these should be prioritised. For example, she may sort out childcare first, then find that the course doesn’t run at a time she can access that childcare.   

Develop a Timetable  
After establishing a realistic time frame for the project, and based on the client’s priorities, encourage them to plan to carry out all required activities within the allotted time. Always allow time for contingencies in the timetable.

Setting Goals
First, help the client focus on clear goals, then plan. To have a successful career, a person must match their aspirations to their capabilities, and pursue a series of well thought out and achievable goals. Encourage the client to take a step by step approach to their career. Explain the importance of developing a plan of action, even though it may be changed later.

For a client to formulate appropriate goals, he/she first needs to be aware of the possibilities. The Careers Counsellor can play a big role in broadening the client’s awareness of possibilities. As a counsellor your job should be to reveal possibilities without bias.  Test the client’s understanding of different options, and encourage an unbiased consideration of ALL possibilities by the client.

At this stage, do not attempt to rush the client toward any particular option. Instead, encourage the client to take the time to carefully consider his or her goals, and to evaluate them. A good goal is realistic, achievable, and something the client is willing to commit to.

Job Seeking Support

This service refers to the process of identifying potential or existing positions in industry that are consistent with the person’s career goals. Or the process of finding a position that enables them to meet their living needs as they pursue their career goals. Then taking steps to obtain one of those positions.

Only after the goals have been identified and planning has been carried out to guide the client through the career maze should the client be encouraged to begin the job-seeking process.  This does not mean that clients must make life-long goal and planning decisions, but that they have a working road map for pursuing currently relevant career options.  To proceed without this map means that the client’s career will be based on inconsistent, unfocused, spontaneous and haphazard decisions.

Also, all the research confirms that those people who have the clearest goals and are most persistent and focused in pursuing them are most likely to succeed, even when they lack other assets such as education, experience or a supportive job market.

Therefore, goal-setting and planning skills that will be so valuable to a client in all areas of his or her life, including future career moves. Clients who have not developed them will be at a distinct disadvantage.

How This Course Could Help You

This course is a more complete course than our module in Careers Counselling and provides those wishing to work in this field with a more thorough foundation by exploring related areas of interest. In addition to helping match people to suitable career paths this certificate provides students with skills in business and life coaching which adds to their overall understanding of people and work. A choice of electives allows students to decide how they wish to round out their studies.

This course will be of most value to people working in:

  • Careers guidance
  • Employment offices
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Personnel management  
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Human resources


Learn from the professionals!
  • Self paced distance education course
  • Start any time, study anywhere, choose elective modules to differentiate your skill set from other graduates


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding in your selected discipline. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Tracey Jones (Psychologist)

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, editing, education, psychology, and business. Tracey has several books and hundreds of articles published; in both fiction and non fiction.

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

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 Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Jacinda has worked for ACS for over 10 years.

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 for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.

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