Training Courses

BACP Approved PDA in Online and Telephone Counselling

This award has been SCQF credit rated by SQA

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for counsellors to be able to deliver services remotely via phone or online platforms. To ensure competent and ethical practice in this growing area, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) partnered with the Open University (OU) to develop training resources. While an initial short course addressed immediate needs, a more robust qualification was required for long-term, blended practice (combining online/telephone with in-person sessions).

This course description details the PDA in Online and Telephone Counselling, a nationally recognised qualification designed to equip counsellors with the necessary skills and knowledge to confidently work with adult clients remotely.

The course is jointly awarded by BACP and SQA. The Spark is a BACP approved training centre.

Who is the course for?


This Professional Development Award (PDA) is suitable for:

  • Registered counselling practitioners
  • Counsellors seeking a nationally recognised qualification for remote practice
  • Professionals interested in confidently working with adult clients via online video conferencing or telephone

Please note, the PDA does not incorporate competencies that allow practitioners to work remotely with children and young people.

What will participants learn?


The PDA consists of two SQA HN Units, both at SCQF level 8:

Unit 1: Telephone and Online Counselling: Ethics and Professional Standards

  • Develops knowledge of the ethical and professional standards for remote counselling with adults.
  • Covers essential skills, principles, and competencies needed for safe and effective remote practice

Unit 2: Telephone and Online Counselling: Safe and Competent Practice

  • Links the learned competencies with practical application in a supervised placement setting.
  • Ensures completion of 30 hours of supervised remote counselling with ongoing clinical supervision, as mandated by the BACP Ethical Framework.

These units must be taken in order.

I found it really beneficial working online from remote venues, how skills can be applied with these mediums.

I felt it gave me a real advantage going forward and broadened my understanding of elements I hadn’t considered.

Entry requirements


Participants should be able to demonstrate that:

  • they are qualified counselling practitioners with a counselling award at diploma level (minimum SCQF level 8)
  • they should be a registered member of a professional counselling body (BACP, COSCA, BABCP etc.)
  • they have appropriate indemnity insurance
  • they have a current and appropriate PVG or DBS certificate

Course fees, dates and how to book


The full course fee is £450 and is payable in three monthly instalments of £150.

This 8-day course is fully online and takes place fornightly on Saturdays between 9.30am – 4.30pm.

September 2024 Course Dates (Saturdays)
DayDateTimeLocation
Day 114 Sep 20249.30pm – 4.30pmRemote
Day 228 Sep 20249.30pm – 4.30pmRemote
Day 312 Oct 20249.30pm – 4.30pmRemote
Day 426 Oct 20249.30pm – 4.30pmRemote
Day 59 Nov 20249.30pm – 4.30pmRemote
Day 623 Nov 20249.30pm – 4.30pmRemote
Day 714 Dec 20249.30pm – 4.30pmRemote
Day 821 Dec 20249.30pm – 4.30pmRemote

To apply to for this courses, please click the ‘Apply Now’ button in the course details section. The application process for this course is light touch and no interview is required.

September 2024 (Online)

Dates: 14 Sep 2024 – 21 Dec 2024
Times: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Days: Saturdays

Total Cost: £450 Payable in three monthly instalments of £150.

Applications close 9 Sep 2024 or when full.

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