Counselling NQF 4


The FETC: Counselling Qualification has been developed to meet the needs of learners in a variety of counselling contexts. It should develop learners who know their scope of practice, behave ethically in a counselling context, conform to minimum standards, know when to refer clients and understand the psychological consequences for clients if counsellors are inadequately trained or overstep their scope of practice. It is a generic Qualification that is intended for community or workplace-based counsellors who work in structured and supervised environments including, but not limited to private and government Institutions, schools, Non-Governmental Organisations including Faith Based, Community Based and Not-for-Profit Organisations, the South African Police Service, Counselling Call Centres, Hospitals, Clinics and Support Agencies, Sports Centres, Education and Training facilities, Health and Emergency services and facilities.

In this Qualification, “Scope of Practice” refers to the boundaries within which the counsellor operates without referral as defined by own work context.

The Qualification is intended to meet the needs of a wide variety of work roles including, but not limited to social auxiliary workers, traditional healers, trauma counsellors, HIV/AIDS counsellors, career counsellors and health and wellness practitioners.


There is an urgent need for NQF Level 4 Qualification in Counselling as there is currently very limited or no recognition or regulation of counsellors at NQF Level 4. There is very little consistency in standards across and within provinces in South Africa, and across different counselling contexts. Unqualified counsellors currently work in a variety of contexts often in environments where mental health professional such as psychologists and social workers are not necessarily accessible to the majority of the population. The Qualification will provide a consistent basis for evaluating and regulating counselling at NQF Level 4 and will ensure greater access to counselling services.

Counselling enables one or more people to go through the process of finding solutions to their concerns or difficulties. Counselling may take various forms, including with individuals, couples, families or domestic units and groups. The Further Education and Training Certificate: Counselling Qualification will allow counselors to be recognized and will address current national health and social service priorities. Ideally, qualifying learners will operate under supervision.