Further Education and Training Certificate: Counseling

Further Education and Training Certificate: Counseling


The FETC: Counseling Qualification has been developed to meet the needs of learners in a variety of counseling contexts. It should develop learners who know their scope of practice, behave ethically in a counseling context, conform to minimum standards, know when to refer clients and understand the psychological consequences for clients if counselors are inadequately trained or overstep their scope of practice. It is a generic Qualification that is intended for community or workplace-based counselors 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, Counseling 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

Career Opportunities:

• Social auxiliary worker
• Traditional healer
• Trauma counselor
• HIV/AIDS counselor
• Career counselor
• Health and wellness practitioner

Entrance Requirements
Learners registering for this qualification must have the following skills:

Competency in Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3.

There is open access to this Qualification bearing in mind the Learning Assumed to be in Place. All learners falling under the aegis of statutory councils are subject to the rules for learners of the specific statutory councils which may include additional fees, selection criteria, registration profiles, etc.

This is a one year qualification and can also be offered as skills programmes, modules or short courses.

A minimum of 140 credits is required to complete the Qualification which is made up of the following components:

• Fundamental: 56 credits.
• Core: 53 credits.
• Electives: 31 credits.
• Total: 140 credits.


• There are 40 credits allocated to Communication (20 for the First Language at NQF Level 4 and 20 for an additional language at NQf Level 3)
• 16 credits allocated to Mathematical Literacy at the level of the Qualification.

All the Mathematical Literacy and Communication Unit Standards designated as Fundamental are compulsory.


53 credits have been allocated to Unit Standards designated as Core for the purpose of this Qualification. These Unit Standards provide the generic knowledge and skills related to counseling in general, issues of ethics and legislation and personal empowerment of individuals who counsel others in a supervised environment. All the Unit Standards indicated as Core are compulsory.


Electives that add up to a minimum of 34 credits should be selected from the allocated list of Electives. Electives provide opportunities for the holistic development of the learner and allow for maximum flexibility and multi-skilling to enable the learners to achieve a qualification that is relevant to the context in which they work. Learners may select relevant Unit Standards from the Unit Standards listed as Electives or other Unit Standards (as they become available) as a specialisation if they relate directly to the learner’s counselling context or focus area of practice. These may include:

• Social Auxiliary Work.
• Trauma.
• Barriers to Learning.
• Career Counselling.
• Spiritual and pastoral.
• Substance abuse.
• Employee Assistance Programmes/Life Skills.
• Victim Empowerment.
• Violence and intimidation.
Cluster of Unit Standards recommended for specialisation in HIV/AIDS:

• Provide on-going counselling and support to individuals infected or affected by HIV and AIDS.
• Provide pre and post HIV test counselling.
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of HIV and AIDS, other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIS) and tuberculosis (TB) for counselling purposes.
• Demonstrate knowledge of dread diseases to effectively manage an infected or affected client.
• Apply knowledge of HIV/AIDS to a specific business sector and a workplace.
• Contribute to information distribution regarding HIV/AIDS in the workplace.
• Develop and implement a client ARV treatment plan.

Cluster of Unit Standards recommended for specialisation in Employee Assistance Programmes/Life Skills:

• Describe how to manage substance abuse and addiction in the workplace.
• Describe how to support employees who are affected by a dread disease.
• Describe how to manage reactions arising from a traumatic event.
• Describe how to manage risks associated with abuse in the workplace.
• Describe how to manage anxiety and depression in the workplace.
• Describe how to manage workplace relationships.
• Investigate the challenges associated with the reasonable accommodation of people with disability in the workplace.
• Explain how to manage diversity in the workplace.
• Apply knowledge of self and own situation to manage the risks resulting from change in the workplace.
• Apply knowledge of HIV/AIDS to a specific business sector and a workplace.
• Explain the manager’s role in identifying vulnerable or at risk employees.
• Explain the impact of organisational wellness on a business environment and indicate a strategy for a business unit.
• Develop a strategy to manage compromised employee well being.

Cluster of Unit Standards recommended for specialisation in Victim Empowerment:

• Provide support to victims of sexual offences.
• Provide support to victims of domestic violence.
• Identify intervention services and provide support to children and youth of victims of abuse and neglect.

Cluster of Unit Standards recommended for specialisation in Management Skills:

• Apply knowledge of self and team in order to develop a plan to enhance team performance.
• Participate in development of strategic plan for fundraising.
• Perform one on one training on the job.
• • Develop a community profile for a specific community.

Note: The recommended breakdown of this qualification is 30% theoretical learning and 70% practical experience.

The focus of the Further Education and Training Certificate: Counselling Qualification is on fundamental knowledge of counselling practices and an ability to apply established processes and procedures to solve problems in a familiar context, to adjust applications when required and to motivate the change. Learners are required to apply literacy and numeracy skills to different counselling contexts. They are expected to gather, analyse and evaluate information from a range of sources and to present and communicate information reliably and accurately verbally and in writing.

Learners should have the capacity to take responsibility for their own learning within a supervised environment and should be able to evaluate their own performance and address their shortcomings.

The Exit Level Outcomes and their Associated Assessment Criteria are the following, which means that the learner will be able to:

1. Apply communication and numeracy skills to analyse, interpret and evaluate information in a counselling context.

2. Apply interpersonal skills to counsel a client within own scope of practice.

3. Apply knowledge of counselling skills and techniques within own scope of practice.

4. Apply knowledge of health and wellness in a counselling context.

Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

The learner is able to demonstrate ability to:

• Identify and solve problems in which responses show that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made in counselling a client within own scope of practice.

• Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community in that most counsellors at this level operate in communities and work in teams.

• Organise and manage him/herself and his/her own activities responsibly and effectively in counselling in a structured environment and writing the required reports and keeping routine records of counselling interventions according to the requirements of the work context.

• Collect, organise and critically evaluate information in screening a client to determine needs and recommend appropriate interventions.

• Communicate effectively in counselling clients.

• Use science and technology effectively in maintaining records on a database.

• Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation in understanding the relationship between human behaviour and health and wellness in terms of short term interventions and potential long term effects.

• Reflect on and explore a variety of strategies to learn more effectively in reflecting on own practice.

• Participate as a responsible citizen in the life of local, national and global communities in counselling within a structured environment.

• Demonstrate cultural sensitivity across a range of counselling contexts in applying knowledge of interpersonal relationships to enhance the effectiveness of the counselling process.

Before the Further Education and Training Certificate: Counselling Qualification is awarded, learners are required to demonstrate competence in the required Unit Standards and complete a summative assessment based on the Exit Outcomes of the Qualification.

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