Some extra information
Home of online and distance learning counselling courses
Institute of Counselling
CALL US ON: +44 (0) 141 204 2230
View Our Comprehensive Course List



Once a qualification has an SCQF level and credit points it attracts national and international recognition for the learners who achieve it.

A selection of courses offered by the Institute of Counselling are given an academic value in the form of credits and level through use of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). It is important for our students to appreciate what this means before embarking on their courses and whether or not this learning will suit their purpose.

Glasgow Caledonian University

A selection of our courses are university credit rated by Glasgow Caledonian University with between 30 - 120 credit points (3rd year BA/BSc level), these particular courses specialise within a specific area of counselling. The Institute of Counselling also delivers a diploma programme, which is credit rated by Glasgow Caledonian University with 120 credit points (3rd year BA/BSc level). Please see our course list for further details.

What is the SCQF?

The SCQF is the official framework measuring academic merit in Scotland, comparing the wide range of Scottish qualifications. It covers achievements such as those from school, college, university, and many work-based qualifications. It does this by giving each qualification a level and a number of credit points. The level of a qualification shows how difficult the learning is. The credit points show how much learning is involved in achieving that qualification. Each credit point represents an average of 10 hours of learning.


A wide selection of our courses are accredited by the ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists). The ACCPH are an independent Professional Body and Register for counsellors, psychotherapists, coaches and hypnotherapists. They are committed to safeguarding public interests and promoting high standards of conduct, education and training within the counselling profession.

The ACCPH ensure that all accreditation of courses and training is of the highest standard, including nationally recognised standards set by Ofqual, SCQF, Higher Education frameworks and similar bodies. Your profile with ACCPH enables the public and employers to check a person is qualified and enables the employer or member of the public to verify your information. The ACCPH provides a professional platform for marketing your skills, qualifications, website and any social media transparently to your target audience(s).

Social Enterprise Scotland

The Institute of Counselling is a Social Enterprise Member of Social Enterprise Scotland.  Social Enterprise Scotland is an independent, membership-led organisation who have championed the social enterprise sector for more than 15 years.

Social Enterprise Scotland are involved in representing social enterprises to policy-makers. Please click the link to visit their website for more information.


The SCQF can:

  • help you decide how you progress in your learning;
  • help you understand qualifications you are not familiar with;
  • help employers understand different types of qualifications and help with the development of your skills;
  • help colleges and universities identify the level that has been studied in a particular subject and make it easier to transfer credit points between different learning programmes; and
  • provide recognition of other areas of your learning that may contribute to your personal development and your goals for the future.

Who uses the SCQF?

All Scottish universities and colleges are now using SCQF levels and credit points to describe their courses, if these are included in the Framework. A wide range of other learning is also being recognised using SCQF levels and credits. Some employers are using SCQF levels instead of, or as well as, types of qualification when they advertise jobs.

How does the SCQF work outside Scotland?

The SCQF also helps to illustrate the relationships between Scottish qualifications and those in the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond, which can clarify opportunities for international progression routes and credit transfer. The SCQF has been referenced to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), meaning that there is now an easy way to compare the level of qualifications of the countries in Europe who have developed their own National Qualifications Framework. to see how this works click in the table(LHS) produced by the Quality Assurance agency for Higher Education

For more information on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, visit For information on the SCQF level and credit points for learning programmes which have been credit rated, search the SCQF database online

Still unsure about what to do next? Call us on +44 (0) 141 204 2230