Diploma in Pet Bereavement
The Blackford Centre
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it usually take to complete the course?
- The bereavement course can take four or five months to complete. But you can do it as quickly or slowly as you want. That's the great advantage of distance learning.
Do I need to finish the course within a certain time?
- You can take as long as you want. Unlike other organisations, we don't set any time limits.
What are the course costs?
- Does the cost for the course include everything I need? Or are there any
There are no other costs or fees.
- Can I spread the cost of the courses over a period of time?
Yes. You can make five monthly payments. It costs 20% more. You can find the cost of paying by installments by clicking here.
- How could I get my money back if I don't like the counselling
Just return the course in good condition within 60 days of receiving it, and we'll send you a full refund.
Can I start the course at any time?
- Yes. You can start today. Or tomorrow. Or next week. Whenever you want.
Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a school and sit tests?
- It's all done from home.
What education, qualifications or experience do I need to register on this course?
- You don’t need any specific qualifications or experience. You just need the motivation to succeed.
I live in South Africa, USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada etc. Is the course suitable for me?
- Yes. We have students in 28 countries.
How can I contact my tutor or the Blackford Centre?
- There have two types of people you can contact - your tutor and a course advisor. The tutor marks your work, and helps you with any problems. You can email or post assignments to your tutor, whenever you want.
- We don't give out the tutor's phone number, because a few people would spend all day talking to their tutors, who would never get any work done.
- But sometimes students get stuck, or have an urgent question. If so, you can phone a course advisor at the Blackford Centre at any time during work hours. If you leave a message out of work hours we'll call you back the next day. You can contact course advisors as often as you want, and about anything to do with counselling.
Is the course accredited?
Is the course endorsed?
Yes. Our course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards and Certa Awards Quality License Scheme.
This means we have undergone an external quality check to ensure that our organisation and the courses we offer meet certain quality criteria.
ABC Awards’ And Certa Awards’ endorsement involves a robust and rigorous quality audit by external inspectors to ensure quality is consistently met. A regular review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.
To this end, the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 4 Award against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.
ABC Awards and Certa Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual and the Welsh Government. It has a portfolio of over 650 Ofqual regulated qualifications on the National Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a range of professions.
When you successfully complete this course you will receive a Certificate of Achievement by ABC Awards and Certa Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).
Read more about course accreditation here
Will the course give me credits towards a degree or some other study?
- No. But it will help you set up and run your own business. And we encourage all students to continue their studies after completing the course.
What sort of jobs can I do with this qualification? Is it just a case of building your own practice? Or could you get salaried pay?
- The course is primarily for people who wish to set up a counselling practice.
- There aren’t many openings for salaried work in counselling. Some vacancies exist in the health service or schools but generally they want higher qualifications (PhDs etc) than we offer.
- However, some of our graduates have got experience in their own private practice and have then got work attached to doctor's surgeries.
Will the qualification get me a job in a hospital or school?
- To get a job in a public organisation, you'll need more qualifications than we can offer. Our course is designed to help you work with private clients.
- Remember, the easiest way to earn a living is to work for yourself. So in the course we focus on how you can work from home as a counselor.
Are there any restrictions on me setting up as a therapist?
- Most countries don't stop you setting up your own practice.
- However, for the USA, where there are more stringent regulations, we have written a separate page at www.inst.org/counselling-courses/faqs_USA.htm for information about therapies in the USA and Canada.
What organisations can I join as a member?
On completing the course you can join our counsellors’ register, free of charge, here: www.inst.org/membership/counselling. It could bring you valuable clients.
There are many professional organisations that you could join but these have specific guidance to become a member. Each organisation has different grades of membership and you may need to contact them to find out if the qualification meets their requirements. Do your research to find out if they would be suitable for you!
Some of these bodies only accredit classroom based courses. If you want their accreditation (and remember that none are essential and none are official) you could get started by doing a distance learning course, and do a classroom based course later.
You may also decide to join ‘Counselling’, which is a membership organisation for counsellors. This is a registered charity and lets you use the initials CCC after your name. To find more information about the charity here: https://www.counselling.ltd.uk/public/pu_about.php
You could also join the International Institute for Complimentary Therapists; you can read more about this organisation here: https://www.iict.co.uk/about-us
While many students believe that clients will expect to see accreditation on a business card, 95% of clients cannot distinguish between the different bodies.
Remember you will have a Diploma from the Blackford Centre and an Award from the accreditation body, ABC Awards and Certa Awards, which is registered and regulated by OFQUAL.
Our US counselling graduates can join the American Counseling Association as a Regular Member. They can join as a Full Member (Category B) of the Canadian Counselling Association.
To summarise: you don't have to join any of these organisations to practise. In most countries, including the UK, counselling is not a regulated profession. But they can help you network and keep up to date.
Is the government bringing in legislation to regulate counsellors so that only accredited counsellors will be allowed to call themselves a counsellor?
- The legislation refers primarily to doctors - it follows on from the enquiries into Neale, Shipman, Ayling etc.
- Secondly, it refers mainly to employment within the NHS, which is not somewhere our students tend to work.
- Thirdly, there is almost no possibility that the government would legislate out of business those thousands of counsellors who provide the basis for most counselling sessions in the UK.
- It is however possible that some title will be bestowed on those who conform to specific criteria, for example 'Accredited' or 'Licensed', which will be used to distinguish between the government and non government approved professionals.
- This being the case, we have no doubt that you will be continuing to practise effectively over the coming decades.
- And even if the government were, unlikely though it is, to regulate, there would inevitably be some grandparenting scheme that would allow you accreditation.
- We will reimburse the student's fees in full if after gaining the Diploma, legislation prevents them from running a private practice.
What can I call myself in South Africa?
- You may not call yourself a 'Registered Counsellor' in South Africa. Currently you may call yourself a 'Counsellor', though this may change in future years if the word becomes a controlled title. You may call yourself a Therapist or a Therapy Counsellor, and you can legally practise using those titles.
When can I do the course?
- Can I start the course at any time?
Where can I study the course?
- Is the course all from home, or do I have to go to a test centre?
It's all from home.
Will I be able to get insurance?
- Yes, we provide you with the names of organisations that provide insurance to students who complete our course.
How are you different from other organisations?
- When you start comparing us with other organisations you might notice that:
Some organisations limit the amount of time you have to complete the course. Many organisations only allow you 12 months to complete the course. And after those 12 months are up they may require you to pay a fee to continue. With our course you can take as long as you need, without paying additional fees.
Some organisations will only give you 7 days to return your course if its not right for you. If our course is not what you expected and you want a full refund we allow you 60 days to return it and claim your money back.
Some organisations will charge you an administration fee to return the course. We refund all of your fees.
How can I be sure that you're legitimate, and that you won't disappear with my money?
- Here are some answers we hope will reassure you.
We've been in operation since 1995; so we're very established.
We publish our physical address at the bottom of each page - and you are welcome to visit us.
We're audited by ABC Awards twice a year (you can phone them to verify they do that).
You can read the Reviews of our students on the web site.
You can ask us for the contact details of former students who will talk to you about their experiences.
We publish an Ethical statement here.
- We're registered at Companies House: registration number 352 4886
Our VAT number is 729 1528 23
- Our Licence number granted by the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 is 606843.
Our bank is NatWest, 7 High Street, Wells, Somerset (we have money in the bank and no loans or overdraft).
We're registered with the UK government's Register of Learning Providers (www.ukrlp.co.uk); Number 10009490.
- And finally, we love what we do; and we wouldn't do anything to jeopardise it.
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