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Foundation Certificate

Foundation Certificate

Personal development and a potential step towards professional training

We are now taking applications for the Foundation Certificate course commencing September 2024. All the information you need about the course and how to apply is here.

Please note that we do not offer deferred entry at Foundation level – please only apply if you are available to start the course this September.

A one year, part time course designed for individuals who are interested in personal or professional development. The Foundation course also serves as a springboard for those wanting to pursue further professional training in Counselling or Psychotherapy. This is a flexible feature, unique among BACP and UKCP accredited courses, allowing students time to explore if further training is for them.

No previous experience is necessary to embark on the Foundation year, although it may be advantageous to attend our ten-week Listening Skills in a Diverse World course prior to starting.


The focus of the Foundation year is on developing an awareness of self and others through effective listening, authentic relating and personal presence. This requires deep personal work and this can be both challenging and deeply rewarding. To support this process, students are required to be in individual, weekly counselling or psychotherapy with a practitioner on our BCPC Approved Lists - the cost of which is not included in the fees. Attention is also paid to group dynamics and we see the group as a powerful container for self exploration. Full attendance is expected on all course days.

Successful completion of the Foundation Certificate means that students are eligible to apply for the first stage of our BACP accredited and UKCP approved training courses in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Entry onto these further courses is not guaranteed and is subject to a separate interview process.

Course Structure

There are 3 separate Foundation groups that run weekly on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday across the academic year. The focus is on experiential rather than theoretical learning and students are encouraged to draw on their moment-to-moment experience to help develop their personal awareness and interpersonal skills.

The year is underpinned by Carl Rogers’ Humanistic approach to personal growth and his Core Conditions for therapeutic change. There are key readings and handouts to support the learning.

Students have the opportunity to practice their listening skills in small peer groups; learn about group dynamics in the weekly Process group and have termly tutorials with their personal tutor to review their progress and assess individual learning needs.

We suggest allowing at least three hours a week for private study. Students are required to keep a private journal throughout the course and to write one essay.

What past students say:

“Reflection in itself during Foundation allowed me to become more aware of who I am, and to accept myself and I see this as a prerequisite for appreciating people in my life and differences between us. Foundation offers a safe place to be yourself and share yourself with others.”

“I very much valued being part of the Foundation course group. It allowed me to grow through participation and relationship, supporting me in re-establishing my sense of self in relation to others in anticipation of the professional training for psychotherapy.”

“BCPC practices what it preaches. This integrity is fantastic - a life changing and enlightening experience.”

“Professional, trustworthy, insightful about people and process......I felt the programme was well calibrated in terms of organisation and tutor support..”


We operate a rolling admissions process for the Foundation Certificate until all our interview dates are full and therefore encourage you to apply as early as possible. We normally start taking applications in January each year and there are a total of 4 interview dates through April, May, June & July. If there are no interview spaces left at the time of applying, you may be placed on a waiting list.

BCPC welcomes applications from a diverse range of students, particularly from underrepresented groups. Students with disabilities are also encouraged to apply. We will discuss your particular requirements in order to identify and accommodate reasonable adjustments to enable you to participate fully. Our premises are partially wheelchair accessible.

For those applicants to the BCPC Foundation Course where English is not your first language, please be aware that evidence of a required level of proficiency will need to be in place prior to any future application to BCPC's professional training. More information is available here.

How to apply

Below is a brief guide on the application process. For detailed information, especially concerning application deadlines, interview dates and course dates, please download the Course Information Sheet using the link below.

Please note we charge a £45 non-refundable application fee. Details of how to make payment will be sent to you following receipt of your application.

Two references are required - one from a previous tutor or employer and another personal one (although not from a family member or therapist.) The reference form template will be emailed to you following receipt of your application.

Once you have submitted your application, you will get an acknowledgement email to confirm that it was successfully received.

If you do not hear from us within 3 working days following submission of your application, please email to check we have received it.

If you have any questions about the process or the application form please contact or telephone 01225 429 720.


Our interview days are structured as a whole day workshop-style experience including an individual interview. Successful applicants will have a level of emotional maturity required to study on the Foundation course as well as an awareness of self and others.

For 2024 Interview dates, please see the Course Information Sheet for details.

Please apply by downloading the Application form (Word document) below, or alternatively click the 'Apply Online' button.

Location: BCPC, Bath
Course Length: 1 Year
Detailed Dates and Fees: Course Information Sheet 2024-25
Application Form (Word document) Application Form for Foundation
Apply Online

Diploma Entry Requirements Diploma Entry Requirements

Interested in applying for our Counselling or Psychotherapy diplomas? Visit our Entry Requirements page to find out more.

Contact the BCPC Administrator

Meet the Tutors

  • Gill Theodoreson
    Gill Theodoreson
    Course Leader Foundation

    Dip HIP, MA HIP, UKCP Reg

  • Alice Buckee
    Alice Buckee

    MA HIP, Dip HIP, UKCP Reg

  • Eleni Constanti
    Eleni Constanti

    Dip HIC, MBACP (Accred) PQ Dip. CYP

  • Katrina Sutcliffe
    Katrina Sutcliffe

    MA HIP, Dip HIP, PG Dip. Dramatherapy, UKCP Reg, HCPC Reg

  • Shani Trevethick
    Shani Trevethick

    MA HIP, Dip HIP, UKCP Reg

  • Jimmy Whiteaker
    Jimmy Whiteaker

    FDA, NCPS Accred

Training with BCPC