Trainee Counsellor Placements

Status: Not Currently Recruiting

The Service offers a limited number of high quality trainee placements every year and these are managed in accordance with BACP guidelines for University and College Counselling Services. 

Service Philosophy

The University Counselling Service aims to offer an effective, professional and confidential service to students of the university, in accordance with the BACP’s Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. 

Placement Hours

The placement is usually for one academic year, commencing in October 2019 and is available on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings between 5pm and 8pm during the University term time. Placements can be extended to a second year and we are developing our offer to include some training.  During vacations, trainees can arrange to see their clients during the day but this is subject to room availability.


Regular small group supervision, at a minimum of one hour per fortnight, is provided by experienced counsellors within the Service. There is no charge and it is available for the duration of the trainee’s placement. Attendance of supervision is essential and not necessarily on the placement day.

Membership of a Professional Organisation

The Service requires all counsellors working for the Service to be members of a professional organisation in counselling/psychotherapy (for example, The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) and this applies to trainees too.


All trainee counsellors are covered by the University’s employer liability insurance and public liability insurance while working for the University.  Although the work of trainees at the Counselling Service is covered by the University’s professional indemnity insurance, trainees are encouraged to arrange their own professional indemnity insurance.

Selection Criteria

  1. A second or later year student on a BACP or UKCP accredited (or equivalent) counselling/psychotherapy course.
  2. Prior experience of providing counselling or psychotherapy.
  3. Arrangements for personal support are in place, preferably through being a client in personal therapy.
  4. Some understanding of academic related issues and difficulties in the learning process within a university environment.
  5. Written confirmation can be obtained from the applicant’s training organisation that they have been sufficiently prepared and are ready for clinical practice.
  6. The applicant is not a current staff member or student of the University of Sheffield, and is not a current or ex-client of a counsellor at the University of Sheffield Counselling Service.

Criminal Record Check

Successful applicants will be required to have a Disclosure and Barring check before they start their placement. The University's HR Department will guide you through the process.

Application Process

  1. Candidates need to complete an application form when trainee placements are advertised and to return it together with your CV to the Placement Lead.
  2. Short-listed candidates will be invited to interview, usually in summer.
  3. Two references will be requested, one of which is normally from the applicant’s trainer and should comment on the applicant’s ability to engage in a therapeutic relationship.
  4. A clear DBS check is required before a formal offer of a placement is offered.
  5. The Head of Service and Trainee, Honorary and Placement Lead usually conduct the interviews.

The Head of Service makes the final decision to offer a placement to the candidate.

Further Information

Email Dale Kitchen, Trainee and Honorary Placement Lead, at

 UPDATED February 2019