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CBT Diploma: FAQ

About the Modules

Admission criteria

Training with other organisations

Time limits

Criteria for Diploma completion

Clinical supervision

Titles, Approvals & Accreditation

About the Modules

Q: I am interested in some of the topics which are part of the Diploma course. I am not sure at the moment whether I want to do the Diploma.

A: Absolutely no problem. Each course is designed to be an individual self-contained day or days on a chosen topic. All modules are designed in such a way that they can be taken in any order or individually. You don’t have to be a Diploma course participant to attend the individual training days. All modules will obviously be from a CBT perspective, so that a familiarity with basic CBT concepts (either from the Introductory Certificate) or from elsewhere is an advantage but not essential.

Q: Are these courses suitable for me just as individual training days on the chosen topic?

A: Absolutely. Each course is designed to be an individual self-contained day or days on a chosen topic.

Q: I would eventually like to do a Diploma in CBT, but am not registered on the course at the moment. If I took the courses one by one, would they be able to count towards the Diploma later on? 

A: The individual modules can be taken independently and accumulated towards the Diploma gradually. You don’t need to commit to the whole Diploma straightaway. SDS Seminars retains an individual delegate log of modules taken, which is available to the named delegate on request to enable them to see how they are progressing towards full completion of the Diploma.

Q: Is there any particular order in which I need to attend the modules?

A: The order of the modules is flexible.
However, it is highly recommended (but not essential) that you attend BPS Approved SDS’ “CBT: Introductory Course” as early as possible. Subsequent modules will extend skills and knowledge covered within this course.

Q: Is it possible to take all the modules at one location?

A: The Introductory Certificate course runs in Manchester, Birmingham and London. Currently the Master Practitioner Diploma course is based in Central London at the British Psychological Society Headquarters near Old Street tube station. This is 2 tube stops from Kings Cross and 3 stops from Euston for those travelling from outside London to the course. However, please note additionally that nine of the twenty four training modules of the Master Practitioner Diploma are available online.

Q: What if I have completed all of the modules but one or two and they are not currently in the calendar?

A: There will only be rare instances when this might happen. We are aiming to rotate the modules in such a way that you can attend all of them within a one to two year period.

Admission Criteria:

Q: Can anyone attend the individual courses and complete the full Diploma?

A: Individual course modules are open access. However the Diploma as a whole is designed for those with a first degree and is taught at a university post-graduate level.

Training with other organisations

Q: I am interested in the Diploma in CBT, however as I have done an introductory training at another training centre or university - could I proceed to the other modules?

A: Unfortunately, our experience has shown that there is such a huge degree of variation between the courses that we cannot accept other (non-SDS) introductory CBT courses towards the Diploma. Many are either too generic in nature (in our opinion) or are strictly Cognitive Therapy courses (rather than Cognitive Behaviour Therapy courses). This can mean that it is often difficult for such students to understand terminology or approaches referred to in the Diploma. Additionally, the Diploma is Approved by the British Psychological Society as a whole and no parts of it can be missed or replaced by other courses.

Time Limits:

Q: Could you let me know the exact duration of the course – I will probably have to work while doing this so need to see if it’s financially reasonable to do?

A: Time scale for completion of the course is flexible. However, we typically expect you to complete it within 12 – 18 months from the date of the first module you attend. All Individual modules are available to attend at least once during this time period. Please allow time in your planning for online modules and self-directed components (CF and ER).
In general, we do not put any limit on the time period you complete the whole Diploma within. However, SDS cannot guarantee that the Diploma will run in perpetuity, therefore, delaying completion beyond 24 months (2 years) from your first module is done at your own risk.

Q: Is there a time limit on completion of the self-directed modules like Evidence-Reading and Case Formulations?

A: Yes. You are expected to complete each self-directed module within 2 months of your payment. In exceptional circumstances this time might be extended, by prior arrangement. SDS will not accept your work if you go outside the time limit without informing us in advance and agreeing it with us. Unauthorised delay will result in repeated payment for the self-directed module. Additionally it is strongly recommended that you complete case formulations relating to a topic (eg. Depression) within a month or two of completing the training module on the topic. If you fail to do this you are more likely to find it difficult to apply your knowledge from the training module to your case formulations and thus increase your likelihood of having to resubmit your case formulations.

Q: What will be my time commitments when I enrol on this course?

A: The course consists of 24 training modules one-, two- and three-day face-to-face courses (only ‘CBT: Introductory Course’ runs for 3 days) and online courses. Usually there are 2 – 3 days of face-to-face training modules per month (assuming an 8-10 month working year).
There are self-directed modules in the Diploma – ER and CF. These typically take between 4 – 8 hours per module.
The whole Diploma is designed as part-time training in such a way that it should allow you to continue your job without any major interruptions.

Diploma Completion

Q: Could you advise me on the academic criteria that need to be met in order to pass the full course?

A: As the Diploma Course is modular, the academic criteria vary for different modules:

  • The Training Modules typically require attendance only.
  • The self – directed Evidenced Reading Modules rely on a 75% pass rate of online multiple-entry tests.
  • Case Formulation Modules are qualitatively assessed by SDS Tutors on a pass/fail basis with up to 2 re-submissions per module.

All information about the completed (and passed) modules is accumulated in the individual log for each delegate.


Q: What are the supervision requirements of the Master Practitioner Diploma course?

A: To be awarded the Master Practitioner Diploma in CBT you need to fulfil the requirements outlined. It is strongly recommended that you seek out regular clinical supervision from an Accredited CBT Therapist as well as engage in peer discussion. It is typically only through such means that students are most successfully able to apply the course to their practice and to practice safely. However, it is not essential to receive supervision to complete the Master Practitioner Diploma.

Q: I would like to know how I can get supervision and how much it will cost me.

A: There are two choices regarding supervision for this course:

  • Applicants can make their own arrangements for a supervisor.

  • OR
  • Send a one page CV to SDS Seminars with an expression of interest in obtaining CBT supervision. SDS Seminars will forward this to a selection of Accredited CBT therapists that it can recommend as supervisors. However, such supervision arrangements are totally independent of SDS Seminars and are an arrangement between the prospective supervisor and student – both contractually and financially. SDS Seminars accepts no liability or responsibility regarding any aspect of such a process nor does it guarantee that such a supervisory relationship can be provided. Such clinical supervision – should it be arranged – is most commonly Skype based.

Equally – if you sign up for the whole Diploma course but would like to make your own supervision arrangements – you are free to do so.  Read more...

Titles, Approvals & Accreditations

Q: Can I call myself a CBT Therapist after I complete the Master Practitioner Diploma?

A: The title “CBT Therapist” is currently NOT a protected term in the UK and for this reason any practitioner can call themselves a CBT Therapist.

However, SDS Seminars Ltd does NOT see it as good practice for any practitioner to call themselves a “CBT Therapist” without extensive training such as that provided by the BPS Approved Master Practitioner Diploma in CBT or similar.

SDS Seminars Ltd strongly supports the principle that anyone describing themselves as a “CBT Therapist” or “using CBT in their practice” should obtain regular supervision from an Accredited CBT Therapist.

SDS Seminars Ltd supports the principle that students of its own short CBT courses (no less than 20 hrs +), as well as those provided by other training organisations that SDS directly recommends, can use the following terms on completion: “use CBT in my practice”, “incorporate CBT into my practice”, “draw on CBT in my practice”, “trained in elements of CBT” - assuming they are receiving ongoing clinical supervision from an Accredited CBT Therapist.

SDS supports the principle that students of its own longer CBT courses (e.g. CBT Master Practitioner Diploma Course), as well as those provided by other training providers that SDS directly recommends for this purpose, can use the following terms: “CBT Therapist” or “Master Practitioner in CBT” - assuming they are receiving ongoing clinical supervision from an Accredited CBT Therapist.

SDS has no objection to students calling themselves “CBT Therapists” if they have received extensive CBT training from one or a variety of quality training sources - assuming they are receiving ongoing clinical supervision from an Accredited CBT Therapist.

Q: Can I become an Accredited CBT Therapist if I complete the Master Practitioner Diploma in CBT?

A: The question of accreditation as a CBT therapist in the UK is a complex one. Students are recommended to examine the BABCP website for criteria for BABCP accreditation.

Q: What sort of quality control processes does SDS Seminars use for its courses?

A: All SDS CBT training courses are quality controlled, assessed and informed by the latest research and practice principles. THE CBT Certificate and Master Practitioner Diploma have passed the British Psychological Society Approval process according to their five Quality Standards. All SDS CBT training courses are ONLY provided by Accredited CBT Therapists. All CBT courses (provided by other quality training providers) that SDS directly recommends have also passed an SDS consensus based quality threshold.

Q: What does British Psychological Society Approval for this course mean?

A: SDS Seminar’s Master Practitioner Diploma is Approved by the British Psychological Society (BPS). The British Psychological Society is established by Royal Charter and is the Keeper of the Register of Chartered Psychologists. BPS Approval means that the full Master Practitioner Diploma course meets the Society’s five course quality standards. Delegates who complete the Diploma will receive their Certificates with the BPS Logo and the Approval Statement. In addition to that SDS’ three days Certificate Course CBT: Introductory Course that can be taken individually or as part of the Master Practitioner Diploma in CBT, is also Approved by The British Psychological Society. These courses can be found on BPS website.

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CBT Diploma: Useful Links

CBT Diploma Modules
CBT: Introductory Course
(3 days course)
Approved by the British Psychological Society.
Case Formulation
(Online Course)
Behavioural Experiments
(Online Course)
Working with Depression
(1 day course)
Working with Phobias
(1 day course)
CBT for Couples
(2 days course)
CBT for Working with PTSD
(2 days course)
Using CBT Supervision
(Online Course)
Running CBT Groups
(Online Course)
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