Guidance counsellor training

The Guidance Counsellor Training Study Award provides untrained guidance counsellors and teachers who wish to become guidance counsellors with support to complete a master's qualification in counselling or counselling studies. The award provides time off for part-time study for up to four years or full-time study for two years. Recipients receive their normal salary from school while on study leave plus:

  • core compulsory tuition fees
  • a contribution towards course related supervision costs
  • a contribution towards travel or relocation costs, subject to meeting the travel eligibility criteria.

Each year there are four FTTE (full-time teacher equivalent) awards available.

Applications for the 2024 Guidance Counsellor Training Study Award are now closed. Notifications will be sent out on Friday 20 October 2023.

Am I eligible for a Guidance Counsellor Training Study Award?

If you wish to apply for a Guidance Counsellor Training Study Award, you must:

  • be working in a state or state-integrated secondary school
  • apply to study a Master of Counselling or Counselling Studies at an approved tertiary institute
  • not previously had more than 190 days or three years’ consecutive study leave through a Guidance Counsellor Training Study Award
  • provide evidence that you have the support of your employer

If you are on a fixed term contract or are a long-term relieving counsellor or teacher, you may still apply for a study award, as long as you are employed by a school during the term of the award.

Approved tertiary institutions

There are four tertiary institutions that deliver a Master's Programme in Counselling and Counselling Studies:


Contact: Anita Lam-Stevoska



University of Canterbury: Master of Counselling

Contact: Dr Shanee Barraclough 



What does the award provide?

You will receive your normal salary from the school while on study leave. This includes permanent salary units and allowances. You need to check with your principal whether any fixed term units and allowances will be paid while you are on leave. The study award funds relief costs to your school for the duration of leave. In addition the award:

  • covers core compulsory tuition fees
  • covers course related supervision costs
  • may contribute towards travel or relocation expenses.

To be eligible for assistance with travel or relocation, you must be travelling more than 100km return between your usual work place and your study centre. You can claim a maximum of $2000 if you are studying on the same island as your current school or $3500 if you are studying on the other island per year. Travel or relocation assistance will be paid in two instalments: the first in March and the second in July.

Please note that if you fail to complete your study award, you may be required to repay any travel or relocation contributions.

The amount of leave awarded is based on the length of your course. If your application is successful, we will confirm the course dates with your tertiary provider.

Contact Us

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