Ethics Complaints

Counsellors and Psychotherapists work to very high ethical standards. Practitioners who are registered with PACFA are required to comply with the Interim Code of Ethics 2015 and the Code of Ethics of any PACFA Member Associations to which they belong.

PACFA Member Associations are also required to meet high standards for conduct and governance as set out in the Code of Good Governance.

If you have concerns that your counsellor or psychotherapist may have acted unethically in the provision of counselling or psychotherapy services, you have the right to make a complaint.

You also have the right to make a complaint to PACFA about a PACFA Member Association if you have concerns that the Member Association has not dealt with an ethical matter appropriately.

PACFA Code of Ethics

The PACFA Code of Ethics sets out the ethical framework for the professional practice of PACFA Registrants. The PACFA Code of Ethics also covers the ethical governance and practices of Member Associations and of PACFA itself and its officers. Member Associations are required to have ethical codes of their own, and that these embrace the principles and procedures of the PACFA code.

If you have concerns about the ethical conduct of a counsellor or psychotherapist, we recommend that you download the Code of Ethics. This document provides information about the role of the PACFA Ethics Committee and Professional Conduct Panels, possible causes for homework uk complaints, who can make a complaint, and the steps that need to be taken.

Making a Complaint

PACFA can only hear complaints against counsellors and psychotherapists who are listed on the PACFA National Register or who were listed at the time the service in question was provided.

However, because PACFA is a federation and all PACFA Member Associations have their own Codes of Ethics, members of the public who wish to make a complaint should, in the first instance, contact the PACFA Member Association to which the practitioner belongs. In most situations, the Member Association is responsible for hearing the complaint when a formal complaint is made. In some situations you may need to make a complaint to PACFA.

When making a complaint to PACFA, please check that the practitioner you are complaining about is listed on the PACFA National Register, and ensure that you have contacted their Member Association before proceeding with your complaint.  You can search the PACFA Register at the Find a Therapist page or contact the PACFA Office for assistance.

All complaints heard by PACFA are heard in accordance with the PACFA Professional Conduct Procedures 2015.

To enquire about making a complaint to PACFA, please contact the PACFA Operations Manager, 03 9486 3077 or email kim.smythe@pacfa.org.au.

Complaints about PACFA Registrants must be made in writing using the PACFA Complaint Form.

Complaints can be submitted to PACFA by post to 290 Park St, Fitzroy North VIC 3068. Complaints can also be submitted by email to kim.smythe@pacfa.org.au.

Health Care Complaints Commissions

If you wish to make a complaint against a therapist who is not listed on the National Register or does not belong to a PACFA Member Association, please contact the Health Complaints Commission in your state. Details are provided below.

Australian Capital Territory
Ph: (02) 6205 2222
Email: health.complaints@act.gov.au

New South Wales
Level 13, 323 Castlereagh Street (corner of Hay St), Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9219 7444
Toll Free in NSW 1800 043 159
TTY service for the hearing impaired: (02) 9219 7555
Email: hccc@hccc.nsw.gov.au

Northern Territory
PO Box 1344, Darwin, NT 0801
Ph: (08) 8999 1969
Toll Free: 1800 806 380

Queensland
GPO Box 3089, Brisbane, QLD 4001
Ph: (07) 3234 0272
Qld Toll Free: 1800 077 308 (excl. Bne metro)
TTY Deaflink: (07) 3225 2559

South Australia
PO Box 199, Rundle Mall, SA 5000
Ph: (08) 8226 8666
Toll free: 1800 232 007
Email: info@hcscc.sa.gov.au
Web: www.hcscc.sa.gov.au

Tasmania
GPO Box 960, Hobart 7001
Ph. 1800 001 170 (Free call)
Web: www.healthcomplaints.tas.gov.au

Victoria
Level 30, 570 Bourke St Melbourne, Vic, 3000
Ph: (03) 8601 5222
Toll free: 1800 136 066

Western Australia
GPO Box B61, Perth, WA 6838
Ph: (08) 9323 0600
Toll Free: 1800 813 583
Email: eamon.ryan@health.wa.gov.au