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Registration Requirements

To be listed on the PACFA National Register, counsellors and psychotherapists must demonstrate that they:

  • Meet PACFA’s Training Standards
  • Meet PACFA’s Register requirements in terms of supervised client hours
  • Have high ethical standards in their professional practice
  • Belong to one of PACFA’s Member Associations
  • Are insured

To renew their registration each year, counsellors and psychotherapists must demonstrate that they:

  • Have received professional supervision of their professional practice
  • Undertaken continuing professional development
  • Have maintained high ethical standards in their professional practice
  • Belong to one of PACFA’s Member Associations
  • Are insured

For details of PACFA’s registration renewal requirements, go to the Renewal Requirements page.

Pathways to registration

The standards require training to at least Bachelor degree in terms of level and depth of training, as defined by the Australian Qualification Framework www.aqf.edu.au, or equivalent training that meets PACFA’s Professional Training Standards.

There are two possible training pathways to registration:

(i)  Undergraduate degree or equivalent comprising at least 350 hours of face-to-face counselling or psychotherapy (A single degree undertaken over a minimum of three years), including 50 hours of clinical supervision linked to 200 client contact hours; or

(ii) Relevant undergraduate degree or equivalent, plus post graduate training comprising of at least 200 hours of face-to-face counselling or psychotherapy training ( A single course undertaken over a minimum of two years)  including 50 hours of clinical supervision linked to 200 client contact hours.

A third pathway to registration via Recognition of Prior Learning may be available for suitably qualified and experience practitioners.

(iii) Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Where an applicant’s professional training and formation does not fit the above, but is based on extensive training, practice and supervision over several years, it may be possible to be admitted to the Register based on recognition of this prior learning. The PACFA Training Standards will be the guide in determining training equivalence. Higher hours of client contact and post training supervision may be required. For example where a number of smaller courses make up the applicant’s training, the requirement for supervised clinical experience shall be 1200 hours client contact with 125 hours post-training supervision over at least two years.

Click to view and download the Guidelines for RPL.

Registration categories

There are two basic registration categories on the PACFA Register, Provisional and Clinical. While practitioners are working toward provisional listing, they can be listed as an Intern on the PACFA Register.

Intern registration
To be listed as an Intern Registrant, applicants must demonstrate that they have met the requirements of one of the above training routes or that they are eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning. Applicants must have completed at least 40 client hours linked to 10 hours of supervision during training.

Provisional registration
To be listed as a Provisional Registrant, applicants must demonstrate that they have met the requirements of one of the above training routes or that they are eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning. Applicants must have completed at least 200 client hours linked to 50 hours of supervision.

Clinical registration
To be eligible for listing as a Clinical Registrant, applicants must have completed a further 750 hours of client contact linked to minimum of 75 hours of supervision over a minimum of two years.

All applicants must also demonstrate that they:

  • Have high ethical standards in their professional practice
  • Belong to one of PACFA’s Member Associations
  • Are insured

Other registration categories
There are additional registration categories for Mental Health Practitioners and Accredited Supervisors.

For details go to the Mental Health Practitioners page and the Accredited Supervisors page.