PACFA sets standards for training and education in the counselling and psychotherapy field. PACFA’s Training Standards represent a collaboration between PACFA and its Member Associations, and the major public and private providers of counselling and psychotherapy education.
Psychotherapy and counselling training is provided in various settings (e.g. universities, private providers), within various course structures (Psychotherapy, Counselling, Social Work, Psychiatric Nursing etc.), and for a variety of personal reasons. This document encourages flexibility for the different schools of thought and training providers to implement these standards in unique and different ways and is not intended to reduce therapy training to a lowest common denominator. In fact, some PACFA Member Associations have entrance requirements and standards of training and supervision in excess of PACFA’s standards and this diversity of approaches to therapy training is supported by PACFA.
The standards set out in PACFA’s Training Standards provide guidance to training institutes and students on the standards of counselling/psychotherapy education that are recommended by PACFA for safe, competent and ethical practice in counselling and psychotherapy. The standards also apply to professional associations that wish to become members of PACFA. Such associations need to ensure that their full clinical membership level at least meets the standards set out in the PACFA Training Standards.
Download a copy of the PACFA Training Standards 2014
For details of the Training Standards for Supervisors, go to the Accredited Supervisor Requirements page.
PACFA Training Standards 2014
These came into effect on 1st January 2014.
The Training Standards are at least Bachelor degree or equivalent in terms of level and depth of training, as defined by the Australian Qualification Framework *.
Members must have completed a Postgraduate Equivalent qualification over a minimum of two years, 200 hours of person-to-person psychotherapy and/or counselling training and 50 hours of supervision relating to 200 hours of client contact. A minimum of 10 hours of supervision relating to 40 client contact hours must have taken place within the training program (these 10 hours are part of the 50 hours of supervision).
An Undergraduate Equivalent qualification of 350 hours person-to-person training in counselling and or psychotherapy and 50 hours of supervision relating to 200 hours of client contact. This must be a single course** delivered over a minimum of three years. A minimum of 10 hours of supervision relating to 40 client contact hours must have taken place within the training program (these 10 hours are part of the 50 hours of supervision).
* Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), www.aqf.edu.au
** Includes institution approved articulations
Training Standards distinguished form the PACFA Register Requirements
The PACFA Training Standards are different to the PACFA National Register Requirements. Practitioners must meet the PACFA Training Standards in order to be listed on the National Register but under the Register Requirements you are also required to have membership with a PACFA Member Association. You are also required to hold professional indemnity insurance, to meet PACFA’s standards for ethical practice and to meet professional development and supervision requirements annually.
Questions about the PACFA Training Standards
If you have queries about the PACFA Training Standards, read the PACFA Training Standards and cross check these with the Training Standards for the PACFA Member Association you want to join or to which you already belong. Make sure your training meets PACFA’s requirements as well as the requirements of your Member Association. Some associations require you to meet training standards over and above the PACFA Training Standards.
Please also refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for Practitioners for answers to questions about Training Standards.