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Course Accreditation

PACFA has established a course accreditation program to support high standards in counselling and psychotherapy education and to help students choose quality training courses for their counselling or psychotherapy training.

Training providers and educational institutions can apply to have their courses assessed and accredited by PACFA.  The accreditation process involves rigorous, independent assessment of counselling and psychotherapy training programs and leads to the designation of ‘PACFA Accredited Course’.

To be accredited by PACFA, education programs must fulfil the requirements of the PACFA Training Standards and other requirements set out in the Education Program Accreditation Guidelines. Accredited programs must continue to meet or exceed these requirements. This ensures that PACFA-accredited courses are of high quality and provide excellent preparation for students to practice professionally as counsellors or psychotherapists.

PACFA receives many enquiries from prospective students who are looking for an official endorsement that will enable them to select a counselling or psychotherapy course with confidence.  By selecting a PACFA-accredited course, students can be assured of the quality of the course and that it will be recognised by the profession.

For a list of counselling and psychotherapy programs accredited by PACFA, go to the PACFA Accredited Courses page.

Accreditation Requirements

Courses accredited by PACFA have been assessed as meeting the following criteria:

  1. Undergraduate level courses will be for a minimum of three years of study. Postgraduate level courses will be for a minimum of two years of study. The PACFA Training Standards further specify the required hours to be specifically devoted to counselling and psychotherapy for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
  2. Graduates of a PACFA accredited course should normally be eligible for immediate registration through PACFA on ARCAP. Where a post graduate program has provision for special entry for non-graduates the conditions under which this can occur should be clearly documented in the admission policy.
  3. The program team that oversees the course(s) will have a minimum of two (2) core staff members whose academic appointments are in counsellor or psychotherapist education; one of the team members will be designated as the program team leader. For larger programs further academic appointments would be expected.
  4. The educational experiences and demonstrated knowledge required are specified in the PACFA Training Standards page.
  5. The program team is located in and supported by an educational institution accredited by a national accrediting body recognised in the vocational or higher education sector.  Educational institutions that do not have such vocational or higher education accreditation and who wish to accredit counselling or psychotherapy education programs through EPAC PACFA, will need to demonstrate that they have met a similar standard with sufficient systems of quality and academic governance to enable professional level educational programs.
  6. The course(s) require(s) supervised experiences, including practical experience for all students, as identified in the PACFA Training Standards: and
  7. Courses seeking accreditation must have a comprehensive program rationale and objectives or overall vision of what the course seeks to achieve underpinned by a coherent body of professional knowledge.