Make an ethical grievance or complaint

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.

If you have concerns about the ethical conduct of a counsellor or psychotherapist, we recommend that you download the PACFA Code of Ethics which sets out PACFA’s standards for ethical practice.

Grievances and complaints to PACFA about counsellors and psychotherapists

PACFA can only hear grievances and 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.

When making a grievance or complaint to PACFA, please check that the practitioner you are complaining about is listed on the PACFA National Register. You can search the PACFA Register at the Find a Therapist page or contact the PACFA Office for assistance.

Members of the public who wish to make a complaint should, in the first instance, contact PACFA to determine if the person they wish to complain about is an individual member or a member of a PACFA Member Association. There is a different pathway for complaints about a member of a PACFA Member Association.

In most instances, persons wishing to make a complaint will be asked if they wish to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. If Alternative Dispute Resolution is appropriate, the person wishing to make a complaint will be asked to complete a Complaint Form. It is best to contact the PACFA Office to discuss if Alternative Dispute Resolution is appropriate.

To enquire about making a grievance or complaint to PACFA, please contact the PACFA Office on 03 9486 3077 or email [email protected] 

If you do not want to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution, you can make a complaint using the PACFA Grievance Form.

All grievances and complaints heard by PACFA are heard in accordance with the Professional Conduct Procedures 2020.

Complaints can be submitted to PACFA by email to [email protected]

Complaints to PACFA about Member Associations

PACFA Member Associations are required to work to the Membership Requirements and Guidelines for PACFA Member Associations

This document guides PACFA Member Associations to ensure that they operate ethically and in accordance with the principles of good governance.

Complaints can be submitted to PACFA by email to [email protected]

 

Complaints to Health Care Complaints Entities

If the therapist you wish to make a complaint about is not listed on the PACFA register or does not belong to a PACFA Member Association, check if they belong to another association and if that association can hear your complaint. If not, you can contact the Health Complaints Entity in your State or Territory.

 

Australian Capital Territory Go to the Health Services Commissioner within the ACT Human Rights Commission website
New South Wales Got to the Health Care Complaints Commission website
Northern Territory Go to the Health And Community Services Complaints Commission (HCSCC) website
Queensland Go to the Office of the Health Ombudsman (OHO) website
South Australia Go to the Health And Community Services Complaints Commissioner (HCSCC) website
Tasmania Go to the Health Complaints Commissioner website
Victoria Go to the Health Complaints Commissioner website, or to the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner website
Western Australia Go to the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO) website