Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for Clinical or Provisional membership

In order to register with PACFA as a Provisional member, you must have studied a course that meets the following criteria: 

  • The course must be at an AQF Level 7 (Bachelor degree) or above;
  • You must study over 2 or more years (part or full-time study is accepted);
  • Within the course, there must be a minimum of 400 hours of instruction in counselling/psychotherapy specific subjects (ie. lectures, tutorials, workshops);
                  - of these 400 hours, 140 hours must be face-to-face and in person
  • Additionally, within the course there must be a placement with a minimum of 40 hours of client contact, and 10 hours of supervision attached to this client contact.  

In order to register with PACFA as a Clinical member, you must have studied a course that meets the above, and meet the following criteria:

  • You have graduated from your counselling and/or psychotherapy course more than 2 years ago;
  • You have accrued a minimum of 750 hours of client contact since graduating; and
  • You have accrued a minimum of 75 hours of supervision on these client hours. 

For both Provisional and Clinical membership, you must also hold Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance. You can purchase this at a discounted rate with your PACFA membership, or provide proof that you have your own policy or are covered by your employer.

In certain circumstances, PACFA can accept applications from applicants who have completed training that is not at an AQF Level 7 (Bachelor degree) or above. Read about our application pathways.

Join as a Clinical Member

Join as a Provisional Member

Eligibility for Academic membership

Eligibility for Academic membership is based on the following:

  • You have relevant training, such as a degree or PhD in counselling and/or psychotherapy, or a degree in education;
  • You have been employed in a teaching role with a minimum of a 0.5 workload (19 hours per week) for at least two years;
  • You have made a contribution to the field through research and education, with things such as published papers and conference presentations; and
  • You are insured for your teaching practise by your employer.

As Academic membership is a non-practising membership, if you see clients as a counsellor or psychotherapist, you must register as either Provisional or Clinical. Academic membership is only for those who teach or research but do not practise.

Join as an Academic Member

 Eligibility for Affiliate membership

To join PACFA as an Affiliate member, you must be interested in the counselling and psychotherapy field, or use counselling skills to support clients through your work in another discipline.

Affiliate is a non-practising membership, and is not an endorsement by PACFA to practise. 

Join as an Affiliate Member

Eligibility for Student membership

To join PACFA as a Student member, you must be enrolled in and currently studying a counselling and/or psychotherapy course. Once you have finished your studies, if they meet the requirements you will be able to apply for Provisional membership.

Join as a Student Member 

FAQs

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I have a Diploma, am I eligible for membership?

Unfortunately, Diplomas are not accepted by PACFA for practising membership, however you are welcome to join as an Affiliate.

I studied my course online, am I eligible for membership?

As we require a minimum of 140 hours of your course to be studied in person and face-to-face, courses that are wholly online do not meet the eligibility criteria.

I studied a course that isn't PACFA Accredited, but I'm fairly sure it meets the eligibility criteria. Can I still join PACFA?

Yes, you don't have to study an accredited course to gain membership. However, with your application we will require further details from you about your course to show that it meets our high standards. 

My course doesn't exactly meet the eligibility requirements, but I have significant professional and life experience, and have been regularly completing professional development and insurance. Is there any way I can gain membership?

We can assess Recognition of Prior Learning applications on a case-by-case basis. Please note that these applications do take longer to assess, and there is an additional fee.

I've studied more than one course, and I think that all together they might meet the requirements - can I still join?

We can assess Recognition of Prior Learning applications on a case-by-case basis. Please note that these applications do take longer to assess, and there is an additional fee.

My course meets all the requirements, but it isn't accredited by TEQSA and so it doesn't have an AQF Level - can I still join?

We can assess your course for equivalency to the requirements on a case-by-case basis. Please note that these applications do take longer to assess, and there is an additional fee. 

What is the difference between Provisional New Graduate membership and Provisional membership?

There is no difference bar the price - Provisional New Graduate membership is at a discounted rate, as we understand counsellors and psychotherapists early on in their career will not have as large of a client base. Your membership certificate and public profile will still say 'Provisional'. 

What is the difference between Provisional and Clinical membership?

Both memberships must meet our high training standards, however Clinical membership is for more senior practitioners, who have accrued a minimum of 750 hours of client contact and 75 hours of supervision since they graduated. Most people join as a Provisional member and later upgrade to Clinical.