Training Standards

PACFA sets standards for training and education in the counselling and psychotherapy field.

The PACFA Training Standards provide guidance to training institutes and students on the standards of counselling and psychotherapy education that are recommended by PACFA for safe, competent and ethical practice in counselling and psychotherapy. 

The Training Standards require that education and training in counselling or psychotherapy must be undertaken in a qualification approved by the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) or the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) at Bachelor degree level or above (AQF level 7 to 9). 

The PACFA Training Standards came into effect on 8 October 2020.

To apply for membership, you must first have undertaken a course that meets the minimum requirements as set by the Training Standards:

  • The course must be at Bachelor degree level or above (AQF Level 7 or above)
  • You must study over 2 or more years
  • Within the course, there must be a minimum of 400 hours of live instruction in counselling/psychotherapy specific subjects (ie. lectures, tutorials, workshops)
  • Of the 400 hours, 140 hours must be face-to-face and in person
  • 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. 

Download the PACFA Training Standards.

Grandfathering arrangements

Grandfathering arrangements apply in limited circumstances for applicants who completed training under the former PACFA Training Standards (2014). The final cut-off date for the grandfathering scheme is 31 December 2023.

Questions about the PACFA Training Standards

Please also refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for Practitioners for answers to questions about Training Standards.