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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. For details go to the Code of Ethics page.

If you wish to bring a grievance or complaint, please see below for details of the process.

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 it 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 Ethics Officer, 03 9486 3077 or email ethics@pacfa.org.au 

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 ethics@pacfa.org.au .Complaints can also be submitted by post to 290 Park St, Fitzroy North VIC 3068.

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 luise.tartaglia@pacfa.org.au .Complaints can also be submitted by post to 290 Park St, Fitzroy North VIC 3068.

Complaints to Health Care Complaints Entities

If you wish to make a complaint against a therapist who is not listed on the National Register or does not belong to a PACFA Member Association, please contact the Health Complaints Entity in your State or Territory.

For contact details, go to the Health Care Complaints Entities page.

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