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Ethics Complaints

Counsellors and Psychotherapists work to very high ethical standards. Practitioners who are registered with PACFA are required to comply with the PACFA Code of Ethics 2017 and the Code of Ethics of any PACFA Member Associations to which they belong.

PACFA Member Associations are also required to meet high standards for conduct and governance as set out in the Code of Good Governance.

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.

PACFA Code of Ethics

The PACFA Code of Ethics sets out the ethical framework for the professional practice of PACFA Registrants. The PACFA Code of Good Governance covers the ethical governance and practices of Member Associations and of PACFA itself and its officers. PACFA Member Associations are required to have ethical codes of their own, and to ensure that these codes embrace the principles contained in the PACFA code.

If you have concerns about the ethical conduct of a counsellor or psychotherapist, we recommend that you download the Code of Ethics. This document provides information about the role of the PACFA Ethics Committee and Professional Conduct Panels, possible causes for complaints, who can make a complaint, and the steps that need to be taken.

Making a Complaint against a Counsellor or Psychotherapist

PACFA can only hear 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.

PACFA has registrants can be individual members or members of a PACFA Member Association. 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 Members Association.

When making a 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.

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 Grievance 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 luise.tartaglia@pacfa.org.au

If you do not want to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution you can complain about PACFA Registrants using the PACFA Complaint Form.

PACFA will use the Code of Ethics, that was in force at the time of the service in question, to hear any grievance or complaint.

All grievances and complaints heard by PACFA are heard in accordance with the Professional Conduct Procedures 2017.

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.

Making a Complaint against a PACFA Member Association

If you wish to make a complaint against a PACFA Member Association please refer to the Code of Good Governance. The PACFA Complaints and Feedback Policy will be used to hear any complaints against a PACFA Member Association.



Health Care Complaints Commissions

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 Commission in your state. Details are provided below.

Australian Capital Territory
Ph: (02) 6205 2222
Email: health.complaints@act.gov.au

New South Wales
Level 13, 323 Castlereagh Street (corner of Hay St), Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9219 7444
Toll Free in NSW 1800 043 159
TTY service for the hearing impaired: (02) 9219 7555
Email: hccc@hccc.nsw.gov.au

Northern Territory
PO Box 1344, Darwin, NT 0801
Ph: (08) 8999 1969
Toll Free: 1800 806 380

GPO Box 3089, Brisbane, QLD 4001
Ph: (07) 3234 0272
Qld Toll Free: 1800 077 308 (excl. Bne metro)
TTY Deaflink: (07) 3225 2559

South Australia
PO Box 199, Rundle Mall, SA 5000
Ph: (08) 8226 8666
Toll free: 1800 232 007
Email: info@hcscc.sa.gov.au
Web: www.hcscc.sa.gov.au

GPO Box 960, Hobart 7001
Ph. 1800 001 170 (Free call)
Web: www.healthcomplaints.tas.gov.au

Level 30, 570 Bourke St Melbourne, Vic, 3000
Ph: (03) 8601 5222
Toll free: 1800 136 066

Western Australia
GPO Box B61, Perth, WA 6838
Ph: (08) 6551 7620
Toll Free: 1800 813 583
Email: mail@hadsco.wa.gov.au