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Join PACFA as a Member Association

Professional Associations in the counselling or psychotherapy field who wish to apply for membership of PACFA as a Member Association must complete a formal application covering organisational structure, ethics, and training standards.

Organisational Structure

The Association must:

  • be incorporated
  • be democratic, with elected office bearers
  • have aims and objectives which support the profession of counselling and psychotherapy
  • be not for profit
  • be non-discriminatory, open to all with appropriate training and not limited to graduates of any particular training program
  • have a name and publicity which appropriately describes the Association
  • have experienced at least three (3) Annual General Meetings
  • be viable in size, normally with at least twenty (20) members.*
  • have the support of two Associations which are currently PACFA members.**

*This size is currently a guide, but from 8/2/2017, this will be a mandatory minimum size to be eligible for PACFA membership.

**The PACFA Office can provide contact information for Member Associations. Applicants should select two MAs, perhaps one for geographical convenience and one which has a similar approach to therapy. These MAs can support the applicant through the application process and advocate for approval of the application.

Ethics and Governance

To be eligible for PACFA membership, an Association needs to have a Code of Ethics which at least covers the issues identified in PACFA’s Code of Ethics. The PACFA Code can be used as a template to develop the Association’s Code where the wording is appropriate and helpful. The Association must have its own process to deal with complaints, including complaints from the public, and an appeals process in the event that the outcome of the complaint is not acceptable to all.

Member Associations are required to work to the PACFA Code of Good Governance 2015 which provides guidelines for the ethical conduct of Member Associations and a framework for good organisational governance.

Training Standards

To be eligible for PACFA membership, an Association must have training standards and requirements for ongoing professional development that at least meet PACFA’s minimum standards. These are outlined in detail in the PACFA Training Standards and in the PACFA Register Requirements. The PACFA CEO, the PACFA Secretary, and the Chairs of the Ethics and Training Standards Committees can assist with preparation of the applicant’s documentation.


The fee to apply for PACFA membership is $550.00 (incl. GST). PACFA Member Associations pay an annual membership fee of $687.50 (incl. GST) for 20 or more members and $343.75 (incl. GST) for less than 20 members. In addition, Member Associations pay an annual per capita fee of $179.26 (incl. GST) per member for those members who meet PACFA’s Training Standards. Membership numbers are taken as at 31 March each year. This fee increases annually by the CPI based on the 31 December CPI figures. The per capita fee is payable and applies for members located in Australia only.

Applying for Membership

To apply for PACFA membership, professional associations should complete the PACFA Membership Application Form.

Prior to submitting an Applicaiton to become a PACFa Member Association, PACFA recommends a preliminary discussion with the PACFA CEO. Contact The CEO at maria.brett@pacfa.or.au.

Download Member Association Application Form.

PACFA requires multiple copies of the application form to be submitted so that one can be retained by the PACFA Office and the remainder forwarded to the reviewing committees. It is therefore recommended that the application form is provided electronically as this helps keep down costs and speeds up the approval time.

From 8 February 2017 Member Associations either applying for membership of PACFA or for the purposes of retaining membership of PACFA must have at least 20 members as per Bylaws 2, 5 and 6 of the PACFA Constitution.