New requirements for renewing members 2023-2024

13 April 2023

As part of our work as the self-regulator for counselling, psychotherapy and Indigenous Healing Practices, and our role reinforcing the value and credibility of the workforce, PACFA is revising our renewal processes for 2023-2024.

When renewing registration this year PACFA members will need to provide a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (formerly ‘National Police Check’), in line with community expectations and other national health service provider standards.

Members have a choice whether they want to provide a pre-existing Check or order a new one. Previous Checks which are less than two years old can be uploaded to the Member Portal. Individuals who require a new Check can order one from ACIC-accredited Check provider Urban Verified. This Check will be sent to you within 48 hours in most cases.

PACFA is aware that some of our members are not comfortable with the information included in National Police Checks and would rather not share some personal details. In order to ensure a more supportive and inclusive process, PACFA has consulted with our College of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Practices (CATSIHP) and our Diversity in Gender, Body, Kinship, and Sexuality (GBKS) Interest Group to develop a process that is sensitive to the needs and concerns of our members whilst meeting the need to verify practitioner safety.

PACFA and Urban Verified have committed to share the successful results of the Check without the need for PACFA to have access to any Checks undertaken. This means that any personal information (such as previous or current administrative gender marker or previous names) is not shared with PACFA. PACFA is only advised of the successful or otherwise completion of the Check.

Individuals with past Checks that they wish to supply to PACFA which include personal information they do not want shared are advised to redact any personal details (e.g., previous or current administrative gender marker or previous names) using Adobe before uploading the PDF. PACFA only requires to be able to read the current member name and result of Check.

The requirement for a Check only relates to practicing members (Certified Practising Counsellors, Registered Clinical Counsellors and Registered Clinical Psychotherapists). Student, Academic, Affiliate or international members are not required to submit Checks at this time.

If you do not submit a Check when completing your renewal, you will be reminded post renewal until you do so. You will be able to complete your renewal as usual at the time of payment and your registration status will not be affected at this time. Members are also required to submit information about their Working with Children Check if they work with children. For more information about this contact [email protected].

PACFA membership database and website system, iMIS EMS, has been certified under the International Organisation for Standardisation’s (ISO) global standards for information security management systems. ASI, the company that manages iMIS, believes that iMIS is the only platform of its kind to have achieved this benchmark, representing the highest standard for information security.

Members should be aware that PACFA has adopted the same criminal history registration standard as the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). This is overseen by the Professional Standards Committee.

For more information about this process, for further information about obtaining a Check, or for any other questions please contact [email protected].

Read the list of requirements for 2023/2024 membership renewals.