PACFA’s registration approach supported by new research

13 July 2023

A recent-published article in PACJA, “More Than Just Counselling: Australian Counsellor Job Advertisement Trends” by Dr Nathan Beel highlights some important trends in counsellor job advertisements for counsellors and the sector as a whole.

The article discusses an exploratory point-in-time study, which performed a content analysis of 124 job advertisements for counselling positions, and categorised the findings into three main areas:

  • Conditions
  • Position description
  • Selection criteria

The study found that the majority of counsellor job advertisements required applicants to possess a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree to apply, with 57.1% of the advertisements requiring degree-level training or higher.

Additionally, it discussed the finding of 60% of counsellor job advertisements which required criminal background checks.

PACFA is pleased to lead the sector with high-level registration standards: both PACFA’s minimum Bachelor’s degree-level requirement, as well as the recent Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check certificate requirement for registration and renewal ensuring that PACFA-registered members are the most suitable applicants for the majority of counselling jobs advertised.

Interestingly, Dr Beel’s article also found that for counselling positions, employers were interested in applicants’ tertiary qualifications in similar disciplines and their ability to undertake a wider range of tasks in addition to providing counselling, rather than whether or not applicants had undertaken specialised counselling training.

The study also found that some role requirements specified in the job advertisements were not mentioned in current training standards for Australian counsellors, although most were mentioned in the scope of practice documents for the profession.