Update on the progress of the National Standards for Counsellors and Psychotherapists 

18 March 2024

The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) contacted PACFA on Monday 18 March to update the organisation on the progress of the National Standards for Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

PACFA has been contacted with the advice that the DoHAC now has a contract in place with a consulting firm who will be the supplier leading the project to develop national standards for counsellors and psychotherapists.

The firm has extensive experience in delivering projects for government, with a focus on research and stakeholder consultation in particular. In addition, the firm’s previous projects include the development of clinical guidelines, professional competency standards, as well as scopes of practice. The firm’s team includes technical advisors with experience in both standards development and mental health.

The DoHAC will hold an inception meeting with the firm on 22 March 2024, following which PACFA will be in contact for introductions and initial project planning later this month.

PACFA is utilising the National Standards project to advocate for its registrants, and to ensure that Counsellors and Psychotherapists are registered comparable to other Allied Health Professionals – not as a less trained or less valuable workforce. The establishment of National Standards which address the entry level requirements for a Registered Counsellors are long overdue and will be critical in rebuilding sector confidence. This is essential to ensuring Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Indigenous Healing Practitioners are able to be play their key role in the broader mental health workforce, and provide important support for the community.

PACFA was the only counselling organisation which supported the proposal for National Standards when the Select Committee’s recommendations were announced in November 2021.

PACFA will provide further information as it is received to members via our website’s Latest News section, as well as our monthly eNewsletter and social media channels.

Please click here to read PACFA’s article welcoming the National Standards project, and a press release made at the time of the Federal Government’s announcement.