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

26 February 2024

The Australian Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) contacted PACFA in January 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 recently published a request for a quote to secure a third party, who will support the delivery of National Standards for Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

Through existing panel arrangements, the DoHAC is seeking applications from a select group of organisations to assist with research and analysis, to facilitate consultation with the sector, and also to develop a draft set of national standards. PACFA has been advised that applications for this were scheduled to close in early February, and that the DoHAC anticipates the appointment of a supplier will be made later in the 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.