Training Requirements

There are many new, exciting opportunities to train as a counsellor.  As counselling emerges as a profession in its own right, both public and private providers have established dedicated courses in Universities and Colleges. Many excellent courses offer training for different approaches to therapy, for working with a variety of issues, and at a range of conceptual levels.

In this climate PACFA has developed a document on professional training standards (see link below) and reached consensus on appropriate training for inclusion on the PACFA register of practitioners. These documents guide QCA in assessing applications for QCA membership.

Experienced applicants with other than conventional training may apply for QCA membership under the Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.


For detailed information about the required content of training courses, and policies about selection, assessment, supervision, and trainer credentials, refer to the current PACFA Training Standards document on the PACFA website: PAFCA Training Standards

In line with the PACFA registration document and previous QCA policy, training is acceptable at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels in the University system that meet AQF levels 7-9, with equivalence in other training institutions.

Training courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in whatever system need to be in a single course with at least 400 contact hours focussed on interpersonal skill development. (Applicants who have completed a series of courses can always seek Recognition of Prior Learning for such courses and provide documentation that shows their equivalence to a single foundation course in counselling or psychotherapy.)

Required Professional Experience

Membership of QCA and registration with PACFA requires supervised experience in addition to the course work described above.

Both undergraduate and/or postgraduate training courses must include a minimum of 10 hours of supervisioin relating to 40 hours of face-to-face, in the same room, client contact.

The requirements for registration are 50 hours of supervision linked to 200 hours of client contact (including any hours accrued as part of training), to be eligible for Provisional registration with PACFA, plus a further 75 hours of supervision linked to 750 hours of client contact gained over a minimum of 2 years for clinical level.  It is strongly recommended that you keep a log of all your client contact hours (including any that forms part of your training), as well as the supervision hours related to these. See templates provided on the QCA Logs webpage for this purpose.

Approved Courses

There are several courses that have already been approved by PACFA as meeting the length, standards and content described above. These are listed on the PACFA website: