Category  Definition
Provisional Member To apply to be a Provisional Member or Registrant, applicants must demonstrate that they have completed training that meets the PACFA Training Standards, or training that is deemed equivalent under PACFA’s membership pathways, and that they have completed at least 40 client hours linked to 10 hours of supervision during training.  Provisional Members are still working towards completing the supervised client contact hours required for Clinical Membership of PACFA. Provisional Members are Full (voting) members of PACFA.
Clinical Member To apply for membership as a Clinical Member or Registrant applicants must meet the requirements to be a Provisional Member and must have completed a further 750 hours of post-qualifying client contact linked to minimum of 75 hours of post-qualifying supervision over a minimum of two years. Clinical Members are Full (voting) members of PACFA.
Student Member Student Membership is open to all students who are currently enrolled in a Counselling or Psychotherapy training program. Student Members of PACFA are not practising professionally as counsellors or psychotherapists and only see clients in the context of their training program. For more information, go to the Student Membership page.
Affiliate Member Affiliate Membership is a membership category open to others who wish to be affiliated with PACFA but who do not meet the PACFA Training Standards or who have retired.  For more information, go to the Affiliate Membership page.


Membership Pathways for Provisional & Clinical membership

For applicants whose training meets the PACFA Training Standards 2020, membership is via the Accredited Training Pathway.

For applicants whose training is deemed equivalent to the PACFA Training Standards, PACFA membership is available via other membership pathways. For details see the Membership and Registration Requirements

(i) Accredited Training Pathway

The PACFA Training Standards 2020 came into effect on 8 October 2020. The PACFA Training Standards are based on the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) standards and levels of learning. See www.aqf.edu.au.

Education and training in counselling and psychotherapy must be undertaken in an AQF (7-9) approved qualification at either the undergraduate or postgraduate levels. The minimum volume of learning requirements listed below apply to any program whether undergraduate or postgraduate.

400 hours of instruction (minimum) (applicable to AQF level 7-9).  This may be made up of

i) 200 hours direct person-to-person instruction of which 60 hours may be synchronous online (e.g., interactive webinars).

  • This equates to (140 hours) which must be solely taught face-to-face plus (60 hours) of synchronous training
  • The central focus of this person-to-person instruction is on interpersonal skills development

ii) 200 hours of instruction may be conducted via online asynchronous training for theory-based studies.

A minimum of 40 hours of face-to-face counselling or psychotherapy practice (client contact) with 10 hours of supervision (related to client contact) within training must be completed and assessed as successful by the training provider. Successful completion of supervised practice is required to be evidenced by a log signed by the responsible supervisor(s).

If you completed a training that is not accredited by PACFA, an additional $100 non-Accredited Application fee applies. Please see our Schedule of Fees

(ii) Equivalent Training Pathway

The requirements for the Equivalent Training Pathway are the same as the requirements for the Accredited Training Pathway, except that the training program is not accredited by TEQSA, ASQA or PACFA.

Applicants under this Pathway can demonstrate completion of training that is equivalent to PACFA Training Standards. As the program is not accredited by PACFA, the program must be assessed by PACFA against the requirements of the PACFA Training Standards in terms of curriculum, volume of learning and supervised practice requirements.

An additional assessment fee applies to applications under this Pathway. For details see the Schedule of Fees.

(iii) Recognition of Prior Learning Pathway (RPL)

Where an applicant’s professional training and supervised practice do not fit the requirements of the PACFA Training Standards or equivalent, they may apply via RPL. All overseas trained applicants are required to apply to PACFA via the Recognition of Prior Learning Pathway. 

RPL applicants must demonstrate how the totality of their training and experience is equivalent to the requirements of the PACFA Training Standards. Applicants are required to provide substantial evidence to demonstrate equivalence with the PACFA Training Standards in support of RPL applications in accordance with the Guidelines for Recognition of Prior Learning. For details see the RPL page.

An additional assessment fee applies to applications under this Pathway. For details see the Schedule of Fees.

Registration Requirements

In addition to the above training and supervised practice requirements, Provisional and Clinical members are required to:

  • Hold professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Maintain high standards of ethical practice
  • Undertake annual requirements for supervision and continuing professional development. For details of the annual renewal requirements, please see the Renewal Requirements page.

Grandfathering Arrangements

Grandfathering arrangements apply in limited circumstances for Applicants you completed training under the former PACFA Training Standards (2014). The final cut-off date for the grandfathering scheme is 31/12/2023.


To apply for PACFA membership or registration, go to the Join PACFA page.

To apply for listing on the PACFA Register as a member of a PACFA member Association, go to the Join the Register as a MA member page.