What are the badges?
The badges are trademarked, and exclusive to PACFA members. The badges demonstrate to the public, as well as potential clients and employers, that you are highly qualified and have met the strict PACFA training standards. You are able to display your badge on any communications, such as in your email signature, on your website, on your letterhead, or on PowerPoint presentations. The digital badges are allocated based on your level of membership with PACFA and which College(s) you belong to.
Which badge should I receive?
Provisional members of the College of Counselling and/or Provisional members of the College of Relationship Counsellors and/or Provisional members of the College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators will receive the Certified Practising Counsellor badge.
Clinical members of the College of Counselling and/or Clinical members of the College of Relationship Counsellors and/or Clinical members of the College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators will receive the Registered Clinical Counsellor badge.
Clinical members of the College of Psychotherapy will receive the Registered Clinical Psychotherapist badge. Clinical members of the College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators may receive the Registered Clinical Psychotherapist badge if they also meet the College of Psychotherapy requirements for Clinical membership.
Why didn't I get a badge?
The badges are based on two things: your PACFA membership level (Provisional/Clinical) and your college membership. If you didn't receive a badge, it may be that either of these are not listed as you thought they were. You may need to upgrade your membership to Clinical, or update your college membership. You can do so by emailing [email protected]
How can I use my badge?
You can use the badge however you see fit on any communications, such as in your email signature, on your website, on PowerPoint presentations, and on your letterhead. You can print and display your badge physically in your office or therapy rooms if you wish.
What is the difference between calling myself a counsellor and/or psychotherapist and having the badges?
The titles are trademarked, and exclusive to PACFA members. The badges demonstrate to the public, as well as potential clients and employers, that you are highly qualified and have met the strict PACFA training standards.
Can I still call myself a counsellor/psychotherapist even if I don't qualify for a badge?
Yes - counsellor and psychotherapist are unprotected titles in Australia. The badges titles Registered Clinical Counsellor
(RCC) and Registered Clinical Psychotherapist
(RCP) are advanced practice membership categories, and require a relevant specialised qualification in counselling or psychotherapy, significant supervision and personal therapeutic work, on top of clinical PACFA membership. This is all part of lining up Australia’s psychotherapist and counsellor training with international standards, which require significant postgraduate study and practice. If you do not yet meet the criteria for either an RCC or RCP badge, but have completed a training that meets the PACFA Training Standards, you are welcome to apply for PACFA membership
and you will have access to the Certified Practising Counsellor
badge. Once you meet the criteria, you can apply for clinical membership of the College(s), which includes use of the title.
Can I have more than one badge?
Yes, if you are a Clinical member of either the College of Counselling or the College of Relationship Counsellors, as well as a Clinical member of the College of Psychotherapy, you will receive both badges and are entitled to use both in your communications. If you are a Clinical member of the College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators, you may also use both badges if you meet the College of Psychotherapy requirements for Clinical membership.
What is a practising PACFA Member?
Practising members are either Provisional or Clinical members of PACFA, as only these two categories of membership endorse you to practise.
Student, academic and affiliate members will not receive a badge as these are not practising levels of membership.
What is a PACFA College?
PACFA Colleges provide a focus for members of the College, who come from particular psychotherapy or counselling modalities or who have other shared professional interests, and who meet the standards of admission to the College, to collaborate and advance members’ interests.
PACFA Colleges may:
- Develop and promote practice standards and guidelines
- Sponsor and foster research
- Promote the work and professional identity of members who meet the College’s admission standards
- Provide continuing professional development
- Provide opportunities for networking and peer support
- Produce journals and other professional resources
Individual PACFA membership includes membership of one PACFA College of the member’s choice. Members may join additional Colleges for an annual fee.
PACFA Registrants who belong to a PACFA Member Association are eligible to join PACFA Colleges for an annual fee.
How do I know my college membership is right?
You can find out which College(s) you are a member of on your PACFA membership profile. If you are a member of the College of Counselling, your membership level will be the same as your PACFA Membership level (ie. all provisional members of PACFA are eligible for provisional membership of the College of Counselling).
If you are an existing member of the College of Psychotherapy or the College of Relationship Counsellors, additional membership criteria apply to become a clinical member of these Colleges - see below for further details.
Can I change my college membership?
Yes, you can. All Individual PACFA Members have one College Membership included in their membership fees, and to switch you can email [email protected]
Member Association Members are required to pay an annual fee for College membership, however you only need to pay this fee once per year, and if you decide to change your membership you can do so fee-free by emailing [email protected]
I don’t remember choosing a college with my application
If you are an Individual PACFA member and did not indicate which college you wanted to join with your application, PACFA will have automatically added you to the College of Counselling at the level of your PACFA membership.
If you are a Member Association Member, you would not have chosen a College with your application, as this is an additional annual fee.
Check your college membership status.
I am a Member Association Member, how can I add a College to my PACFA Membership?
To add a College membership, please first make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. College of Counselling membership can be added on for any member at the level of their PACFA Membership, whereas the College of Psychotherapy and the College of Relationship Counsellors have additional eligibility criteria.
To add College of Counselling membership, please pay the annual fee and email [email protected] to let us know.
To add College of Psychotherapy or College of Relationship Counsellors membership, please see below.
You can have up to two college memberships, and each is a separate annual fee.
I am already a member of one College, however I want to add an additional membership. How can I do this?
To add a College membership, please first make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. College of Counselling membership can be added on for any member at the level of their PACFA Membership, whereas the College of Psychotherapy and the College of Relationship Counsellors have additional eligibility criteria (see below).
To add College of Counselling membership, please pay the annual fee and email [email protected] to let us know. You can have up to two college memberships.
How do I apply for the College of Psychotherapy?
You can apply for Clinical membership of the College of Psychotherapy using this form. The application process is rigorous, and requires details of your psychotherapy training, your personal therapy, a written case study, and a statement on your personal theory and philosophy of psychotherapy. More information can be found within the form.
How do I apply for the College of Relationship Counselling?
You can apply for the College of Relationship Counselling at the Provisional or Clinical level, and both levels will have access to badges.
For Provisional membership of this College, you will need to provide evidence of 100 hours of specialised relationship counselling training, as outlined in the College’s Membership Requirements, which may be included in the training completed that granted you PACFA membership, or in post-training specialised relationship counselling course(s).
For Clinical membership of this college, you will need to provide the evidence above, and evidence of:
- Relationship counselling practice: At least 500 hours of the 750 post-qualifying client contact hours required for Clinical membership need to be supervised couple and/or family face to face relationship counselling.
- Supervision: At least 50 hours of the 75 hours of post-training supervision must be one to one supervision as outlined in our supervision.
Evidence can be things such as transcripts, certificates of formal education, and course guidebooks/outlines. For Clinical membership, you can show your hours using this form here. Send your evidence to [email protected]
My PACFA profile says I’m a Provisional member but I’m fairly sure I’ve met the requirements for Clinical, what do I do?
The process for upgrading to a Clinical member of PACFA is not automatic, as we need both you and your supervisor/s to verify and sign off on the number of hours of supervision and client contact you have had. Read further information on upgrading.
Still have questions?
Please email [email protected] to schedule a phone call with one of our friendly Membership Team to discuss your individual circumstances.