What are PACFA and ARCAP?

pacfa logoPACFA is the Psychotherapy and Counsellors Association of Australia. It is the national peak umbrella organisation uniting about three dozen counselling associations in professional standards, accountability and self-regulation. Individuals cannot join PACFA.

CCAA is a Member Association of PACFA. Individuals can only join counselling associations, which in turn become member associations under PACFA.


ARCAP RegisterARCAP is the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. It is an independent and national company established by PACFA and the ACA.

  • We are in a time where our emerging ‘profession’ is going through a strong developmental phase. This is the first of many steps, but ARCAP is a very positive step and a unifying thrust.
  • The criteria for ARCAP is the establishment of a Australia wide self-regulating register of counsellors and psychotherapists. It is an inclusive register that allows for people to belong. It's not about elitism. It is about seeing the diversity amongst the profession, but also recognising standards. ARCAP has given the profession a voice within the community and government. ARCAP is the bridge between the bodies of PACFA and ACA.

A letter from ARCAP - The ARCAP Register is now operational

Dear PACFA Registrant,

The Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists is now operational at

Members of the public will be able to search the unified PACFA and ACA Registers to find qualified and ethical counsellors and psychotherapists. The federal government has asked the profession to establish a single unified register for some years, in order to progress the recognition of counsellors and psychotherapists by government. ARCAP has written to the Honourable Mark Butler, Minister for Mental Health, to inform him of this achievement.

Registrants are now able to use the ARCAP logo on their websites and business cards with the post nominal "ARCAP registered". The logo is attached to this email. Registrants should note that their ARCAP Register number is the same as their PACFA Register number.

Members of the public are able to make complaints against counsellors and psychotherapists on the PACFA and ACA registers via the ARCAP website. If a complaint is received against a PACFA registrant, the complaint will be referred back to the PACFA Ethics Committee and the PACFA complaint procedures will be followed.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any enquiries.

Prof. Ione Lewis

Charles Wilson

ARCAP Directors, appointed to the ARCAP Board by PACFA

 How do I keep up to date with the latest PACFA developments

 PACFA Mental Health Training

  • PACFA’s Mental Health On-line Training Course is being delivered in partnership with the University of Canberra. The course comprises of 4 modules of approximately 2 hours each. In total the course will take a minimum of 8 hours to complete – however, please note that there is the potential for it to take much longer, depending upon the amount of reading the participants choose to do and the degree to which they choose to participate in the online discussion forums. Participants are invited to work through each module in their own time over the two week period for a minimum of 8 hours.

  • View PACFA website and Access the Portal to Register and Pay
  • Cost: The course costs $220 including GST for PACFA registrants and members of PACFA Member Associations. For non-members the course costs $330 including GST.
  • Scheduled Dates: 25 February - 10 March, 15 April - 28 April, 20 May - 2 June, 24 June - 6 July
  • Each course has a maximum of 15 participants. To register, please complete the Course Registration Form and return it to PACFA by post, email or fax, together with payment to secure a place. For enquiries please contact Kim Smythe at PACFA, on (03) 9486 3077 or via email on

PACFA is now taking applications for listing as an Accredited Supervisor on the PACFA Register.

The PACFA Register of Supervisors is intended to be a resource for psychotherapists and counsellors and rather than being a mandatory procedure. PACFA Registrants are not required to undertake their supervision with a PACFA-accredited supervisor although they may choose to do so. This ensures practitioners have the flexibility to access supervision from a variety of sources both inside and outside PACFA.

To apply to become a PACFA Accredited Supervisor, practitioners are required to have a minimum of 5 years post-training experience as a qualified psychotherapist or counsellor, with a minimum of 3 years as a Clinical Registrant of PACFA.

There is a one-off application fee of $88 (including GST) to apply for listing as an Accredited Supervisor. The relevant documents are now available on the PACFA website:

Register Requirements for Accredited Supervisors

Accredited Supervisor Application Form

What are the PACFA Supervision Standards and how will that affect me?

Where do I find PACFA forms

Does PACFA have FAQ pages?

Professional Recognition as a Counsellor - How do I get it?

If you are seeking professional recognition, it is becoming increasingly essential to be listed on a National Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Currently PACFA and ACA are the two major National Registers for counsellors.

Early in 2012, ARCAP, the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, will consolidate everyone on these two Registers. The ARCAP Register will represent a united counselling profession in Australia, and so promote the professional credibility of counsellors to the public, government and health funds.

The only way for CCAA members to list on the ARCAP Register will be via the PACFA Register. The ARCAP register will have sections for PACFA registrants, called ARCAP Clinical PACFA and ARCAP Provisional PACFA, which are trademarked terms you can attach after your name.

To list on the PACFA Register, you must be at least a Graduate Member of a professional Counselling Association under PACFA, such as CCAA. You cannot join PACFA as an individual. All Member Associations of PACFA require the same essential competency in counselling, ie a 3 year degree in counselling, 200 hours internship, ongoing clinical supervision and professional development, and commitment to a Code of Ethics.

pacfa-logo smallCCAA Inc. is a Constituent Member Association of the Psychotherapy
and Counselling Federation of Australia Inc. (PACFA).
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