These guidelines incorporate the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) Training Standards (2014). They are the minimum Training Standards that must be met for Professional and Clinical Membership of the Counselling Association of South Australia (CASA)


Course Structure

The minimum training qualification must be either:

The client may be an individual, a couple, a family or a group in the context of psychotherapy/counselling provision. The client must have no pre-existing, personal or non-professional relationship with the counsellor or psychotherapist.
Client contact hours comprise real life, person-to-person contact with the client. Case presentations, supervision, note taking and role plays are not deemed client contact hours.

Alternative contact such as telephone, online and web technology such as Skype may be considered as client contact when considerations such as geographical distance and disability of the trainee exist.

Course Curriculum

The training program must have had a substantial focus on psychotherapy and/or counselling.

The training program must have included the following subjects or their equivalent:

The class based teaching should have involved methods such as lectures, (live or video), written notes, set readings, seminars, group discussions and role-plays. Since psychotherapy/counselling is a practical art, theoretical components should have been taught in ways which relate to practical situations.

Clinical Practice

For acceptance as a Professional Member of CASA the applicant must have completed a total of 50 hours of supervision and 200 hours of client contact. This includes the supervision and client contact hours included in the training program.
Client contact may include direct client contact, and co-therapy. Co-therapy involves a trainee working with a trainer or qualified practitioner in a dual capacity of providing psychotherapy or counselling at the same time with the same client or client group. Co-therapy may only comprise 50 hours of the 200 client contact hours.
For acceptance as a Clinical Member of CASA the applicant must have completed an additional 75 hours of supervision and 750 hours of client contact. This is in addition to the supervision and client contact hours used to gain Professional Membership.

Self Development

Applicants must have completed a minimum of 20 hours of self awareness training as part of the training program. This may include group or individual therapy, self- awareness experiences or family therapy.

An understanding of how one may use one's self in the therapeutic relationship should be integrated within the training program. Students are encouraged to have experiences as a client in a modality compatible to the one in which they are training.

Distance Education

Distance education programs must meet all the above requirements. Refer to the PACFA Training Standards (2014) for ways in which distance education programs can achieve this.

Given the special circumstances of distance education, each program needs to show how its particular sequence of training meets the standards of this document, including the 350 hours of person-to-person contact for undergraduate training
programs and the 200 hours of face to face contact for postgraduate training programs. For instance, a specific distance education training program might link in with an accredited program in the area where the student lives or an additional well
supervised placement in the student's locality could partially fulfil this requirement.


Assessments must have allowed a student to demonstrate not only knowledge of the theory but the ability to put this theory into practice. Assessment may include:

Clinical Supervision

Supervision is a formal, collaborative process between supervisor and supervisee which monitors, develops and supports supervisees in their clinical role. Supervision must be an essential component of any training program. Supervisors must play more than an administrative role during supervision and seek evidence of clinical competence by their supervisees.

Supervision group size should not normally be larger than 6 participants. Although 6 participants is deemed the maximum size for optimal supervision learning, in training circumstances the first 20 hours can be conducted with a group of up to 12 members. All subsequent hours must be conducted in groups of no more than 6. In groups of more than 12 members, no
hours will be counted towards supervision.

Methods of supervision include live interviews, use of audio/video tapes and process/ case notes. Supervision may be conducted one-to-one or in small group settings of no more than six participants.

Supervisor Credentials

In order to provide supervision a Psychotherapist or Counsellor must be able to demonstrate that they:

Trainer Credentials

Course coordinators must have qualifications (or equivalent training) in psychotherapy and/or counselling at least one level higher than the training being conducted by them. They must be psychotherapists/counsellors of at least five years’ experience. They must be concurrently engaged in practice on psychotherapy/counselling relevant to the course they are teaching, or have had extensive clinical experience sufficient for their role. They should be eligible for clinical membership of the professional body relevant to their qualification.

Trainers, other than the course coordinator, who have primary responsibility for substantial aspects of training delivery, and are designated the title of trainer, rather than tutor or consultant, need to meet the same criteria as for the course coordinator.


CASA does not formally endorse or accredit any training programs. PACFA has only recently begun the process of accrediting psychotherapy and counselling programs but those that they have accredited can be found on the PACFA website at Visit the links page of this website for links to training providers that provide training in psychotherapy/counselling that may meet the above standards. The onus is on the individual to determine if a training program meets the above requirements.