National Counselling Society

The National Counselling Society (NCS) was first set up in 1999 by a group of counsellors, psychotherapists, hypnotherapists and psychologists. We play an important role within the profession of counselling in the UK and in May 2013 the Society was one of the first organisations to gain Accredited Register status with the Professional Standards Authority Accredited Register programme.

Our belief is that counselling (and related therapies) should be seen as a vocation (not just a job but a worthy occupation) and that the relationship between counsellor and client is important for the outcome of therapy.

We support and promote counselling and counsellors, offering a wide variety of benefits to our members and training providers.

As an Accredited Register holder we meet the robust and exacting standards set by the Professional Standards Authority with particular emphasis on public safety and assuring that the best interests of the clients are protected.

The Society also has a cooperation agreement with the Royal Society for Public Health. We are a not for profit organisation and the high standards of our Accredited Register are externally verified by the Professional Standards Authority. The organisation is bound by appropriate rules of governance including a constitution, codes of ethics, and a complaints procedure.

Our ethos is that counselling is a unique vocation and that this should be reflected in all our policies. We act to protect counselling from inappropriate regulation if we feel it could harm our work and the diversity, creativity and range of training options that currently exist in our profession. We were a central part of making sure that the previous Government's inappropriate plans were dropped (2010) and have welcomed the 'Right Touch Regulation' offered by the Accredited Register programme.

We make sure that all our members have a say and respect a wide variety of views, modalities (different types of counselling) and training routes. We acknowledge and support counsellors who work in the voluntary sector and those who work part-time as well as in full-time employment or in private practice. We also acknowledge and support the many different approaches in counselling. Unique among counselling associations in the UK we also recognise hypnotherapy as a method of counselling. More than holding a register, the NCS is member led on key areas of policy and are always open to suggestions and advice from our members – our members, in short, are the source of our expertise. Instead of following a 'top down' approach with our members we aim to involve, encourage and work with them at all levels. We believe this is the only appropriate way of running a counselling organisation.

We continue to play a significant role in all aspects of counselling and related therapies and to welcome members, trainers and members of the public who are looking for services of an appropriate professional.

Australian Counselling Association

ACA is Australia's largest single registration body for Counsellors and Psychotherapists with over 5,000 members. ACA serves a crucial role in advocating and advancing the profession of counselling and psychotherapy.

Promote and advocate for the counselling profession.

Represent its members to government and industry.

Establish appropriate training standards for the profession.

Accredit education courses for Counsellors.

Assist members with employment and practice development.

Recognise appropriate professional development opportunities for members.

Establish and oversee codes of ethical practice.

Assist the mental health consumer access ethical and appropriate service providers.

Aims & Objectives

The common aims and objectives of ACA are:

To monitor, maintain, set and improve professional standards in counsellor education and practice;

To provide an industry-based association for persons engaged in counsellor education and practice;

To be a self-regulatory body to provide for registration of counsellors in Australia;

Liaise with Government for the benefit of members and the public;

To provide a single unified voice for the counselling industry;

To provide a consistent Code of Conduct and set of Practitioner Standards;

To promote the professional development and growth of practising counsellors;

To provide a National Complaints Tribunal;

To assess, review and recognise counsellor education courses;

To maintain a register of qualified practicing counsellors;

To identify to consumers, counsellors that meet nationally-approved standards of practice;

To help the public at large to become more aware of the counselling profession and the availability of reputable counsellors;

To raise awareness of Australian counsellors Internationally;

To provide a vehicle to promote research in the counselling profession;

To help create employment for counsellors; and

To provide a quality control mechanism for the public that also enables the consumer to access a formal complaints procedure.

American Psychological Association

Our mission is to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives. We do this by:

Encouraging the development and application of psychology in the broadest manner.Promoting research in psychology, the improvement of research methods and conditions and the application of research findings.Improving the qualifications and usefulness of psychologists by establishing high standards of ethics, conduct, education and achievement.Increasing and disseminating psychological knowledge through meetings, professional contacts, reports, papers, discussions and publications.

Definition of "Psychology"

Psychology is a diverse discipline, grounded in science, but with nearly boundless applications in everyday life. Some psychologists do basic research, developing theories and testing them through carefully honed research methods involving observation, experimentation and analysis. Other psychologists apply the discipline's scientific knowledge to help people, organizations and communities function better.

As psychological research yields new information, whether it's improved interventions to treat depression or how humans interact with machines, these findings become part of the discipline's body of knowledge and are applied in work with patients and clients, in schools, in corporate settings, within the judicial system, even in professional sports.

Psychology is a doctoral-level profession. Psychologists study both normal and abnormal functioning and treat patients with mental and emotional problems. They also study and encourage behaviors that build wellness and emotional resilience. Today, as the link between mind and body is well-recognized, more and more psychologists are teaming with other health care providers to provide whole-person health care for patients.

APA members are doctoral-level psychologists who work in myriad settings, including academic research, private psychology practice, K-12 schools, hospitals, the armed forces, court systems, prisons, business and industry and the VA. A doctoral-level psychologist holds a PhD, PsyD or EdD in psychology from a regionally accredited institution. Individuals who hold a doctorate in a related field from a regionally accredited institution may also join APA as members.

APA affiliate and associate members include psychology students, teachers of psychology and other mental health professionals. They also include psychologists who live outside of the United States and Canada. Together, they create a rich and diverse membership poised to communicate the unique benefits psychology provides to health and wellness; advocate for the discipline to become more fully incorporated into health research and delivery systems; position psychology as the science of behavior; and increase public awareness of the benefits psychology brings to daily living.

Canadian Counselling Psychotherapy Association

Established in 1965, CCPA was originally called the Canadian Guidance and Counselling Association (CGCA). In 1999, the Association changed its name to the Canadian Counselling Association (CCA). In 2009, the Association changed its name to Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), which represented an important move to include members who practice psychotherapy in Canada.

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association is a national bilingual association of professionally trained counsellors engaged in the helping professions. CCPA's members work in many diverse fields of education, employment and career development, social work, business, industry, mental health, public service agencies, government and private practice. Since 1965, the Association has been providing leadership and promotion to the counselling profession. CCPA has several Chapters, which represent specialized interest groups in counselling. CCPA develops and cultivates formal and informal relationships with similar health and mental health organizations in Canada and internationally. The Association also offers the opportunity for its members to network with other counsellors from across the globe, in order to exchange ideas and best practices, provide mutual support and promote professional development. CCPA is continually upgrading its services for its counsellor members, through exclusive educational programs, certification, and professional development and networking opportunities. The Association welcomes all qualified counsellors and psychotherapists in the profession to join our growing membership as we uphold our mandate to remain the leading association for counselling and psychotherapy in Canada.

In striving to fulfill this mandate the CCPA promotes policies and practices which support the provision of accessible, competent, and accountable counselling services throughout the human lifespan, and in a manner sensitive to the pluralistic nature of society. CCPA strives to understand the needs of the diverse community of counsellors and psychotherapists in Canada and aspires to being inclusive in its membership and to being a strong voice for the promotion of counselling. CCPA wishes to provide its members with some resources that will help them make a smooth transition regarding their credentials and regulation while moving to a different province. CCPA has created a chart to help practitioners understand the requirements to practice when moving from one province to another.

If you are moving from an unregulated province to a regulated province or a province where regulatory activities are underway, you can click on the corresponding area of the table to view information about the requirements to practice in the regulated province.

Overview of Certification

In 1986, CCPA established a credentialing service for its members: Canadian Certified Counsellors: A National Certification Program for Professional Counsellors.

The counsellor certification is a national service that identifies to the public those counsellors who CCPA recognizes as qualified to provide counselling services in Canada. Obtaining the status of Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) includes recognition of standards of professional preparation, continuing education, and a formal code of ethics. As a self-regulating body, CCPA provides advice and discipline for certified members on matters of professional conduct.

Only counsellors who are certified by CCPA are permitted to use the trademarked title Canadian Certified Counsellor and/or the acronym 'CCC'. They also receive a certificate which their clients should expect to see displayed at the place of work.

Certification with CCPA is different from membership with CCPA. This distinction between membership and certification is for the benefit of the public. Certification represents a successful evaluation of a member's qualification to practice. Membership does not. Should you wish to use a qualification designation from CCPA, you must seek certification, which will permit the use of the letters CCC as the appropriate statement about qualifications to practice counselling.