Counsellor Criteria to Become an ACCT Member

ACCT is home to counsellors across Canada who demonstrate competency and excellence in the counselling profession. ACCT is a self-regulating professional association and provides guidance and support for its members and safeguards the public through high standards of professional conduct.

New RTC Criteria to become effective July 1, 2018

Recently, the ACCT Board of Directors approved new registration criteria to ensure that Registered Therapeutic Counsellors entering the field hold a minimum level of competency which is in alignment with the FACT BC competency profile as well as industry standards that have been established by Provincial Colleges and Associations.

Educational/Training Criteria

Have attained a minimum of 360 hours of education and skills development training in applied counselling including training in the following topic areas:

  • Basic Counselling Skills including clinical assessment
  • Individual, Couples, Family and Group counselling methods
  • Trauma and Abuse
  • Counselling ethics and Ethical practice
  • Models of Therapy
  • Effective use of self
  • Human Development including Psychopathology/Abnormal Psychology and DSM

Direct Client Contact Hours

Have attained a minimum of 200 direct client contact hours under clinical supervision conducted within the last five years.

Definition of Direct Client Contact- Direct client contact (DCC) is any activity in which the client and the therapist are directly and formally engaged in the psychotherapeutic process. Ordinarily, this process occurs face-to-face, but other forms of direct contact, for example, using the telephone, Skype, video-link, or even email (with appropriate considerations for privacy and confidentiality) are relevant. The client may be an individual, couple, family or group.

Also included in direct client contact are:

  • interviewing for intake, as long as this activity is clinical in nature and then used to determine the nature and course of the therapy;
  • interviewing, administering a test or conducting a formal assessment as part of a clinical interaction with the client; and
  • facilitating or actively co-facilitating therapeutic sessions.

The following are not considered direct client contact:

  • practice and role plays conducted within an educational/training program
  • observing therapy without actively participating or providing follow-up to the client immediately after the observed session;
  • record-keeping;
  • administrative activities, including report-writing;
  • conducting a psychometric assessment that primarily involves administering, scoring and report-writing, with little or no clinical -interaction with the client; and
  • providing or receiving clinical or other forms of supervision.

Note: A standard 45 or 50-minute session qualifies as one hour of DCC.

Below is ACCT's current Counsellor Criteria for the following:

  • Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, RTC
  • Accredited Counsellor, AC (Ontario and Nova Scotia only)
  • Registered Therapeutic Counsellor - Candidate, RTCc (effective July 1, 2018)
  • Accredited Counsellor - Candidate, ACc (effective July 1, 2018)
  • Master Therapeutic Counsellor, MTC
  • Registered Counselling Supervisor, RCS
  • Student Applicant
  • Retired Member

Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, RTC/Accredited Counsellor, AC

Accredited Counsellors must be practicing in Ontario, Nova Scotia and either not eligible for or choose to not register with their provincial college.

RTCs/ACs hold a certificate or diploma; bachelor's degree; postgraduate certificate; master’s degree or Ph.D. in counselling or a related field from a registered school; or equivalent experience and training as determined by ACCT.

Registered Therapeutic Counsellors must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have a minimum of 150 hours of clinical practice with supervision as an integral part of their education, practicum experience, and/or paid or unpaid work experience in a counselling related capacity. Provide proof of practical experience in transcript or letter of reference.
  2. Provide a current (received within last 12 months or one that is not expiring in the next 12 months) criminal record check (CRC) including a vulnerable sector search.
  3. Provide a copy of current resume.
  4. Submit copies of certificate or diploma, bachelor's degree; postgraduate certificate; master’s degree or Ph.D. in counselling or a related field, or proof of equivalent experience and training. Must include transcripts, which show evidence of having completed an Ethics course as part of their education program or a certificate from an ethics seminar. 
  5. Provide an up-to-date report of all counselling and supervision hours, including hours obtained during a practicum (if applicable).
  6. Provide a copy of previous professional counselling membership (if applicable).
  7. Provide proof of current Liability Insurance or Intent to Purchase Liability Insurance.  (Copy of application form may initially be provided for new graduates, proof of insurance must be provided to maintain registration in good standing).
  8. Provide two professional references or letters of recommendation. One letter of reference from a professional who has known the applicant for at least one year as a supervisor in a training or educational capacity paid or unpaid counselling or related field that provides a recommendation of readiness to practice counselling. The second reference should be a mental health professional with at least 5 years experience in their profession. All reference letters must be signed and include the date and contact info for the referee.
  9. Disclose whether or not the applicant is free of any disciplinary findings and/or any other reason that would prohibit the practice of counselling therapy.
  10. Complete the annual requirements for membership, including 30 hours of Competency Development which must include a minimum of 8 hours of supervision and a minimum of 8 hours of professional development or continuing education credits per year and may include no more than 8 hours of self-care.
  11. Read and agree to ACCT's Rules, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
  12. Provide the following payments:
    1. ACCT Membership Share - $100.00 one-time payment (refundable on request when you discontinue your membership)
    2. Administration Fee - $150.00, one-time payment (non-refundable)
    3. Professional Fee - RTC $290.00 (non-refundable)

Registered Therapeutic Counsellor - RTCc/Accredited Counsellor- Candidate - ACc (effective July 1, 2018)

Accredited Counsellors - Candidate must be practicing in Ontario, Nova Scotia and either not eligible for or choose to not register with their provincial college.

This category of membership is for those graduates who have satisfied the educational/training requirements for registration as an RTC/AC and have attained a minimum of 100 direct client contact hours but have not yet attained the required direct client contact hours for registration as an RTC/AC.

RTCcs/ACcs hold a certificate or diploma; bachelor's degree; postgraduate certificate; master’s degree or Ph.D. in counselling or a related field from a registered school; or equivalent experience and training as determined by ACCT.

RTCcs/ACcs must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have a minimum of 100 hours of direct client contact with supervision as an integral part of their education, practicum experience, and/or paid or unpaid work experience in a counselling related capacity. Provide proof of practical experience in transcript or letter of reference.
  2. Provide a current (received within last 12 months or one that is not expiring in the next 12 months) criminal record check (CRC) including a vulnerable sector search.
  3. Provide a copy of current resume.
  4. Submit copies of certificate or diploma, bachelor's degree; postgraduate certificate; master’s degree or Ph.D. in counselling or a related field, or proof of equivalent experience and training. Must include transcripts, which show evidence of having completed an Ethics course as part of their education program or a certificate from an ethics seminar. 
  5. Provide an up-to-date report of all counselling and supervision hours, including hours obtained during a practicum (if applicable).
  6. Provide a copy of previous professional counselling membership (if applicable).
  7. Provide proof of current Liability Insurance or Intent to Purchase Liability Insurance.  (Copy of application form may initially be provided for new graduates, proof of insurance must be provided to maintain registration in good standing).
  8. Provide two professional references or letters of recommendation. One letter of reference from a professional who has known the applicant for at least one year as a supervisor in a training or educational capacity paid or unpaid counselling or related field that provides a recommendation of readiness to practice counselling. The second reference should be a mental health professional with at least 5 years experience in their profession. All reference letters must be signed and include the date and contact info for the referee.
  9. Disclose whether or not the applicant is free of any disciplinary findings and/or any other reason that would prohibit the practice of counselling therapy.
  10. Complete the annual requirements for membership, including 30 hours of Competency Development which must include a minimum of 8 hours of supervision and a minimum of 8 hours of professional development or continuing education credits per year and may include no more than 8 hours of self-care.
  11. Read and agree to ACCT's Rules, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
  12. Provide the following payments:
    1. ACCT Membership Share - $100.00 one-time payment (refundable on request when you discontinue your membership)
    2. Administration Fee - $150.00, one-time payment (non-refundable)
    3. Professional Fee - RTC $150.00 (non-refundable)

Master Therapeutic Counsellor, MTC

MTCs hold a certificate or diploma, a bachelor's degree; postgraduate certificate; master’s degree or Ph.D. in counselling or a related field from a registered school, or equivalent experience and training as determined by ACCT Membership Team.

Registered Therapeutic Counsellors may add the designation Master Therapeutic Counsellor (MTC) to their Registered Therapeutic Counsellor (RTC) designation by meeting the following criteria:

  1. Provide a log of clinical hours and supervision (or spreadsheet) that includes:
  2. A minimum of 1000 hours of direct client contact, 500 of these hours need to be completed in Canada, (includes all forms of client contact, for example, one to one, couples, group therapy, therapeutic workshops),
  3. A minimum of 50 hours of Supervision (may include all forms formal of supervision, where a contractual, educational or employment agreement exists with the supervisor). Please be aware that evidence, in the way of signed logs, that support clinical hours and supervision hours may be requested.
  4. Provide a current (received within last 12 months or one that is not expiring in the next 12 months) criminal record check (CRC) including a 'vulnerable sector' search, unless there is a CRC on file with ACCT.
  5. Provide a copy of current resume.
  6. Submit copies of certificate or diploma, bachelor's degree; postgraduate certificate; master’s degree or Ph.D. in counselling or a related field, or proof of equivalent experience and training.
  7. Provide a copy of previous professional counselling membership.
  8. Provide proof of current Liability Insurance.
  9. Provide a reference or letter of recommendation from a mental health professional, with at least 5 years experience in their profession, who has known the applicant professionally for at least two years.
  10. Provide a second reference letter from a previous or current Supervisor that includes a Supervision Competency Evaluation Summary (paragraph). The reference letter must be signed and include the date and contact info for the referee.
  11. Disclose whether or not they are free of any disciplinary findings and/or any other reason that would prohibit the practice of counselling therapy.
  12. Complete the annual requirements for membership, including 30 hours of Competency Development which must include a minimum of 8 hours of supervision and a minimum of 8 hours of professional development or continuing education credits per year and may include no more than 8 hours of self-care.
  13. Read and agree to ACCT's Rules, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
  14. Provide the following payments:
    1. ACCT Membership Share - $100.00 one-time payment (refundable on request when you discontinue your membership)
    2. Administration Fee - $150.00, one-time payment (non-refundable)
    3. Professional Fee - MTC $290.00 (non-refundable)

Registered Counselling Supervisor, RCS

Applicants are required to be MTC OR have an equivalent professional designation from another association with a minimum of 5 years of counselling experience in counselling practice in a private or agency setting.

RCS' must meet the following criteria:

  1. Provide a copy of previous professional counselling membership; current Master Therapeutic Counsellor designation (or equivalent professional association membership), if one is not already on file with ACCT.
  2. Applicants, without an ACCT MTC designation on file, provide proof of registration with a recognized counselling or related professional association.
  3. Provide a current (received within last 12 months or one that is not expiring in the next 12 months) criminal record check (CRC) including a 'vulnerable sector' search, unless there is a CRC on file with ACCT.
  4. Provide proof of at least 5 (and over 1000 hours) years of counselling experience.
  5. Provide proof of 120 hours of supervision.
  6. Provide proof of current liability insurance, if one is not already on file with ACCT.
  7. Provide proof of completed supervision training course or equivalent experience.
  8. Submit copies of certificate or diploma, bachelor's degree; postgraduate certificate; master’s degree or Ph.D. in counselling or a related field, or proof of equivalent experience and training, if one is not already on file with ACCT.
  9. Provide a letter of reference from a current supervisor, if one is not already on file with ACCT.
  10. Accept and work within ACCT’s Rules, Supervisor Code of Ethics and the Code of Ethics and Practice Standards for ACCT.
  11. Purchase or own a membership share for $100.00. Fully refundable upon cancellation of membership.
  12. Complete the annual requirements for membership, including 30 hours of Competency Development which must include a minimum of 8 hours of supervision and a minimum of 8 hours of professional development or continuing education credits per year and may include no more than 8 hours of self-care.
  13. Complete the following payment(s):
    1. Master Therapeutic Counsellors pay an additional $99.00 Annual Professional Fee.
    2. Non-MTCs provide the following additional payments:
      1. Administration Fee - $150.00 one-time payment (non-refundable)
      2. Annual Professional Fee - RTC $149.00 (non-refundable)

Student Applicant

Student applicants must be presently enrolled in a registered counselling certificate, diploma program or degree program in counselling or a related field and not yet qualified to practice as a counsellor. Student members must not practice counselling, except when supervised and as part of their training and/or practicum completion. Student members must purchase a membership share.

Student Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Must provide the name of the educational facility, including your expected date of completion.
  2. Provide a copy of current resume.
  3. Provide a letter from your school confirming registration in an applied counselling program including the program start and completion date.
  4. Read ACCT's Rules, Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
  5. Provide the following payments:
    1. ACCT Membership Share - $100.00 one-time payment (refundable on request when you discontinue your membership).
    2. Professional Fee - $70.00 - may be credited towards your approved Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, RTC/Accredited Counsellor, AC, Registered Therapeutic Counsellor - Candidate, RTCc/Accredited Counsellor - Candidate, AC designation in the year that you apply.

Retired Member

Retired Members have been Members in good standing with ACCT for a minimum of 1 year and may use the RTC/AC and MTC designations according to their qualifications. They must own a membership share.

Retired Members may not charge for counselling services, including working with individuals, couples, families, groups, or provide training.

Note: As professionals in the field of counselling therapy, whether using our skills in a paid or unpaid setting, we are liable for the services we provide. Volunteers may be covered by the agency or organization’s liability insurance program within which they provide professional services.

It is mandatory that retired professionals hold liability insurance (within an organization or independently) and professional standing when working in a volunteer setting.

International Applicants

International applicants and applicants with international education will be required to submit a comprehensive equivalency evaluation (http://www.bcit.ca/ices/general/reports.shtml)  or course-by-course evaluation (http://www.wes.org/ca/licensing/licensing.asp) to demonstrate whether they meet ACCT educational requirements. If the applicant resides outside of Canada at the time of application or has resided within Canada less than 5 years, s/he will be required to submit a Criminal record check from his/her city/country of origin which includes a vulnerable sector check. Those residing in Canada at the time of application will be required to submit a Criminal Record check with vulnerable sector search from their current residence as well. The criminal record check and reference letters are to be officially translated into English.
 
We welcome your inquiries and/or application!