Education & Experience Requirements 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.

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

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

If you qualify to apply for membership with ACCT please read the Application Process prior to completing your application.

Student Applicant

Student applicants must be currently registered in an applied counselling training program or equivalent with a minimum of 6 months remaining in their program until graduation. 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 members do not qualify for liability insurance under the ACCT group plan.

Registered Therapeutic Counsellor - Candidate/Accredited Counsellor - Candidate - RTCc/ACc

Note: Qualified applicants who reside in Ontario or Nova Scotia will be granted the title of “ACc” (Accredited Counsellor Candidate) while those in other provinces will be granted the RTCc  (Registered Therapeutic Counsellor Candidate).

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 including 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

RTCc/ACcs must have a minimum of 100 hours of direct client contact (see definition Definition 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 conducted within the last five years.

NOTE: RTCc/ACcs status shall not exceed 2 years. The RTCc/ACc is entitled to receive professional liability insurance through the ACCT group plan and offer therapeutic counselling at a reduced rate of no more than 70% of the industry rate for the counsellor’s particular geographical area, per session. The RTCc must be under direct supervision.

Registered Therapeutic Counsellor, RTC/Accredited Counsellor, AC

Note: Qualified applicants who reside in Ontario or Nova Scotia will be granted the title of “AC” (Accredited Counsellor) while those in other provinces will be granted the RTC  (Registered Therapeutic Counsellor).

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 including 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

RTC/ACs must have a minimum of 200 hours of direct client contact (see Item 4 on the ACCT Application Process page for the definition 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 conducted within the last five years.

Master Therapeutic Counsellor, MTC/Master Therapeutic Counsellor, MAC

Note: Qualified applicants who reside in Ontario or Nova Scotia will be granted the title of “MAC” (Master Accredited Counsellor) while those in other provinces will be granted the MTC  (Master Therapeutic Counsellor).

MTCs/MACs 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 including 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

MTCs/MACs must have attained a minimum of 1,000 direct client contact hours, (see Item 4 on the ACCT Application Process page for the definition of direct client contact), 500 of these hours need to be completed in Canada

MTCs/MACs must have 5 years of experience in counselling practice in a private or agency setting and be registered as an RTC (or hold an equivalent designation from another association).

MTCs/MACs must have attained a minimum of 50 clinical supervision hours* post-graduation

*Qualifying supervision hours for MTC does not include supervision hours attained through a counselling training (or equivalent training) program/course.

RTCs/ACs may add the designation MTC/MAC to their RTC designation by meeting the above criteria.

Registered Counselling Supervisor, RCS

Applicants are required to be an 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.

Must have a minimum of 5 (and over 1,000 hours) years of counselling experience.

Must have received a minimum of 120 hours of supervision. 

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.

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.

International Applicants

International applicants and applicants with international education (excluding United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand) will be required to submit a comprehensive (http://www.bcit.ca/ices)  or course-by-course evaluation (http://www.wes.org/ca/immigrants/) 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 to English. 

In addition, an international applicant:

  • Must have completed the following direct client contact hours within Canada under the supervision of a qualified clinical supervisor:
    • RTC Candidate- 50 hours (of the total 100 hours required)
    • RTC- 100 hours (of the total 200 hours required
    • MTC/RCS- 500 hours (of the total 1000 hours required)
  • Must complete a qualifying counselling ethics course (minimum of 15 class hours) in Canada.

We welcome your inquiries and/or application!