Competency-Based Counsellors

ACCT Competency-Based Membership Categories

Registered Therapeutic Counsellor RTC/Accredited Counsellor AC (Ontario & Nova Scotia only)

RTCs/ACs are full, entry-level counsellors and meet the entry-to-practice proficiency to practice, based on the Task Group for Counsellor Regulation Competency Profile.

The following competency-based assumptions are made about the preparation and practice of entry-level Registered Therapeutic Counsellors:

  1. Requisite skills and abilities are required to attain the entry-level RTC/AC competencies.
  2. Entry level RTC/ACs are prepared as generalists to consistently practice safely, competently and ethically.
  3. The practice environment of entry-level RTC/ACs can be in any setting or circumstance where counselling is practiced (e.g. government or non-profit agency, private practice, treatment facility, public or private organizations.
  4. Entry-level RTC/ACs enter into practice with competencies that are transferable across diverse practice settings.
  5. Entry-level competencies have a strong foundation in the following essential areas:
    a) Historical and theoretical foundations in counselling therapy
    b) Human and cultural diversity in counselling therapy
    c) Communication skills in interpersonal and counselling contexts
    d) Professional, ethical and legal practice of counselling therapy
    e) Counselling therapeutic process, intervention and practice,
    f) Research applications
    g) Supervised clinical practice.
  6. Entry-level Registered Therapeutic Counsellors draw on multiple sources of knowledge required to attain proficiency over time in demonstrating the wide range of competencies as outlined in the Task Group for Counsellor Regulation Competency Profile. The experience of entry-level Registered Therapeutic Counsellors varies significantly during their education.
  7. Entry-level RTC/ACs have:
    a) Theoretical knowledge required to achieve a wide range of competencies.
    b) Theoretical understanding of diverse practice situations that can be recognized without situational or practice experience.
    c) Unique experiential knowledge base, which has been shaped by specific practice experiences during the educational program.
    d) Ability to conduct assessment practices and treatment plans through reflection on experiential counselling practices.
    e) Use critical inquiry as a guide for practice decision-making and to reflect upon practice experiences.
    f) Are guided by theoretical knowledge regardless of the context of the situation and with experience are able to recognize more subtle nuances of situations.
    g) Through experience, enhance their confidence and ability to manage complex clinical situations.
    h) Recognize limitations of their individual experience and knowledge and seek guidance/supervision from experienced practitioners/supervisors while expanding their scope of practice.
  8. Entry-level RTC/ACs recognize the potential impact of the power differentiation and privilege on their relationships with the client.
  9. Entry-level RTC/ACs are beginning practitioners whose level of practice, autonomy and proficiency will grow best through continued professional development, counselling practice and supervision from Registered Counselling Supervisors or others recognized as leaders in the counselling therapy field who regularly contribute to the advancement of the counselling therapy profession.

The following two designations of specialty counsellors are also available:

Master Therapeutic Counsellor MTC

MTCs meet the advanced skills criteria of development beyond entry-to-practice. The Task Group for Counsellor Regulation Competency Profile describes this as follows: “The therapist working at an advanced level has extensive experience and exhibits a nuanced understanding of clinical situations. Decision-making and treatment flow more effectively because the therapist readily perceives which aspects of a presenting situation are the important ones, and how they should be addressed. The therapist working at an advanced level deals effectively with most unusual, difficult to resolve and complex situations.”

Registered Counselling Supervisor RCS

RCSs are recognized as leaders in the counselling therapy field and regularly contribute to the advancement of the counselling therapy profession.