The problem of unregistered practitioners 

PACFA has recently been notified of a number of discussions on social media encouraging Counsellors and Psychotherapists to practice without registration.

Whilst registration may not be legally mandatory, it is expected that all healthcare professionals will be appropriately registered due to the power imbalance inherent in the therapeutic relationship, potential for personal influence and risk of harm. Professional registration is an essential part of meeting a practitioner’s Duty of Care to their clients. Clients also have a right to expect a consistent level of training, regular updates on clinical practice, appropriate professional supervision and access to robust complaints and grievance processes.  

PACFA regularly receives complaints about practitioners who have faced external criticism in legal proceedings due to their lack of registration. These frequently coincide with sanctions imposed by a range of regulatory bodies, healthcare commissions and state governments. Registration is required by employers, insurers and government funders, including workers’ and other compensation bodies and the NDIS. 

Registration is the central mechanism through which to present the Counselling, Psychotherapy and Indigenous Healing Practitioner professions as reputable mental healthcare providers.

PACFA does not represent nor advocate for unregistered practitioners. Unregistered practitioners are not recognised as Allied Health professionals.

For further information about self-registration and the role of self-regulating bodies, please go to the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professionals at