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Membership for Counselling Graduates.

In Australia we have the AQF system which is a framework for level's of qualifications, please review this information as it will be useful to gain an appreciation for the education sector.
 
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Vocational Education and Training (VET) usually consists of the first 5 levels, Certificate I, Certificate II, Certificate III, Certificate IV and Diploma. In some circumstances you will find VET level qualifications have a level of complexity above that level, including Advanced Diploma (level 6), Vocational Graduate Certificate (level 7) & Vocational Graduate Diploma (level 8). While the course difficulty in these higher levels (level 6-8) is equivalent, the duration and length of the course work is usually shorter in Vocational Education e.g. Vocational Graduate Diploma can be completed within 18 months, but a Bachelor Degree is normally 3 years. 
 
For this reason, there are professional associations which concern themselves with tertiary graduates, like PACFA , and associations like the ACCA recognise Diploma and higher level graduates. Primarily PACFA wishes to only recognise course work for Counsellors and Psychologists which have completed tertiary studies, so CTA graduates are not eligible for membership. The ACCA on the other hand, fully recognises graduates of Diploma level and higher.
 
APAC is only interested in regulation for Psychologist members, and is not in the business of regulating Counsellors. CTA only trains Counsellors and not Psychologists.
 
The Diploma of Counselling and the Vocational Graduate Diploma of Relationship Counselling are courses that are recognised by the ACCA, and graduates of these programs are eligible to apply for membership with the ACCA when they complete studies.  
 
A cautionary note: The ACA is a competing association with ACCA; the ACA does not always recognise graduates of our courses because they are in competition. This continues to cause angst for some students who have been given erroneous information by this organisation. Recently this organisation had told a graduate of our Relationship Counselling course that they could not gain membership with them, but after some back and forth conversations, the ACA decided to accept the application and grant membership. For this reason and many more, CTA does not endorse this association. Instead we recommend the ACCA which is a not for profit organisation that is fair and equitable.
 
Final note: The field of Psychology is Nationally regulated in Australia and all Psychologists MUST be registered in order to operate a service, the Counselling industry is not. It is not required by any graduate of our courses to apply for membership with associations, it is purely a voluntary pursuit. Employers of Counsellors may insist of professional membership, but regardless, there is no mandatory legal requirement for membership. And membership invariably comes with costs associated. In the State of Victoria, it is more common for employers to request membership for employees with a preferred association, however we have encountered only a few situations where our graduates had issues (later solved) gaining the proper endorsement to satisfy their employer. Most of CTA graduates are not from the State of Victoria, so this is unlikely to be an issue that would be encountered.
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