Information for Approved Counsellors

    Resources for Approved Counsellors

    Becoming an Approved Counsellor

    Thank you for your interest in joining Victims Services' Approved Counselling Service as an Approved Counsellor.

    The Approved Counselling Scheme provides counselling for victims of violent crime who often have complex trauma symptoms. Therefore, there are minimum requirements you must meet to be eligible to be a Victims Services Generalist Counsellor. 

    Approval criteria 

    Applicants must be: 

    • A member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP); or 
    • A member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW); or 
    • Registered as a psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) 

    Applicants must also: 

    • Demonstrate a minimum of three years’ experience as a registered provider of clinical services in their profession 
    • Demonstrate currency in counselling victims of crime (within the past 2 years) 
    • Demonstrate currency in trauma-informed professional development 
    • Demonstrate the ability to assess victims of crime and develop intervention plans 
    • Have a current clinical supervisor with whom they meet regularly 
    • Carry indemnity insurance 
    • Work from a practice address 

    The Commissioner of Victims Rights has the final discretion to approve applications that meet the minimum standards. 


    In addition to meeting the Approval Criteria, applicants must submit a typed application form and supply the following documents

    • Application form 
    • Two written references 
    • Curriculum Vitae 
    • Continuing Professional Development Log 
    • Current Working with Children Check number 
    • Certified copy of current national police check 
    • Copy of driver’s license or passport 

    Applicants must submit all of the listed documents with their completed application. Applications with missing or incomplete information will not be progressed for approval.

    If your application is successful, your practice details will be registered on the Approved Counselling Service directory. Victims Services will create a professional profile for you to assist Victims Services staff when making client referrals to you. Once a referral is made, your client will be provided with your contact details, so he/she can contact you to request an initial appointment. You will also be notified in writing of any client referrals.

    Victims Services is not able to guarantee client referrals to Approved Counsellors and you should not rely upon this as your primary or main source of income.

    If your application is unsuccessful, you will receive specific feedback on your application and any area where you may need to develop your skills and knowledge. You may wish to reapply after a period of 12 months.

    Application form to become an Approved Counsellor (PDF, 393Kb)

    Becoming an Interim Counsellor

    Do you have a client that is a victim of crime, but you are not a Approved Counsellor with Victims Services? 

    This application will allow you to seek approval to provide an interim counselling service to a specific client under the Approved Counselling Service. Approval will only be given if you have a pre-existing therapeutic relationship with the client and/or another compelling reason that would prevent the client from using an existing Approved Counsellor.

    Interim Counselling (limited referrals) form (PDF, 375Kb)

    Becoming a Specialist Counsellor

    To be eligible to apply for accreditation as a Specialist Counsellor under the Approved Counselling Service, applicants MUST meet the following:

    • Be fully registered as a psychologist with the Psychologist Board of Australia or be a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers.
    • Be an Approved Counsellor with the Approved Counselling Service providing continuous services to victims of crime for at least 3 years.
    • Demonstrate ongoing and regular Clinical Supervision for a period of 12 months.
    • Demonstrate continuous Professional Development in the area of Trauma.
    • Possess a Post Graduate Degree at Masters level or equivalent in an area deemed relevant by Victims Services including, but not limited to:
      • Social Work
      • Clinical Psychology
      • Clinical Neuro Psychology
      • Counselling Psychology
      • Forensic Psychology

    The Post Graduate Degree MUST include components of professional training and supervised experience and must be of at least two years full time duration or equivalent. Qualifications should be accredited by the appropriate body or deemed equivalent of an overseas qualification by the Australian professional body or registration body.

    To apply to be a Specialist Counsellor please contact the Approved Counselling Programs Team at

    Report Templates

    ​Initial Report (PDF, 223Kb)

    ​Allocate 2 hours for the initial assessment appointment (90 minutes to be spent with the client and 30 minutes allocated to report writing). 

    The initial report should be provided on the template which we hope to place online in the new year.

    Final Report (PDF, 137Kb)

    ​Submit a final report when the client has completed counselling.

    A final report should be completed:

    • when 21 hours have been completed and no further hours have been requested
    • you and/or the client indicate that counselling is no longer required 
    • you are unable to continue with the client such as when the client needs a specialist referral or there is a breakdown in the therapeutic relationship
    • 6 months has lapsed from the last appointment and there has been no client contact 

    Please note: where the client has not used all their approved counselling hours they can still access this at a later stage.

    Ensure the client has at least 30 minutes of hours left, to enable you to claim the 30 minutes allocated to report writing.

    Over 22 Hours Reports (PDF, 114Kb)

    ​Assess whether more than 22 hours of counselling is needed and if the client consents to further counselling, submit an over 22 hours report. 

    If additional hours are provided you need to provide a final report when additional hours are used and counselling completed.

    Rates of Pay

    As of 1 August 2018 all invoices for payment must be made online at:

    All invoices must be lodged within 4 weeks of the appointment. Fees for the provision of counselling services provided under the Approved Counselling Service:

    ​Generalist Counsellor

    ​​$120/hr (plus GST if applicable)

    ​Specialist Counsellor

    ​​$144/hr (plus GST if applicable)


    ​​$256/hr (plus GST if applicable)

    Invoices are not able to be paid until all required reports are received.

    Payment for reports will be limited to 30 minutes for writing the required reports.

    Flexible service delivery for clients

    Victims Services works with clients and Approved Counsellors to ensure flexible and responsive services are available to clients with varying needs.

    While clients are attending counselling, they may also be working through their justice journey and may request support from Approved Counsellors with various facets of this journey, such as debriefing after contact with Police and other agencies in relation to the crime, or to help prepare a Victims Impact Statement, or to provide support at court. Some clients may require telephone/online counselling for a brief period, particularly where the client's lifestyle may be in a period of transition, or those in rural or remote areas.

    Court support available for clients:

    In the District Court the Witness Assistance Service can help

    Other court support services include:

    Mission Australia Court Support Services:

    Victims & Witnesses of Crime Court Support

    Women's Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service

    Information on the court process can be located through the Justice Journey

    For more information on Victims Impact Statement see:

    If no appropriate referral can be made and you wish to provide court support, please contact the Approved Counselling Programs team at

    Change of your details

    To facilitate appropriate referrals and responsive services, Approved Counsellors must notify Victims Services if there is a change to their practice location, contact information and availability. Updated information on the completion of relevant ongoing professional development and experience with different client groups is relevant to making appropriate client referrals.

    Contact us

    Further information may be obtained by contacting Victims Services and asking to speak with the Approved Counselling Programs Team:
    Phone: 1800 633 063