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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 

Standard Application 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) 

Discretionary approval in areas of shortage

The Commissioner may approve a person who does not qualify under the criteria above to provide approved counselling services in any part of the State where there is a shortage of counsellors. To be eligible for consideration under this discretion you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have completed either ECAVs Advanced Diploma in Aboriginal Special Trauma Counselling and/or ECAVs Graduate Certificate in Human and Community Services, and be registered with the Australian Counselling Association or the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (any level); or
  • Be registered with the Australian Counselling Association as a level 3 or 4 member; or
  • Be registered with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia as a clinical member. 

Further criteria for all applicants

All 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 an 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. Please be advised that completed applications can take up to 12 months to be processed once received.

If your application is successful, you will be listed on Victims Service's online list of approved counsellors.

Clients will be referred to this list where they can choose an available counsellor and contact them to make an appointment.

Victims Services is not able to guarantee consistent work 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.

Online Application Form


Downloadable PDF Form

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 an 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.

Please be advised that completed applications can take 4-6 weeks to be processed once received.

Online Application Form


Downloadable PDF Form

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

Becoming a Generalist Counsellor Tier 2

To be eligible to apply for accreditation as a Generalist Counsellor Tier 2 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 Generalist Counsellor Tier 2 please contact the Approved Counselling Programs Team at VS_Counselling@justice.nsw.gov.au

Please be advised that completed applications can take up to 6 months to be processed once received.

Report Templates

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 Report (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 Tier 1

​​$120/hr (plus GST if applicable)

​Generalist Counsellor Tier 2

​​$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 VS_Counselling@justice.nsw.gov.au.

Change of your details

Approved Counsellors must notify Victims Services if there is a change to their practice location, contact information and availability.


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
Email: VS_Counselling@justice.nsw.gov.au