Justice Home > Victims Services > For service providers

Victims Services Approved Counselling Service - 2018 Intake 

Thank you for your interest in joining Victims Services' Approved Counselling Service as an Approved Counsellor. The service provides free counselling to victims of violent crimes that have occurred in NSW.

Victims Services will have an intake period for new counsellors this year between:
16 March 2018 - 18 May 2018

Rates of pay
Fees for the provision of counselling services provided under the Approved Counselling Service:

​Generalist Counsellor​$120/hr (plus GST)
​Specialist Counsellor​$144/hr (plus GST)
​Psychiatrists​$256/hr (plus GST)
* All new applicants are eligible to apply for Generalist Counsellor status only

Application process

  1. Assess your eligibility
  2. Apply online
  3. Review & approval of application
  4. Next steps

1. Assess your eligibility

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
    - be fully registered as a psychologist, with the NSW Psychologist's Registration Board; and
  • demonstrate a minimum of three years experience as a registered provider in their profession; and
  • demonstrate currency in professional training and development in relation to counselling victims of crime (Trauma Informed Practice); and
  • qualify their ability to assess victims of crime and develop intervention plans.
Note: a requirement to be an Approved Counsellor is ongoing clinical supervision.

2. Apply online

Counsellors interested in applying to become an Approved Counsellor are invited to review the Application for Approved Counsellors (PDF, 338Kb) and the Deed of Agreement (WORD,  2014Kb) which includes information on operational requirements applicants must meet should they become registered to provide services under the Approved Counselling Service.  A checklist is included in the package outlining the documents that must be provided with your application.

Please email your completed application and supporting documents to vs@justice.nsw.gov.au with the Subject line: Approved Counselling Programs

3. Review and approval of applications

The review and approval of applications occurs over three stages.

First stage
Approved Counselling Programs Team (ACPT) identifies whether applicants are eligible and have submitted sufficient information against the criteria. ACPT provide comment on applications for the benefit of a second independent review undertaken by a nominated representative of the Professional Advisory Panel (PAP).

Second stage
The PAP assesses the applicant's knowledge, skills and experience and make recommendations to the Commissioner of Victims Rights (CVR) regarding appointment as an Approved Counsellor.

Membership of the Panel includes representatives from:

  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
  • Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office, NSW Department of Health
  • Australian Association of Social Workers
  • Australian Psychological Society

Third stage
The CVR has the final decision and provides direction taking into consideration the assessment and recommendations made by PAP. The Commissioner may request further information, clarification or advice from applicants to make a final decision. Approval is provided for a set term of three years and may be subject to special conditions. All agreements are reviewed at the expiry of a term.

​March - May 2018​Applications Lodged
​May - July 2018​ACP Review Period
​August - September 2018​PAP Review Period
​October - November 2018​CVR Final Decision
​December 2018​Communication of Decision

4. Next steps


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.

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.

To facilitate these services, Approved Counsellors must raise a request with the Coordinator of Approved Counselling Programs at vs@justice.nsw.gov.au.

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.

Resources for Approved Counsellors

Practice Standards for Approved Counsellors (PDF, 1578Kb)
Client feedback webpage
Interim Counselling (limited referrals) form (PDF, 375Kb)
Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 104Kb)

Report templates:
Initial Assessment Report (PDF, 223Kb)
Final report (PDF, 137Kb)
Over 22 Hours Report (PDF, 114Kb)

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@justice.nsw.gov.au

See also

Publications for service providers