Terms and conditions

Counselling organisational membership

Terms and conditions

The organisational member will:

  1. Have a Christian ethos and/or Christian distinctiveness1 and accept ACC’s Statement of Faith. The governing body or steering group of the organisation is informed by Christian values and ethics, whether or not everyone involved in the affiliate is a practising Christian.
  2. Adhere to our ethical codes and relevant competency framework, by having knowledge and understanding of:
  1. Ensure that all employed, contracted and voluntary staff, who are providing listening services, have sufficient foundational training and support and/or supervision appropriate to their roles.
  2. Ensure that all employed, contracted and voluntary staff offering counselling services, i.e. counsellors, psychotherapists, art therapists and/or clinical and counselling psychologists, clinical supervisors and, where relevant, trainers, are on a Professional Standards Authority accredited register or the HCPC register and maintain their registered membership(s).
  3. Ensure that all student counsellors are training on a qualifying counselling course that meets ACC’s educational standards (see ACC’s website for details).
  4. Adhere to good practice standards by:
    • offering a safe place for employed, contracted and voluntary staff and members of the public to work from and/or receive services from.
    • offering services to members of the public without discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 defines and describes various forms of discrimination in relation to nine protected characteristics. Good equality practice encourages consideration of other groups of people who may be marginalised or disadvantaged.
    • having open and fair recruitment policies which follow the letter and the spirit of the law in relation to protected characteristics (see above) for staff and volunteers.
    • where applicable, having open and fair enrolment policy to accept students onto a training course, providing appropriate support for the students, and adhering to the policies, standards and requirements of the awarding bodies.
    • where applicable, providing sufficient support to students on placement on an ongoing basis, ensuring that there is an agreement in place clearly setting out the responsibilities of the affiliate in relation to the student, and that the risk to clients in assigning them student counsellors is sufficiently managed.
    • having open and fair means of responding appropriately when a service user needs to raise a concern or a complaint.
    • having good governance processes and procedures which ensure that the affiliate operates within the UK and relevant devolved government legislations, maintains appropriate insurance cover for its areas of work, has appropriate financial management in place, treats employed and voluntary staff fairly in line with standard HR processes, and provides means of redress for employed, contracted and voluntary staff if they want to raise a grievance.
    • when advertising services, including adjunct services (for example prayer ministry, spiritual direction), refrain from misleading members of the public about the services on offer.
    • where applicable, supporting qualified counsellors in maintaining practice standards, encouraging ongoing training and development and selfcare activities.
    • where possible, gathering outcome measures and/or feedback and actively monitoring the effectiveness of the service on offer.
  1. Encourage student and qualified counsellors, and those providing listening services to become individual members of ACC where appropriate.
  2. Refrain from any activity that brings ACC, the wider counselling profession and/or the ministry of pastoral care into disrepute.
  3. Notify ACC of any complaints received by the affiliate, or any criminal or civil proceedings against any person associated with the affiliate which could bring the profession into disrepute or otherwise present a risk to staff and/or members of the public.
  4. Nominate a named individual as the contact person for ACC who will ensure email communications are circulated internally to all relevant people and keep the membership record up to date.

Organisations who cannot currently meet all these standards, are accepted into membership provided that they can demonstrate that they are ‘working towards’ having these in place or have a valid reason for an exemption.

1ACC is an ecumenical Christian charity which recognises membership from those who identify with Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox churches’ beliefs and faith expressions.