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Join ACC register

Join ACC

Registered counsellor membership

Being on the ACC register is a mark of quality standards and professionalism. We welcome applications from eligible individuals to become a registered counsellor member. You can find out more about our register here.

If you have checked the eligibility requirements and are ready to apply, please click on “apply now”. To complete the application process, you will need a scanned copy of your qualifying award (diploma, degree or masters), a professional referee (normally your supervisor), a Christian sponsor and details of your insurance cover. Please see the frequently asked questions for further information on the application process.

Otherwise, please read through the requirements carefully before applying.

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Education & training requirements

To join the Register, you need to have successfully completed (at a minimum) a level 4 diploma qualification or the equivalent in counselling/psychotherapy which has validated by Ofqual, CCEA, SQA, Qualification Wales, or a UK higher educational establishment.  If you have a concern about whether your course meets this requirement, please contact us at

We welcome applicants who have studied on BA and MA/MSc courses which are designed to train people to be counsellors and psychotherapists, and include an integrated placement.

All eligible qualifying counselling/psychotherapy training will include the following:

  • Teaching and assessment at a level 4 diploma (or equivalent) or above.
  • A minimum of 300 direct tutor contact hours (please note any hours below level 4 cannot be counted towards registration).
  • Delivered within a predominately face-to-face environment with the option of, where appropriate, a component of blended learning (normally a ratio of 70% in a face-to-face setting and 30% synchronous on-line).
  • A duration of two academic years or more.
  • A curriculum that equips and assesses students in the necessary knowledge and skills required to practice safely and ethically as a counsellor/psychotherapist (see for example SCoPEd column A competencies).
  • An integrated supervised clinical counselling placement of a minimum 100 hours in an appropriate setting, for example a managed counselling service.
  • A recommendation that students have their own personal counselling (normally at least 30 hours) during their training.

Counselling/psychotherapy courses are sometimes accredited by organisations that award qualifications such as AIM Group, Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB), Open College Network (OCN), and/or a professional counselling/psychotherapy membership body, for example the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Alternatively, the qualification can be awarded by a university or higher education establishment.

Please note distance learning courses at any level: diploma, bachelors, masters and doctorate, are not accepted as qualifying counselling training.

Christian identity

By lawful exception we restrict our membership to counsellors and psychotherapists who are Christian. Our membership is open to those who place themselves within one of the main Christian faith traditions: Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.

ACC is a Christian charity and exists in part to provide an accredited register of qualified and accountable counsellors/psychotherapists who are Christian. We know that it is important for some members of the public to have available to them the services of counsellors who are Christian, whether or not they are themselves Christian, follow another religion or have no faith position.

Newly qualified registered counsellors

Our newly qualified registered counsellor membership is for all counsellors who have completed their qualification in the last 6 months. For a reduced price (for the first year) you will have all the benefits of being a registered counsellor alongside extra support offered via connecting and mentoring forums. To join via this membership please select “Newly qualified registered counsellor” on the application form. Please note your qualification must be suitable for registered counsellor membership.

Equivalent counselling & psychotherapy membership

Holding the following registered memberships indicate that your training and qualifications meet the standard required by ACC’s register.

  • Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP): Registered Full Member
  • British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP): Registered or Accredited, Senior Accredited Member
  • British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC): Full Member
  • Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA): Counsellor and Practitioner Membership
  • National Counselling and Psychotherapy Society (NCPS): Accredited Registrant, Accredited Professional Registrant, Senior Accredited Registrant
  • United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP): Psychotherapeutic Counsellor and Psychotherapist
  • The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC): Art Therapist, Practitioner Psychologist (counselling or clinical psychologists)

Equivalence decision – for non-standard qualifications

As part of ACC’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, we have an equivalent process for those who are in the following circumstances:

  • Training and qualifications were gained outside of the UK.
  • Counselling qualifications were gained prior to the introduction of level 4 diplomas but can otherwise demonstrate meeting the required standard.
  • Circumstances that have caused an applicant to have a non-standard training journey but can otherwise demonstrate training and supervised practice that meets the required standard.

For the above situations applicants can apply for an equivalence decision. Please note there is a charge for this service.

Criteria for an Equivalence Decision
Application Form for an Equivalence Decision

Registrants who join via the equivalence decision route will be subject to a practice review within 2 years of joining the register.

Professional practice commitments

Being on the ACC register brings with it a commitment to safe practice and continuous professional development. These include following ACC’s Ethics and Practice, maintaining professional indemnity insurance, undertaking supervision appropriate to your practice and level of accreditation, completing at least 25 hours of continuous professional development activities each year, and being subject to ACC’s complaint process.

Each year when you renew your membership, you will need to reconfirm your commitment to working within ACC’s professional standards and ethics. You must also let us know about anything that could call into question these commitments, for example if a complaint is made against you.

Planned changes in education and training requirements

In February 2023 ACC adopted the Scope of Practice and Education Framework (SCoPEd) which has been developed in partnership with other counselling accredited registers. The framework and the full list of adopting partners can be accessed here.

This means that after an agreed period of transition, counsellors/psychotherapists applying to the ACC register will need to have completed a training that maps onto the SCoPEd framework. The earliest time that this will come into being is January 2026 as it will take time for counselling training providers to make the required changes. However, it is advised that students about to embark on training should make reference to the SCoPEd framework as they are selecting a training course and provider.

Practice break

Counsellors/psychotherapists who are eligible for the register and who are on a practice break may be able to join the register in preparation for commencing practice. If this applies to you, please contact the Registrar at to discuss this with us.

Anyone applying to ACC for the first time after a significant break will need to meet with us to discuss and agree a plan to return to practice.

Application process timings

Register applications normally take between seven and ten working days to process. Please note that these timescales are partly dependent on satisfactory references being received in a timely manner.

Apply now