Registered membership FAQs

Registered membership

You will need to record your name, address, email and phone number so that we can contact you in different ways as needed.

We also ask you for your date of birth as this can help verify your identity. We have no upper or lower age restrictions on membership.

We ask for information relating to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) however this is for reporting purposes only and you don’t have to give any information in this section of the application form.

You can save and return to the application as many times as you need to, so you don’t have to have everything ready before you start.

You will need to upload the following documents to complete and submit your application:

  • Scanned copy/photo of your certificate of qualifying training.
  • PDF/scan/photo of your insurance certificate or your policy details.
  • Evidence of any professional or religious title that you want to appear on the register, or that you use when advertising your counselling or psychotherapy services, for example: Rev; Dr.

If you have or have had membership of another accredited register, please fill in the details of your training to the best of your knowledge, and then upload a copy of your current registered or accredited membership of any of the accredited registers listed on our Join the ACC Register .

We will accept expired certificates of registered membership, as long as the expiry date is no longer than two years from the date of your application to join ACC.

Otherwise please contact us by emailing

ACC have an equivalence policy to cover this situation. Please see Join the ACC Register and read through the documents relating to equivalence decisions.

Otherwise please contact us by emailing

We recognise the benefits of clients seeking counselling across national boundaries, especially where they may seek a counsellor of their own nationality.

Applicants who meet the standards of the register are welcome to apply whether or not their main residence is in the UK. However, when working outside of the UK, the Professional Standards Authority quality mark cannot be used. Also, counsellors/psychotherapists need to conform to the licensing and financial regulations that apply in their country of residence.

Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion means that we will give careful consideration to applicants in these situations. Please contact us by emailing

It will not affect your application if you leave these sections blank.

Please answer these questions based on your current situation. You won’t be refused membership if you, for example have not yet registered with the ICO., and are in private practice. However, we may follow up on these matters with you.

Similarly, it is not possible for an individual to obtain an enhanced DBS check unless they work for an organisation. However, it’s helpful for us to know who has a DBS check and at what level, for example when helping a client find a suitable counsellor.

There are two references that are required, one from a professional and one from a Christian who knows you. On the application we ask you for your referees’ contact details and then we will email them and ask them to complete a short questionnaire.

Please note you must have permission from your referees to record their contact details on the application form. Their details will be retained with your record.

A professional referee can be from your supervisor, counselling employer/manager or course tutor. ACC contact them separately by email using the details you provide. Questions include: how long your referee has known you and whether there is anything ACC need to know about your counselling practice which might cause us concern.

A Christian sponsor is someone who can confirm that they know you to be a Christian. This is because we need to be assured that members of the public who would like to see a Christian counsellor or psychotherapist will encounter someone with an active faith. We will not be asking them to comment on the strength of your faith or church attendance.

A sponsor is normally someone in church leadership but can be someone else if you are between churches for example. We ask that your sponsor is not a family member or close friend.

We email sponsors and ask them how long they have known you and in what capacity. We ask them to confirm that, to the best of their knowledge, you are a Christian and whether they would have any concerns about you becoming a member of ACC.

If you have any further questions about who can act as a Christian sponsor for you, please contact us by emailing

It is very important that you are honest and answer these questions truthfully. If it is subsequently discovered that you have not been truthful on the application form, you will be removed from membership of ACC and other professional bodies may be informed.

If you say ‘Yes’ to any of the questions, an experienced member of staff will contact you in confidence and explain how any risks arising from your declaration will be assessed. There are no fixed rules; each case will be taken through the process on its own merits.

For example, if you have a conviction due to a driving offence, our concern will be whether this particular conviction presents a risk to current and future clients. Please see ACC’s Safeguarding and Restoration Policy.

Yes, many ACC counsellors/psychotherapists have trained in secular settings.

Yes, ACC counsellors/psychotherapists are qualified in many different approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. Some will have training in integrating religious and spiritual interventions in counselling practice; others will not. We expect that ACC counsellors/psychotherapists will work within their competence and scope of practice.

Yes, ACC counsellors/psychotherapists work in many different settings and even in Christian services or private practice, it is not always appropriate to self-disclose your faith.

Being on ACC’s accredited register is a recognised quality mark awarded through ACC by the Professional Standards Authority. ACC counsellors/psychotherapists are also situated within the SCoPEd Framework, which means that members are skilled and competent in mainstream counselling practice.

No member should be discriminated against in employment terms because they are a member of ACC.

The following sets out what will happen if there are any concerns about your application for being on ACC’s register.

Education and training standards

  • If an applicant has trained in the UK, and their education and training do not meet the educational standards required, then the applicant has an option to either re-apply through the equivalence route if they believe that they have relevant prior learning that could be considered, or agree with ACC what training they will need to have in order to meet the education and training standards.
  • If the applicant has trained outside of the UK, and has had an equivalence decision rejected, they can ask for an independent review of their application. There will be a charge for this service which will be refunded if the application review is successful.

Professional reference

  • If the applicant’s professional reference is unsatisfactory, ACC will meet with the applicant to discuss the concerns raised. If in the professional judgement of ACC, the applicant does not address the concerns adequately, ACC will uphold their decision. Otherwise, ACC will provide some suggestions as to what the applicant can do in order to address the concerns and the applicant can re-apply after a 12-month period.

Christian sponsor

  • Where an applicant cannot provide a Christian Sponsor, ACC will arrange a meeting to explore the applicant’s Christian faith identity with reference to ACC’s statement of faith. ACC reserve the right to refuse membership of ACC based on the applicant not satisfying ACC of their Christian faith identity. The applicant can re-apply after a 12-month period.

Safe practice

  • Where an applicant’s application indicates that there may be a risk to members of the public, for example, if an applicant had had a complaint upheld by another professional body, then ACC will evoke our Register Decisions Process. This involves an independent risk review, and where required a panel decision.