Who can apply for HKPCA membership?

Those who have counseling academic qualifications and practice experience or those who are interested in counseling are welcome to apply for our general membership. Different membership categories are approved according to the applicant’s academic credential and counseling practice experience. For details about criteria of membership categories, please refer to ”Membership Criteria”.

How to apply for HKPCA membership?

Please submit your application form online or by mail. Visit the ”Application”section on our website for online and paper application.

How long is the membership application process?

The processing time of application is at least 10 weeks on condition that all relevant supporting documents are provided. The Association will notify you by email the outcome of your application.

Why does it take so long for HKPCA to process a new application for membership ?

All new applications for HKPCA membership will have to go through the following 3 stages.

3 stages:

Stage 1

  • Preliminary check on the application form and supporting documents submitted, and the fee payment
  • Make sure that there are no missing data in the application form and supportive documents. The secretariat will ask the applicant to furnish missing data or documents;

Stage 2

  • Vetting among HKPCA Membership and Professional Standards Committee (MPSC) in one lot at its regular meetings conducted every 4-6 weeks
  • In cases of controversial or unclear information which needs further discussion in MPSC or supporting evidences from the applicant, the applicant will be informed to provide further documentation proof and the case will be treated as pending until further notice

Stage 3

  • Endorsement of MPSC’s recommended list of memberships qualifications by HKPCA Council at its regular meetings.
  • HKPCA Secretariat will notify the applicant about the result by email, with a reply slip to seek the applicant’s acceptance before proceeding request of annual membership fee, issuing membership card, and or certificate, official listing of members’ names and titles on HKPCA website.
  • Successful applicant, after full payment, can find their names listed online at our website (e.g. candidacy of certified counsellor)

The afore-said entire process will normally take at least 10 weeks, depending on whether there are missing information, further documentation needed and other complication in the application.  Applicants could contact the Secretariat by email directly to know about the status of his/her application after reasonable lead time. This lead time does not include any delay due to postage mis-delivered or insufficient postage fee.

Which membership categories will I be in?

There are several categories of membership in our Association. Applicants who have a Bachelor’s Degree or a Master’s Degree in Counseling or a related field are usually approved as “Member”.
Our Membership and Professional Standard Committee would recommend a membership category to the Council for approval, basing on individual academic qualification and professional experience. For details about criteria of membership categories, please refer to”Membership Criteria”.

What should I do if my personal information has changed?

It is strongly recommended to have a habit to update personal information by member ‘s own so that members will not miss any important news, event and benefits from us. All personal information update can be done on our website ”Member Login”area.  The username and password were mailed to you along with the certificate. If you forget the password, please click the “Forget Password” button. Then enter your username (membership number) and at least one phone number (mobile/office) for verification. The system will send you the password automatically to your registered email address after the identification process is done.

What are the counseling related academic qualifications?

Academic qualifications at the same level under the Qualifications Framework [Click] in Hong Kong with sufficient components in counseling theories, counseling skills and human development are considered as equivalents.

What is the charge of HKPCA Approved Supervisor?

The hourly rate of supervision fee depends on the supervisor’s qualification and experience, so no fixed recommended rate can be provided by our association. Please note that the supervision fee and other supervision arrangements should be negotiated between Approved Supervisors and supervisees.

Does HKPCA provide referral for counseling services?

HKPCA does NOT offer referral services. HKPCA does NOT and will NOT recommend any of our members to provide any counselling or supervision services.

Why does HKPCA require post-Master Degree counselling certification for application of Certified Counsellors ?

  • Basically, practicum in Master Degree Programmes in Counselling is essential and foundational in training of professional counsellors. And, post-Master Degree counselling practice with adequate supervision is equally important to ensure the competency of HKPCA Certified Counsellors  in rendering professional counselling services to their clients.
  • Such a requirement on practice-related experiences is tally with well-developed counselling professions in other countries such as UK and USA, in which qualified counsellors are required to meet the requirement of undergoing over 1,000 hours of post-Master Degree supervised counselling practice.

Why do applicants for Certified Counsellors are required to get supervision from Approved Counselling Supervisors to fulfil the post-Master counselling certification?

  • A list of Approved Counselling Supervisors (ACounS) has been accredited and recognized by HKPCA, based on specified requirements, as having relevant academic background as well as profound experiences in counselling practice and supervision. They are qualified to provide professional counselling supervision to HKPCA Certified Counsellors candidates.
  • The hourly pay rate of supervision is mutually agreed between the candidate and the supervisor, primarily based on the supervisor’s years of experience, reputation and expertise in specific counselling areas.
  • HKPCA has held a neutral role in recommending ACounS and declared no benefit in listing the ACounS in its official website: https://www.hkpca.org.hk/certification/hkpca-approved-supervisors-list/

How can I become a HKPCA listed Certified Counsellor? What basic requirements should I process?

One type of HKPCA professional membership is called “Certified Counsellor”.  This is regarded as professional membership,  a next step ahead from general membership.

The minimum requirements are (a) must be a HKPCA general membership; (b) HKPCA accredited master degree in counselling; and (c) completion of post-graduation counselling practice and supervision hours requested. 

Why do I need to apply as Candidate before I become a certified counsellor?

Becoming a Candidate for Certified Counsellor is highly recommended as this can ensure close monitoring of steady post-graduation progress in counselling practice and supervision within a consecutive 5-year period. Supervision and practice outside candidacy may not be accepted thus causing waste and delay.

How should I search for a suitable HKPCA listed supervisor?

HKPCA has a list of Approved Counselling Supervisors for you to choose from. Over half are readily available, while the others are negotiable. In addition to cost, time and location, matching counselling approaches are important. Some like to concentrate on a single approach, and some like to learn new approaches from different supervisors. Plan ahead to maximize your learning. Make sure you use HKPCA provided forms to sign contracts and keep records.

How to opt for the coverage limit of professional indemnity insurance?

Professional Indemnity Insurance covers HKPCA members’ Court compensation order and legal cost. It is commonly known that legal fee in Hong Kong is extremely expensive. Therefore, members should consider this special factor. Court judgement damages order includes victim’s loss (income loss before and after the court case, homecare and medical expenses, psychological pain (post trauma) and legal costs (both defendant’s legal cost and court cost), etc. Other factors include the nature of counselling services, the number of visits, fee charged, risk of being complained, income level, and most importantly the member’s comfort level, as we all want to have a peace of mind. Every insured member should provide the counselling service with the utmost sincerity and the absence of worry. Higher coverage limit will definitely uplift counsellors’ comfort level during their counselling work. We sincerely hope HKPCA member can consider the above factors before applying for the professional indemnity insurance.