What is the ASCHP?

ASCHP LogoThere is a definite need for the regulation of the counselling profession nationally to ensure that all counselors:

  • practice within their scope of practice
  • behave ethically in a counselling environment
  • conform to minimum standards
  • know when to refer clients
  • understand psychological consequences for clients if counsellors are inadequately trained or overstep their scope of practice

The ASCHP is home to to a communicate of counsellors who practice in communities or as workplace-based counselors. The counselling provided by ASCHP counsellors can be found in various walks of life ranking from private counselors, through to counselors at schools, hospitals, call centers, and many more institutions throughout South Africa.

I am registered with the ASCHP, which is affiliated to both the Natural Healers Association and Council for Counsellors in South Africa. There are a number of functions that the ASCHP fulfills in accordance to its SAQA requirements. These are:

  • it has to be a legally constituted entity governed by a constitution to practice in accordance with good corporate governance principles
  • to make sure that the public interest is protected through the services that its members provide as well as the risks associated to it
  • ensure that professional designations are not only developed and awarded, but also monitored and revoked in terms of rules and regulations as well as legislation, international conventions and disciplinary measures
  • records must be kept of all members and these need to be submitted to SAQA with a specifically required set of personal information
  • can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) so that a application can be qualified for member registration in terms of formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience
  • ensure Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of its members through a set of criteria. This is to ensure that members enjoy ongoing professional training to stay up to date with all of the latest research and changes to legislation
  • a code of conduct and a set disciplinary mechanism must be in place to enable the reporting and investigation of members who contravene the code
  • fair admission of membership and objective recognition of educational providers needs to be practiced
  • members need to practice within their professional scope of practice
  • the public has access to the ASCHP and can request recommendations to registered counsellors in a specific geographical area

Specialist Wellness Counsellors are seen as part of primary health care. The spectrum of counselling covers a wide range of topics including counselling for addiction, trauma, lifestyle, marriage, individual, group, bereavement, hospice, HIV/AIDS and human development.

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