It is important to distinguish between the accreditation of programs and the certification of individuals, two separate processes that are frequently referred to as if they are one and the same. On the one hand, accreditation implies the setting of minimal standards which training programs must meet. In order to become accredited, a counsellor education program must fulfill certain requirements or standards with regard to institutional settings, program mission and objectives, program content, practicum experiences, student selection and advising, faculty qualifications and workload, program governance, instructional support, and self-evaluation. On the other hand, certification implies recognition that individuals have met minimal professional standards to practice independently as a counsellor. In order to be certified, counsellors must meet certain levels of education and training in counselling, they must follow the code of ethics, and they are held accountable to show competent and ethical performance in practice.
Accreditation of counselling programs was established in 1987. The main purposes of accreditation are:
- To promote high standards in the pre-service training of professional counsellors.
- To assist the administration and faculty of counsellor education programs to assess and improve their objectives, resources, and programs.
- To promote a continuing review and evaluation of existing counsellor education programs.
In order to administer its accreditation program, CCPA has established the Council on Accreditation of Counsellor Education Programs (CACEP) referred to simply as the Council on Accreditation.
The Board of Directors of the CCPA approved the CCPA Procedures and Standards for Counsellor Education Programs at the Master’s Level (Robertson & Borgen, 2002) to be used as a basis for evaluation of graduate programs in counsellor education. The procedures and materials outlined in this manual apply only to accreditation and not to certification.
The procedures and standards outlined in this manual are intended for universities seeking accreditation, on a voluntary basis, for counsellor education programs at the master’s degree level.
Students who have graduated from CACEP accredited programs are fast tracked through the certification procedure. These graduates do not need to provide course descriptions with their applications as these programs have already had their coursework evaluated and approved by the Registrar and Certification Committee.
Current CACEP accredited programs are:
|University||Program||Year of Accreditation||Year of Accreditation Expiry|
|University of British Columbia||M.A. Counselling Psychology||June 2006||November 2022|
|University of British Columbia||M.Ed Counselling Psychology||June 2006||November 2022|
|Acadia University||M.Ed in Counselling||March 2009||April 2022|
|Trinity Western University||M.A. Counselling Psychology||March 2012||November 2024|
|University of Victoria||MA Counselling Psychology (Thesis-based; on campus)||May 2017||December 2021|
|University of Victoria||MA Counselling Psychology (Project-based; on campus only)||May 2017||December 2021|
*Please note that this list is only programs that are fast-tracked for CCC through the CACEP program. Applicants who hold graduate degrees in counselling from other programs are still eligible to apply for CCC though they will be required to submit detailed course descriptions demonstrating how their degree aligns with CCPA requirements. No other programs are eligible to be fast-tracked through the evaluation process.