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Current as of September 2012

Title – Counselling Therapist

Regulatory Authority  Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists

Type of Regulation – Title Protection


Indirect Client Hours
Duties related to a counselling practice – in administration, case note preparation, in-servicing, research as noted in the NSCCT Definition of Therapeutic Counselling.

Direct Client Hours
Hours in direct client counselling in personal, couple, family or group settings.

Supervision of Candidates has three components:

  1. To be conducted in accordance with the NSCCT “ Definition of ‘Practice of Therapeutic Counselling;
  2. To support and enhance reflection of the counsellor of his or her own work; and
  3. To provide opportunities for the candidate to review his or her own client casework with the guidance of the Supervisor.

Candidacy Supervisors must have their Registration, Masters level degree (as a minimum), and have been active practicing members of their profession for a minimum of three years in Nova Scotia after having attained their professional Registration or License.

They must currently have active practicing status with their regulatory body in Nova Scotia.

Individuals who are not registered with the NSCCT will be considered by the Registration Committee on a case by case basis.

Supervisors in administrative relationships to the Candidate, whose position involves evaluating job performance or assessing case management, are not suitable for evaluating the quality of therapy given to a client.

Practicum/Field Placement
Supervised Counselling Practicum with a minimum of 120 hours of direct client counselling – (compulsory) – Involves professional development and supervised practice in a counselling context. Students are expected to be involved in direct work with clients (individual, family, and/or group counselling) under the supervision of a qualified professional. It is strongly recommended that at least 20 hours of direct client counselling is offered in group settings. These hours may include co-facilitation experiences.

At least 120 hours (150 hours by September 1, 2013) of direct client contact1 are required in a supervised practicum. It is strongly recommended that at least 20 of the direct client contact hours are in group settings. These hours may include co-facilitation experiences.

Scope of Practice

The practice of counselling therapy” means rendering to individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, corporations, schools or other institutions, government agencies or the general public a service that integrates diverse models of human behaviour, such as clinical, pathology, wellness, cross-cultural and other recognized models through a combination of counselling, appraisal and assessment, consulting, referral and research.



  • Completion of a counselling-therapy education program. A master’s level counselling degree, or equivalent as approved by the Board.
  • Equivalent programs approved by the Board meet the following criteria. The program is obtained from a government-authorized degree granting institution in Canada or a degree-granting institution in another country that has been recognized or authorized by a governmental or other authority approved by the Board and the program is subject to the oversight of a recognized external academic authority recognized and approved by the Board.
  • Completion of an ethics course as part of a counselling education program, or an ethics workshop approved by the Registration Committee, or and ethics exam approved by the Registration Committee.
  • Compulsory graduate level (Masters Level) courses. Counselling Theory, Supervised Counselling Practicum, Professional Ethics, Counselling Skills. Graduate level course work in a minimum of four of the following areas. Assessment Processes, Counselling in Specialized Settings, Counselling Intervention Strategies, Consultation Methods, Diversity Issues, Gender Issues, group Counselling, Human Development and Learning, Lifestyle and Career Development, Psychological Education, Research and Evaluation.



Counselling Therapist
Supervised practicum/ internship (within or beyond educational preparation program). Supervised practicum with 120 direct client hours.

RCT Candidate :

  • 2 years of supervised experience which must include 2000 hours; 800 must be in individuals, couples, groups.
  • 50 hours direct contact with supervisor (25 must be face-to-face; others within a secure platform).
  • Practicum supervisor is not an eligible supervisor for RCT candidates.

Not Required.


Proficiency in English.


Criteria for Registration 

  • Completed application form and prescribed fee.
  • Completion of Master Level counselling education-therapy program.
  • No outstanding complaints or licensing sanctions from any jurisdiction where the applicant previously practiced counselling therapy.
  • Demonstration of English language proficiency in a manner required by the registrar. • Meeting the criteria for entry into the active practicing roster, or the active practicing with conditions or restrictions or the active practicing candidate roster.
  • Completion of the ethics requirement.
  • Completion of the supervised practicum or internship within a counselling-therapy program or after completing the program.
Disqualification Considerations

(Disclosure of information requirement):

  • Criminal charges / Vulnerable Persons Act / Abuse Registry
  • Professional conduct issues
QA/Continuing Education

12 hour requirement per year (6-hour carry-over per year).

Misconduct Regulations

Professional Conduct

  • A complaint can be sent to the Registrar. Upon receiving a complaint the Registrar must send copies to the respondent and the Complaints Committee.
  • The Complaints Committee may appoint and investigator who may investigate the matter or resolve the complaint in the interests of the respondent, the complainant, the public and the College.
  • When the investigator is finished he/she will prepare a report for the Complaints Committee with a copy to the respondent.
  • When the matter is referred to the Complaints committee it must do 1 of the following: dismiss the complaint or provide the complainant, respondent and others the opportunity to appear before the complaints committee to make representations, determine that the subject matter is outside the jurisdiction of the College or frivolous in nature.
  • After the Complaints Committee has given the parties the opportunity to appear before the Committee it may require the respondent to submit to disciplinary examinations, submit to a review the respondent’s practice, complete a competence assessment or produce any records kept at the respondent’s practice.
  • After the Complaints committee has given the parties the opportunity to appear before the committee the committee must do one of the following: dismiss the complaint, counsel the respondent, caution the respondent, with the respondent’s consent, order a reprimand, place restrictions or Conditions on the license, refer the matter to the Professional conduct committee, or informally resolve the complaint.
  • A settlement proposal may be tendered in writing by the respondent to the complainant. It must include an admission of 1 or more of the allegations and consent to a specified disposition conditional upon acceptance of the Complaints and Professional Conduct Committee.
  • The Complaints Committee may recommend acceptance of the settlement proposal if the following criteria are met: the public is protected, the conduct or causes have been remediated or treated, the respondent is likely to successfully pursue remediation or treatment and the settlement is in the interests of the public and the profession.
  • If the Complaints Committee accepts the proposal it must send it to the Professional Conduct Committee for consideration.
  • If the Complaints Committee does not recommend acceptance it must recommend changes for acceptance or rejection or reject the proposal and forward the complaint to the Professional Conduct Committee.
  • If the Professional Conduct Committee accepts the settlement proposal it disposes of the matter or if it does not accept the proposal it suggests amendments for review and the parties may accept or reject it or rejects the proposal and forwards the matter to another panel for a hearing.
  • A respondent who does not contest the allegations or admits to some or all of the allegations may, with the consent of the College, ask the Profession Conduct Committee to revoke the respondent’s licence.
  • A notice of hearing must be served in accordance with the Act, sent by mail including details of the charges, time and place of the hearing and the right of the respondent to be represented by legal counsel, a union representative or other representative.
  • The College must give public notice of the hearing.
  • Hearing procedures include: the complainant cannot participate as a party, the Professional Conduct Committee may determine additional rules, witnesses must testify under oath or affirmation and the Professional Conduct Committee may require the respondent to do 1 of the following during a hearing: submit to mental or physical examinations, submit to a review of their practice, submit to a competence assessment, produce any records kept at their practice.
  • If a respondent fails to comply with a request or fails to attend a meeting suspension another action may be taken.
  • If the Professional Conduct Committee finds professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming the profession, incompetence or incapacity on the part of the respondent the committee must dispose of the matter and include orders that may, revoke, suspend, authorize a resignation, impose restrictions or conditions, issue a reprimand, direct the member to study, pay a fine and publish or disclose its findings in accordance with the Act.
  • The Professional Conduct Committee must prepare a written report of its disposition including the reasons for its decision in accordance with the Act.