Designations and competencies

The current registered designations, as published in Government Gazette, are:


(1) Supportive Counsellor (Reg. ID  645)


(2) Holistic Counsellor (Reg. ID  646)


The Supportive counsellor is a skilled member of the ASCHP that has at least a basic training qualification in counselling on NQF 4 level (120 + credits) or equivalent.  The supportive counsellor normally works under qualified supervision in institutional settings such as churches, clinics, schools, hospitals, hospices, police stations, counselling practices or similar settings.

The Holistic Counsellor has NQF level 5-6 qualification and is competent to provide life skills counselling to clients. The term “holistic” is used in the context of an integrated approach based on the perspective that a client is dynamic physical-social-psychological-spiritual living system.  Hence, the Holistic Counsellor may make use of a range of applicable modalities such as talk-therapy, life-skills and wellness coaching, prayer and meditation, visualization, herbal support, somatic therapies and herbal and nutritional remedies.

The objective of holistic counselling is the general improvement of client wellbeing in personal, work or relational settings. A basic knowledge of psychology will provide the necessary competence to the holistic counsellor to identify possible psychopathologies for referral to a professional psychologist.

  • Wellness Counsellor/Coach. Is a member with an applicable  undergraduate graduate qualification on NQF level 7.


  • Specialist Wellness Counsellor/Coach. Is a member with an applicable  graduate qualification on NQF level 8.


Scope of Practice

The counsellor is bound to a specific scope of practice which is comprehensive but excludes psychotherapy, social work, medical health work and occupational therapy.

The generic scope of a life skills practice is that of wellness which includes, but is not limited to, providing support in interpersonal social relationships, spiritual growth, marital relationships, parental relationships, health related issues such as stress management, lifestyle management in prevention of chronic diseases, victim empowerment, domestic violence, trauma debriefing, household planning, HIV/AIDS, counselling, workplace adaptation, risk taking, study methods, management of anxiety and depression, substance abuse,  support of vulnerable people, meeting cultural issues and diversity in the workplace, improvement of employment prospects, support to people with disabilities, mental preparation for retirement, and any other general problem that people encounter in day to day living.

Holistic Counsellors work on primary health care level, and are as such obliged to terminate counselling and refer clients to a professional (doctor, psychologist, social worker or psychiatrist) where their counselling, with reference to possible pathology or dysfunction, falls outside the scope of their practice.

Counselling competencies within scope of practice include the ability…

  • To apply interpersonal skills by entering into a helping relationship.
  • To apply counselling tools and techniques to assist, support, guide, debrief and encourage a client in need.
  • To apply knowledge of health and wellness in a counselling context in order to screen for a health profile.
  • To manage a counselling consultation with reference to record keeping, confidentiality, ethical codes, legal requirements and professional conduct within own scope of practice.
  • To apply communication and numeracy skills in order to be able to analyse, interpret and evaluate information in a counselling context.


A counsellor is also required to demonstrate the following critical cross-field outcomes in counselling:

  • Identify and solve problems to make responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking in the counselling process.
  • Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organization or community.
  • Organize and manage him/herself and his/her activities responsibly and ethically with reference to scope of practice and ethical code of the profession.
  • Organize and manage a practice by keeping routine records of counselling interventions according to the work context.
  • Collect, organize and critically evaluate information in screening a client to determine needs and recommend appropriate interventions.
  • Communicate effectively with clients and colleagues.
  • Make use of science and technology in maintaining records in a database.
  • Demonstrate cultural, religious, gender, social standing and language sensitivity across a range of counselling contexts in applying knowledge of interpersonal relationships to enhance the effectiveness of the counselling process.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognizing that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the integration between human behaviour and health and wellness in terms of short term interventions and potential long term effects.
  • Reflect on and explore a variety of strategies to learn more effectively in reflecting on own practice.
  • Participate as a responsible citizen in the life of local, national and global communities in counselling within a structured environment.
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