DESIGNATIONS AND SCOPE OF PRACTICE
Designations and competencies
The ASCHP is a SAQA recognized professional body with designations listed on the National Qualifications Framework, NQF Act 67 of 2008. The following designations, aligned to qualifications, are available at the ASCHP:
|Designation||NQF Reg. No.||NQF Level|
|Candidate for membership||Candidates awaiting a designation||NA|
|Specialist Holistic Counsellor||-Not designated yet||6|
|Specialist wellness counsellor||896||8|
|Open||9 & 10|
The ASCHP is the only recognized professional body in the domain of wellbeing that covers the modalities of ethnomedicine (folk and traditional herbalism), counselling, lifestyle management and screening. The value for you as a member to belong to a recognized professional body is set out as follows:
A PB provides: “The recognition of PB will contribute to strengthening social responsiveness and accountability within the professions and promoting pride in association for all profession.” Joe Samuels (CEO, SAQA). Benefits include:
- Professional status, practice guidelines & scope of practice
- Access to legal protection and ethical code
- Occupational recognition in the public eye
- Continuous Professional Development (CPD’s)
- Network links & income opportunity
- Learning pathways for further study
- Career potential and fulfilment (job opportunities)
- Indemnity insurance
The following designations are now registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF Act 69 of 2008)
- Supportive Counsellors
who work as helpers in counselling settings and are qualified as counsellors on at least NQF level 4. They normally work under supervision in an institutional setting such as a church, school, clinic or hospital, police station as trauma counsellors and similar settings.
- Holistic Counsellors
who practice integrative counselling and are qualified at least on NQF level 5 and 6.
- Wellness Counsellor
who work using a systems approach to counselling and are qualified as counsellors on at least NQF level 7.
- Specialist Wellness Counsellor
who work using a systems approach to counselling and are qualified as counsellors on at least NQF level 8+.
Counsellors who work in an integrative counselling setting. They follow a comprehensive approach to minister to the total person –
body, soul and spirit.
This is in line with WHO policies that define health as a positive state of physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing.
The objective of the professionalization of the counselling profession include:
- The promotion of public understanding of, and trust in, the counselling profession.
- To promote pride in association for all professions
- Encourage social responsibility and accountability with the counselling profession relating to professional services communities and individuals.
- Promote the protection of the public from malpractice related to the fulfilment of the professional duties and responsibilities
- Encourage international leading practice and raising of esteem for the counselling profession
- Facilitate access to, and analysis of data related to professions
- Support the development of a national career advice system
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.