Affiliation and Designated Affiliation – new applications

A comprehensive demarcation of the profession consists of a full description of the scope of practice of clearly specified designations registered on the NQF by SAQA. As defined by SAQA, a “professional designation means a title or status conferred by a professional body in recognition of a person’s expertise and/or right to practise in an occupational field.”

This consistent structure of designations enables a concrete career path for practitioners. Furthermore, career path development can be based on a formal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Registration with CPSC automatically implies affiliation with ACRP. However, note that this registration is with ACRP/CPSC and not with SAQA itself.

The ACRP designations and CPSC subcategories

The table below indicates the four ACRP designations, the seven CPSC subcategories, qualification required as well as its level in terms of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

ACRP designationCPSC subcategoryQualificationNQF level
Religious Practitioner1Religious Practitioner in Christian Pastoral Caregiving Basic course in the field of Pastoral and Spiritual Caregiving-
Advanced Religious Practitioner2Advanced Religious Practitioner in Christian Pastoral CaregivingQualification in the field of Pastoral and Spiritual Caregiving4
Religious Professional3Basic Religious Professional in Christian Pastoral CounsellingHigher Certificate or Diploma in the field of Pastoral and Spiritual Counselling5 or 6
4Intermediate Religious Professional in Christian Pastoral CounsellingBachelors degree in Religious Studies/Theology, Pastoral Counselling  focussed7
5Advanced Religious Professional in Christian Pastoral CounsellingHonours degree in Religious Studies/Theology, Pastoral Counselling  focussed8
Religious Specialist6Religious Specialist in Christian Pastoral CounsellingMasters degree in the field of Pastoral and Spiritual Counselling9
7Advanced Religious Specialist in Christian Pastoral CounsellingDoctoral degree in the field of Pastoral and Spiritual Counselling10

Levels of CPSC affiliation

The three levels of CPSC affiliation are as follows:

CPSC Designated Affiliation

Designated Affiliation is for an applicant who has the required SAQA registered South African qualifications or SAQA verified /evaluated foreign qualifications in pastoral counselling as well as the necessary experience to apply for a designation. A CPSC subcategory in Christian pastoral counselling or care is awarded after individual evaluation with a corresponding ACRP formal NQF registered designation. The outcome is based on applicable qualifications as stipulated above, supervision hours and practical hours. A specific registered Scope of Practice in Christian pastoral counselling or care is linked to each of the seven CPSC subcategories. 20 compulsory CPSC CPD points per year apply to all CPSC designated affiliates. The CPSC CPD evaluation committee evaluates submitted courses, workshops and other events and awards CPSC CPD points specifically based on hourly pastoral counselling content. Designated affiliation indicates that all the requirements for the awarded designation are met and that the affiliate is expected to adhere to the appropriate Scope of Practice and CPSC CPD requirements.

CPSC Associated Affiliation

Only 2 groups of people qualify and may apply for Associated Affiliation

(a) The applicant is committed to the CPSC objective but is not actively involved in any counselling. Pensioners no longer in active practice but still committed to the CPSC objective can also apply for (or change to) this category. No compulsory CPSC CPD points or Scope of Practice apply to this category as no counselling is involved.

(b) The applicant is both qualified for and actively involved in counselling but is registered with a South African statutory council and has received a registered counselling scope of practice from that council. The applicant therefore does not need a designation with CPSC. Many counsellors, who are registered with a statutory council, join CPSC/ACRP to add the Christian character of CPSC/ACRP to their existing practice profile. No compulsory CPSC CPD points apply to this type of affiliation as this applicant will already have to comply with the CPD requirements of the statutory council. No scope of practice is awarded by CPSC.

CPSC Student Affiliation

A full time registered student in pastoral counselling studies at an accredited training institution qualifies for this type of affiliation.

No compulsory CPSC CPD points apply to this category. Student affiliates have no scope of practice.

The Association of Christian Religious Practitioners (ACRP) is the professional body for:

  • The Council for Pastoral and Spiritual Counsellors (CPSC)
  • The Council for General Ministry Practitioners (CGMP)
  • The Council for Ministry Training Practitioners (CMTP)

This website is focused on the specialist council specifically for Pastoral Counselling in South Africa. For more information in the other specialist areas, see the ACRP website.

To ensure registration in the proper council, Christian religious practitioners should carefully consider the relevant specialist area that they are trained for, qualified in and are currently practicing in. Application for the wrong council may lead to unnecessary delay.