Frequently Asked Questions

 Why do I have to undertake volunteering hours as part of the course?

The inclusion of volunteering is to ensure that you meet accreditation requirements.

 What activities can I carry out at volunteering agencies?

The types of activities you undertake as part of your volunteering must be counselling related – this includes helping people, serving the community, and supporting community organisations. The volunteer opportunity must allow you to interact with clients and utilise basic counselling skills, such as active listening and attending. You must not carry out face to face counselling.

 What are the minimum and maximum hours I can volunteer per day?

There are no minimum and maximum hours you are able to complete per day. The volunteer requirements are: 90 hours in B. Counselling and B. Counselling (Minor in Coaching) and 140 hours in B. Psychological Sciences and Counselling.

 If I am volunteering at an agency which has not been registered with ACAP for my volunteering hours, am I able to complete my placement at that same agency?

Yes, if they carry out one to one counselling. However, this agency cannot be used to complete any volunteering hours.

 Is it a conflict of interest to work with family?

Yes, you are unable to work with family in any capacity.

 Can I commence my placement even though I haven’t completed my volunteering hours?

No, you must complete your volunteering hours before you can commence your placement.

 Does my volunteering need to be related to the course I’m studying?

Yes, the volunteering activity must be counselling related and focused on helping people.

 I have many years’ experience working in the community sector where I use my counselling skills every day. Can I apply for RPL for the volunteering?

Volunteer hours cannot be backdated so you are unable to receive RPL/credit for completion of previous hours.

 I have worked as a counsellor for many years, having previously completed ACAP’s Diploma of Counselling. Can I apply for RPL for volunteering? If not, can I apply for RPL for the counselling placement?

Also, you cannot receive RPL for the counselling placement.

As previously stated, you cannot receive RPL for the volunteering hours.

 I am working full time, time poor, with a sick family and struggling financially. It will be very difficult for me to undertake mandatory volunteering.

It is understandable that students are concerned about the various requirements associated with completing the Counselling course. ACAP provides support to students. This includes: a flexible course schedule, and the opportunity to complete the volunteering hours over approximately two years.

 Where can I get additional information regarding the volunteering requirement of my Counselling degree?

For additional information regarding volunteering, please email:

 Can I do the unit ‘COUN2251 Service Learning for Counselling Preparation’ at the same place I volunteer?

No, you must complete all three activities – Volunteering, Service Learning, and Placement in different agencies.

 When do I have to complete my volunteering by?

You must complete your volunteering hours prior to commencing your placement you will be unable to start your placement until volunteering has been completed.

 Why can’t I do my placement at the same place as I do volunteering?

Volunteering on a site different from your placement site enables you to experience a range of helping related services.

 How is the Service-Learning different to volunteering?

The 50-hour Service Learning constitutes a component of the unit ‘COUN2251 Service Learning for Counselling Preparation’. Service learning differs from volunteering with an emphasis on reciprocation and benefits for both the student counsellor and community organisation. The service-learning placement project includes - Planning and undertaking a 50-hour professional service-learning project during the trimester. This 50-hour service-learning project contributes to the mandatory 340 hours of experiential training for the Australian Counselling Association accreditation.

 Am I graded or assessed on my volunteering? Or does it count toward my grade?

You are not graded for the volunteering undertaken however completion of the hours is mandatory.

  Are there assignments included in the volunteering?

No, there are no assignments however you must submit completed timesheets which have been signed off by the agency representative.

 Am I covered by insurance for my volunteering?

If you register your Volunteering with ACAP, you will be covered by ACAP Insurances.

 Does ACAP pay for my transport/particular clothing requirements at volunteer agencies?

ACAP does not pay for your transport costs or clothing requirements whilst undertaking your volunteering.

 If I have an idea for a volunteer agency but am unsure if it is ‘counselling related’ who can I ask to check?
 Can I undertake ‘group volunteering’ opportunities?

Yes, there are agencies that provide group volunteering opportunities. For example,

  • Wesley Youth Resilience Challenge (for groups of 20 to 100)
  • Wesley Homeless Food Challenge (for groups of 20 to 100)

For more information, click here.

  What if I feel unsafe or encounter some challenges or issues whilst volunteering? Who can I contact for support?

If at any time, you feel unsafe or encounter challenges whilst undertaking volunteering, please advise your agency representative and ACAP immediately.

 How will volunteering benefit me in my course/degree?

The volunteering component in the degree is mandatory for new students enrolling in BCouns/ BCouns (Minor in Coaching)/BPsychSiCouns courses from Trimester 1, 2020.

Volunteering enhances the skills of students in preparation for their ‘Service Learning’ project and attendance at their placement. It will also add great value to your CV and acts as a potential employment opportunity.