FDAP's National Counsellor Accreditation Certificate (NCAC) scheme offers professional certification for counsellors working with people with problematic alcohol and other drug use. It provides externally validated accreditation for therapists working with addictions, giving strong quality assurance for potential and existing clients.

NCAC accreditation gives me the opportunity to let my clients know I am serious about keeping my knowledge up-to-date in the addictions field. 

Criteria for accreditation

You can apply for accreditation if you provide counselling or psychotherapy to individual people, couples, groups or families and can provide satisfactory evidence to meet the following 6 criteria.

1st Criterion: FDAP Membership Applicants must be Individual or Associate Members of FDAP

2nd Criterion: Insurance

You should be covered by agency and/or personal professional indemnity insurance for all of your counselling/therapeutic practice. A copy of insurance certificate(s) will be required at application stage. 

3rd Criterion: Professional Practice

Practicing counselling or psychotherapy when you submit your application.

4th Criterion: Routes

You should have undertaken training and clinically supervised practice to meet ONE of the following three routes.

ROUTE ONE

Accredited Course

You have been awarded a qualification from a FDAP accredited training course:

AND

Professional Practice requirement:

  • Have been in practice at least three years when you apply for accreditation, 1.5 years of which have been in the substance use/addictions field.
  • Have at least 400 hours of supervised practice accumulated within three to six years, of which 250 hours should be in the addictions field. They do not have to be consecutive years.
  • Have been supervised for at least 1½ hours per month throughout the periods of practice submitted.

More information about training requirements.

ROUTE TWO

You have successfully completed one validated programme of learning leading to an award at Higher Education level 5 (or equivalent), or at a higher level, for practitioner training in generic counselling and/or psychotherapy validated by a recognised college or university, that:

  • Included at least 450 hours of tutor contact hours of which 100 hours teaching* must be related to drug, alcohol, gambling and related addictions.  If not included in the 450 hours basic training package this should be evident in subsequent Continued Professional Development (CPD).

    The teaching must include: the psychology of addictive behaviours, including both individual processes and socially influenced processes.

    There should also be training in methodologies that are recognised to be applicable in addiction counselling including, Motivational interviewing, Cognitive Behavioural therapy for substance abuse, and Mindfulness Based therapies including Mindfulness based Relapse Prevention,  Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

  • Was carried out over at least two years (part-time) or one year (full-time)
  • Had supervised practice as an integral part of the training
  • Covered theory, skills, professional issues and personal development

More information about training requirements.

In addition you must either hold FDAP Drug and Alcohol Professional Certification, or demonstrate competence in the following NOS units.

AND

Professional Practice requirement:

  • Have at least 400 hours of supervised practice accumulated within three to six years, of which 250 hours should be in the addictions field*. They do not have to be consecutive years
  • Have been supervised for at least 1½ hours per month throughout the period of practice submitted
  • Have been in practice at least three years when you apply for accreditation – of which 1.5 yrs should be in the addictions field

* Any attendance at conferences should not be included in the 100 hours as outlined above..

ROUTE THREE

Have a portfolio of at least 450 hours of training at Higher Education level 5 (or equivalent), or at a higher level, in more than one programme of learning, and equivalent in breadth and depth to that described in Route TWO above. The training will have been validated by recognised college(s) or university(ies), and should normally have been obtained over a period of no more than 10 years, and in excess of 1 year (full-time), and two years (part-time). It should also include:

  • substantial clinically supervised practice as an integral part of the training, with overall supervision from the college(s), university(ies) concerned.
  • theory, skills, professional issues and personal development
  • In addition, at least 450 hours of tutor contact hours of which 100 hours teaching* must be related to drug, alcohol, gambling and related addictions.  If not included in the 450 hours basic training package this should be evident in subsequent Continued Professional Development (CPD).

    The teaching must include: the psychology of addictive behaviours, including both Individual processes and socially influenced processes.

    There should also be training in methodologies that are recognised to be applicable in addiction counselling including, Motivational interviewing, Cognitive Behavioural therapy for substance abuse, and Mindfulness Based therapies including Mindfulness based Relapse Prevention,  Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

More information about training requirements.

AND

Professional Practice Requirement

  • Have been in practice at least three years when you apply for accreditation - 1.5 yrs in substance use/addiction field
  • Have at least 400 hours of supervised practice accumulated within three to six years, of which 250 hours should be in the addictions field (see*above). They do not have to be consecutive years
  • Have been supervised for at least 1½ hours per month throughout the period of practice submitted.

In addition you must either hold FDAP Drug and Alcohol Professional Certification, or demonstrate competence in the following NOS units.

* Any attendance at conferences should not be included in the 100 hours as outlined above.

5th Criterion: Supervision

You have an ongoing contract for counselling/psychotherapy clinical supervision for a minimum of 1½ hours per month for each month in which practice is undertaken.

6th Criterion: Reflective Practice

You must demonstrate the following:

Knowledge and understanding

Your Philosophy and Approach to Counselling within the addictions field.

  • Describe the theory and application of your personal approach when working with (as applicable):
    • Individuals
    • Couples
    • Groups
  • Describe the place of your self-awareness within your way of working

Practice

In your case material you must demonstrate:

  • Exercise of the broader professional responsibilities as illustrated in the core functions
  • Your use of self-awareness in the therapeutic relationship
  • How your practice illustrates your awareness of issues of difference and equality and the impact they have on your counselling / psychotherapy relationships
  • Use of the FDAP's code of practice for drug and alcohol professionals.

Supervision

In your case material demonstrate how supervision influences your practice by:

  • Describing the awareness you have gained through reflection in and on supervision
  • Showing how you apply that awareness in your practice

How to apply

To apply for NCAC Accreditation please see the application guidance.

More information

For information about the assessment process

NCAC accreditation is valid for three years, after which members must apply for reaccreditation

NCAC accreditation provides complementary evidence of competence for FDAP Drug and Alcohol Professional Certificate Accreditation. Those successful in their application are able to achieve this for an additional fee of £25.