1.1 Recognising that counselling and psychotherapy has become universally established as an approach to the solution and management of individual, couple, and family problems, issues, and concerns related to mental wellness; and
1.2 Recognising that counsellors are members of many different professional groups with different training standards and with different techniques; and
1.3 Committing ourselves to the goal of assisting other human beings to achieve greater psychological well-being;
1.4 It is decided to form an Association.
2.1 The name of the Association (hereinafter called “The Association”) shall be the Singapore Association for Counselling.2.2 The place of business of the Association shall be at the Work Central Offices Pte Ltd, 190 Clemenceau Avenue, #06-01, Singapore 239924 or at any other address as may from time to time be decided by the Executive Committee, subject to the approval of the general membership and the Registrar of Societies
- To promote the professional practice of counselling.
- To encourage the development and advancement of professional counselling as a mental health discipline in Singapore.
- To promote and assist in the research on counselling theories and practice.
- To promote and reinforce high standards in education and training, professional ethics, competency and growth.
- To promote and enhance public awareness of the profession of counselling.
- To foster co-operation and sharing of information and experience among professionals of different counselling approaches and specialties.
- To organise, participate in arranging and providing for conferences, workshops, exhibitions, business and social meetings, lectures and discussions on subjects of interest to persons interested in counselling, and also for conduct and publication of research relevant to counselling;
- To print, publish and circulate papers, treatise, books, pamphlets, leaflets or communications to the Association, and proceedings and accounts of the Association;
- To keep a Register of members, their qualifications and appointments, and particulars of their professional experience;
- To act as trustee of any trusts established solely or principally for purpose similar or related to the aims of the Association; and
- To consider and advise on any question of policy related to the practice of counselling referred to it for consideration by any member of the Association or by any other body/agency (government, non-government, public or private sector).
4.1 The Association shall consist of: a) Fellow Members b) Master Clinical Members c) Clinical Members d) Provisional Clinical Members e) Allied Members f) Student Members g) Associate Members
4.2 FELLOW MEMBERS4.2.1 Fellow membership shall be conferred through nomination and approval at Annual General Meeting. 4.2.2 Fellow membership shall be jointly nominated by at least three (3) Fellow, Master Clinical or Clinical members and proposed as an agenda item at Annual General Meeting. 4.2.3 A Fellow member should have fulfilled all the following requirements:
- Be a member in good standing
- Holds the Master Clinical Membership for a minimum of ten (10) years.
- Has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of counselling knowledge or practice either by research, teaching, publications, or clinical work (Published journal papers, chapters, books, conference presentations, established clinical practice, teaching awards etc.).
- Has performed distinctive service to the Association (Executive committee, Subcommittees, Organising committees, Standing committees etc.).
4.2.4 Fellow members shall be entitled to use the post nominal letters: FSAC4.3 MASTER CLINICAL MEMBERS 4.3.1 The Master Clinical membership is granted through application to and approval by the Executive Committee. 4.3.2 Application for Master Clinical membership is to be made on the prescribed form and formally supported by at least three (3) Fellow, Master Clinical or Clinical members. 4.3.3 Application for Master Clinical membership is to be accompanied by documentary proof of training and supervision hours conducted by applicant. 4.3.4 A Master Clinical member should have fulfilled all the following requirements:
- Be a member in good standing
- Holds the Clinical Membership for a minimum of five (5) years.
- Holds the registration on the SAC Register of Counsellors for a minimum of four (4) years.
- Has conducted one hundred (100) hours of training / supervision in counselling.
4.3.5 Master Clinical members shall be entitled to use the post nominal letters: MMSAC4.4 CLINICAL MEMBERS 4.4.1 The Clinical membership is granted through application to and approval by the Executive Committee. 4.4.2 Application for Clinical membership is to be made on the prescribed form and formally supported by at least two (2) character referees. 4.4.3 A Clinical member should have fulfilled all the following requirements:
- Has completed an SAC recognised course in counselling or its equivalent.
- Holds current registration on the SAC Register of Counsellors.
4.4.4 Clinical members shall be entitled to use the post nominal letters: CMSAC4.5 PROVISIONAL CLINICAL MEMBERS 4.5.1 The Provisional Clinical membership is granted through application to and approval by the Executive Committee. 4.5.2 Application for Provisional Clinical membership should be made on the prescribed form and formally supported by at least two (2) character referees. 4.5.3 Application is to be accompanied by a declaration of intent in working towards registration on the SAC Register of Counsellors on the prescribed form. 4.5.4 A Provisional Clinical member should have fulfilled all the following requirements:
- Be a member in good standing.
- Has completed an SAC recognised course in counselling or its equivalent.
- Is working towards registration on the SAC Register of Counsellors.
4.6 ALLIED MEMBERS4.6.1 The Allied membership is granted through application to and approval by the Executive Committee. 4.6.2 Application for Allied membership should be made on the prescribed form and formally supported by at least two (2) character referees 4.6.3 An Allied member should have fulfilled all the following requirements:
- Holds an undergraduate / postgraduate degree in Counselling, Human Services, Psychology, Social Work or its equivalent.
- Is working in a counselling-related position.
4.7 STUDENT MEMBERS4.7.1 The student membership is granted through application to and approval by the Executive Committee. 4.7.2 Student members shall be undertaking a SAC recognised course in counselling at the time of application. 4.7.3 Application is to be accompanied by a confirmation of studentship in writing from the educational institution in which he is enrolled. 4.8 ASSOCIATE MEMBERS 4.8.1 Associate membership is open to any persons with a keen interest in counselling and holds qualification(s) at the tertiary level. 4.8.2 The Associate membership is granted through application to and approval by the Executive Committee. 4.8.3 Application for Associate membership is to be made on prescribed form and formally supported by at least one (1) character referee. 4.9 MEMBERSHIP PRIVILEGES 4.9.1 Fellow, Master Clinical and Clinical members as specified in Clauses 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 shall have voting rights at Annual General Meetings and shall be eligible to hold office in the Executive Committee and/or to Chair Boards and/or Subcommittees. 4.9.2 Provisional Clinical and Allied members as specified in Clauses 4.5 and 4.6 shall have voting rights at Annual General Meetings but shall neither be eligible to hold office in the Executive Committee nor Chair Boards and/or Subcommittees. 4.9.3 Student and Associate members as specified in Clauses 4.7 and 4.8 shall not have any voting rights at Annual General Meetings and shall neither be eligible to hold office in the Executive Committee nor Chair Boards and/or Subcommittees. 4.9.4 All members shall be eligible to be appointed by the Executive Committee to serve on Boards and/or Subcommittees, subject to the requisites and recommendations of the corresponding Chairperson(s).
5.1.1 The Association shall organise and maintain the SAC Register of Counsellors.
5.1.2 The Register of Counsellors Board shall be appointed by the Executive Committee. The function of the Register of Counsellors Board is to register counsellors who are practicing or would like to practise in Singapore. The Register of Counsellors Board shall comprise the following:
- Two (2) or more SAC Fellow, Master Clinical or Clinical Members who shall be appointed by the Executive Committee.
- Four (4) or more Registered Counsellors who shall be appointed by the Executive Committee.
- The Honorary Secretary or Assistant Honorary Secretary of the Association.
- At the discretion of the Executive Committee, up to four (4) members from outside the Association, representing relevant government agencies and Ministries, when it deems necessary.
5.1.3 The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Register of Counsellors Board shall be decided by members of the said Board at the beginning of each term. The Executive Committee shall be formally informed of the decision.
5.1.4 The Honorary Secretary or Assistant Honorary Secretary of the Association shall not occupy the office of Chairperson or Vice Chairperson of the Register of Counsellors Board.
5.2 REGISTRANTS OF THE SAC REGISTER OF COUNSELLORS
5.2.1 The intended registrant shall be a Clinical Member of the Association in good standing; or is currently an applicant for Clinical membership of the Association; and shall satisfy the Register of Counsellors Board that they have approved training and experience in counselling in accordance with the requirements set out in 5.2.2.
5.2.2 The intended registrant shall be a graduate from an accredited institute of higher learning and has also completed recognised training courses in counselling theory. The counselling content (of a minimum of three hundred (300) contact hours altogether) must include:
- Counselling Theory, which includes the principles, concepts, and practice of counselling and orientation to basic counselling models;
- Counselling Content Areas may include: Human Growth and Development, Helping Relationships, Group work, Psychometric Assessments and Research, Career and Lifestyle Development, Professional Orientation and Ethics, Marriage and Family Work and other specialization topics.
- Counselling Practicum or Internship as part of the degree programme, which includes a minimum of one hundred (100) hours in the practice of face-to-face counselling under supervision of an SAC Registered Counsellor or SAC Registered Clinical Supervisor, or a Clinical Supervisor approved by the institute. The supervision will consist of at least one (1) hour of supervision for each ten (10) hours of counselling practice.
- The intended registrant must complete six hundred (600) hours of face-to-face counselling within a minimum period of two (2) years, subject to a maximum of three (3) years. This time period need not start immediately after graduation but must consist of one (1) block period of time that is completed within seven (7) years upon graduation, beyond which, the Register of Counsellors Board shall have discretion to make recommendations to the Executive Committee on a case-by-case basis. The recording of hours will begin only when coursework has been completed, and that only hours clocked within the most recent three (3) years from the date of intended membership application will be accepted. The supervision must be provided by a SAC Registered Counsellor or SAC Registered Clinical Supervisor or its equivalent. The supervision will consist of at least one (1) hour of supervision for each ten (10) hours of counselling practice.
5.2.3 Registrants are entitled to style themselves as SAC Registered Counsellors and use the post nominal letters: RegCLR
5.3 RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION
5.3.1 The registration of a SAC Registered Counsellors shall be renewed every two (2) years.
5.3.2 For each two (2) year period registered as a SAC Registered Counsellor, the registrant shall complete fifty (50) hours of continuing professional development (CPD) as described below.
- The continuing professional development (CPD) is based upon actual hours accumulated through Formal Learning and/or a combination of Formal Learning and accepted CPD hours attributed to Professional Contribution Activities illustrated in 5.3.2 (b).
- The fifty (50) hours of continuing professional development (CPD) activities can consist solely of Formal Learning or a combination of Formal Learning and Professional Contribution Activities. Formal Learning is defined as participation in workshops, seminars, or training in counselling or a closely related field. Up to twenty-five (25) hours of the CPD requirement can be met through Professional Contribution Activities including:
- Regular service in professional committees related to counselling or a closely related field within governmental or non-governmental organizations. Involvement in each committee is accepted for five (5) CPD hours regardless the actual hours of involvement and/or
- Conducting professional training in counselling or a closely related field. Each training workshop/module conducted is accepted for five (5) CPD hours regardless the actual training hours and/or
- Authorship in professional or academic articles. Each article published in a professional publication is accepted for three (3) CPD hours and each article published in a peer-reviewed academic journal is accepted for ten (10) CPD hours.
- Either a photocopy of the certificate of attendance or a written letter confirming the participation or service rendered suffice as evidence of involvement in the continuing professional development (CPD) activity.
- The evidence of the fifty (50) actual hours is to be presented to the Register of Counsellors Board, where requested.
5.3.3 For each two (2) year period registered as a SAC Registered Counsellor, the registrant shall submit on the prescribed form a declaration that he/she has completed at least four hundred (400) hours of clinical work as described below. The log is to be presented to the Register of Counsellors Board, where requested.
- Clinical work shall consist of the provision of counselling (individual, couple, family, group, etc.) and/or crisis/hotline counselling and/or counselling skills training and/or clinical supervision. These hours may be provided via face-to-face, or video means and up to 30% from provision of crisis/hotline counselling and counselling skills training.
5.3.4 Notwithstanding 5.3.2 and 5.3.3, each SAC Registered Counsellors shall maintain active membership in the Association at the level of Clinical Member or above during the period of registration.
5.4 REMOVAL FROM THE REGISTER
5.4.1 A registrant may be suspended or removed from the SAC Register of Counsellors in accordance with 5.4.2 or 5.4.3.
5.4.2 A registrant may be removed from the SAC Register of Counsellors by written notice from the Register of Counsellors Board if the registrant does not complete the continuing education requirement and/or the clinical work requirement as stipulated in 5.3.2 and 5.3.3. 5.4.3 A registrant shall be automatically suspended or removed from the SAC Register of Counsellors if the registrant:
- Ceases to meet qualifications specified in 5.2
- Is found by the Board or the Association to have engaged in immoral, dishonorable, unprofessional, or unethical conduct, and such conduct is deemed to compromise the integrity of the Register; or
- Is found to be guilty of an unlawful act involving conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals by a court of competent jurisdiction.
5.4.4 A registrant who has been removed from the SAC Register of Counsellors in accordance with 5.4.2 may be reinstated when he/she is able to satisfy the Register of Counsellors Board that he/she has met the requirements set out in 5.3.2 and 5.3.3.
5.4.5 The period which 5.4.4 could take effect is two (2) years from the time of removal from the SAC Register of Counsellors, after which a new application for registration has to be submitted.
5.4.6. A registrant who does not maintain his/her clinical membership with the Association as stipulated in 5.3.4 will have his/her registration suspended.
5.4.7 A registrant who has his/her registration suspended according to 5.4.6 for more than six (6) months will be permanently removed from the SAC Register of Counsellors.
5.5 PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY
5.5.1 All registrants must show evidence of professional indemnity coverage when they apply for new registration or renew their registration with the SAC Register of Counsellors.
7.1 The subscriptions payable by the members shall be prescribed at the Annual General Meeting of members from time to time.
7.2 Any member whose subscription is in arrears after due notice has been sent to the member’s address as shown in the Register of Members, membership will be automatically terminated. Terminated membership may at the discretion of the Executive Committee be reinstated with the repayment of arrears and an admin fee levied, provided the request for reinstatement occurs within the calendar year, up to the succeeding year of membership being terminated.
7.3 The election of a member shall not become effective until the appropriate subscription payable on such election has been paid.
7.4 Any member may resign from the Association by informing the Executive Committee in writing that the member wishes to resign. The member shall cease to be a member at the termination of the period covered by the member’s current subscription unless the member shall withdraw the member’s resignation before that date.
8.1 The supreme authority of the Association is vested in a General Meeting of the members and its decisions final.
8.2 The powers and duties of the members at Annual General Meetings shall include:
- The determining of general policy and a programme of activity for the Association;
- The election of Office Bearers of the Association;
- Deciding the annual subscription payable by Members;
- Receiving and accepting the Statement of Accounts; and
- The amending of the Constitution of the Association.
8.3 The Annual General Meeting shall be convened once a year and held not later than 30th This may be held physically onsite and/or by electronic means.
8.4 A notice convening the Annual General Meeting shall with the Agenda, Annual Report, and Accounts be sent to all members not less than fourteen (14) days before the Meeting. Any member who wishes to place an item on the agenda of a general meeting may do so provided the member gives notice to the Honorary Secretary one (1) week before the meeting is due to be held.
8.5 The quorum for the Annual General Meeting shall be one-quarter of the voting members or thirty (30) voting members, whichever is the smaller number.
8.6 In the event of a lack of quorum thirty (30) minutes after the Annual General Meeting is due to begin, the meeting shall be held but shall not have the power to alter or amend rules.
8.7 Each individual member shall have one (1) vote except the Chairman who shall have a casting vote. In the event of the Annual General Meeting held by electronic means, the use of proxy forms may be deployed.
8.8 The Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened on the written request of at least thirty (30) voting members. A minimum of two (2) weeks advance notice for the meeting must be served.
9.1 The office bearers of the Association shall be:
- The President.
- The 1st Vice-President.
- The 2nd Vice-President.
- The Honorary Secretary.
- The Assistant Honorary Secretary.
- The Honorary Treasurer.
- The Assistant Honorary Treasurer.
- Two (2) to Four (4) Committee Members.
- Representative from professional organisations related to counselling may be invited to sit in the Executive Committee.
9.2 All office bearers shall hold office for a term of not more than two (2) years and shall be eligible for re-election. The President and Honorary Treasurer shall be eligible for re-election upon the completion of the initial term in office. After which he/she shall be eligible for re-election only after a lapse of at least one (1) term of office.
9.3 THE PRESIDENT:
The President shall take office at the declaration of the ballot at the Annual General Meeting. The President of the Association shall be the Chairman of the Annual General Meeting and of the Executive Committee.
9.4 VICE PRESIDENT:
The Vice Presidents shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and will deputise in the absence of the President.
9.5 HONORARY SECRETARY:
The Honorary Secretary shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and shall be responsible for the following duties:
- Secretary of the Annual General Meeting and of the Executive Committee.
- Keeping a membership register.
- Issuing notices and to convene the Annual General Meeting and Executive Committee Meeting.
- Attend to all correspondences of the Association.
9.6 ASSISTANT HONORARY SECRETARY:
Shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and shall assist the Honorary Secretary.
9.7 HONORARY TREASURER:
The Honorary Treasurer shall not hold office for more than two (2) consecutive terms and the Treasurer’s duties shall be:
- The maintenance of a record of payments of subscriptions;
- The banking of moneys and payments of accounts properly rendered to the Association;
- The co-signing of cheques drawn on the bank account of the Association with either the President or the Honorary Secretary as the second signatory;
- The advising of the Executive Committee on financial matters including the current financial position of the Association, its assets and its liabilities;
- The submissions annually of the draft budget to the Executive Committee and the presentation for its approval of duly certified accounts for the preceding years; and
- The presentation to the Annual General Meeting for its approval of duly certified accounts for the preceding years.
9.8 ASSISTANT HONORARY TREASURER:
Shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and shall assist the Honorary Treasurer.
9.9 ELIGIBILITY FOR NOMINATION
All those who have been members of the Association for at least one (1) year shall be eligible to stand for office, pursuant to criteria stipulated in Clause 4.9.
9.10 The Executive Committee shall have powers to co-opt additional members for the proper administration of the Association (“Co-opted Committee Members”), subject to the limit of three (3) Co-opted Committee Members, but such Co-opted Committee Members shall have no voting rights within the Executive Committee.
9.11 Any office-bearer resigning from office shall tender his/her resignation in writing to the Executive Committee and shall not be deemed to have resigned until his/her resignation is accepted by the rest of the Executive Committee. Any Executive Committee Member absenting himself/herself from three (3) meetings consecutively without satisfactory explanations given no later than one (1) week after the third absence to the Executive Committee shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the Executive Committee. The quorum for such meetings shall be half of the elected officers in the Executive Committee. In the event of a lack of quorum, the meeting may proceed but shall not have the power to make Executive Committee level decisions. These meetings may be held physically onsite and/or by electronic means.
9.12 Subject to Clause 9.11, if an elected seat is vacated during the Term of Office, the Executive Committee shall, within two (2) months of that seat’s vacation, fill it by co-opting a Member (“Co-opted Elected Member”) on a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee. Unlike Co-Opted Committee Members as described in Clause 9.10, a Co-opted Elected Member will have voting rights within the Executive Committee. If a non-elected seat is vacated during the Term of Office, the Executive Committee shall, within two (2) months of that seat’s vacation, decides whether to fill the seat. Executive Committee should fill the seat by co-opting a Member on a unanimous vote of the Executive Committee. Such Co-opted Committee Members shall have no voting rights within the Executive Committee.
10.1 The members at Annual General Meetings shall be empowered to establish Standing Committees as it shall consider desirable, and to delegate to such Committees such of its power and duties as it shall consider appropriate.
10.2 The Executive Committee shall be empowered to establish such ad-hoc Committees or Working Parties to report by a specified date to the Executive Committee, for further report to the members at Annual General Meetings where appropriate.
10.3 Committee or Working Parties of the Executive Committee shall be automatically dissolved after the purpose for which they have been formed is completed.
10.4 The Executive Committee is authorised to invite donations to the funds of the Association by lawful means and to expend such sums of money as the Association may think fit in furtherance of the aims of the Association.
11.1 The Association shall keep or cause to be kept proper books of accounts of the receipts and expenditures and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place and of the assets, credits and liabilities of the Association and of all sales and purchases of goods by the Association.
11.2 The books and accounts shall be kept by the Treasurer and, subject to any reasonable restrictions as to the time and manner of inspecting the same, shall be open to inspection of the Members.
11.3 A copy of every profit and loss account and balance sheet (including every document required by law to be annexed thereto) which is to be laid before the Annual General Meeting, together with copy of the Auditor’s Report, shall, not less than fourteen (14) days before the date of the Meeting, be sent to all persons entitled to receive notices of meetings of the Annual General Meeting of the Association.
12.1 The accounts of the Association shall be examined annually, and the correctness of the balance sheet ascertained by one (1) or more properly qualified Auditor or Auditors, who are not members of the Committee. The Auditor or Auditors may hold office for two (2) years. The Auditor or Auditors may be re-elected.
12.2 The appointment, remuneration and duties of the Auditors shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting.
12.3 The Financial year shall commence from January 1st and end on December 31st.
13.1 Gambling of any kind and playing of paikow or mahjong, whether for stakes or not, is forbidden on the Association’s premises. The introduction of materials for gambling or drug taking and of bad characters into the premises is prohibited.
13.2 The funds of the Association shall not be used to pay the fines of members who have been convicted in court.
13.3 The Association shall not attempt to restrict or in any manner interfere with trade or prices or engage in Trade Union activity as defined in any written law relating to Trade Unions for the time being in force in Singapore.
13.4 The Association shall not indulge in any political activity or allow its funds and/or premises to be used for political purposes.
13.5 The Association shall not hold any lottery, whether confined to its members or not, in the name of the Association or its office-bearers, committee or members.
14.1 If the Association at any time acquires any immovable property, such property shall be vested in trustees subject to a declaration of trust. Any trustee may at any time resign his/her trusteeship. If a trustee dies or becomes a lunatic or of unsound mind or moves permanently or is absent from Singapore for a period of one (1) year, he/she shall be deemed to have resigned his/her trusteeship. If a trustee is guilty of misconduct of such a kind as to render it undesirable that he/she continue as a trustee, a General Meeting may remove him/her from his/her trusteeship. Vacancies in the trusteeship may be lesser than five (5) or greater than two (2). Notice of proposal to remove a trustee from his/her trusteeship or to appoint a new trustee to fill a vacancy must be given by affixing in the premises of the Association a document containing such proposal at least two (2) weeks before the meeting at which the proposal is to be discussed. The result of such a meeting shall then be notified to the Registrar of Societies.
15.1 The Constitution may be amended by a two-third majority of the total votes cast at the Annual General Meeting provided notice of the amendment has been given in writing to all members at least one (1) month before the meeting and they shall not come into force without the prior sanction of the Registrar of Societies.
15.2 The Association may only be dissolved by the decision of three-fifths of the members present at the Annual General Meeting provided that notice of dissolution motion has been given in writing to all members at least three (3) months before the meeting.
15.3 In the event that the required quorum for dissolution cannot be mastered at the General Meeting, the meeting shall be adjourned for one (1) month at a place and time to be appointed and should the number present personally be insufficient to form the required quorum, then those present shall be considered a quorum for the purpose of dissolution.
15.4 In the event of Dissolution, any fund or property of the Association shall, after discharge of all debts and liabilities of the Association be made over to any society having similar aims, or failing that, shall be applied to some professional, educational or charitable purpose, in either case the decision lying with the General Meeting at which the Association is dissolved.
15.5 Notice of dissolution shall be given within seven (7) days of the dissolution to the Registrar of Societies.
16.1 In the event of any dispute arising amongst the members, they shall table the matter for resolution before an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held in accordance with the constitution. If the members fail to resolve the matter at the Extraordinary General Meeting, they shall bring the matter before a court of law for resolution.