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Rehabilitation Counselling
Association of Australasia

Core Competencies

Recent rehabilitation counselling competency research conducted in Australia has found that Rehabilitation Counsellors currently identify vocational counselling, professional practice, personal counselling, rehabilitation case management, workplace disability case management, and workplace intervention and program management as important and frequently used job functions and knowledge areas (Matthews, Buys, Randall, Biggs & Hazelwood, 2010). These findings add to those of earlier rehabilitation counselling competency studies undertaken in the Australasian region (e.g., Biggs, 1996).

This recent research, involving a comprehensive survey of practicing Rehabilitation Counsellors, extends our understanding of contemporary job function and knowledge areas within the Australasian rehabilitation counselling context. It provides important insight into the demands of professionals in the growing and changing industry of vocational rehabilitation. While many of the traditional knowledge and skill areas remain central to vocational rehabilitation practice, the research suggests a growing emphasis on disability management competencies, and an expansion of rehabilitation counselling service delivery into areas such as mental health, career counselling and life coaching. Consequently, it is now imperative that rehabilitation counselling education programs respond to these developments to ensure their graduates are well equipped with the skills and knowledge that reflect the current needs of their chosen field.

The core competencies should be considered essential course work in any rehabilitation counselling education program in the Australasian region. The knowledge and competencies section is divided into two parts, dealing firstly with the general competencies required by Rehabilitation Counsellors similar to other health and human service professionals (adapted from the School of Human Services General Field Placement Competencies Guidelines, Griffith University). The second part provides the specific professional competencies required by Rehabilitation Counsellors, as identified in recent empirical research (Matthews et al., 2010).

General Knowledge and Competencies for Rehabilitation Counselling

Service Delivery

Values in Practice

Organisational Knowledge

Ethical Frame of Reference

Work Practices

Professional Education

Specific Rehabilitation Counselling knowledge and competencies

Professional Practice

Rehabilitation Case Management

Vocational Rehabilitation

Personal Interactions and Counselling

Workplace Disability Case Management

Workplace Intervention and Program Management

The RCAA core competencies are contained in the Accreditation Manual. If you would like a copy then please contact us.


Rehabilitation Counselling Skills

Vocational Assessment
Job Placement
Career Counselling