Counsellor registration

Information for Counsellors - Victim Assistance Scheme (VAS)

Victim Support works in partnership with approved registered counsellors to provide counselling support to victims of some crimes.

There are four counselling schemes which are administered as part the Victim Assistance Scheme (VAS). Counsellors must be approved and registered with Victim Support before we will refer clients for counselling.

Homicide Counselling

  • Available for family/whānau/close friends/witnesses/first on scene of victims of homicide.
  • Maximum of 30 hours per person.

Death by a Criminal Act Counselling

  • Available for family/whānau/close friends/witnesses/first on scene of victims killed by a criminal act.
  • Maximum of 30 hours per person.

Serious Crime Emergency

  • Available for victims of some serious crimes who are economically disadvantaged, hold a Community Services Card and have exhausted all other avenues for counselling.
  • Maximum of 15 hours per person.

Civil Defence Emergency Management Counselling

  • In some instances, Victim Support also makes referrals following civil defence emergencies.

If you are contacted by a client you think meets the criteria for Victim Support funded counselling, please encourage them to contact Victim Support directly. We will assess whether they meet the VAS criteria. Payment under the VAS scheme will not be made unless the client has been registered with us and approval has been granted for them to receive counselling.

From time to time, Victim Support provides contact details of approved counsellors to people who do not qualify for Victim Support funded counselling, but who indicate that they will pay for counselling themselves. If you do not wish us to give out your details, please email the VAS Administrator.

Criteria for counsellor registration
Counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists, and other health professionals who wish to be considered for the role of a Victim Support approved registered counsellor must meet specified criteria.

  • Relevant qualifications are NZQA or University Approved Level 7 (Bachelor) or higher, or qualifications as set by the applicant’s professional body.
  • Full registration with a suitably recognised professional body in New Zealand (eg. NZAC, NZAP).
  • At least three years’ experience in trauma and/or grief counselling.
  • Receiving regular clinical supervision from a qualified supervisor who holds a current practising certificate with a relevant professional association.
  • A written reference from the applicant’s current or recent clinical supervisor (must have at least 12 months supervision from this person) or an alternative arrangement as approved by the National Quality Manager, Victim Support.
  • Undergo initial police vetting (including New Zealand and Australia) and every three years thereafter, initiated by and with any costs covered by Victim Support.

For more information on becoming an approved registered counsellor for Victim Support see Victim Assistance Scheme (VAS) Counsellor Information below.

Commitments by registered counsellors
If approved as a Victim Support registered counsellor, you must agree to:

  • be readily available to take referrals from Victim Support when required
  • continue to belong to a professional body
  • send a copy of your new Practising Certificate each year to VAS Administrator
  • only charge Victim Support the agreed fee and will not make any additional charges to the client
  • not exceed the approved number of sessions
  • liaise with Victim Support employees on matters related to the administration of the Victim Assistance Scheme.

How to apply
Applications are processed as they are received and there is no closing date. It may take between 3-6 weeks to process your application due to the NZ Police vetting process.

If you would like to apply, please download and complete the forms below and email to or by post to:

VAS Administrator
Victim Support National Office
PO Box 3017
Wellington 6140


Counsellor Application form
VAS Counsellor Referee form
Police vetting form