What is a Certified Canadian Counsellor?

While the Certified Canadian Counsellor (C.C.C.) title is not legally defined or restricted in the Health Professions Act of Alberta, individuals treated by C.C.C.'s have certain guarantees that their clinician has met, and continues to maintain a certain level of professional training and ongoing education.

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) established the Canadian Counselling Certification (C.C.C.) program in 1986.  Although not a regulatory board (like the College of Alberta Psychologists or the College of Alberta Social Workers), the CCPA maintains the right to self-regulate, including certifying, advising and disciplining its members on matters of professional conduct.  This means that individuals who hold a C.C.C. designation must meet certain educational, ethical, and practice standards.

Only individuals who have achieved Certified Canadian Counsellor certification are permitted to use the title C.C.C. in their notes, letters, and reports.



Applicants must hold a Master's or Ph.D. level degree in counselling or related field.  The degree granting institution must be recognized and accredited by the government.  Graduate level coursework must include:

  • counselling theories

  • counselling and communication skills

  • professional ethics

  • four electives in various areas of individual, couples, family, or group counselling, in gender issues, diversity / cross cultural, human development, learning, lifestyle and career development, psychological education, or research

  • supervised counselling practicum (150 - 800 hours of direct supervised client work depending on education and experience)

Applicants must also be able to pass a criminal records check for the vulnerable sector (children, elderly, and individuals with mental health issues), and provide two references from prior clinical supervisors.

Clinicians are required to provide proof of 36 hours of approved continuing education credits each three years in order to maintain their registration. 

Canadian Certified Counsellor designated practictioners are also considered eligible to purchase professional liability insurance from the major insurance providers.