December 6, 2023

How to become a Counsellor in Singapore

  • May 12, 2023
How to become a Counsellor in Singapore

A counsellor works with families and caregivers to help individuals better understand their psychological and social needs. As a counsellor, you assist clients in developing skills, accessing resources, and tapping on support services for multifaceted issues, including disability, poverty, addiction, and marital and mental health problems. To become a counsellor in Singapore, you should possess specific education, training, and experience. The counseling field is regulated in Singapore to ensure that professionals have the necessary skills and qualifications to provide effective counseling services to clients. This article will discuss the steps to becoming a counsellor in Singapore. 

What is a counsellor?

A counsellor is a professional who helps individuals better understand their experiences and provides them with resources for making positive changes in their lives. They work with individuals of all ages, though most counsellors specialize in working with a specific age group.

What does a counsellor do?

A counsellor is a professional who meets with patients to build relationships with them and help their patients learn more about themselves as individuals. First, a counsellor interviews patients, asking open-ended questions that enable patients to share as much as they want. Then, counsellors create customized treatment plans for their clients to implement. The counsellor’s goal is to empower their patients to pursue and achieve their success. 

How to become a counsellor in Singapore?

Read on and learn how to become a counsellor so that you can also pursue this career. 

1. Earn a Relevant Bachelor’s Degree:

To become a counsellor in Singapore, you must have a relevant bachelor’s degree. A psychology, social work, or counseling degree is a good start. However, it is essential to note that not all degrees are recognized by the Singapore Association for Counseling (SAC). The SAC is the professional body that regulates the counseling profession in Singapore, and they have a list of recognized degrees that meet their requirements.

If you have a degree not recognized by the SAC, you may still be eligible to become a counsellor. However, you must complete a counseling or master’s degree to meet the SAC’s requirements.

2. Earn a Master’s Degree: 

To become a registered counsellor in Singapore, you need to have a counseling diploma or a master’s degree in counseling from a recognized institution. The SAC has a list of recognized institutions that offer counseling courses that meet their requirements.

A counseling diploma usually takes one to two years, while a master’s degree in counseling takes two to three years. The courses cover counseling theories, techniques, ethics, and research methods. 

3. Get counseling experience: 

After obtaining a relevant bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, you will need to gain counseling experience. This can be done through internships, working, or volunteering in a counseling-related field. The SAC requires at least 100 supervised counseling hours to become a registered counsellor in Singapore. 

You can gain counseling experience by working in community centers, schools, or hospitals. You can also consider volunteering for counseling-related organizations or non-profit organizations.

4. Attend Specialized courses:

If you are interested in a specific area of counseling, attend a course that will equip you with the relevant knowledge, skills, and techniques. 

5. Complete practical training:

To become a counsellor in Singapore, you must complete hundreds or thousands of clinic hours. In some bachelor’s or master’s degree programs, there may be an inclusion of practical clinic hours as part of some modules. 

6. Register with the SAC:

After completing the counseling diploma or master’s degree, you can register with the SAC as a counsellor. To write, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a relevant bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Have a minimum of 100 supervised counseling hours
  • Have completed a recognized counseling diploma or master’s degree
  • Adhere to the SAC’s Code of Ethics and Practice
  • Have professional indemnity insurance

Once registered with the SAC, you can use the title “Registered counsellor” and practice as a counsellor in Singapore. 

7. Continue Professional Development: 

To maintain your registration with the SAC, you need to engage in ongoing professional development. This can include attending workshops, seminars, and conferences related to counseling. The SAC requires registered counsellors to obtain a minimum of 30 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points every three years.

8. Communication Skills:

Communication skills, including written and verbal skills, refer to your ability to share, receive, and process information. Strong verbal communication skills are essential to ensure you can have productive conversations with your patients. Besides, excellent written communication skills are crucial to assist you in maintaining accurate records of your sessions. 


To become counsellor in Singapore, it requires a relevant bachelor’s degree, counseling experience, a counseling diploma or a master’s degree, registration with the SAC, and ongoing professional development. It is important to note that the counseling field is regulated in Singapore to ensure that professionals have the necessary skills and qualifications to provide effective counseling services to clients.

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