ANZACATA Frequently Asked Questions

Below are responses to questions that are often asked by the public. For answers to questions more specific to ANZACATA members, please go to the member FAQs when you log in to the 'MyANZACATA' members' area.

What exactly is creative arts therapy?

Creative Arts Therapy is a form of psychotherapy. Creative Arts Therapists are mental health professionals who use art, media and the creative process (drawing, writing, sculpting, drama, clay, sand, dance and movement) to facilitate the exploration of feelings, improve self-awareness and reduce anxiety for clients.

Creative processes can be a way for clients to explore and express feelings that may be hard to put into words. Registered Creative Arts Therapists are trained in both creative methods and also in psychological and psychotherapeutic methods to help clients better express themselves and to improve their wellbeing.

What training do Creative Arts Therapists have?

In Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Certified and Registered Creative Arts Therapists have a specific Master's degree in Arts Therapy and over 750 hours of supervised clinical placement. They must undergo regular supervision and update their practice every year with professional development training.

How do I find a creative arts therapist in my area?

Please go to our 'Find a Therapist' directory, which is searchable by country, city/town, client type, reason for therapy and therapy approaches. Professional members trained to the highest international standards are listed on this directory.

How do I train as an art therapist or a creative arts therapist?

To reach professional level ANZACATA membership, masters level training is required. Please click here for information about ANZACATA approved masters level training courses. ANZACATA has tiered levels of membership according to other Qualifications Authority levels. Click here to view the membership categories and requirements.

How do I know which course to study?

ANZACATA recognises many courses and prospective members should only do the courses that are listed here and here. The listed qualifications are all registered with government education/training registration bodies. There are other courses which are offered by private training providers, but they are usually not government approved and we do not list them. You can only become a member of ANZACATA if you have successfully undertaken one of the courses we list.

How do I join ANZACATA?

Please click here for information about joining our association.

Does an ANZACATA membership run for one year?

ANZACATA memberships run from 1st July to 30th June. Members are sent renewal notices from 1 June reminding them to renew.

Does the ANZACATA membership fee cover insurance?

ANZACATA offers a master indemnity insurance scheme to Australian and New Zealand members through BMS Insurers, providing competitive rates for Professional Indemnity insurance. Australian and New Zealand Professional, Provisional, and Tier level members can choose to pay for their insurance in addition to their membership fee. Click here for more information.

Why do I need pay a fee to apply to join as a Professional / Provisional / Tier member?

The process of application for these levels of membership ensures that our applicants have achieved the qualifications required for the appropriate level of membership. This process takes us some time to investigate fully and so it attracts a fee. Applications for these membership levels must be accompanied by correct documentation and are reviewed by our Membership Sub Committee of the Board. There are several pathways that are considered for Professional and Provisional membership. Please click here to see our 'Categories and Requirements' and click here to go to the application forms to apply to be considered for Professional / Provisional / Tier membership. Please note the fee of $90 AUD (+ GST for Australian based applications) is a non-refundable application fee. If you are not accepted as a practising member, we will put the $90 fee towards Affiliate (non-practising) membership for you.

Can I become a Professional member with a non-ANZACATA approved degree?

ANZACATA has several pathways to Professional and Provisional membership available. Please click here to see the Categories and Requirements.

Can I call myself an art therapist or a creative arts therapist if I am not an ANZACATA member?

Through our professional membership process, ANZACATA works to maintain the highest standard of professionalism so that employers and clients can expect best practice standards from our Professional level members who use the post-nominal AThR. Our approved training courses include a minimum 750 hours of supervised clinical placement, in accordance with the highest international standards.

In Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong, creative arts therapy is a self-regulating profession so there is no title protection in law. This means there is no restriction on who can call themselves an art therapist or a creative arts therapist, however, only ANZACATA Professional members can use the post nominal AThR. This ensures that they are trained to the highest level and comply with the ANZACATA code of ethics, complaints procedure, Continuing Professional Development and supervision requirements, and audit process.

Can I get a half-year membership or a pro rata rate?

ANZACATA membership runs from 1 July to 30 June. You can apply to join as a member at any time of the year. Your fee will be calculated at a pro rata to the closest calendar month until 30 June after which you will be asked to renew and charged for the following year. Click here to go to the fees page. Pro rata fees do not apply to those renewing after the renewal date of 1 July.

Can I pay my membership in instalments?

ANZACATA does not offer the facility to pay in instalment. If you are experiencing financial hardship and cannot pay your membership fee, please contact administration.

If my ANZACATA membership has lapsed what should I do?

In accordance with international privacy laws, ANZACATA holds data of lapsed members for a limit of two years. If your membership has been inactive for less than two years, you can re-join without reapplying and paying the $90 (+GST in Australia) application fee again. If your membership has been inactive for more than two years, you will need to reapply including providing the necessary documentation and paying the $90 (+GST in Australia) application fee.

If you wish to maintain your membership whilst not practising for a period, you may choose to pay the discounted rate of a non-practising (Affiliate) member until such time as you want to resume your practice, although doing so will have insurance implications if you have previously taken out insurance with us. This means:

  • You will no longer have a current policy with BMS; and
  • Your Policy will not provide any Retroactive Cover for past services provided, and you will have no ability to lodge a claim in the future.

As an alternative to cancelling insurance, you are able to activate Run Off Cover on your insurance policy. The Run Off policy provides the exact same coverage as your current ANZACATA insurance policy. A Run Off policy is designed to provide cover for your past services once you have ceased practising permanently or taking a break from practice, such as maternity leave. Even though you are not physically practising and providing professional advice, there is always that possibility a complaint could me made against you from past clients. This is why it’s very important to have a Run Off policy in place to protect yourself and respond to the claim, such as providing legal defence costs. If you were to just cancel your insurance and a complaint/ claim happened to arise against yourself, you would have no insurance in place to respond to the claim. Meaning you may have to seek your own lawyer at your own cost, which also puts you at risk financially. To be eligible for maternity leave Run Off you must maintain your ANZACATA membership, this can be a non-practising and non-financial category.

A premium may apply, so if you would like to activate Run Off Cover, please email BMS via anzacata@bmsgroup.com. Our insurance brokers BMS are available to ensure you understand the choices that you have available to you.

Police Checks / Child Safety Checks

ANZACATA covers many jurisdictions, all with different requirements for member interaction with government instrumentalities, funding bodies and employers. ANZACATA does not require police checks or child safety checks to be taken out in order to gain and retain membership. ANZACATA does not monitor or retain records of which members have these checks in each jurisdiction. It is the responsibility of members to ensure that they have in place all requirements of the bodies they interact with. ANZACATA advises that each member needs to check requirements in their jurisdiction, particularly if working with children, to ensure they comply.

Member Frequently Asked Questions

Below are responses to questions that are often asked by members.

ANZACATA find a therapist

Watch this short video on getting the most from your ANZACATA Directory listing

Does the ANZACATA membership fee cover insurance?

ANZACATA offers a master indemnity insurance scheme to Australian and New Zealand members through BMS Insurers, providing competitive rates for Professional Indemnity insurance. Australian and New Zealand Professional, Provisional, and Tier level members can choose to pay for their insurance in addition to their membership fee. Click here for more information.

Can I become a Professional member with a non-ANZACATA approved degree?

ANZACATA has several pathways to Professional and Provisional membership available. Please click here to see the 'Categories and Requirements'.  

Can anybody call themselves an art therapist or a creative arts therapist if they are not an ANZACATA member?

In Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong, creative arts therapy is a self-regulating profession so there is no title protection. This means there is no restriction on who can call themselves an art therapist or a creative arts therapist and ANZACATA has no authority to stop this from occuring. But only ANZACATA Professional members can use the post nominal AThR and be listed in the 'Find a Therapist' directory. This ensures that they are trained to the highest level and are obliged to the comply with the ANZACATA code of ethics, complaints procedure, Continuing Professional Development and supervision requirements, and audit process. If you have concerns about any untrained individuals or organisations presenting themselves to the public as art therapists or any other creative arts therapist inappropriately please contact ANZACATA's Executive Officer.

Can I get a half-year membership or a pro rata rate?

ANZACATA membership runs from 1 July to 30 June. You can apply to join as a member at any time of the year. Your fee will be calculated pro rata to the closest calendar month until 30 June after which you will be asked to renew and charged for the following year. Click here to go to the fees page.

Can I pay my membership in instalments?

ANZACATA does not offer the facility to pay in instalment. If you are experiencing financial hardship and cannot pay your membership fee, please contact ANZACATA administration.

Can I pay directly into the ANZACATA bank account?

ANZACATA only takes payments through the website via credit card. If you need an exception to be made for some reason, please contact ANZACATA administration.

If my ANZACATA membership has lapsed what should I do?

In accordance with international privacy laws, ANZACATA holds data of lapsed members for a limit of one year. If your membership has been inactive for less than a year, you can rejoin without reapplying and paying the $90 AUD application fee (+10% GST for Australian applicants). If your membership has been inactive for more than a year, you will need to reapply including providing the necessary correct documentation and paying the $90 AUD (+10% GST for Australian applicants) application fee. If you wish to maintain your membership while not practising for a period, you may choose to pay the discounted rate of an Affiliate member until such time that you want to resume your practice. In this way you will not need to reapply. Click here for more information about the Affiliate member category.

When and how do I renew my membership?

Renewals are due in June each year. You will receive a reminder email at the beginning of June and the renewal process should be completed online before the beginning of July. If you have not completed the renewal process after the period specified, your membership will lapse and you will no longer have access the benefits of being a member. Professional members will no longer appear in the ANZACATA 'Find a Therapist' directory on the website and will no longer be eligible to use the post nominals, AThR. 

If I am a Student member what do I do on graduation?

As a graduating student of an ANZACATA-approved masters level course you do not have to pay the $90 AUD (+10% GST for Australian applicants) application fee to apply for Professional membership (if you apply within 6 months of graduation). Please click here and select 'Professional Application for Masters Graduates' to be guided through the process.

If I am a Student member and I have not completed all the ANZACATA Professional membership requirements within my final year of study?

If you have completed your academic course requirements but not all your supervised practice hours, you can apply to join as a Provisional member in order to complete this requirement. Click here to see which Provisional option to apply for.

What happens if I am asked for an audit of my CPD?

In keeping with other similar self-regulating professions, ANZACATA audits the Continuing Professional Development of a random selection of 5-10% of member on occasion. If you are selected you will be contacted by the Board and the process will be outlined. If you cannot do the audit due to your circumstances, you can request an exemption. Providing the information should not be a difficult process if you make the habit of keeping a record of your CPD activities. Please keep your own records and submit these if requested. Click for more information about the CPD and supervision audit.

What are Local/Regional Groups (LRGs)?

ANZACATA LRGs are smaller groups that that are based on a local or regional area. Local/Regional Groups offer opportunities for members to meet and collaborate and advance members' interests. Click here for more information about establishing or joining SIGs or LRGs.

What level of pay can I expect as a Creative Arts Therapist?

The level of pay given to Creative Art Therapists varies. There is no set amount or specific rate of pay in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore or Hong Kong. Because Arts Therapy is not government regulated, there is no specific Award payment. Members who work in public hospitals in Australia use either the NSW or Victorian  Health Department pay scales as a guide. Members who work in community settings in Australia use the SCHADS Award as a guide and those who offer private practice consider the NDIS or the ACC hourly rates as a guide. 

Why can't I get Medicare or private health insurance rebates for my clients?

Creative Arts Therapy as a profession is not government regulated and generally only those professions that are government regulated have access to government subsidies, rebates or discounts for clients. In all four countries of our members (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong) specific professions are regulated by government: Mental health professionals with access to rebates are Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Mental Health Social Workers and Mental Health Nurses. Some professions are working towards gaining private health cover rebates regardless of government recognition/regulation and ANZACATA is watching this space closely.

Last updated: 13 October 2022

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