Core Competencies For The Profession Of Rehabilitation Counselling

Rehabilitation Counselling is a diverse profession which involves an amalgam of skill and knowledge related to areas such as disability, rehabilitation, vocational psychology, counselling and case management.

In 1995 ASORC ® developed a set of core competencies to clarify the depth and variety of the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively operate as a rehabilitation counsellor. These core competencies were seen to fall into 15 broad areas within which rehabilitation counsellors were deemed to be able to display specific skill and knowledge. In 2008 a comprehensive review of the core competencies was undertaken by Trevor Hawkins and Jan Nunan after consultation with key stakeholders. The Core Competencies for the Profession of Rehabilitation Counselling (Second Edition) was ratified by the ASORC ® Council in November 2008 and published in February 2009 and are available to all members and interested parties. A copy of the Core Competencies booklet is an ASORC ® membership entitlement.

The Core Competencies are now presented in two distinct categories:

  1. Underpinning Core Competencies - which are deemed to be basic skill or knowledge essential for the provision of effective human services to persons with a disability or disadvantage irrespective of the specific nature of the disability, disadvantage or the service provided.
  2. Rehabilitation Counselling or Work Specific Competencies - which are deemed to be a skill or knowledge required to be able to provide effective rehabilitation counselling services to clients irrespective of the disability, treatment or community setting.

Underpinning Core Competencies:

  1. Psychosocial Foundations of Behaviour
  2. Rehabilitation Theory and Philosophy
  3. Knowledge of Disability and Disadvantage
  4. Case and Caseload Management
  5. Legal and Policy Aspects of Disability, Disadvantage and Rehabilitation
  6. Community Liaison and Consultation
  7. Research and Evaluation

Rehabilitation Counselling and Work Environment Specific Competencies:

  1. Rehabilitation Counselling Professional Attitudes and Behaviour
  2. Vocational Assessment
  3. Vocational Counselling
  4. Vocational Training and Job Placement
  5. Counselling and Interpersonal Skills
  6. Independent Living and Avocational Counselling and Placement
  7. Injury Prevention, Injury Management and Disability Management
  8. Life Care Planning

These competencies have been found to have a variety of uses for ASORC ® , its members and external bodies and individuals:

  1. They should serve as a model for employers in determining who they employ to perform rehabilitation counselling roles.
  2. They should serve as a guide to educators in determining appropriate training curricula.
  3. The core competencies are also routinely used by ASORC ® members when they are supervising associate members seeking an upgrade to full membership.


"The Core Competencies for The Profession of Rehabilitation Counselling-Second Edition" is available for $25.00 (inclusive of GST, postage and handling). The booklet will be posted once payment has been received.

Payment options:

  • Purchase online by hitting the button below
  • Post your cheque or money order to: ASORC ® National, PO Box H189 Hurlstone Park NSW 2193
  • Direct deposit to: ASORC ® National, CBA Lutwyche Qld, BSB: 064 100, Account Number: 1003 4505 - confirm order by email