A professional association consists of a group of people sharing the same type of education or profession, who have joined together to be able to manage certain matters collectively. Professional associations represent the interests of their members. In doing so, they take on various tasks. This allows them to assess the quality of training, maintain contact with health insurers and ensure that a profession gets more recognition. They can also arrange information days and meetings for members. Furthermore, most professional associations have a complaints officer and a disputes committee that members can make use of.
Potential benefits of membership
- You can make use of a complaints procedure/disputes committee (see below).
- You can make use of collective health insurance and professional liability insurance.
- You can make use of further training offered by the professional association.
- Contact with colleagues/peers.
- Depending on the professional association, the health insurer and the client’s policy, health insurance costs can be fully or partially reimbursed. (Please note: this is only possible with a supplementary insurance package).
When to join?
Becoming a member of a professional association is not compulsory, but if you are going to be a self-employed person in the (complementary) care sector, it is highly recommended due to the obligations of the Wet Kwaliteit Klachten Geschillen Zorg (Dutch law of quality, complaints and disputes in care; WKKGZ).
As a coach/counsellor with your own practice, you are a caregiver in the complementary healthcare sector. This means you must comply with certain obligations. One of those obligations, based on the WKKGZ, is to offer clients the option of both a complaints officer and a dispute settlement body. Professional associations often offer the option of joining their dispute settlement scheme. Be sure to check well in advance whether the professional association in question is actually affiliated with a disputes committee assessed by the Healthcare Inspectorate; otherwise, you will still not meet the requirements of the WKKGZ. For more information, see www.counselling.nl/wettelijke-verplichtingen-als-coach-counsellor/.
If you do not join a professional association, you still have to take other measures to make sure you comply with the WKKGZ. You can, for example, take a look at other organisations that cover the WKKGZ terms specifically for self-employed professionals in the care sector.
Where to join?
The list of professional associations in the complementary care sector is huge. Each professional association has its own conditions for entry. We, therefore, advise you to inquire about the requirements of the professional association of your choice.