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Professional associations

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.

There are several professional associations for coaches/cousellors. Some professional associations are for coaches/counsellors in general, and some are for specialised coaches (for example, career coaches and lifestyle coaches).

The ACC works with some of these professional associations. They have recognized our training programmes, which means that you can join one of the professional associations listed below as a student of the ACC.

Below you can read how this works and what the benefits are.

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 your registration with the professional association NFG, the health insurance company and the client’s policy, the costs of counselling and some forms of coaching can be fully or partially reimbursed by the health insurance company. Click here for more information.

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 about your legal obligations when practising in  the Netherlands, click here.

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?

LVSC

The LVSC (National Association for Supervision and Coaching) is a major professional association for coaches. The ACC’s training programmes are recognised by the LVSC. All (graduate) students (who started after September 2019) can join the LVSC as members. In addition, during the course of their studies, students can already apply as a student member or as an ‘Aspirant-Registercoach’.

After successful completion of Coaching and Counselling English Year 1 (or a diploma from the old ACC*), supplemented by the programme Coaching and Counselling English Year 2, students can register as a Register Coach with the LVSC.

Read more about the LVSC and opportunities to become a member here.

NFG

The NFG (Dutch Federation for Healthcare) is an independent advocacy organization for professionals working in the complementary psychosocial field. The ACC works together with the NFG, which allows you as a student or graduate to join this professional association.

The NFG has several registers that you can join. By joining the NFG, reimbursement from the health insurance is possible under certain conditions.

Read more about the conditions for affiliation to one of the registers of the NFG.

International professional association: IAC

The ACC is certified by the IAC (International Association for Counselling). This means that our institute and training programmes meet the standards of the IAC.

As an ACC student you can join the IAC. This means, amongst other things, that you can use the network of the IAC, participate in seminars and webinars, and that you will be sent the quarterly magazine with international articles and news in the field of counselling.

Please note: Joining the IAC will not be sufficient to meet the legal obligations as a coach in the Netherlands. For this, you will also have to join a Dutch professional association, or at least a disputes committee. Furthermore, it does not mean that you will be able to work internationally anywhere you please as a coach/counsellor. Please always check carefully what the local laws and regulations are per country you want to practice in. This really varies per country!

You can read more about the IAC-certification here.

Other professional associations

The list of Dutch professional associations in complementary care is enormous, and each professional association has its own conditions for admission. If you want to join a professional association other than the LVSC, we advise you to inquire at the professional association of your choice about its admission requirements.

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