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How can I use my ACC-diploma for practicing in other countries?

As a ground rule we train people to become coaches/counsellors in the Netherlands. If you want to practice as a coach/counsellor in other countries as well, it depends on where and how you would like to practice, since it differs per country what is possible. We don’t have one specific answer on what you can do with our diploma abroad, as mental health care regulations are overall quite complex and can change often per country. We always advise people to thoroughly look into the rules and regulations of the country they want to practice in, should they want to set up practice outside the Netherlands.

A bit of background info on this topic:

  • First and foremost, coaching/counselling is considered a free profession in the Netherlands. This means that you don’t legally need a specific diploma or certification to practice as (and call yourself) a coach/counsellor here. At the ACC, we do of course strongly advise proper education in this field, before people start practicing, as it definitely is not something to take lightly! It is a serious profession with real responsibilities. But legally there is no obligation to do so, strangely enough.
  • The definition of the term ‘counselling’ is however somewhat different in the Netherlands than in certain other countries, like for example the UK. Even though ‘counselling’ seems to have become a slightly more flexible term in the UK now as well, overall it still seems to be what would be considered ‘psychotherapy’ in the Netherlands. So it has a heavier connotation in that respect. To become a psychotherapist in the Netherlands, you will most often need a bachelor and/or master’s degree (3-4 years) from a university or college. Our training programmes are ‘post-bachelor’-programmes, which means that the content is at bachelor-level, but it will not give you a bachelor-diploma as such. That would not be possible with 1 – 2 years of education. But you will learn all the necessary skills and tools to practice as a coach/counsellor in (at least) the Netherlands, and possibly other countries.
  • With our diploma, practicing as a counsellor in countries with a similar flexible approach to the profession as in the Netherlands should be possible. Coaching, as far as we are aware, is a free profession in most countries, so you should be able to practice as a coach in most other countries. In other words, it mainly seems to come down to semantics – what do you call yourself. But still: please research and get to know the local rules before you start practicing elsewhere! Also as a coach. For now, it is important to keep in mind that you explicitly will not become a psychotherapist with our training programmes. Should you be thinking about becoming a psychotherapist, you will need to look into the bachelor/master programmes in that field. Of course it is not a given that you can practice around the world with those diploma’s either, but that question would be something to take up with the respective educational institutes.
  • Our training programmes ‘Coaching and Counselling Year 1’ and ‘Coaching and Counselling Year 2’ have officially been recognized/certified by the LVSC (National Association for Supervisors and Coaches), which means that you can register with the LVSC as a Register Coach after completing both years. In the meantime, while still studying, you can already register as a student-member and become an ‘Aspirant-Registercoach’ (prospective register coach).
  • We have also been certified by the IAC (International Association for Counselling). This means that we have been awarded an international quality mark in the field of counselling. The above points in this email do still stand however, as every country applies their own rules around counselling. You can read more about our certification here.

Once again, it really depends on what you would like to become/achieve and where in the world you would like to take your skills. But with our training programme you will most certainly learn the necessary skills to guide people in a professional manner and will develop yourself in an invaluable way.

*Do note that the approach you learn at the ACC is rather Western-world oriented, so practicing in non-Western countries might be different, due to cultural differences.

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