About Us - Welcome to IAC

The International Association for Counselling (IAC) is the world body for the counselling profession. Established in 1966, IAC is an International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) with United Nations consultative status. IAC advances the development of counselling in order to improve people’s lives and well-being. Our association and members strive for human rights and the inclusive, sustainable development of our profession through the promotion of counselling, best practice and international cooperation.

Our Vision

A world where counselling is available to all.

Our Mission

To develop the counselling profession worldwide through policy, education, practice, advocacy, and research initiatives.

Counselling changes lives for the better and reduces suffering. IAC advocacy influences governments and intergovernmental organisations to have counselling better recognised as a profession. In some countries, there is no counselling at all. IAC helps to establish counselling structures (e.g. National Associations or Education Programmes) in those countries. IAC is working to advance the counselling profession worldwide and we invite you to join us in our mission. Technology is moving the global circle of counsellors ever closer. We embrace the modernisation of our profession and proudly serve to advance culturally relevant counselling practice, research, and policy worldwide.

Using our Regionalized structure (IAC Africa, IAC Europe, IAC Asia-Pacific, IAC North America, IAC Latin America and the Caribbean, IAC Middle East and Central Asia), our regional work-plans focus on the following priority areas:

    • Advocacy for the Counselling Profession to Regional and U.N. Bodies
    • Agreeing Region-Wide Counselling Standards
    • Supporting National Associations
    • Development of counselling in countries where there is none
    • Education, Research and Practice Programmes

Other Central IAC Activity

World Mapping of the Counselling Profession

Until recently, there has been no comprehensive and systematic global study of the counselling profession. IAC’s ‘World Mapping of the Counselling Profession’ is generating detailed knowledge about the counselling profession in each of the world’s 196 countries. It includes information on scale and standards of activity. It has multiple benefits and applications including raising public and professional awareness of counselling services, and aiding our advocacy.

Global Advocacy for the Counselling Profession

The IAC ‘Global Advocacy for the Counselling Profession’ project aims to bring a much-needed international voice for the counselling profession to both intergovernmental and national discussions. IAC advocacy strengthens the position of counselling by influencing counselling-related policy worldwide. We aim to enhance the reputation and credibility of the profession by influencing decision-making in political, institutional and social systems. Important, high-level policy decisions on mental health, education, social issues, and work, are made at the intergovernmental level (e.g., in United Nations and Regional Supranational bodies) and it is essential to ensure the appropriate inclusion of counselling. Policy decisions have a direct influence on the approaches that national governments take in these areas and impact you, your clients, and the counselling profession. In most of the world, there is significant dissatisfaction with the status quo and the lack of recognition of the importance of counselling.

Memberships: For Individuals and Organisations

Membership is open to Individuals, Associations, Education Institutes and Counselling Services. See our partner page HERE. There are multiple member benefits, including:

    • IAC Journal: Thousands of counselling articles - all back issues (since 1978)
    • IAC member Logo and ‘Certificate of Membership’
    • Worldwide Contacts & Professional Network
    • Free Webinar each year
    • Professional and Educational: Monthly Newsletters and Updates
    • Representation: Advocacy to United Nations, Regional bodies and Governments
    • Discounts: On conference tickets, events and advertising

IAC Quarterly Journal

The International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling has been in publication since 1978. It promotes the exchange of information about counselling activities throughout the world. The journal contains over 1,300 conceptual, practical and research contributions that provide an international perspective on: theories and models of counselling and guidance; counsellor education and supervision; state of the art reports on counselling in specific settings; special populations; special applications; and counselling services in developing countries.

IAC International Conferences

IAC conferences bring scholars, researchers, educators, students, professionals and other groups interested in counselling together to listen and share their knowledge, research findings and educational practices. Our conference programmes contain diverse and highquality line ups of keynote speakers, presenters, discussion groups, posters and social activity. IAC conferences aim to have a lasting impact on the development of counselling in the host country and association—becoming a catalyst for national progress and global reach.

IAC Round Table Meetings

IAC Round tables are ‘discussion and action’ groups that present excellent opportunities for individual counsellors and associations from around the world to meet, discuss and plan activity with their international colleagues. IAC has Round-Tables in the following areas: Research; Ethics; Associations (for Association Leaders); Practitioners; Indigenous Peoples; Students; Peace and Social Justice; and Projects.

IAC Partnership and Collaboration

For over 50 years, IAC has partnered and worked with National, Regional, and Inter-governmental Organizations and Institutes. IAC greatly values these relationships.

For enquiries relating to partnership, hosting an IAC conference, sponsorship, organizational membership, or project collaboration, please contact the IAC Chief Executive Officer Mr. Naoise Kelly.