Policies, Principles & Advocacy

Guided by its core values of respect, integrity, excellence, service, commitment and collaboration, IAC actively works toward its mission to serve as an international leader and catalyst for counsellors and counselling associations by advancing culturally relevant counselling practice, research and policy to promote well being, respect, social justice and peace worldwide. Counselling policy, particularily in the area of standards and advocacy, is advanced through our regional committee work.Globally there are multiple opportunities to develop counselling policy -- see below. 

Become a Global Counselling Policy Partner

An important opportunity to benefit your counselling association/organisation, and the profession worldwide, exists through partnering on international counselling policy/guidelines. Create or enhance international counselling policy/guidelines, submit documentation to United Nations agencies, and generate high-level internationally credible documents for use in your national counselling advocacy campaigns. This work serves counsellors, their clients, and the profession worldwide. IAC invite counselling associations, organisations and relevant stakeholders to work together – under the auspices of IAC -- to create global counselling policy/guidelines in areas of importance to the profession. IAC consider partnerships to be of fundamental importance in the way we work towards achieving our mission. The ultimate purpose of working in partnership is to increase the positive effects for our intended beneficiaries (counsellors and their counselling clients). Policy solutions are always improved through additional input from multiple perspectives. Partnership enables utilization of the considerable experience, knowledge and contacts of national counselling associations and organizations. In particular, where the organisations have already worked on, or published, in the policy area, the policy/guidelines can be readily enhanced and made globally applicable. The counselling profession needs professional unity and development. Partnership allows us all to co-create policy and guidelines leading to the delivery of sustainable services. International partnership on policy/guidelines is common across multiple established professions. Partnership in this area can avoid unnecessary duplication. Partnership allows us to combine our resources and expertise with our partners’, meaning that we can work more effectively – and achieve more – than we would if working individually. Partnership facilitates capacity building and sustainability by supporting partner organisations to develop their skills and capacities. READ MORE HERE



Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Professional Counsellors

IAC has collaborated with counsellors and counselling associations from every region of the world to create its Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Professional Counsellors. These principles, which provide a framework of shared human values, underscore the power of professional counselling to improve lives and reduce suffering. While recognizing different approaches to counselling conduct and practice internationally, the principles also provide a non-partisan approach to help legitimize and normalize access to mental health care around the world. Read the Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Professional Counsellors. 


IAC and LivingWorks: Our joint vision for a World Safer from Suicide: LivingWorks and the International Association for Counselling (IAC) are pleased to announce their partnership in promoting suicide prevention on an international scale. The International Association for Counselling, an international non-governmental organization with United Nations consultative status, is the world body for the counselling profession. IAC’s humanitarian movement advances the development of counselling to improve people’s lives and well-being. LivingWorks is the leading provider of suicide prevention training programs, including Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), safeTALK and Start. These evidence-based programs empower individuals and communities to identify and respond to individuals who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide. LivingWorks has trained over 2 million people in more than 35 countries and is supported by over 50peer-reviewed research evaluations and studies. Through this partnership, LivingWorks and IAC aim to bring together their expertise and resources to create a shared vision of a world safer from suicide. Read More


In Development:

IAC is working with the American Mental Health Counselors Association to establish Global Remote Counseling Guidelines. In addition, IAC is in the process of developing suggested guidelines for counsellors who appear in court. Stay tuned for more in 2023.