Our Purpose

Welcome to the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS), the accreditation association for university, four-year college, and two-year community college counseling services. The basic purposes of IACS are to encourage and aid these services throughout the United States and internationally to meet high professional standards, and to provide the profession and the public with information about those services.

IACS is committed to furthering the visibility of counseling services on university and college campuses and improving their quality. To that end, IACS has evolved standards that define professional excellence and has established criteria for accreditation which reflect these standards. As demands for accountability increase, professional peer review is vital.

Please read more about our standards here.

Advisory Council

The IACS Advisory Council, its Members are past presidents of the Association, is available to be a free resource for directors of counseling centers who have questions about what it takes to have their center become IACS accredited; and for directors of centers that are already accredited by IACS, who can contact any Member of the Council if they have questions or concerns about issues affecting their center’s accreditation status. Of course, the Board of Directors, the Board of Accreditation, along with the IACS office staff, are always available to support counseling center directors and respond to their questions and concerns.

A Brief History

It all started in 1949 with a newly formed committee within the National Vocational Guidance Association, which developed a set of guidelines to maintain the quality of vocational counseling agencies. The American Personnel and Guidance Association (now known as the American Counseling Association - ACA) was created in 1952 and this organization took over the responsibilities of the committee to evaluate new applying centers and review previously approved agencies. The committee started producing directories of approved entities every two years.

In 1957, the Committee was renamed the "American Board on Professional Practices. Just like before, through the years, the function of the Board changed and evaluation functions expanded and included more than just vocational counseling. The Board devoted a year of study to developing standards for the counseling professional and their name changed to the American Board on Counseling Services in 1961.

The American Board produced a directory of approved counseling services every two years from 1964-1970. There was a set criteria for professional practice and the organization would go and evaluate different types of practices to determine credibility. Eventually the criteria grew and three different sectors (universities and four year colleges; Junior Colleges; and Private counseling services) with their own set of guidelines were designed for this purpose. The International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) was established in March 1971 to be a separate structure to administer accreditation programs, but still remained an affiliate of ACA until 1993 when IACS became an independent organization.

Counseling Service

National Survey

The National Survey of College Counseling Centers (formerly the National Survey of Counseling Center Directors) reports and associated indexes have been scanned into a digital format. The published survey results and the index documents have been deposited into the Institutional Repository at the University of Pittsburgh, which is called D-Scholarship@Pitt (http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu) to make them openly available to readers worldwide. This act makes all the surveys available to a larger audience and will add to the data about counseling centers and their history, potentially extending and expanding the usability of this work. Depositing the work in D-Scholarship@Pitt also ensures the long-term preservation of these records, as they are digitally housed by the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh.

Application Forms and Directions

For your convenience, we’ve gathered all the forms you need for applications. You can access application forms and directions here.