About IACS

IACS is the only international organization that focuses solely on accrediting professional counseling centers on higher academic campuses. An established leader in the field, IACS is …

IACS standards have long been recognized in the industry as the benchmark. 

IACS board members, evaluators and staff are experts in the field and committed to advocating high standards. They are passionate about improving and strengthening the quality of mental health services in the higher education arena to ensure all students have their needs met. 

IACS offers the advantage of a peer review process with board members and evaluators who are current or past center directors of IACS accredited centers. They understand how to meet and maintain the quality standards set by IACS.

IACS has a well-established history, setting standards and evaluating quality in the field for more than seven decades. 

IACS provides advice, guidance and encouragement to centers seeking accreditation. The goal is to help all centers raise the quality of their services and support.

IACS staff and the Advisory Council, composed of past presidents of the organization, are available as a free resource to counseling center directors who have questions about the accreditation process and requirements. Directors of currently IACS-accredited centers may also contact any member of the Council if they have questions or concerns about issues affecting their accreditation status. The IACS Executive Director is always availbe to discuss questions.

IACS is all about quality and committed to exceptionalism in our evaluators, board leadership, thoughtfully crafted standards and our steadfast commitment to enhancing the level of quality in the mental health field.

IACS is a Member Organisation of the International Assocation for Counselling (IAC). IAC is the world body for the counselling profession. The association and its members strive for human rights and the inclusive, sustainable development of the profession through the promotion of counselling, best practice and international cooperation.

A legacy that dates back 7 decades

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. In 2019, IACS changed its name to International Accreditation of Counseling Services to better reflect its role. 

“Applying for and achieving IACS accreditation was one of the most important things I did in my early years as director of counseling services at Temple University. By carefully approaching our self-study and digesting the results of our first site visit, the standards and expectations within the department were quickly raised. Beyond that, IACS accreditation increased the stature of the counseling center in the university, since departmental accreditation supports the university’s accreditation. It helped me to advocate for additional staff, more competitive salaries, and additional space.”

—John L. DiMino, Ph.D., Director
Tuttleman Counseling Services
Temple University

“I feel the IACS site visit contributed meaningfully to the functioning of the Center. It provided staff with hope that some of the ongoing challenges for our Center could improve.”

—Jeffrey Volkmann, Ph.D., Director
Counseling Center
American University