National Associations and Networks
The SIO was founded in 2004 by university professors and practitioners interested in promoting and spreading the role and specificity of vocational guidance and in giving rules to this profession. The aim was to guarantee its users through developing research in the field, proposing good practices, and promoting vocational guidance as a process of personal realisation throughout the lifespan. The SIO, moreover, pledged to specifically engage in constructing and running a system of accreditation and certification of career counselors’ competences. This was prompted by the need to create in Italy, too, some recognised standards to make this profession consistent with the different situations that could be found at European and International level. All SIO members must either have specific post-graduate qualifications granted by an Italian university (or equally valid credentials) or be university professors carrying out their institutional activity in the vocational guidance field. The association gives special emphasis to the diffusion of scientific knowledge and good practices and has organized many monothematic seminars on several topics held by important scholars of renown both for SIO members and other interested parties/professionals. A deontological code has been devised which requires its professional members to avoid, as far as possible, confining themselves to coding and elaborating users’ experiences via diagnostic-evaluative modalities, formulating hypotheses and forecasts for them, presenting them with ready-made pathways and choices, and encouraging tendency to passiveness, delegation and externality.
The Swiss Psychological Society (Schweizerische Gesellschaft fur Psychologie, SGP) is a national association of professionals which aims at promoting psychological science in education, research, and practice. Regular members of the SPS are psychologists with a university degree in psychology as a major subject. At present (2011), the SPS has about 420 members. Professor Jean Piaget was the first president of the SPS (1943-1945), its current president is Professor Sabine Sczesny, University of Bern (since 2011). The psychological institutes of all universities in Switzerland are represented in the SPS board.