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NACS - Nordic Association for Clinical Sexology
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AUTHORISATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURE

FOR SEX EDUCATORS, SEXUAL HEALTH PROMOTERS, AND SEXUAL SCIENTISTS AMONG THE MEMBERS OF THE NORDIC ASSOCIATION FOR CLINICAL SEXOLOGY (NACS)

This document presents requirements for the authorization and the authorization procedure for sexologists who apply authorization in sexuality education, sexual health promotion and sexual science. The aim is to recognize these members of the NACS national associations, validate their qualifications and to promote higher professional standards among the non-clinical members of NACS. This will hopefully make NACS and its member associations more inspiring for sexologists who have professional interest in the non-clinical disciplines and non-clinical professional activities.

NACS previous activities among the non-clinical sexologists

NACS approved in its General Assembly in Grimstad in 1999 a proposal for the NACS training program for sexologists. In the last part of this program was listed Sexology II: Education and Scientific Sexology (20 study weeks) and Sexology III: Scientific Sexology (40 study weeks). The content of this training was not finished and no authorization was provided or proposed. This part of the common Nordic training and authorization program for sexologists was left open for the future development.

NACS approved in its Annual Meeting in Helsinki in 2000 the authorization procedure for Specialists in Sexological Counselling (NACS) and Specialists in Clinical Sexology (NACS). No reference was made to other professions.

Founding of NACSES Committee

In the NACS General Assembly in Jyväskylä in 2005 was decided to found a NACS Authorization Committee to prepare a proposal for authorization for the sexologists who do not have clinical background. The committee took the name: NACS Authorization Committee for Sexuality Education and Science (NACSES). Osmo Kontula was elected to chair this Committee. Each member country was asked to nominate one member to the Committee.

The members who have participated this work and who have worked out the final proposal for the NACSES authorization requirements and procedure are:

Osmo Kontula, Finland, Chair
Inger Bugge, Inge-Lise Bielecki Denmark
Toivo Aavik, Ester Väljaots Estonia
Jóna Ingibjörg Jónsdóttir, Sóley Bender Iceland
Vigdis Moen, Siv Limstrand Norway
Sune Innala, Axel Brattberg Sweden

The first meeting of the NACSES Committee was held in Copenhagen 21.4.‏2006‏
The second meeting of the NACSES Committee was held in Gothenburg 7.9.2006
The third meeting of the NACSES Committee was held in Copenhagen 6.-8.9.2007

The NACSES Authorization Committee proposals have been discussed in the NACS Board meetings and in the autumn 2006 they were sent for comments to the national associations. Since that time there was also an open access to this proposal via the NACS web-page.

Who are the non-clinical sexologists in NACS?

Sexologists who do not have clinical background or who have not been active in the clinical field include:
1. Health personnel and students who focus their professional activities instead of clinical practice into academic or vocational training or research
2. Psychologists without clinical approach
3. Social workers
4. Youth workers
5. Anthropologists
6. Sociologists
7. Theologians
8. Teachers (with variant specialization)
9. Health educators
10. School nurses (specialized into sex education)
11. Biologists
12. Historians
13. Journalists
14. Philosophers etc.

These professionals hold a great potential to increase the competence and the membership in the national member associations of the NACS. These professionals could be integrated into the NACS community. In this document they are often referred as non-clinical sexologists.

Non-clinical sexologists participating into sexological training

A number of these non-clinical sexologists have already participated into the sexological education and training together with other NACS members even though they have not had any chance to become recognised and authorized by NACS. These education activities included:

1. Non-clinical sexologists have participated into the NACS training program for counsellors (60ECTS) or even into a complete program for clinical sexologists (120 ECTS).
2. University of Gothenburg has provided training programs for a great number of sex educators (30ECTS)
3. Malmö University has started its Master Program in Sexology (120ECTS) in autumn 2007. This training includes a great deal of knowledge in sexuality education and sexual science.
4 Sexology students of the forthcoming ’Sexual health promotion’ training program (90-120ECTS in different countries) (NORDPLUS project) will participate this training in Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland. This program (90ECTS) will start in Jyväskylä probably already in autumn 2008.


Consensus on the NACSES authorization requirements

The NACS General Assembly approved the NACSES proposal for authorization requirements and procedure in Copenhagen, September 9, 2007. This new consensus comprises the titles, standards and requirements for sexologists:

Authorized Sexuality Educator and Sexual Health Promoter (NACS)

Authorized in Sexual Science (NACS)

This consensus on authorization includes requirements for ‘old timers’ in sexuality education and sexual health promotion. By old timers is meant sexologists who have a long working experience in their specialized sexology profession.

These requirements do not include criteria or proposals for training programs in sexuality education, sexual health promotion and sexual science. The NORDPLUS project is working out the proposal for a common Nordic training program in sexual health promotion (and as part of it also sexuality education) and a number of universities provide training in sexual science.

The applicants have to be members of the NACS member associations and they undertake the NACS Code of Ethics.

Authorized Sexuality Educator and Sexual Health Promoter (NACS)

In the beginning of the NACSES authorization procedure the applicants for this qualification are evaluated as old timers in their specialized field because the full training program in sexuality education and sexual health promotion is not yet accomplished. Later the basic standard will be set into 90ECTS that is the extent of the forthcoming training program of the sexual health promotion (NORDPLUS). The requirements will be here somewhat higher than what has been adopted and required from specialists in sexological counselling.

Here accepted relevant professional training include the previous and current NACS training program for sexologists (Level one: Basic Sexology and Level two) and training in sexuality education (for example in the University of Gothenburg).

In sexological educational target is framing, planning, development and delivering lectures, seminars and other relevant educational and promotion activities, but it can be also in one-on-one client education sessions.

Requirements for old timers who can become Authorized Sexuality Educators and Sexual Health Promoters (NACS)

-be a member of the NACS society or a comparable society abroad, in minimum two years
-relevant educational background
-10 years relevant working experience or equivalent credits
-minimum 500 teaching hours in teaching sexological issues
-1 A-4 letter of motivation (“Why should I be accepted as an old-timer”?)

Possible credits:
-sexological education and training in sexology
-design and implementation of educational and sexual health programs
-program/curriculum/project design, development, administration and management
-teaching sexology/training sexologists; delivering lectures
-sexuality education material development
-sexual health promotion at the society level
-the group experience of SAR
-a consultation with the qualified sex educator
-authorship in sexological textbooks
-conference organization and papers in relevant conferences
-relevant research and knowledge in sexual science
-master thesis in sexology
-activities in national association

Diploma: Authorized Sexuality Educator and Sexual Health Promoter (NACS)

Authorized in Sexual Science (NACS)

Sexologists who can become authorized in sexual science will be trained in various disciplines and in various universities also in the future. There will not be a specified or complete Nordic training program in sexual science. This is why the applicants will not have different requirements for old timers and for other applicants.

Malmö university master program includes some important educational elements for qualification into sexual science. Other important educational merits include master, licentiate and doctoral thesis and academic teaching experience in the relevant issues and courses related to sexual science.

Requirements to become Authorized in Sexual Science (NACS)

-be a member of the NACS society, or a comparable association abroad, in minimum four years, participation in minimum into one NACS meeting
-5 years of higher education
-10 years of working experience (educational and scientific work exp.) or equivalent credits
-8 publications in international peer reviewed scientific journals or in equivalent scientific publications in sexual science

Possible credits:
-sexological education
-planning and implementation of sex research projects
-sexology books, text books
-globally cited in journals
-supervisor work experience/peer review
-invited lectures, memberships in international sexology organizations
-working in international organizations
-teaching sexology at a university level/training professionals in sexology
-program/curriculum/workshop/seminar/conference/e-learning course design and development in sexology
-sexuality education material development
-editorial experience

Diploma: Authorized in Sexual Science (NACS)


Authorization Procedure for Sexologists who meet the NACSES requirements

The National Authorization Group

Each NACS member associations can decide how they process the applications for NACSES authorization. There are three options:
1. Member associations can found a national authorization group that evaluates applications and forwards them to the NACSES Authorization Committee. The term of the national authorization group is three years and it consists of at least two persons: one specialized into sexuality education and sexual health promotion and another into sexual science.
2. Member association can authorize their national NACSAC Committees to evaluate NACSES applications.
3. Member associations can forward their applications straight to the NACSES Authorization Committee after a brief evaluation conducted by the national board.

The NACSES Authorization Committee

Evaluates and confirms each nationally forwarded or approved application. It also acts as a consulting authority. NACSES Authorization Committee consists of one person from each of the countries that are members of NACS. Each national member is elected by her/his national association, for a period of three years. All members should belong to the possible respective National Authorization Group. The Chair of the NACSES Authorization Committee is elected by the NACS General Assembly for a period of three years.

Applications

Application has to be filled in into the specific application form. The applicant forwards the application either in electronic format or in one original and five copies (with relevant documentation) to the board of the national association. The application should be in English while additional documentation can be in the native language.

The applicant indicates what authorization she/he considers relevant: Authorized Sexuality Educator and Sexual Health Promoter (NACS) or Authorized in Sexual Science (NACS).With the application should follow a recommendation from two members of the national organization or in sexual science from one or two members (altogether two) of the comparable society abroad. The Board of the National Sexological Association forwards the application to the National Authorization Group or straight to the NACSES Authorization Committee.

Following approval of the application by the NACSES Authorization Committee the applicant can titulate herself/himself: Authorized Sexuality Educator and Sexual Health Promoter (NACS) or Authorized in Sexual Science (NACS). No applicant is allowed the use this title until written approval of the application and diploma has been received from the National Board.

In order to finance the authorization process, the National Boards may find it necessary to set a price for reviewing and evaluating applications. The recommendation is 250 Euro to be paid after the approval of the application.

APPLICATION FORM