Tue, Jun 15, 2021

Belgium: Belgian universities and professional associations agree on definition and competencies of work and organisational psychologists

March 2019

The Work and Organizational Psychologists in Belgium: Work Domain and Competency Profile 

(French, Dutch and English version)

This report was developed by a unique taskforce composed of representatives of all Belgian universities with a programme of work and organizational psychology (Dutch- and French-speaking), as well as the representatives of the professional associations VOCAP and APTO. The report aims to serve as a guiding principle regarding the work and organizational psychologists' professional expertise and would inform educational programmes. 

Considering that educational programmes in Belgium regarding WO and clinical psychology have the same foundational curriculum at the bachelor level, and that both professions – although their different contents and objectives – may require a shared (though not identical) base of behavioural competencies, it was decided not to start our endeavors from scratch. Hence, the existing and approved competencies for clinical psychologists1 were used as the initial input. Moreover, those competencies already considered international competency lists, such as the one from the American Psychological Association APA, but also competency frameworks from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA).

The main differences between clinical and WO psychologists appeared to be related to their respective target populations, to the WO psychologists’ emphasis on contextual factors, as well as to their distinct final goal to improve people’s professional functioning and well-being using specialized scientific frameworks. The taskforce decided first to define the professional work domain of the WO psychologist, which was then used as a starting point to define the WO psychologists’ competency profile.