Her Majesty the Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck, the Royal Patron and Founder of RENEW graced the ceremony for the transfer of the Bhutan Board for Certified Counselors (BBCC) Mandate from the RENEW Secretariat to the Bhutan Qualification and Professional Certification Authority (BQPCA) under the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD), Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB). Her Excellency Lyonpo Dechen Wangmo, the Health Minister, the Acting Secretary of MoESD, the Chair of the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), and relevant stakeholders were present. The event was organized by BQPCA in collaboration with RENEW, on 23rd March 2023, at the Royal Textile Academy.
The Executive Director of RENEW, Ms Tshering Dolkar, handed over the BBCC Mandate to the Director of BQPCA, Mr Duba in the presence of Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck.
Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck is the force behind the counselling movement in Bhutan. Her Majesty the Gyalyum played an instrumental role in instituting and developing the counselling profession. In line with His Majesty, the 4th Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s Royal Decree for the institution of a comprehensive guidance and counselling system in the schools of Bhutan in 1996, Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck took forward the vision with the enforcement of counselling services in schools around the country. Under Her Majesty, the Gyalyum’s guidance, RENEW has dedicated one of its core services to counselling since its inception in 2004. RENEW in collaboration with the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) in the United States, developed the standards for the certification of the counselling profession and professionals in Bhutan.
The BBCC was launched in 2013 by Her Majesty the Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck and the former chairperson of RCSC, Lyonpo Thinley Gyamtsho. The establishment of BBCC enabled Bhutan to professionalize counselling. Furthermore, in 2015 the Cabinet endorsed BBCC as an institute to register, certify and train counselling professionals such as counsellors, psychologists and social workers. As of this day, 489 counselling professionals are National Certified Counsellors (NCC) categorized as Peer, Associate, Master, and Supervisor.
The BQPCA was launched on 09th January 2023 as per Section 25 of the Civil Service Reform Act (2022) as the competent authority for the qualification accreditation, professional certification and national qualifications framework. The BBCC mandate, as the certifying body for counselling professionals, will now transfer to the BQPCA, MoESD, RGoB. RENEW will work towards establishing a professional development training institute for certified counsellors who require updating their knowledge and skills to continue their practice.