Netherlands - Agricultural Consultant Certification Program

Institution/Organization offering the Certificate

Union of Consultants in Agriculture (VAB)

Name of the Certificate

Agricultural Consultant Certification Program


Contact information

Yvonne Van Decamp,

What is the target group?

Agricultural business consultants

What are the entry requirements?

Bachelor’s degree and five years of work experience in advising

What are the desired outcomes / learning objectives of this program in terms of skills, knowledge, attitudes?

This program is based on personal goals. Each participant begins by writing a Personal Ambition Plan (PAP) that will guide her/his work over the next three years. Each participant’s outcomes/objectives are different.

What is the structure and duration? Part time/full time?

A group (10 – 12) meets together with a trainer for one full day to learn how to write a PAP. The PAP is then sent to VAB for feedback. The participant then meets with the trainer (from the first day) one-on-one to get the feedback. A final plan is written and must be approved by a commission. The remainder of the work is done individually with occasional meetings with the entire training group to check in and see how everyone is doing.

Where are the courses as such held? Online/face to face? At which institution?


What kind of “assignments” need to be completed? Is there an experiential learning component? A research project or thesis?

Each “assignment” depends on the individual’s PAP and will differ between individuals and in different years.

What is the cost of this certificate? (e.g., tuition cost; or describe funding model)

€ 1,000 for first year, €350 for 2nd and 3rd years; repeat process after 3rd year. Paid by individual or individual’s employer.

Is this certification linked with a professional association? Is the certificate a pre-requisite for membership? Does a professional association provide oversight of this program or merely an endorsement?

It is linked with the Union of Consultants in Agriculture, but at this time it is not a pre-requisite for membership although the board is considering changing this. This professional organization provides oversight of the program.

Does this certification result in a license to practice in extension? Is such a license (or certificate) mandatory to practice or just optional?

No. Optional.

Is there a requirement for maintaining the certification (e.g., CCA has to do 40 hours of continued education every 2 years)

Only to make a new PAP after the 3rd year if one wants to continue to have the “ab” title at the end of one’s name. However, all VAB members must continue with “Permanent Education” – 20 hours of professional development a year, in order to remain a member.

Who provides oversight for this program? (Accreditation)

Union of Consultants in Agriculture, but controlled by Lloyd’s Register for the process of the certification program.

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