Switzerland’s Association of Personal & Organizational Change Firms (ACF) – founded in February 2004 – brings together the country’s leading career development and organizational change companies.
Above all, our Association’s role is to ensure consistent standards of high professional competence and integrity in the delivery of:
Career transition services – and thus contribute to employability, career mobility and to support job creation
Career assessment and development services
Human resources development and HR consultancy services – so helping grow and retain talent as well as to facilitate change across corporate change cycles.
All of our members are focused upon bringing professional solutions to leverage the human impact of change in Switzerland both for individuals and organizations. The Association addresses key issues faced by the industry, in so doing raising understanding and acceptance of our positive contribution to individuals, businesses and society as a whole.
Being a member of our Association means a shared commitment to deliver first-class services guaranteeing high quality, professionalism, sustainability and the successful realization of real performance improvement. The Association’s activities include:
Advancing the art, science and practice of career and change management consultancy and to foster and increase the public and professional understanding of this field.
Working with other professional, industrial and governmental bodies on matters of mutual concern for the benefit of the Members of the Association and in the public interest.
Representing the interests of the career and change management industry to secure equitable treatment by governments and regulatory bodies.
Providing a forum for discussion of issues encountered by career and organizational change management consulting firms as well as to monitor, gather and disseminate relevant industry information.
Members of ACF Switzerland provide clients with three main types of services:
By supporting individuals through their career transition, outplacement ensures employability beyond transition. Outplacement services provide counseling and support to a dismissed or shortly to be dismissed employee. This helps in him/her cope with their departure, in discovering personal needs and capabilities and building on these in the search of a new career challenge – be it a new corporate role, self-employment or building or exploring new life options.
What is Outplacement?
Sponsored by the employer, outplacement is a professional service to enable a departing employee to secure a new career opportunity with a new employer or to set up his/her own business within a reasonable time frame. Outplacement offers a full range of transition services, which comprise:
- Personalized career coaching
- Individual career assessment to explore and leverage individual potential
- Proven career transition methodologies and access to proprietary career portals for effective career redirection
- Access to market intelligence, job postings and contact networks
- Office infrastructure to facilitate job search or self-employment.
Members of ACF Switzerland provide managers and executives with an international network to conduct a worldwide search via their respective partnerships.
The Outplacement advantage
Leaving a company’s employment can be tough and daunting but we help the departing employee to secure a new and meaningful challenge or to set up his/her own business within a reasonable time frame. It’s about providing personal career mobility for the individual concerned. Outplacement is professional transition expertise that:
- Supports the individual at a difficult time and can provide the route to sustain the quality of life of the person and his/her family
- Brings an individual’s career back onto a sustainable track, be it to secure new corporate employment, to set-up their own business or sometimes to explore new life options
- Accelerates access to a new source of revenue by securing new employment
We help an Employer to ensure a smooth and effective separation process, both by advising on how to plan, conduct and optimize the notification and separation process. So the key benefits of outsourced outplacement support from an organizational perspective are:
- Helps companies manage their workforce needs in step with evolving market conditions, plus anticipate and plan for the costs of separation of employees
- Demonstrates corporate social responsibility in difficult situations. This can sustain or even improve a company’s corporate image, reputation as a good employer and maintain the motivation of existing employees
- Ensures business continuity & performance
Vibrant, Successful Communities
Professional outplacement support, sponsored by corporations, alleviates the cost to the unemployment institutions – ultimately the tax payer – and minimizes the health and social impact of extended unemployment. So it can make a real contribution to supporting vibrant, successful communities through:
- Positively impacting the unemployment cycle & cost, by shortening unemployment cycle and by reducing the burden of unemployment on the public purse
- Encouraging the private sector to assume its social and economic responsibility
- Minimizing the health and social impact of unemployment via quicker reinsertion of people into the workforce, thereby reducing the health and invalidity risk
- Limiting the impact on the state of reduced tax during extended unemployment
- Facilitating and supporting economic transformations that are increasingly prevalent in the global economy
Assessment and career counselling
We work with individuals to develop an objective assessment of their personal profile and potential, so that he or she can then leverage it either with his/her present employer or beyond.
Initial assessment of the situation
To plan one’s career and personal development in an effective, well-focused manner, it is first necessary to carry out a thorough analysis of where one stands. This means gaining a clear and mature awareness of one’s own abilities, inclinations, needs, wishes and career options. We therefore provide executives and specialists with methods for systematically appraising their current situation and obtaining a coherent picture of their expectations and goals, both personally and professionally. On this basis they can then plan their career and devise a personal implementation strategy.
Personal career planning
When planning a career, it is important to bring one’s aspirations into line with the requirements and opportunities in the real world. Thus, besides assessing one’s personal situation, one must gain an understanding of business practices and job markets. Realistic scenarios and career options must be worked out, and candidates must be shown what practical opportunities are open to them. We therefore advise executives and specialists on how to find and evaluate these opportunities, and we help them to develop career plans that are suited to their individual goals.
Achieving career goals
The biggest challenge in career management is implementing the candidate’s plans, which are often ambitious, and achieving the goals that he or she has set. On the one hand, this requires systematic, carefully considered project management. Progress must be continually controlled and monitored. In our role as a project coach and sparring partner, we help executives and specialists to keep their eyes on their objectives, learn from experience and maintain their forward momentum. On the other hand, career development must be coupled with sustained measures for personal development. Candidates must acquire the technical and personal skills required for meeting their career goals. We help our candidates to formulate and implement their individual development plans. By means of counselling, coaching and training we assist them in their personal development and help them to prepare for the next steps in their career.
HR services in change processes
Aimed at facilitating individual and organizational development, such services may include assessments, talent development, executive coaching and various consulting services related to restructuring processes, employee retention, headcount reduction schemes or change management initiatives.
Preparing for change
The implementation of innovative plans frequently leads to organizational change. The required measures usually have negative effects for employees, and the consequence is resistance, uncertainty, anxiety, internal conflicts and lack of acceptance. To implement change successfully and efficiently, companies need support from their employees. Employees must be included in the process and allowed to shape the planning. Transparency, communication and an emphasis on values are essential. With our experience we help companies to plan change carefully, taking critical factors sufficiently into account and anticipating errors and negative effects. This guarantees long-lasting success.
Creating trust through communication
Especially when change is far-reaching, such as in restructuring or downsizing, there can be a lack of direct, clear communication. Cautious communication often means bad communication. The result is poor transparency, increased uncertainty, ambiguity, rumours and corporate indecision. We have experience in communicating decisions and changes to employees, and we know how skilful, credible communication can be used to exert a favourable influence on change processes.
Gaining the support of key persons
In situations involving change, it is particularly important to obtain support for the company from key persons and make them into agents of change. In difficult times, the best employees are often the ones who are the first to leave a company, because they have many attractive opportunities on the job market. For this reason, in change situations special attention must be given to keeping them on board. But it’s not just a matter of preventing their departure. One must get them involved in change and allow them to participate in bringing it about. This injects energy into the process and drives it forward. We have experience in integrating key persons in change and securing their commitment.
Supporting the workforce
Sudden change and the associated insecurity can often cause significant drops in employee performance, including inner opposition. Thus it is important to provide support to employees who are faced with change and continually remove factors that impair their motivation. It is essential that employees shed their prejudices as soon as possible and experience change as something positive. Group dynamics are of decisive importance here. We have experience in preparing company workforces for change and in providing guidance. In addition, we know how to identify difficulties and problems at an early stage so that they can be dealt with.
Founded in 2004, ACF Switzerland is a not-for-profit Association registered in the Zurich Register of Commerce. It groups the key players across Switzerland that are engaged in the professional practice of career development and organizational change.
Mission and Ethics
Our mission is to support the interests of the profession by providing those services and dealing with those issues best handled by the industry as a whole rather than by any one member firm or smaller group of firms.
ACF Switzerland‘s Members are committed to deliver first-class services guaranteeing high quality, professionalism, sustainability and the successful realization of real performance improvement. The professional quality of members is assessed and based on four key criteria:
Quality of the consultants delivering the service, in terms of required experience, education, credentials and personal ethics
Quality of the methodology and the implemented instruments to support the face-to-face coaching process
Application of a quality assurance system and compliance with established guidelines
Transparency in revealing required information to the client on its consultants’ credentials, the methods and the quality management systems in place.
„Outplacement is a matter of trust. Members of the ACF are trust experts.“
„Quality expectations for outplacement services are exceptionally high. We fully support this ACF Initiative.“
„The ACF is highly valued partner in the pre-selection process of outplacement firms.“
„The ACF requires strong professional expertise. As clients, we highly value this expertise.“
„The selection criteria to become an ACF member are equivalent to our selection criteria.“
ACF Switzerland is governed by a Board of Directors, who manages the Association in accordance with the Bylaws approved by its Membership, the ACF International Standards of Professional Practice and Code of Ethics.
No individual Member firm or any other body of the Association, except the Assembly of Member firms, may engage the responsibility of the Association.
The bodies of the Association comprise the Assembly of Member Firms, a Board of Directors (elected by the Assembly), an Office and Auditors.
Board Membership and responsibilities
pdp performance development partners sa
Right Management Switzerland AG*
Eva von Rohr
Von Rohr & Associates SA*
Dr. Mark Richter
OTP Organisation & Training Partners AG*
Oasys Consultants SA
Mäder und Partner AG
Schluchter, Licci & Partner AG
* Founding members