MFPA Newsletter 03

MFPA Newsletter 03
MFPA’s International affiliations and projects
For the past 17 years, the MFPA has been involved at European level through its membership within the European Council of the Liberal Professions, CEPLIS. It has contributed to various programmes such as the publication of the Common Values for Professionals. CEPLIS Director General Theodoros Koutroubas, claimed that “MFPA has achieved results and reputation inversely proportional to the size of its beautiful island country.”

The Federation has also collaborated in various EU funded projects with Confprofessioni, the Italian Federation of Liberal professionals. Its President, Gaetano Stella, claimed that MFPA has always been able to play a key role in accompanying and representing Maltese liberal professionals, thanks to its presence and the continuity of its action: “The collaboration between our Confederations has been strengthened year after year by the common European commitment, by operating for the benefit of occupational sustainability of professional firms, training and professional ethics and joining forces in partnerships in important European projects.”

Throughout this 50th anniversary year, MFPA will be holding various activities and events to increase its visibility. In recent years it embarked on two different projects: The Needs of the Professional in Gozo, funded by Gozo NGO scheme, and Professional Ethics: Safeguarding the service to the consumer, funded by the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme, managed by MCVS. The research findings of the first highlighted the different challenges that professionals in Gozo encounter in Gozo rather than when working in Malta. The research in the second project outlined the perception of university students, new professionals and consumers (service users) with regard to professional ethics. A new research will now be carried out to address the challenges highlighted in the previous two studies.

MFPA strongly feels that its sector’s strict adherence to ethical values constitutes much more than a mere legal obligation. It is the ultimate guarantee of a high-quality service to the consumer and the cornerstone of a relationship of trust between the professional and the clients/patients. The Federation continues to develop initiatives that accentuate the importance of professional ethics at a national level, including collaboration with member EU states. It is its contribution towards a competitive and ever-growing economy that remains at the service of citizens. MFPA is grateful to all present and past Presidents and Council members who have contributed, on a voluntary basis, to the Federation during these 50 years.

Malta Association for the Counselling Profession - MACP
In 1999 a group of counsellors started discussing the possibility of forming an association for counsellors. The first executive council was elected, and a proposal drafted. Its main objective was to set up a professional body to represent the profession of counselling and to safeguard professional standards.

The first newsletter was published in March 2002. Professional development sessions for the members and people using helping skills soon followed. These included avoiding burnout; making the best of supervision; storytelling; sand therapy. After 2015 and following members’ feedback, MACP started organising short three-hour training sessions rather than a whole week’s training. MACP has also hosted the annual conference of the International Association for Counselling twice, in 2008 and 2015.

The most important endeavour for MACP was to regulate the profession which became a reality on 24th February 2015 with the 3rd Reading of the Counselling Bill and with its enactment on 3rd March 2015. This involved establishing standards of practice to include supervision and CPD hours in order for counselling professionals to receive an annual warrant; also to set up an independent Complaints Board. The immense work, time & energy that had gone into the preparation of the document that went on to become a Bill in parliament, cannot be quantified. MACP has been instrumental in lobbying for counsellor’s to be placed in all sectors of society, in context where counsellors had historically only working in schools or with the Curia (Kana). MACP has managed to make the public and private employment sector aware of its profession.

MACP is currently working on ensuring that all insurance companies include counselling in their list of professions, that counsellors become VAT exempt like other helping professions and on the latest collective agreement of the Ministry for Education. MACP is also currently working on creating on a digital platform and application to facilitate counsellors work to facilitate the record keeping. MACP is also planning a training programme over a span of a number of months so that different workshops are covered. MACP keeps itself abreast with current issues and, together with the Malta Federation of Professional Associations, or on its own, issues relevant press releases.

Letter from ConfProfessioni President Gaetano Stella
ConfProfessioni, the Italian Confederation of Liberal Professions, expresses its warmest congratulations on the occasion of the important milestone reached by MFPA. Since 17th February 1971, many events and changes have taken place throughout the world, in Europe and in Malta, up until to the current pandemic situation, with its dramatic health, economic and social consequences.

MFPA has always been able to play a key role in accompanying and representing Maltese liberal professionals, thanks to its presence and the continuity of its action. The collaboration between our Confederations has been strengthened year after year by the common European commitment, by operating for the benefit of occupational sustainability of professional firms, training and professional ethics and joining forces in partnerships in important European projects.
In all this we were able to appreciate the valuable relationship with Mr. Ben Rizzo, who has always played an important role within your Confederation and is an important reference point also at European level, for his role both in CEPLIS and in EESC. We would like to think that this relationship evolved into friendship, which was enriched by his participation in our fiftieth anniversary in 2016.

In all this we were able to appreciate the valuable relationship with the President of MFPA, Mr. Ben Rizzo, who apart from his role within your Confederation, he is an important reference point also at European level, for his role in both CEPLIS and the EESC. We were deeply grateful that he had joined us for our own fiftieth anniversary in 2016.

The challenges continue and will always find us standing right there side by side, with the commitment of promoting our shared values. Once again, our congratulations and very best wishes.

Letter from CEPLIS Director General Theodoros Koutroubas
CEPLIS proudly salutes the 50th anniversary of one of its most active inter-professional members, the Maltese Federation of Professional Associations (MFPA).

Represented in Europe by our Vice-president, Mr. Benjamin Rizzo, who has very skilfully exercised its Presidency for several years, MFPA has achieved results and reputation inversely proportional to the size of its beautiful island country.

Today, at the level of the European Economic and Social Committee, at the level of CEPLIS, at that of the different platforms created by EU projects such as the one on the future of the Social Dialogue, MFPA acts as a leader.

Along with our well-earned respect and admiration, as Director General of CEPLIS, I would like to present our warm "es multos annos" and to promise our loyal support to the continuation of its achievements.

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