Title European Accreditation Scheme for Careers Guidance Counsellors
Project Number IT/06/C/F/TH-81406
Project Type Thematic Action (2000-2006)
EAS. European Accreditation Scheme for Careers Guidance Practitioners
The EAS Project developped and test a common accreditation framework for European career guidance practitioners with the aim of fostering the confidence of consumers in career guidance and facilitating the mobility of career guidance practitioners across Europe. The framework is competence based and independent of the route ( academic or work-based) through which competence has been acquired. The Project involved 40 European organisations/associations and has been developed with a European Commission (Leonardo Da Vinci Project) contribution.
The aim of the Project Team was to produce a framework for accreditation that is reliable, simple and broad enough to be used in the many European countries where people delivering career guidance are not accredited. This was not an easy task, for three main reasons:
1- Across Europe there is not yet a common understanding on career guidance. For example some activities related to human resource management and job brokering are considered part of career guidance in some countries but not in others.
2- Furthermore, in some countries career guidance delivery is considered a discrete occupation while in others it is a sub specialization of other occupations (for example of teachers). We resolved this issue by deciding to accredit not occupations (such as career counselor, information officer and so on), but each of the three separate main tasks people delivering ‘career guidance’ in Europe usually accomplish; notwithstanding their occupational role. The main tasks are: deliver career guidance information as a separate activity, perform career guidance interviews, carry out guidance activities in groups (see sections 2 and 3 of the Handbook).
3- In many European countries people delivering career guidance qualify for that work mainly through non formal learning routes. Where they exist, career guidance educational qualifications are diverse in content and length. For these reasons we decided to develop an assessment procedure focused on how the main task for which accreditation is sought is carried out. This is distinctly different from other approaches based for example on educational qualifications (accreditation is granted if the applicant holds the prescribed educational qualifications), experience (accreditation is granted if the applicant holds the prescribed experience), competencies (defined as personal features -skills, knowledge, etc.- causally related with good performance; accreditation is granted if the applicants holds the prescribed personal features). We choose instead to accredit applicants that proved directly capable to carry out the main task(s) for which they sought accreditation, even if, to make the EAS assessment procedure more fast and reliable, evidences such as educational qualifications, experience and self administered learning (the latter could include active participation in a local professional community and existing professional associations, subscription of scholarly career guidance journals, participation in congresses, and so on) are considered. An additional challenge for the project team, working at a distance and formed by organisations and researchers diverse in language, aims and working behaviours; was to develop a framework of good quality respecting the tight deadlines set by the Commission and the project plan. We met this challenge through the active coordination, flexibility and engagement of each partner.
EAS – What have we did?
1. Analysing the existing accreditation schemes for guidance practitioners in different OECD countries, focusing on requested requisites and assessment methods
2. Developing an original taxonomy of the main competencies of careers guidance practitioners and a scheme for their accreditation. The scheme has been developed in cooperation with IAEVG, International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (www.iaevg.org)
3. Testing the accreditation scheme with 90 guidance practitioners and a huge number of organisations in European countries.
4. Discussing the scheme with careers guidance professional associations in European countries
5. Disseminating internationally the accreditation scheme, as part of a programme of licencing as awarding bodies organisations of other countries.
What has been the outcomes of the EAS?
* A study on existing accreditation schemes in different OECD countries.
* A pilot test with 90 careers guidance practitioners and organisations in a huge number of european countries.
* A feedback on the scheme collected by careers guidance professional associations. A total of 10 European countries will be involved in the project.
* An original accreditation scheme.
Sectors Other Service Activities
Product Types website
The major output of EAS was the Handbook addressed to decision makers, organisations delivering career guidance, career guidance practitioners and researchers, interested in knowing how to assess and accredit the competence of people delivering career guidance. This issue is much debated in many countries inside and outside Europe where career guidance services have been developed or are going to be established, but no overall standard for the competence of people delivering career guidance has been set.
The Handbook describes the proposal of a group of European organisations and researchers, active in the field of career guidance for many years.
Furthermore the project produced:
1- a website (www.corep.it/eas)
2- a Study on OECD countries accreditation schemes.