A long-standing demand for raising the quality of guidance provision in Greece had finally been fulfilled. The National Organisation for Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP), the responsible body of the education ministry, followed a specific procedure for the certification of the profession by setting professional standards and requirements for those working as career guidance counsellors.
Drafting an occupational profile
A scientific study on accreditation of career guidance counsellors resulted in a career guidance practitioner occupational profile that was drafted with the participation of social partners and responsible ministries, and consequently accredited by EOPPEP. The profile includes two levels of certification, basic- and expert-level professionals. It describes in detail all the main and secondary professional functions and tasks that can be performed by the two levels, as well as the necessary knowledge, skills and competences, work conditions, minimum criteria for performing each task and alternative education paths. The profile is complemented by a modular continuous training program that can be used as a national context for the evaluation of continuous training programs resulting in basic-level certification.
Creating a national register
Creating a register of certified career guidance professionals is the main quality indicator for the existence of recognised qualifications and national regulations – legislative requirements in the career guidance sector. EOPPEP created a special register of certified career guidance practitioners and described the terms and requirements for entering the register and their sub-registers. An invitation to expert-level professionals has already resulted in the first 150 counsellors being certified in the most advanced level (level A sub-register). Similar calls will ask basic-level professionals to submit their applications for entering the level B sub-register. This type of call requires EOPPEP to develop a system of examinations, including a procedure for organising examinations all over Greece.
Towards national legislation on the certification of career guidance counsellors
The next step planned by EOPPEP is national legislation (Ministerial Act) setting the legal framework detailing the conditions for recognition of qualifications of career guidance counsellors, as well as the procedure for certification, including the procedure of the examinations above. Upskilling activities, continuous professional development through regular training seminars, publications and tools, as well as ongoing evaluation of competences should always complement the system of certification to raise the quality of career guidance professionals in Greece.