Please cite as: Cedefop (2023). Inventory of lifelong guidance systems and practices - Norway. CareersNet national records.
Contributor: Ida Holth Mathiesen
Reviewed by: Cedefop
Copyright: Reproduction is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged.
Disclaimer: Translations of titles/names for entities, country policies and practices are not to be considered as official translations. The perspectives and opinions expressed in the records do not necessarily reflect those of Cedefop. The CareersNet experts make every effort to ensure accuracy of the information presented, however the situation in the countries can change and information sources are obtained from a number of stakeholders.
Previous versions: 2020


As with many other countries in Europe, Norway took part in the OECD organized international and comparative reviews of national career guidance services at the beginning of 2000 (OECD, 2002). According to the review at that time, the main weakness of the system was the fragmented nature of the  provisions. The main strength was an emerging tradition of innovation through systematic trial and evaluation. The development of this career guidance system was given focus in 2014 following another OECD report (2014) on skills action. The report recommended that Norway should apply a whole-of-government approach to establishing a comprehensive career guidance system covering all stages of lifelong learning and providing high quality services (Haug, 2021, in Cedefop et al., 2021, p.120).

Since then, a national system for career guidance has emerged to reinforce the strengths and develop the system in light of the reviews. The development has been based both on regional/local initiatives and/or from national initiatives. An important notification to parliament in which several measures were introduced (including, the Quality Framework and proposals for legislating the county council's obligation to offer career guidance to those who live in the county (career centres)) is the Skills Reform (Meld. St. 14 (2019-2020)). The Skills Reform - Learning throughout life has as its goal that no one should expire as a result of a lack of skills. The report contains several measures aimed at closing the gap between what working life needs in terms of competence, and the competence the employees actually have. In the follow-up to this, a section was added to the Education Act where the county council was given this duty (§13-3f). The different approaches will be presented in the following sections, and in the section for practice development.


Coordination and collaboration among stakeholders

Skills policy is at the top of the policy agenda in Norway, and lifelong career guidance policy is attached to this tendency in several ways. The Government joined the OECD´s skills strategy project from 2012-14. The main recommendations from the OECD analysis (2014a & 2014b) were the development of a national skills policy strategy incorporating all stakeholders, the establishment of an action plan for continuous education and learning (LLL), and the building of a comprehensive career guidance system.

The Government followed up the early recommendations with several actions: a national skills policy strategy signed by relevant stakeholders was presented in 2017. The strategy partners agreed to put in place a more comprehensive and coordinated system for lifelong career guidance and to develop further the regional career centres. It was considered urgent to raise the quality and the competences of career guidance practitioners, and to stress integration/immigration, Sami and senior support. As a part of the follow-up, the Government also appointed an expert committee to examine how to strengthen quality and access to career guidance, as well as to ensure a comprehensive lifelong system.

A National Agency for Lifelong Learning (VOX), was established to support cross-sectoral policy initiatives at national level. In 2017 this agency changed name and was now called Skills Norway. In addition, there has been a National Coordinating Group (consisting of one or two representatives with management responsibility in the Directorate of Education, the Labour and Welfare Directorate, The Integration and Diversity Directorate, University Council and National School Board) and a National Forum for Career Guidance (consisting of Government representatives, NGOs and providers of career guidance services). In total, there are representatives of about 30 different stakeholders in the Forum. Members are expected to bring the issues discussed in the forum forward to their members and bring back input and relevant questions. The aims of this Forum are to contribute to the development of an integrated lifelong guidance system, to improve the quality of the career guidance services and to increase cooperation among stakeholders. Skills Norway has a leading role in development of career guidance and career guidance policy in Norway. From July 1st 2021 a new directorate was formed and called Directorate for higher education and competence (HK-dir) and Skills Norway was integrated in this directorate and does not exist as Skills Norway anymore.

In 2019 there was a new white paper on Lifelong learning called NOU 2019:12 Educational development — Lifelong learning for restructuring and competitiveness. The NOU emphasises that Norway need to move in to a system with lifelong learning. All in all, the committee believes there is a need for a shift in the view of education and competence. Norway need a competence model where we learn the whole life - but work along the way (NOU 2019:12 p.13).

Partnerships for career guidance have been developed at a regional level in almost all counties. Regular partners include municipalities, NAV (PES) (at regional level) and employer and employee organisations. The aims of the partnerships are like those of the national bodies but targeted at local/regional needs. One of the important roles of the partnerships is also to help the career professionals gain a better understanding of the labour market, to enhance collaboration among the career providers from education institutions, labour market and authorities.

There has been extensive widening and increase in cross-sectoral cooperation and coordination on groups at risk, especially the young and refugees. This focus implies coordination both on the political and at national and local administrative levels, which takes shape in collaboration on piloting projects. It also implies a stronger commitment between the Government and labour market organisations to cooperate on priority areas.


Access to guidance

Provisions available in the education sector

Pupils in both secondary and upper secondary school have a legal right to guidance concerning education and vocational choices (Education Act §9-2). Career guidance in the education system aims to raise awareness and support pupils in choosing an education and future vocation (Mathiesen and Gunnarsdottir, 2021). It also contributes to the students’ development of career competence in a lifelong perspective. The regulations to the Education Act (2009) states that guidance should take place as a continuous process starting in lower secondary school, ending in upper secondary school. There is also a dedicated follow-up service in upper secondary school, which has a specific focus on NEETs. This service often cooperates with NAV (see section Guidance for NEET).

Adults not associated with the public employment service

There are career centres in every county in Norway (the last one established in 2019), giving adults access to free-of-charge professional career services. This service includes both one-to-one interviews, group-based sessions and web-based services. Users can get help with their CV or job application, but they can also attend courses provided for supporting the development of career management skills. Adults can also access free-of-charge professional career guidance through the National Digital Career Guidance Service, established in 2020.  

Labour market sector

The Parliament, having endorsed a white paper in 2016 urging changes needed in the NAV administration , provides the basis for comprehensive improvements to labour market services. Stronger delegated authority and frame of actions to the local NAV offices, including refined ICT development, are expected to provide better adapted services and benefits of better inclusion of residents, refugees, and services to employers. One important outcome is the new website (carrerguidance), which is a free governmental provided website where people can make contact and receive career guidance for free by chat or phone.

All-age service

In 2020 an all-age free-of-charge National Digital Career Guidance Service (Kompetanse Norge, 2021) was established. The service gives access to professional career guidance for all using chat or telephone. Together with the national website, this service includes digital guidance, self-help services and information concerning learning and occupational opportunities. It builds on experiences (e.g. Jochumsen, 2020) and recommendations (e.g. Cedefop, 2018) from other countries (Haug, 2021). The Directorate for Higher Education and Skills leads both the work on digital career guidance and the national quality framework. The service is owned by Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills. The service was developed based on the recommendations in the  green paper on career guidance  (Ministry of Education and Research, 2016).


Quality assurance

A recommendation in  the green paper on career guidance (Ministry of Education and Research, 2016) included development of a cross sectoral quality framework for lifelong guidance. The National Quality Framework for Career Guidance consists of four parts: competence standards for career guidance practitioners, ethical standards, a framework for career learning (CMS-framework) and tool for quality assurance. The quality framework is developed to be relevant both for owners and leaders of career guidance services, and for practitioners. The framework includes several tools for quality development and can be accessed through a dedicated website.

A concrete goal for the National Quality Framework is that it is used as a tool for developing quality in career guidance. The framework must be useful both for the development of quality in the field of practice, and for governance and management (see introduction to key concepts). The overall aim is for the quality framework to contribute to high-quality career guidance services in all sectors in Norway. Quality and professionalism in career guidance is crucial for the services to provide the desired benefit, both for individuals and society (see also Career Management Skills).


Career management skills

There are several examples showing that career management skills (in Norway most often called “career competencies”), and career learning has become a more known and used perspective in Norway during the last ten years. One can for instance observe that practitioners and services are more aware of and focused on providing their clients with opportunities to develop career competencies. There are opportunities for practitioners to participate in education and training aimed at providing them with the necessary skills to work with career learning. There has been published several books and articles on the subject. In upper secondary school there is a compulsory subject called “educational choice”. The subjects’ main theme is career competencies and is supposed to give the pupils an opportunity to participate in different career learning activities during the three years in upper secondary school. Refugees participating in the compulsory introduction programme are obliged to attend a newly developed programme aimed at giving the participants an opportunity to develop career competencies.  

The perspective is also relevant at policy level. Career competencies and career learning is one of four themes in the National Quality Framework for Career Guidance developed by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (Directorate for higher education and competence, 2022). It consists of a model for career competence called “Career learning in context” and includes five “areas for exploration and learning” called The Career Buttons. The quality framework defines career competencies (CMS) as follows: “Career competence is competence that enables people to manage their careers, also in change and transitions. It is the competence to know and understand oneself and one`s context, to act and make choices, and to manage dilemmas and tensions associated with life, learning and work”. 

At the core of the Career learning in context model, there are five pairs of words that make up the areas of exploration and learning – the career buttons. The areas for exploration and learning are: Me//Context, Change//Stability, Adaption//Resistance, Choice//Chance, and Opportunities//Limitations. These word pairs make it possible to explore the tensions and dilemmas that can be present when a client is to handle life, learning and work in change and transitions.  Exploring the word pairs and figuring out what impact the different topics can have on managing transitions, can facilitate an open, yet structured way of working with career learning (see Directorate for higher education and competence). The model and the career buttons are developed to be relevant for all sectors and target groups. The model, as well as a tool designed to inspire career guidance practitioners to work more with career learning, can be accessed through a dedicated website, which also have an English section (


Evidence, monitoring and assessment

Data is collected from the educational sector through surveys of pupils, teachers, school leaders, parents and school owners primarily (Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, 2022). All questions do not necessarily refer to all groups of respondents; some are specifically for teachers, for instance, others for school owners, principals, some just for lower secondary, some only for upper secondary. Some are related to how the activity is organised, some on career guidance practitioner competence, some on resources, plus other questions. The surveys are carried out twice a year; questions about guidance are regularly included. The student survey is conducted on a yearly basis and the students is asked to provide their opinion on learning and well-being at school (Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, 2023a). The answers are used by the school, the school owners and the government for organisational improvement Career guidance is featured in the survey. Career guidance practitioner at school report that the usefulness of the pupil survey on the counselling area is limited (Mordal, 2022).

Regarding career guidance, there are currently no other data collection tools in the education sector (Mordal 2022). For instance, there is no ICT-based system for guidance counsellors to complete as part of their everyday job. However, there is regular publication of the results of the surveys (Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, 2023b), which are read by guidance counsellors and other education staff, in schools and higher education institutions. These publications are sought-after and integrated as inputs into practitioners’ work, contributing to knowledge-based practices.

The regional career centres conduct user surveys, the data is gathered and presented in a yearly report made by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (link to the 2021 edition here). The directorate is also gathering information about user satisfaction in the National Digital Career Service that the directorate is running.


Career information, ICT in guidance

The Future skills needs committee (Kompetansebehovsutvalget 2021-2027) has been established to provide information on Norway´s future needs for skills. It integrates 18 members (researchers, skills forecast experts, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Ministry of local and regional authorities, and the main social partner organisations) who meet for discussions, analysing, providing and disseminating targeted knowledge based on available statistics, research and information on future skills needs.

The committee analyses relevant sources, research and analysis of skills needs. The aim is to reach a common understanding of labour market developments and skills needs and to improve future skills forecasts. The committee has delivered two reports. The outcomes will form the basis for education and skills planning, at national and regional levels. The results from the Committee will also improve the quality of career guidance, as it foresees a discussion on the production of LMI for guidance, through better knowledge of the labour market need of skills. The last report focusses on higher vocational education for a changing working life (Kompetansebehovsutvalget, 2022).

In 2020 an all-age free-of-charge National Digital Career Guidance Service was established. The service gives access to professional career guidance for all using chat or telephone. is the official Norwegian national education and career information portal, providing both education and career information as well as different tools for exploring education and work. Both services are owned and run by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills and financed by the government

As a result of the covid-19 pandemic, many career guidance services now provide online career guidance services as a supplement to their face-to-face services. In schools career guidance practitioners provided online services to the students, or they were directed to new tasks in the first lockdown in Norway spring 2020 (Buland, Mordal and Mathiesen, 2020).


Training and qualifications

There is an increased acknowledgment of the importance of professional training of career guidance practitioners in Norway. There are several different programmes for education and training of career guidance practitioners, but there is no complete overview over these programmes. The Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills has commissioned a report that will give a better overview of the different programmes. The report is to be finalised in January 2023.

In Norway, the higher education sector is quite autonomous and normally the government does not directly influence the content of career practitioner education. There is indirect influence, nevertheless. When establishing a master programme in career guidance in 2014 (delivered by University of South-East Norway and Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences), the government granted targeted funding for the programme, indicating the importance of upskilling of career guidance practitioners in Norway.

There is also a continuous informal dialogue initiated by the institutions delivering the masters programme and relevant stakeholders, such as public employment services, school owners, municipalities, public administration directorates. This ensures that the programme is in line with recent developments both in career guidance and in society. This follows the Norwegian tradition of dialogue between diverse stakeholder organisations and the providers of the programmes, regarding their content.

Several universities and university collages offer master programmes aimed at career guidance practitioners. This includes both master programmes aimed at students who aim for a more practical oriented master and more theoretical oriented masters that qualify the students for further academic training. Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences and University of South-Eastern Norway provide a master program in career guidance.

Subjects on bachelor level are also offered. An example from Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) of a one year study that has the following subjects:

  • Subject 1: Career guidance - foundations and principles: Emphasizes theoretical and practical qualifications for professional career guidance. The content includes a basic introduction to key areas related to the career guidance field such as legislation, rights and regulations that regulate vocational and educational choices, and the process leading up to the choices. The subject also contains mapping tools, strategies and methods in guidance.
  • Subject 2: Career guidance - networking and systems perspective: Emphasizes strategic work and system understanding in career guidance. The content of the course consists of, among other things, knowledge of working life and educational structure, organizational understanding, change processes and networking.
  • Subject 3: Educational welfare counselling - basis and individual perspective: Emphasizes marginalized and marginalized groups in the training course, people with psychosocial disorders and conflict management. The focus shifts from guidance to advice.
  • Subject 4: Socio-pedagogical counselling - systems perspective: Emphasizes system understanding and networking in a society-oriented perspective. This includes, among other things, change work, conflict management and multicultural counselling.

The counsellor role in the school content is divided in two functions: career guidance and educational welfare guidance. The primary task of educational welfare guidance is to help pupils experience social and academic success (Mathiesen and Gunnarsdottir, 2021; Kunnskapsdepartementet 2009).  Accordingly, it is also possible for student practitioners to take part in education and training that relates to both these functions in a more general degree in counselling. There is also further education in career guidance (30 ECTS). The course of study is based on three main themes: Career development and changing career guidance, Guiding processes and working methods, Career guidance in an organizational and network perspective (Buland et al., 2020).


Career guidance for school pupils

In Norway, pupils in lower secondary and upper secondary school are entitled to receive career guidance (Regulation to Educational Act, 2009 and Educational Act, 1998). The pupils are entitled to receive the help he or she needs to exploit individual resources, find information and to make decisions on future vocational and educational choices. The school management is responsible for addressing the pupil's right to guidance (Regulation to Educational Act §22). The time resources available for career guidance in school is scarce, and also varies between schools due to how resources are allocated. The minimum resources for career guidance is about 2.2 minutes per student per week (Mordal 2022). This includes both individual guidance and administrative work. About 70 % of thew Norwegian schools have allocated more resources to guidance (Mordal 2022).

In lower secondary school the subject Educational Choice is a curriculum-based subject aimed at providing the pupils in lower secondary school with necessary career competencies. The subject shall contribute to pupils gaining competence in making career choices based on their wishes and prerequisites regarding the education and jobs they are interested in (Røise, 2020, p.265).


Guidance for VET participants

Most VET programmes in Norway consist of two years of school-based education and training, followed by two years of apprenticeship in a training enterprise. The apprenticeship period gives the apprentice an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge in a vocational field and prepare for the trade- or journeyman’s exams.

Pupils in VET have a legal right to necessary guidance on educational and vocational choices during the two years of school-based education and training. They don`t have the same legal right to guidance during the apprenticeship-period, but there is an ongoing policy process aimed at investigating the possibility also to give the apprentices access to career guidance during the apprenticeship period.

Included in the curriculum in the school-based period is a subject called ‘vocational in-depth programme’ (Yrkesfaglig fordypning). This is a compulsory subject at year 1 and year 2 which gives pupils the opportunity to try their hand at one or more relevant subjects (Utdanningsdirektoratet 2021). The aim of the subject is to introduce students to ‘the working life’, so it can be categorised as a career learning program. The subject is developed in cooperation with local/regional enterprises (Information accessed from Utdanningsdirektoratet). The pupils will gain experience with content, tasks and working methods within the subjects they wish to try out. The purpose of the scheme is for the pupils to get a good basis for choosing a subject, and to make arrangements so that they have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge at an early stage. They can also choose subjects from the pre-study education programme (Utdanningsdirektoratet, 2021). Companies in the local environment are the school's most important partners in planning and implementing vocational deepening.


Guidance for higher education students

Students in higher education have no legal entitlement to career guidance, but several universities have set up career centres or have different career services as part of their strategy. Some have also established online services. The HE students can also use the national digital career guidance services provided by the Directorate for Higher Education and Skills and the regional career centres (karrieresentre). Career learning activities as part of the curriculum is not yet widely developed and offered at the HE institutions.

Guidance for adult learners

There are career centres (Karrieresentre ) in every county in Norway (the last one established in 2019), giving adults access to free-of-charge professional career services. In 2020 an all-age free-of-charge National Digital Career Guidance Service (Kompetanse Norge, 2021) was established. The service gives access to professional career guidance for all using chat or telephone. Together with the national website, this service includes digital guidance, self-help services and information concerning learning and occupational opportunities. It builds on experiences (e.g. Jochumsen, 2020) and recommendations (e.g. Cedefop, 2018) from other countries (Haug, 2021). The Directorate for Higher Education and Skills leads both the work on digital career guidance and the national quality framework. The service is owned by Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills. The service was developed based on the recommendations in the  green paper on career guidance  (Ministry of Education and Research, 2016).

Source (n.d.) Verktøy for deg som skal søke jobb eller ta utdanning [Tools for those who are looking for a job or education]

Guidance for the employed

Some major companies offer career guidance as a service for their employees. These employees also have the same access to guidance as other adult learners (see section Guidance for adult learners). A few of the labour unions also offer career guidance as a service for their members.

Guidance for unemployed adults

The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) has increased its focus on ensuring that the unemployed and people outside the labour market are given the opportunity to develop career competences during the different programmes they attend. Digital job applicant course is one example, the Qualification programme is another. The web site gives an overview of NAVs different support programs for helping people getting in to the labour marked. The national skills strategy states that access to career guidance may promote faster transition to work for the unemployed, or contribute to keeping people in employment. Supporting effective choices may be of significant socioeconomic benefit in situations of unemployment and reorganisation, but also when choosing education or professions. It is necessary to build up a coherent system for career guidance in all regions in order to meet these requirements.

The career centres in the regions are meant to be a free of charge access to professional career guidance for all adults including the unemployed. Since 2021, the Directorate for Higher Education and Skills and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration are cooperating to develop a closer link between NAV’s services and the services of the regional career centres. They are currently (autumn 2022) working together with a few counites to develop models for cooperation between the local Nav offices and the career centres to offer career guidance customized to the unemployed who are registered at NAV. This assignment is given to the two directorates from their ministries; the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion (Kompetanse Norge, 2021).

NAV (PES) provides several services to the registered unemployed such as status clarification, wage subsidies and work-oriented health care. Since 1st January 2017, recipients are obliged to participate in activation measures which may include low-threshold (e.g. basic skills development), skills development/qualifying measures and work-oriented activities for people with work ability (e.g. support to job search). NAV follows up the registered unemployed to provide flexible and tailored support at any given point of the activation process.


Guidance for older adults

Older residents have the same rights as for adults with access to free career guidance service at the regional career guidance centres, as well as through the National digital career guidance service – There is no special rights for older residents in Norway, but the Centre for senior politics has an online course which is a form of career guidance and they refer you to the career centers and The national skills strategy stated that: ‘Career guidance may help seniors meet changing skills demands in the labour market in a better way. It can promote their mobility, so they can remain longer in employment’.


Guidance for NEET

In Norway, there are increasing concerns for the growing number of young people who are neither in education nor employment who are simultaneously struggling with mental health issues. About 10,7 % of the people under the age of 30 in 2019 were classified as NEET (Fyhn, Radlick and Svenisdottir 2021 p.17), and in 2020 the number was 11,2 % ( 2021). These are challenges that cut across different welfare policy areas. In its monitoring of young people who are on the verge of dropping out of upper secondary school, Norway engages its Follow-up Service (Oppfølgingstjenesten, legislated in the Education act), which has specific responsibility for this group ( )

People who are not registered in the education or labour system are covered by the Follow-up service, run by the county authorities. The outreach service conducts preventive and outreach social work among young people. It offers advice and advocacy in dealing with issues related to work, school, drugs, housing or similar. The service seeks out young people who need support or assistance, but who receive inadequate or no help from other support institutions. Contacts are made in city centres, shopping centres, train stations, traffic hubs, petrol stations, fast food restaurants or wherever young people gather. The service is regionally based and cooperates with youth clubs and schools, child welfare services and school health services, health centres for young people and their families, and the police.

Systematic cooperation between municipality and county authorities about close follow-up of poorly performing students has been developed. Cooperation between the county authorities and NAV has also been improved and common goals designed to increase the completion rate from  upper secondary school have been created. For instance, the Follow-up Service (OT) was developed to help with the reintegration of NEETs in education, training and/or work programmes. The follow-up service (OT) helps to find out which options are relevant for the individual and the services must contact clients  for guidance and follow-up. Their aim is to contribute to increased competence, through offers under the auspices of upper secondary education or offers from other bodies. OT collaborates with county, municipal and state bodies that also have responsibility for young people. There is a close collaboration with NAV, which has permanent contact persons for young people. Examples of other partners are: Training office, PPT, various municipal services and the specialist health service (


Guidance for immigrants

Refugees who are given a residence permit, who have moved to a municipality are entitled to career guidance services within three months after the move to the municipality and before they start attending the introduction programme. This career guidance is offered by the regional career centres and the refugees are obliged to take part. The aim of the introduction program is to give the participants basic skills in Norwegian, basic insight into Norwegian social life and prepare them for work or education. As part of the introductory programme, the refugees also participate in a compulsory programme providing career learning. The target group is people between the ages of 18 and 55 who: have been granted asylum and thus have refugee status, are transfer refugees, have been granted residence on humanitarian grounds following an application for asylum, are granted family reunification of the groups mentioned above or are persons who have received a residence permit on an independent basis after a breach of cohabitation due to mistreatment.(

 There is a new Act on integration through training, education and work (the integration act) which applies to people coming to Norway after 1st of January 2021. Participants in the target group for the introduction program have the right and duty to carry out competence mapping and career guidance. This should contribute to the introduction program being adapted to the individual's needs. The municipality must provide skills mapping and the regional career centres owned by the county authorities must provide career guidance (

The Directorate for Higher Education and Skills are responsible for supporting the municipalities and the counties in their work on career guidance and career learning for immigrants. They are also developing an evidence base about the work and services and give advice to the government on further development.

In Norway, we also have two integration reception centres for refugees. In an integration reception, the reception offers services to the residents together with the municipality the reception is located in, the local career centre and the NAV office. The services are part of a full-time program in which the residents undertake to participate, and the aim is to qualify the participants for work through language training, career guidance and knowledge of the labor market. The municipality has the main responsibility for creating the full-time programme. Integration reception is a voluntary offer, and you must apply for a place.


Guidance for other groups

Career guidance in correctional service

The Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills conducted in June 2016 a digital survey among guidance practitioners in prisons. The intention was to investigate and increase the evidence base about career guidance as a part of the Norwegian correctional service. The survey analysed the role of the guidance practitioner (tasks, education and experience); the service provision; cooperation with others; and skills needs of practitioners. Based on the findings from the survey, five recommendations were proposed:

  • increased access to guidance is needed, especially for those in prison for short periods, newly arrived immigrants and people in special departments. The survey also reveals a difference in the service across prisons. For groups with an increased need for service, the report recommended stronger cooperation with the regional career centres, available in almost every county in Norway. More specifically, greater involvement, both as providers of individual guidance and different group-based services, is suggested;
  • more time to provide personal guidance. Respondents reported that the combination of bureaucracy (e.g. documentation) and limited resources are the main challenges to providing professional guidance services. It was recommended to increase cooperation with regional career centres. It was also recommended to analyse the content of the role as guidance practitioner in prisons, to see if changes can be made that allow more time for guidance provision;
  • explore the potential for more interdisciplinary and cross sectoral cooperation. The survey reveals cooperation between guidance practitioners and different actors (e.g. on health issues, public employment service, education). The authors refer to some evidence and policy recommendations regarding the need for different interdisciplinary effort to bring ‘outsiders’ back into society. Besides the potential role for career centres as providers of individual or group-based guidance, they also point to the possibility that the career centres can be a resources in skills development among practitioners in prison;
  • a need for further skills development. The survey reports a need for skills development in different areas (e.g. tools, methods adjusted for the target group). For some, informal training, as in a network of guidance practitioners in the same position, is requested more than formal training. The authors recommend that the department responsible for the correctional service should establish these kinds of arenas for knowledge sharing, reflection and knowledge creation;
  • further development of research-based knowledge. Following the overall recommendations in the Official Norwegian report (Ministry of Education and Research, 2016) Norway in transition - Career guidance for the individual and the society, on the need for a stronger evidence base, a recommendation is made for further research in this area. They suggest broadening of the group of respondents, possibly including the public employment service and others involved in the correctional service.

As a follow-up from this survey a Nordic working group for career guidance in prisons was established. The result of this work was two posters. One of these two posters, called the Career Guidance poster, is aimed at those who work in prisons: career guidance officers, managers, correctional staff and other staff. The poster contains a definition of career guidance, and under the headings Availability, Content, Context and Quality, it states what comprehensive career guidance in prisons should contain ( 2021). Although the posters do not introduce new or unknown individual parts, they provide a description of overall career guidance in correctional services (



Country-specific report details

Inventory of lifelong guidance systems and practices - Norway