The aim of the conference is to disseminate the results of the ICT Skills for Guidance Counsellors, a project co-financed by the European Commission within the Leonardo da Vinci framework and by the Italian Ministry of Labour.

One of the challenges that every guidance system currently faces is how to make the best use of ICT by guidance practitioners, particularly in providing services for their clients.

The future holds challenges for guidance practitioners, and some of these can be addressed with the support of ICT. New technologies are a highly important part of everyones continuing professional development. How should we set about updating and improving guidance practitioners initial training and continuing professional development? In which areas of work is their ICT training most urgent?

Doing traditional things in new ways needs the clarification of new competences.

As well as the basic technical skills, guidance practitioners need specific guidance-related ICT competences in order to carry out traditional activities in new ways and also introduce some completely new guidance activities. A guidance practitioner can conduct a vocational guidance interview in a face-to-face relationship. Can he/she do the same thing by videoconferencing? How different are the performance criteria? Similarly, if a guidance practitioner uses e-mail to deliver information or advice, do his/her verbal and non verbal communication competences (i.e. language, tone, gestures) automatically translate into writing skills?

This project started from these questions. It was first planned in Gothenburg (Sweden) in 2001 during a conference on Quality and Ethics in Web-based Guidance. During that conference, partners in a working group on guidance practitioners training needs agreed that it was necessary to identify the specific ICT competences needed by guidance practitioners and then deliver training courses based on them. This project was born from that discussion.

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