Over the past few years, the issue of quality in guidance and counselling has been actively debated in the Member States and at European level. High-quality guidance and counselling services are now recognised as playing a key role in helping citizens manage lifelong learning, career development and personal goals. To ensure such quality, the improvement of the professional skills and status of guidance practitioners - in both the education and employment sectors - has become an important issue in its own right.
In line with labour market developments and wider social change, the demands placed on guidance counsellors have been growing, and guidance and counselling services are becoming increasingly complex. The working environments and client groups of guidance counsellors are also becoming more diverse. These factors make it necessary for counsellors to continually improve their skills.
Despite the general recognition of the importance of guidance, currently there are no common European guidelines for counsellor skills and qualifications. The peer learning event that was organised by Cedefop aimed to spur European action on developing guidance counsellors skills and qualifications and to assert once again the important role guidance practitioners play in ensuring high quality in service delivery.