Hellenic Ministry of Education & Religious Affairs
41 Ethnikis Antistaseos Avenue, 14234 Νea Ionia, Greece
Certification of career guidance counselors: a long awaited demand for raising the quality of guidance provision in Greece.
In the European context Practitioner Competence is positioned centrally within quality of service provision and improvements. In Greece the absence, so far, of a legal framework setting professional standards and requirements for the persons working as career guidance counselors meant that people not having the necessary competence could offer career guidance services to the public without central control. EOPPEP, being the responsible body of the Ministry of Education followed a specific procedure for the certification of the profession.
 European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN). (2012) Life guidance policy development: A European Resource kit. University of Jyvaskyla, Finland and Finnish Institute for Educational Research (FIER), Saarijarvi, Finland. Page 18, 50, 96-105
Drafting an Occupational profile
A scientific study on accreditation of career guidance counselors resulted in a Career Guidance Practitioner Occupational profile that was drafted with the participation of social partners and responsible ministries and then accredited by EOPPEP according to a legal procedure set by a ministerial Act. Acknowledging the different complexity of career guidance functions and levels of competence in practicing the professional roles of career guidance, 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, conditions of work, minimum criteria for performing each task and alternative educational 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.
LEVELS OF CERTIFICATION
Basic level professionals
EQF 6 university degree in any subject + Written Examinations + On the spot evaluation of a F2F career guidance session.
Plans, organizes and prepares career guidance provision
Provides Career Guidance services according to the specific needs of its clients
Assesses, reorganize and extends the access to career guidance services
Expert level professionals
EQF 6-8 university degrees in career guidance – No examinations
Supervises and assures quality of guidance provision
Conducts research and provides education in career guidance
Promotes the development of career guidance tools.
Setting a national register
Setting a register of certified career guidance professionals is the main quality indicator for accessing the existence of recognized qualifications and national regulations – legislative requirements in the career guidance sector. With a decision published in the Government Newspaper EOPPEP set 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 counselors beingcertified in the most advanced level (level A sub register). Similar calls will ask from basic level professionals to submit their applications for entering level B sub register. This type of call requires from EOPPEP to develop a system of examinations, including the procedure of running the examinations, securing examination centers all over Greece, development of a bank containing themes for the exams etc.
To a national legislation of Certification of Career Guidance Counselors
The next step planned by EOPPEP is a national legislation (Ministerial Act) setting the legal framework covering the conditions for the recognition of the qualifications of career guidance counselors and the procedure for its certification, including the procedure of the above mentioned exams. Up skilling activities, continuous professional development through regular training seminars, publications and tools, as well as ongoing evaluation of competence should always complement the above described system of Certification in order to raise the quality of career guidance professionals in Greece. EOPPEP is working towards all mentioned activities.
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