Project GOAL

This website presents the project GOAL evaluation results. GOAL stands for Guidance and Orientation for Adult Learners. It is an Erasmus+ funded project that sought to develop new models or expand existing models of guidance and orientation for low-educated adults in six countries: Belgium (Flanders), Czech Republic, Iceland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Slovenia. Project GOAL ran from February 2015 to January 2018, and was coordinated by the Flemish Government’s Department of Education and Training. The evaluation was carried out by the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) in partnership with local evaluation teams in each country. 

Key Findings

outreach strategies


There were three outreach challenges which were relevant across the six GOAL programmes:

  • Challenges related to the characteristics of the target group
  • Challenges related to resources (time and money)
  • Challenges related to accessibility.

In addition to these challenges that were faced across GOAL as a whole, focusing on particular target groups created additional outreach challenges for some teams. These additional challenges for some countries were: challenges related to employers and challenges related to working in prisons.

Achievements and lessons learned

Most countries achieved their service user recruitment targets for GOAL, with Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Flanders exceeding their original targets. Iceland fell slightly short of the target of 100 service users. In the Netherlands, target numbers for screening adults with potential low literacy were exceded, but monitoring data were only collected on a small proportion of screened clients.

Service users had a broad range of different routes into GOAL. As shown in Table 7.4. the most common routes were referral from employment/unemployment services (30%), self-referral (15%), and referral from social welfare services (14%).

Among the strategies used to achieve programme outcomes, “reaching in” to organisations was particularly successful. Through this approach, programme staff overcame many outreach hurdles.

Most countries made great strides in developing and strengthening partnerships. Extensive GOAL efforts to cultivate partner relationships and networks, coupled with partners’ eventual willingness to work with GOAL teams, led to a step change in partners’ understanding of and attitudes towards GOAL. This, in turn, led to greater referrals from organisations that GOAL was “reaching in” to.

In some countries, particularly Slovenia, more direct outreach efforts were effective in increasing the profile of guidance in the local environment. These efforts included information booths at employment services, social services centres, in the local community, in libraries and at local events.



"GOAL interview: a client came to discuss a program for validation of employability skills, in which she is going to participate."

"In-house discussions with other counsellors and project managers on an unexpected issue with a student. We tried to solve the issue together. We had to contact another school."


“Presentation for unemployed people about possibilities to get involved into the Goal project and get free of charge orientation and guidance.”

“Orientation and guidance of adult people. 2 clients are consulted: they are unemployed and have plans for learning a new profession in order to find a job.“


“The prison population and educational needs of the detainees are far from homogeneous.”

 “Usually, there are 6 to 8 detainees at a time, each with an individual program. I guide them. The guidance can be focused on basic education, vocational education or specific courses detainees are taking at that time”


"Working with clients gives me energy and brings me joy, because between individual sessions I can see progress, changes, new beliefs, enrolment in education programmes and I can build good relationships with my clients."


"The feeling that I do a lot of good for my clients is priceless."

Czech Republic
Czech Republic

“At the start of every session, counsellors try to gather information about the client, his or her position within the family and wider friendship circles, and his or her health. They also explore the client’s feelings, ideas and motivation.”

“Based on the client’s answers, the counsellor selects ways to proceed in order to meet the client’s needs and goals.”


"All information, agreements made and steps taken during sessions are written down in the registration system"

“Even the names of persons clients have been talking about are registered in order to remember the whole communication line and, more importantly, to avoid them having to say things twice. It creates a sense of trust with our clients.”


from clients, counsellors and stakeholders


Contact Info