Key implications

Guidance tools

Implications for future programme development

The guidance service is not yet structurally developed and there is no professional back office to support counsellors in the development of specific tools. This lack of systematization contributes to diversity of tool used amongst counsellors. This is of course also linked to the custom-fit approach. However, throughout the GOAL project, the need had been identified (especially by new counsellors) to have supportive tools throughout the guidance process. A tool such as the flow chart or description of different steps in the process could support the coherence of the process and its quality throughout Flanders.

A professional back office could also be useful in analysing data derived from the data-monitoring system. In the context of the micro-contacts and use of social media it will be necessary to develop an ethical framework for guarding certain boundaries.

The counsellors have described some minimum criteria for a registration system to be developed in the future, when the GOAL service will be structurally developed:

  • Text fields should be avoided and only be used as support for the counsellor. The quantification of data is difficult in text fields. All information relevant for statistics should be entered in drop down lists.

  • There should be a link with the data base of the Ministry related to educational routes in the past and obtained qualifications by a person.

  • Ideally there should be a link with other databases (integration, welfare and labour) in order to have an overview of the statutes of the clients (E.g. integration program, employment guidance, social welfare support, etc.) and the contact persons in other guidance programs to exchange information with

  • The system should be web based and be accessible from every computer

  • It should be possible to include relevant documents of clients in the system

  • Alert system should be included to support counsellors in following up on actions.

Policy implications

Implications of policy

Right now both de Stap and de Leerwinkel do not have a structural embedment. Counsellors and coordinators of the services are responsible for their own data-analysis. As they have limited knowledge and expertise in data-analysis, it could be helpful to hire an external person. Leaving this part as one of the responsibilities of the counsellors, may produce distorted results which are not always accurate or meaningful.

At the moment there is no exchange of data possible between the current registration system and other systems (Ministry of Education, PES, Integration Service, etc.). Therefore, counsellors are very dependent on the information that the client provides to get the complete picture of the client’s context, his educational past, statutes related to unemployment support, etc. Or the information must be acquired from persons from other organisations, which is time consuming. The lack of exchange of data is linked to privacy regulations and the lack of structural embedment of the GOAL service.

Implications for policy

Structural embedding of an educational guidance service would be helpful in developing a professional back office that supports the development of specific tools and which is able to monitor and analyse registered data on a micro-level.



"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


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