Client cases

The following case studies, based on qualitative data in the registration system (the counsellor’s description of actions during the sessions), show what a custom-fit guidance path looks like and how guidance paths may differ, depending on client needs.

Client 1: this client needed little guidance and support, has found his interests easily and took initiative (on his own) to start the educational programme.

  • Session 1: the client talks about his background situation. He has lived with his father for the past three years. Before that, he lived in a difficult situation and moved a lot. He and his sisters were responsible for the household and childcare which meant that he often skipped school. The counsellor explained all options towards obtaining a diploma of secondary education. Further on in the session, the options and their feasibility are discussed. To the client, the most interesting option seems to be secondary adult education. His interests seems to lie in the ICT sector. The counsellor gives him homework: he will do the online test ‘I-Prefer’ at home to find out more about his interests.
  • Session 2: the client himself took a considerable initiative: he contacted an educational institute that offers web design. He is creative and has an interest in ICT, it is the best option for him to get a diploma of secondary education in adult education. He is very enthusiastic and motivated. The counsellor checked when he can start with the programme, which is in about five months. Meanwhile the client wants to work. The counsellor advises him to go to the employment agency to be registered.
  • Session 3: the client went to an information session in the school. He already knew a lot of the information provided, but was informed on practical matters such as enrolment and the dates to take a test for the recognition of acquired competences. In the meantime, he has completed the tests. He will enrol and will know which subjects he is exempted from next week, based on the tests. The client needs no further support from the counsellor.

Client 2: the client has a clear learning demand; she wants to become a nurse and wants to know what her options are. She wants to be guided towards an educational programme to become a nurse.

  • Session 1: the client turned to the guidance service by herself when the service had an outreach location at the Public Employment Service. She wants to become a nurse. She is in a special support programme of the social welfare agency and follows an intensive course in Dutch as a second language. She wants to improve her Dutch as fast as possible and start a nurse training programme as fast as possible. The best option for her is to follow the preparatory training programme for non-native speakers prior to the nurse study programme, but she needs to further improve her Dutch first. She requested support to navigate this trajectory.
  • Session 2: Two months later, her mastery of the Dutch language still needs to be improved. The counsellor has called several centres for adult education to check if she can enrol in an even more intensiveL2 programme, but all courses are fully booked. The counsellor gives the client tips to practice on her own using an interactive new website (online exercises) for L2 learners. Meanwhile she wants to find a job. A new appointment is made for a few months later to check if she is ready to apply for the preparatory training programme for nurses.
  • Session 3: Three months later, the client is in an employment programme at the employment service. She seems to be ready to start the application process for the preparatory programme. The counsellor provides her with all documents that she has to complete. The counsellor explained the programme in detail and provided extra information, but meanwhile the client has doubts if she want to continue with the programme. The client will reflect about the issue and makes a new appointment in two weeks’ time.
  • Session 4: The client has read through all the information on the programme that the counsellor provided and has decided that she wants to apply for enrolment. The counsellor supports the client with completing the application form on the website and prepares the application interview with her. They have discussed the answers the client could give on motivational questions. The counsellor has asked the client to keep her informed about the results of the interview.
  • Session 5: the client took the entrance exam for the study ‘poly-lingual secretary’ at level 5 (EQF 5) and was successful. She is very motivated to start studying in this programme. She even got further approval from the social welfare service to continue studying while maintaining social support, but she should look out for a job at the same time. The counsellor explains the different possibilities to find a job and gives advice on how to improve her CV. The counsellor gave a motivational talk, which she needed.

Client 3: this client has no idea what to study. An interest test has shown a strong interest in languages. He will inform himself further on two specific study programmes to make a final choice.

  • Session 1: the counsellor discusses the background and past studies (in secondary school) with the client. The client quit in the 3rd grade (of 6) of general education and changed to technical education. His mother died when he was 16 and he had to live with his grand-father. He is very ‘addicted’ to fantasy and science fiction (both gaming and watching series) which has had an influence on his school career. Now he wants to get a diploma of secondary education. The counsellor has provided an overview of all options. The client doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about any options and has no idea what subjects he is interested in. The counsellor gives him the task to do the ‘I-Prefer’ test at home and to discuss the results in the next session.
  • Session 2 (Two weeks later): evaluation of the results of the interest test: study motivation is very low, his preference goes out to languages and nothing else. Two study programmes could meet his interests; both programmes were further analysed (content of the modules). The client could combine the modules in two different centres for adult education. He is mostly interested in travel agency operator as this programme contains many languages. He does not want to start until six months later (wants to work for a while before he starts to study). He also wants to discuss the options with his grandfather. The counsellor advises him to participate in different information sessions on the programmes he is interested in, organised by the centres for adult education. The counsellor refers him to SBS (a special employment programme for young adults), and they agree that the counsellor will contact the client after the info sessions to discuss further process.



"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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