Key Implications

Guidance activities and processes

Implications for future programme development

The needs of the target group are key to future programme development. When developing a program for a target group with highly complex needs, every aspect of the programme must take that into account. The program has to be flexible and responsive to client needs. The approach needs to be holistic, which focuses on the individual rather than a specific topic, e.g. job vs learning. The custom fit approach demands that counsellors be highly flexible and able to adapt to the clients’ needs. Strong interpersonal skills are required.  Many clients in the target group lack initiative and need a detailed action plan concerning next steps. This might imply that the sessions need to be on a short interval (i.e. occur relatively frequently) to keep the clients motivated and interested.

The difficult and complex circumstances of the target group highlight the need for cooperation among different institutions and professionals. A system of referrals between specialists (e.g. social worker, financial advisor, psychologist, physical therapist) is needed if the aim is to meet the needs of the clients and work towards them becoming more active and fulfilled.

Policy implications

Implications of policy

Poor financial situation is one of the target group´s main barrier. The lack of funding and/or scholarships in the adult educational system can form a great barrier for the target groups commitment to further education.

Implications for policy

Vulnerable clients have a broad range of mutually inter-related needs. This suggests the potential for policymakers to support even closer links between projects such as GOAL and other initiatives aimed at the most vulnerable in society.

The GOAL target group in Iceland are in the highest percentage of cases those who need 2-3 sessions and who don’t know where they are heading. They are also many who require five or more sessions and have personal and other problems. This implies that there has to be an allocation of funds and resources if there is a desire to meet the target group’s needs within the adult educational system in Iceland.

The complicated and diverse issues that the target group in Iceland faces, highlight the need for a network of agencies, institutions and specialists that are able to assist the target group. A referral system between institutions and the sharing of knowledge is needed, as is joined up policy thinking on behalf of The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and The Ministry of Welfare.



"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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