Implications for future programme development
Transparency and open discussion on competences needed and competence development for counsellors is important, especially when gathering knowledge about a new target groups and learning what will work for them and their needs. Cooperation between specialists that service the target groups is mutually beneficial and can contribute to competence development. Service user’s feedback obtained on regular bases can shed light on what works and what is needed.
Implications of policy
The regulations concerning the job title ‘educational- and vocational counsellor’ help to ensure competences and facilitate effective service. A job description and ethical guidelines, developed by the Association of educational- and vocational Counsellors, are in place at the national level for counsellors. This may suggest that countries such as Iceland which have well-developed counselling-related policies, may be better placed to serve vulnerable clients. The high level of training and support enjoyed by counsellors in Iceland ensures competence development and has implications both within the country and across the GOAL project’s five other countries.
Implications for policy
Training and lifelong learning among counsellors is important and should enjoy continued support. As the findings suggest, the sharing of knowledge and expertise between professionals is highly beneficial to everyone involved, and indirectly to service users. This suggests that the creation of a mutual forum with regular meetings where dialogs can take place between specialists, would be highly beneficial. The opportunity for peer-learning, the sharing of experience and concerns, creates support and contributes to ongoing competence development.