Implementation and aims
Due to the limitation of programme resources the GOAL programme could focus only on three of five GOAL strategies, namely: establishment of relevant networks, development of tools and quality of guidance services. Two other intervention strategies related to counsellors’ competences and outreach activities were tackled indirectly. The GOAL aimed to explore a possible adult guidance model in education institutions which were already know to offer guidance to adults: i.e. to analyse which are the clients of education institutions counselling services, how do they assess services and counsellors expertise, what are their partnerships, what are their relations with PES services and is there a need for and what can be done to expand GOAL-type services.
Strengths and achievements
The absolute majority of clients were satisfied with their contact with counsellor and did not suggest any improvements that could be made to the service. They especially underlined personal contact with counsellor and their competence as strengths of the service. This is evidence of the importance of and the need to strengthen a good personal contact between a counsellor and a client, and, thus, a better suitability of face-to-face contact against group counselling (or at least to have a combination of both types of counselling).
Policy actors also underlined that low-educated persons were a fragile group that benefitted from special access and methods. Staff proposed to tailor guidance tools and methods for the needs of low-educated persons, to work towards limiting fragmentation of guidance services and to develop the system for training/ continuing professional development of adult guidance specialists.
Challenges and barriers
The main barrier to the services appeared to be lack of resources and lack of regular funding. The sites in delivering services usually relied on project funding. The GOAL experience showed that GOAL sites without additional funding and clear mandate would not be capable of providing high-quality guidance services. Another barrier was related to the fact that the counselling services were institution-based with the strong focus on attracting potential learners.
Building sustainable new partnerships appeared to be a challenging task. One of the barriers for new partnerships was that GOAL could offer counselling sessions to a limited number of clients and no other real and tangible motivation for partners to be active in the project could be offered.
Baseline and progress across GOAL’s five intervention strategies
The table below provides a brief evaluative summary of the quality of different aspects of the GOAL programme in Iceland, comparing quality at the start of the evaluation (baseline) and at the end. In this table, we provide numerical ratings for each of the five intervention areas, and an explanation of that rating for each category. These ratings and explanations are provided for the start of the evaluation and the end, with the aim of briefly summarising key issues and change over time. In addition to provide ratings and commentary for the five core GOAL intervention areas, we also address overall service quality and policy interest/support. The latter is a key factor in determining future programme sustainability.