Educational and vocational guidance in Iceland

Educational and vocational guidance is officially available for the adult population at upper secondary school level, univeristies, lifelong learning centres, municipalities, employment offices and several private practices.
Albert Einarsson Reykholt, Island
28-06-2011

Summary of the adult guidance system

Educational and vocational guidance is officially available for the adult population at upper secondary school level, univeristies, lifelong learning centres, municipalities, employment offices and several private practices. Through the Adult Education Act adults who have little formal education have access to guidance and through the Upper Secondary School Act agegroup 16 and above have access to guidance within the formal school system. Most practicing guidance professional have a diploma or Masters degree in educational and vocational guidance.

Guidance for different target groups

Educational and vocational guidance is offered at all secondary schools, at universities and at Centres for Continuing Education throughout the country based on contracts with the Education and Training Service Centre. The city of Reykjavik offers Career Counselling and Guidance at Community Service Centres. Guidance for the unemployed is offered by the Directorate of labour.

Links
Secondary Schools: http://eng.menntamalaraduneyti.is/subjects/institutions/
Higher Education: http://eng.menntamalaraduneyti.is/subjects/institutions/
Kvasir; Association of Lifelong Learning centres: www.fraedslumidstodvar.is
Directorate of labour: http://english.vinnumalastofnun.is/home/
Education and Training Service Centre: http://www.frae.is

Basic documents

Guidance and counselling for adults in Iceland is a part of the Adult Education Act no. 27.31 from March 2010: PDF
and The Upper Secondary School Act, no 92, 12. June 2008: PDF 

Educational and vocational counsellor qualification

Educational and vocational guidance is tought at tertier level at the Univeristy of Iceland at both Master´s and Doctorate level. The admission reqiurements are BA, BEd or BS degree or equivalent with first class grades.
120 ECTS credits have to be completed for the MA qualification. Students are required to take courses in the following areas: theories of counselling, career development and assessment, 30 ECTS credits, Interview techniques and practicum 18 ECTS credits, Vocational education 12 ECTS credits. Employment counselling 10 ECTS credits, research methods and statistics 10 ECTS credits, electives 10 ECTS credits. Students complete their studies with a MA thesis of 30 ECTS credits.

Additional information

Participation and cooperation with the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN)

The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture takes part in the European project European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN) http://ktl.jyu.fi/ktl/elgpn with a focus on the objectives:
The network promotes co-operation in the development of policies and systems for lifelong guidance provision at national level through European co-operation. This includes policy sharing, and promotion and support for development of the broader EU policy framework for lifelong guidance.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture is working in ELGPN in cooperation with Centre og Lifelong Guidance Expertice (CLGE) which is a research institute within the Social Science Research Institute at the University of Iceland. The centre was established in 2009 in cooperation with the University of Iceland and the Ministry of Education.
Website: Centre og Lifelong Guidance Expertice (CLGE) www.saens.hi.is/en/english

Professional Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance Counsellors

A Professional Association for Educational and Vocational guidance counsellors has been in function since 1981. For the last decade the association has had an active website and a forum for counsellors to interact.
Website: http://fns.is/

Foto: Karin Beate Nøsterud /norden.org
Foto: Karin Beate Nøsterud /norden.org