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Developing Quality in Career Guidance . the German approach in an international comparison. Judith Frübing , National Guidance Forum ( nfb ), ELGPN and Open Process of Coordination for Quality Development International IAEVG Conference Capetown , 19 October 2011.

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developing quality in career guidance

Developing Quality in Career Guidance

the German approach in an international comparison

Judith Frübing, National Guidance Forum (nfb), ELGPN and Open Process of Coordination for Quality Development

International IAEVG ConferenceCapetown, 19 October 2011

background and aims prioritization of quality
Background and Aims - prioritization of quality

Lifelong Learning

legitimization of public spending

funding purposes

decentralization of public management


  • societal inclusion

user empowerment

economic andsocial development




  • aims and purposes – recent prioritization of quality in career guidance (CG)
  • the German guidance system
  • policy development – top-down and bottom-up mechanisms
  • the German approach – Open Process of Coordination for Quality Development (QD)
  • Into the future …
the german guidance system
The German Guidance System
  • CG fieldisheterogenousandfragmented
  • different responsibilities: federation, federalstates, municipalities
  • vocationalguidancegenerallybytheEmploymentAgencies
  • educationguidancegenerallybyinstitutions of theeducationsystem

=> nocoherentstrategyfor Lifelong CG

policy development top down mechanisms
Policy Development: Top-down Mechanisms
  • bettermanageable
  • betterchancesforimplementation
  • lack of ownership in the CG community
  • QA systemstendtobemoreburocracy


Policies/ programmes/ actions


policy development bottom up mechanisms
Policy Development: Bottom-up Mechanisms

Policies/ programmes/ actions

  • Cooperation of manyactorsforthecommonaim of QD
  • high sense of ownership in the CG community
  • tendtobemorepatchyandsectoral
  • tendtorelymore on self-evaluation


Cooperation of manyactorsandstakeholdersfor a commonaim

open method of coordination
Open Method of Coordination
  • strategytoeffectively manage bottom-up processes
  • consensusorientedproduction of resultsthroughcooperation of all actorsinvolved
  • commonsolutions but not thelowestcommondenominator
  • means of governanceoftenusedforcommonpolicydevelopment EU
bottom up mechanisms the german approach
Bottom-up Mechanisms – the German approach


  • europeanand international influencesandexamples
  • complexity of the German guidancefieldwithitssharedresponsibilities
  • tradition of bottom-up processesfor professional development in the CG field
  • aims and purposes – recent prioritization of quality in career guidance (CG)
  • the German guidance system
  • policy development – top-down and bottom-up mechanisms
  • the German approach – Open Process of Coordination for Quality Development (QD)
    • contexts, process and construction
    • objectives, prerequisites and stakeholders
    • results: quality criteria competence profile for counsellors Quality Development Framework
  • Into the future …

Open Process of Coordination – structure

Coordination - Advisory Board

Policymakers, Experts, Stakeholders




Institute for Educational Research, University Heidelberg

Working Group „Standards & Competence“


Working Group


Project partners

Piloting and discussionwithpractice(Practitioners and Organisations)




Open Process of Coordination - objectives

  • Common understanding of CG
  • Catalogue of quality standards for CG delivery
  • Competence profile for CG practitioners
  • Quality Development Framework (QDF) to support service providers with their quality management systems

Prerequisites: commondefinition of CG

EU-Definition (EU Council Resolution 2004):

“In the context of lifelong learning, guidance refers to a range of activities that enables citizens of any age and at any point in their lives

  • to identify their capacities, competences and interests
  • to make educational, training and occupational decisions and
  • to manage their individual life paths in learning, work and other settings in which these capacities and competences are learned and/or used.”
prerequisites common definition of cg
Prerequisites: commondefinition of CG

Open Process of Coordination: common understanding of CG (consensus of all the actors involved):

  • CG as a continuous, lifelong provision
  • CG activities which are focused on the individuals
  • CG is resource-oriented
  • CG supportsdecisionmakingandself-management of thelifecourse
  • CG takes place in an explicit guidance setting in which the practitioner acts professionally
  • CG is generally voluntary, limited in time and open
  • the client/ person is the center of interest
  • CG not only gives information but includes reflection
  • Various activities a.e. group-guidance
prerequisites common definition of quality
Prerequisites: commondefinition of quality
  • quality in CG istherelationbetweenrequirementsto CG andtheirfulfillment
  • requirementsaredefinedbytheactorsinvolved
prerequisites common definition of quality1
Prerequisites: commondefinition of quality
  • Citizen/ Clients/ Users
  • achievement of individual goals
  • appropriatebenefit
  • Service Providers
  • realization of purpose of organisation
  • efficientuse of ressources
  • maintainance of (market) position
  • Society and Politics
  • achievement of societal / policygoals
  • appropriateadoption of financialand personal ressources


  • Professionals/ Practitioners
  • perfection in terms of professionandresearch
  • welfare of user
  • ethicalstandards
  • achievementsocietalgoals

Open process of coordinationfor QD - actors

Guidance Field




Advisory Board



National Guidance Forum





  • frameworktodefinegood CG
  • applicablefor all kinds of careerdevelopmentinterventionsand in all sub-fields(thoughcertainadaptationsnecessary)
  • all criteriaareoperationalizedthroughindicatorsreferingtothe 3 actorsresponsibleforthequality of CG:
  • Practitioners
  • Organisations/ providers
  • Policy makers
criteria and competences on five levels
Criteriaandcompetences on fivelevels

Quality Criteriafrom

theorganisational context

Quality Criteriafrom



Competences/knowledgeon thesocietalcontext



Counselling System



Source: Schiersmann et al. ,2008


Intervention techniques

Quality Criteriafrom

a processperspective




Consultant‘s System



Basic Criteria


Basic competences

quality development framework
Quality Development Framework
  • supportstheimplementation of thequalitycriteriaaspart of a coherentqualitystrategyfor CG providers
  • Characteristics:
  • Flexibility: applicable in all kinds of CG providers
  • Adaptability: adaptabletoother QM strategies
  • Support: includes a compendium of materialswithtoolsandguidelinesforimplementation
quality development framework1
Quality Development Framework

Phase 1



Phase 6

Analysis of newstatus, evaluation,transfer

Phase 2

Analysis of status (qualitycriteria)

Phase 5Assessment of effects of QD

Phase 3

Definition of aims,

Planning of action

Phase 4

Implementation of QD activities

into the future
Into the future …
  • furthervalidationthroughextendedfieldtesting
  • furtherdevelopment of qualitycriteriaintostandardsthroughcontinuousconsensus-orientednegotiation
  • considerationsfordevelopment of externalevaluation
  • gradual implementation of qualitystandards, competenceprofileandQDF
  • … toreach a dynamic, flexible, transparent and non-burocraticquality model
thank you for your attention


Merci pourvotreattention!

Vielen Dank für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit!

Judith Frübing,

National Guidance Forum,Germany

  • Bezanson, Lynne and Peter Plant. Quality Standards in Career Development Services: A Canadian Snapshot and an international perspective. Canadian Career Development Foundation. Ottawa, 2010.
  • Council of the European Union, Strengthening Policies, Systems and Practices on Guidance throughout Life. Doc.
  • 9286/04, EDUC 109 SOC 234, 2004.
  • Council of the European Union, Better Integrating Lifelong Guidance into Lifelong Learning Strategies, Doc 14398
  • EDUC 241 SOC 607, 2008.
  • Crosby, Barbara C. and John M. Bryson. Leadershipforthe Common Good – Tackling Public Problems in a Shared-Power World. 2nd Ed. San Francisco: 2005.
  • ELGPN (Ed.). Lifelong Guidance Policies: Work in Progress – A Report on the Work of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network 2008-10. Jyväskylä, 2010.
  • Jenschke, Bernhard, Karen Schober and Judith Frübing. Career Guidance in theLifecourse – Structuresand Services. Ed. National Guidance Forum in Education, Career andEmploymentnfb. Berlin, 2011. <>.
  • National Guidance Forum. Guidance for Life: An Integrated Framework for Lifelong Guidance in Ireland. National Guidance Forum Report, 2007. <>.
  • National Guidance Forum. Quality in Career Guidance. Guidance for Life: An Integrated Framework for Lifelong Guidance in Ireland. National Guidance Forum Report, 2007. <>.
  • National Guidance Forum in Education, Career andEmploymentnfb, Forschungsgruppe Beratungsqualität am Institut für Bildungswissenschaft der Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Ed.). Qualitätsmerkmale guter Beratung – Erste Ergebnisse aus dem Verbundprojekt: Koordinierungsprozess Qualitätsentwicklung in der Beratung für Bildung, Beruf und Beschäftigung. Berlin, Heidelberg: 2011.
literature cont
  • Plant; Peter. Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe: counting what is measured or measuring what counts? IJEVG: (published online: 3 May 2011).
  • Plant, Peter. Quality in Career Guidance: IssuesandMethods. IJEVG: 4,2-3 (2004). 141-157.
  • Schiersmann, Christiane, Miriam Bachmann, Alexander Dauner und Peter Weber. Qualität und Professionalität in der Bildungs- und Berufsberatung. Bielefeld: wbv, 2008.
  • Schober, Karen and Christiane Schiersmann. „Beratungsqualität – auf dem Weg zu übergreifenden Qualitätsstandards für die Beratung in Bildung, Beruf und Beschäftigung – erste Ergebnisse des offenen Koordinierungsprozesses.“ Bildungsberatung im Kontext von Fernlernen. Beiträge aus Wissenschaft und Praxis. Ed. Andrea Fogolin. Bielefeld, wbv. comingsoon.
  • Watts, A.G., Ronald G. Sultana and John McCarthy. The Involvement of the European Union in careerguidancepolicy: a briefhistory. IJEVG: 10,2 (2010). 89-107.


  • Beratungsqualität in Bildung, Beruf und Beschäftigung – offener Koordinierungsprozess zur Qualitätsentwicklung (open process of coordinationforqualitydevelopment)
  • Canadian Standards andGuidelinesfor Career Development
  • National Guidance Forum (Ireland).
  • Nationales Forum Beratung in Bildung Beruf und Beschäftigung (nfb) (National Guidance Forum in Education Career andEmployment)
  • „Quality in Career Guidance – open process of coordination for quality development.” Examples of Lifelong Guidance related initiatives and practices in ELGPN member countries.
quality criteria on five levels
Quality Criteria on fivelevels
  • Basic criteria:

are the general base for a high quality and professional CG

  • Process criteria:

Quality needs a professional guidance process

  • Criteria for consultants:

describe the need for qualification, defined competence and continuous development of CG practitioners

  • Criteria on theorganisation:

define the needs for a organisational environment

  • Criteria on the societal context:

Legitimacy, impact and success of CG activities are strongly linked with the goals and circumstances of its societal background.

compentence profile


  • Basic competences
  • Competencesforthecounselingprocess
  • Competencesandknowlegdeconcerningtheclient
  • Competencesfor professional self-reflection
  • Competenceswithintheorganisation
  • Competencesandknowledgeaboutsocietalregards
example basic quality criteria transparency
Example: basicqualitycriteria: Transparency

Ü2. Transparency of the service

Transparency (e.g. in terms of access, accessibility, form of guidance, promise of performance, costs etc.) is to be guaranteed in the guidance action, the organizational action as well as in the context of the relevant political action.


Transparency is a fundamental prerequisite for the use of guidance provisions by the client. If a guidance situation may not be chosen by free will, transparency also refers to the clear and comprehensible clarification with the client of the conditions under which the guidance provision takes place.


Guidance action:

  • The guidance practitioner guarantees that the course of guidance and the employed methods etc. are clear and comprehensible for the counselee.

Organizational action:

  • The guidance offers are published in an understandable form and with all the essential criteria for the client, the politically relevant actors, the staff in the organization as well as for network partners.
  • In publishing information about the guidance offers, criteria like language, regularity, topicality, intensity and type of media are considered systematically.
  • Culture-specific and gender-relevant characteristics as well as accessibility are taken into account when publishing.

Political action:

  • The responsible political actors communicate the conditions, objectives and grounds for the provisions as well as the qualification requirements for guidance practitioners.
  • Transparency of guidance provisions is promoted by the responsible actors (e.g. supporting corresponding platforms) is demanded as part of allocation and funding regulations.