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Careers in transition – Career guidance as beacon of light

Improving the implementation of quality assurance in career guidance

Click here to read the conference handout.


09:30 – 10:15      Welcome

10:25 – 10:55       Keynote 1: The life long learning (policy)context of career guidance
                            Martin Soeters MSc, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, NL

Adult learning is important for individual people, economic development and social inclusion:

Adult learning is key to the self-fulfilment of individual people, as it contributes strongly to their happiness.

  • New technologies (automation) and transitions like climate change and sustainable energy cause changes in the skills needed. The labour market tends to become more flexible to adapt to these profound changes.
  • Adult learning helps people to keep up with these changing needs for skills. This helps to reduce mismatches of the skills needed and available, making our society more resilient and more fostering to innovation.
  • Adult learning can help people acquire the basic skills (literacy, numeracy and digital skills) they need to take part in society, which helps society to become more inclusive.

The Dutch policy goal for adult learning is to improve the learning culture: it should be second nature for everyone to develop their skills further.

In our society today 20% of the adults do not engage in any form of structured learning. This group consists mostly of people without higher education experience, workers with flexible contracts, workers in small businesses and workers aged 50+. Sometimes these people lack basic skills or suffer from learning aversion, shame/passivity and/or lack of confidence. It is necessary to empower these individual adults. The Dutch government, developing a Whole of Government Approach, has started an Action program to improve the preconditions for adult learning.

An important element is to reach out to adults, to support and activate them to make the right decisions to improve (basic and) professional skills. That is where career guidance can make the difference.

10:55 – 11:25        Keynote 2: Career management: a strategic asset for sustainable organisations
                            Prof.dr. Judith Semeijn, Open University of the Netherlands, NL

The importance of career guidance and the role of career guidance professionals is rapidly increasing. In this contribution, Judith will shed light on the developments in and surrounding our work, and what these mean for HR and career management. Thinking about the changes that are required for the HR field, we can reflect on the different roles that career professionals can take in this process. Their new and developing roles also have consequences for the professional development of career guides and counsellors. The contribution will therefore end with some implications for quality standards and assurance, and the educational requirements and possibilities for individual career guides and counsellors.

11:25 – 11:55         Keynote 3: Labour market in transition: the importance of innovative guidance instruments for employees
Dr. Jos Sanders, HAN University of Applied Science, NL

In lifelong learning maintaining and improving the quality of career guidance and instruments used is key. Jos’s keynote will address the broad topic of Lifelong learning and development. He will show how skills mismatches occur and how they are barely resolved in modern day’s highly dynamic labour market. Every job changes and some professions even seize to exist, whilst other professions appear. Especially precarious workers need professional and high quality guidance in maintaining their fit to ever changing jobs and employment. One aspect of this professional guidance is the interpretation of labour market information (LMI) in that workers need to know what skills to develop in order to sustain their employability and careers. Career checks are broadly used for this purpose. We now study their validity and reliability and what makes them useful for different groups of workers. Jos will present some preliminary results of this study.

12:00 – 13:00      Lunch and networking

13:00 – 13:05      Start
                           Ester Leibbrand, President of Noloc, NL

13:05 – 13:20       Introduction of the Erasmus+ project QUAL-IM-G: improving the implementation of quality assurance in career guidance
                           Tomáš Šprlák, President ZKPRK, SK

The QUAL-IM-GUIDE project has the goal of producing sustainable and transferable outputs that will strengthen the implementation of quality assurance in career guidance. A research study was conducted during the project, that analyses different quality assurance systems and approaches in place in partner countries and of selected trans-national standards for career guidance. The project will lead to the development of a mentoring program for certification candidates, quality improvement framework for providers as well as a detailed description of a model procedure for individual and organizational quality accreditation. No new quality standards were developed in the project, but the project coincides with the development of national quality assurance mechanisms in Slovakia, Czech Republic and Norway.

13:20 – 13:50       Keynote 4: Quality assurance in career guidance: a European perspective
                           Dr. Siobhan Neary, University of Derby, UK

The presentation will explore the findings from the synthesis report for the QUAL-IM-G project. The project focuses on improving the implementation of quality assurance in career guidance and utilises analysis of a range of transnational and nation quality assurance systems.  The research uses the Hooley and Rice (2018) model which differentiates between systems and frameworks connecting drivers for change and the degree of provider autonomy. Using an audit template 21 submissions were examined from seven countries. Key findings suggest most quality labels have associated costs varying between €262 and €7,500, the majority focused on adults and all age services and were organisational orientated national standards. The standards utilised both internal and external assessment processes and were supported by a range of implementation resources and tools. The outcomes from the research contribute to the development of a mentoring programme, a certification/accreditation procedure, a quality development framework for practitioners and an audit procedure for providers.  

13:50 – 14:20        Keynote 5: Towards a national quality framework on career guidance: the Norwegian approach
                            Dr. Erik Haug, Inland Norway University of Applied Science, N

The Norwegian government has decided to develop a lifelong holistic quality framework for career guidance. In this presentation, Haug will present the policy background for such an initiative, the process of developing it, and content of the preliminary framework, which is launched in mid-February 2019.  

14:20 – 14:40       Coffee break

14:40 – 15:10        1st round Simultaneous workshops (choose 1)

  1. Student oriented career guidance in vocational education: an holistic quality approach
    Dr. Aniek Draaisma, Open University of the Netherlands, NL
    Student oriented career guidance in vocational education is not an easy thing to realize. Faced with a traditional teacher oriented school structure, both curricula, teacher orientation towards students and the organisation of schools itself should be considered as inseparable and intertwined elements. Given the rapidly changing labour market, an holistic quality approach towards career oriented education is needed to provide students the tools, instruments and self-insights required for realizing a successful career. Providing teachers with career guidance skills is a crucial aspect of this process.
  2. Quality assurance of career guidance practitioners
    project results, QUAL-IM-G
    In this workshop, the results of the development and piloting of a mentor training programme related to the preparation of guidance practitioners towards their certification will be presented. Besides, the concept of an overall certification development framework that can be used as building blocks for building a certification infrastructure for guidance practitioners will be introduced. The workshop will be led by the QUAL-IM-G project partners from the Czech Republic (SKPKR) and the Netherlands (Noloc).
  3. Best practices: how to effectively implement career vouchers as instrument for labour market transition: a comparison of the Dutch and Belgian approach.
    Dr. Derk-Jan Nijman, HAN University of Applied Science, NL
    Dr. David Meulemans, VDAB Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling & Beroepsopleiding, Belgium
    This workshop will present preliminary results of a study on career checks in the Netherlands; what characterizes these career checks, and what is known about their effects. In addition, a comparison will be made between Dutch career checks and career vouchers that have been introduced in Belgium.

15:10 – 15:20        Switch workshops

15:20 – 15:50       2nd round Simultaneous workshops (choose 1)

  1. Quality and quality labels in education for career guidance practitioners and job coaches
    Jouke Post MSc, Saxion University of Applied Science, NL
    Evidence exists that the training and competence of career guidance professionals make an essential contribution to the development of high-quality career guidance services. This means that In the process of enhancing the quality and professionalization of career professionals, services and organizations the (continuous) education of career professionals plays an important role. There is a direct linkage between the professionalization, certification, accreditation and education of career professionals. Qualification standards and competence frameworks are therefore key issues when we want to upgrade the status and prestige of the career professional and career services. In this  workshop we will explore various ways to create (more) coherence and quality in the work and education of career professionals and exchange our (international) experiences on this matter.
  2. Quality assurance of career guidance providers
    project results, QUAL-IM-G
    In this workshop, preliminary results on the development of quality assurance implementation tools focused on organizational providers of career guidance will be presented. Those tools will focus on the following two elements: a quality development framework for organizations providing guidance and the development of an audit/labelling procedure for organizational providers of career guidance. The workshop will be led by the QUAL-IM-G project partners from Germany (nfb / Nationales Forum Beratung in Bildung, Beruf und Beschäftigung e.V.) and Slovakia (BKS Uspech).
  3. Best practices: towards a national quality label for career guidance practitioners in NL
    Jeroen Bregman MSc, Noloc, NL
    Noloc and CMI – the two Dutch organisations providing quality labels to individual career guidance practitioners – are in the process of developing a national quality label for career guidance practitioners in the Netherlands. In this workshop, Jeroen Bregman will provide an insight in this process and its intended outcomes.

15:50 – 16:20       Plenary discussion and conclusions
                            Dr. Jos Sanders, HAN University of Applied Science / Ester Leibbrand, President of Noloc

16.20 – 16.45       Appetizer: Quality assurance and certification of career guidance professionals in Dutch public employment services: the importance of cooperation
                           Guus van Weelden MSc, Member of the Executive Board UWV

In a transforming labour market the use of proven guidance quality and proven guidance methods by career guidance professionals are growing in importance. In stimulating career guidance professionals to work with proven effective methods, UWV is closely working together with Noloc and OVAL. The common goal is to provide effective, qualitative career guidance to different groups with different needs.

16:45 – 17:30   Informal part & drinks