Do we provide Ethical Career Counselling? Integrating ethics into an organised quality assurance system in the counselling structures of our country

Issue 30

“Do we provide Ethical Career Counselling? Integrating ethics into an organised quality assurance system in the counselling structures of our country”

Konstantinos Triantafyllopoulos, Dimitris Gaitanis

Pages 111 – 133

Career Guidance, having today acquired a lifelong and holistic dimension, places citizens at the center of its services, systematically supporting them on issues of career planning and academic or professional decisionmaking, with the ultimate goal of their personal well-being. The continuous national and global socio-eco-nomic and environmental crisιs (financial, refugee, pandemic, etc,) has increased the need to provide, ethically correct, career guidance services, which can be constantly measured and evaluated through quality criteria and indicators, thus promoting transparency and defending both citizens, as well as Career Guidance and counseling itself, from unethical practices.
This article is based on a thesis that was prepared within the framework of the MSc “Counselling, Vocational Guidance and Lifelong Learning” titled “Evaluation of the adherence to ethical principles in career guidance: New priorities and lessons learned from career guidance structures and career guidance counsellors in Greece”. It was successfully argued before a tripartite committee in February of 2023.
The purpose of the thesis was to evaluate through field research the observance of ethical principles in Career Guidance by public and private structures and career counsellors providing career guidance services in Greece. Its originality lies, on the one hand, in the absence of research results that assess the extent, adherence or not, of ethical principles by the career guidance organizations in Greece and on the other hand the connection of ethics, as a desirable feature of Career Guidance, with the part of compliance with quality assurance procedures within a career guidance organization.
Using quantitative research methods, a questionnaire was developed with the aim of investigating the observance of ethical principles in the following six sections, which according to the international literature arethe main categories of quality criteria of a career guidance service and are mutually influenced by ethical issues:
1. Career Service identity
2. Professional Competence
3. User Involvement
4. Provision of services
5. Quality assurance
6. Compliance with ethical principles
This questionnaire was then distributed to 100 career guidance organizations in various places in Greece, coming from both the public and private sectors, in order to draw conclusions that will demonstrate the priority areas of a career guidance organization, which are related to and affected by the adherence to ethical principles and the extent to which these are evaluated by the structures that participated in the research. The findings of the research will contribute to the extraction of proposals for improvement actions and measur-able quality indicators, which can be used in the future by career guidance structures, following the quality cycle process. We describe in detail with the help of tables the benchmarks and quality indicators required for
the adherence to the six reference groups, which are directly related to ethical issues in Career Guidance. The thesis completed with the formulation of institutional changes and improvement measures required in the design and implementation of career guidance services in our country.

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