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Portugal

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3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.4 Career guidance and counselling

On this page
  1. Career guidance and counselling services
  2. Funding
  3. Quality assurance

Career guidance and counselling services

Career guidance and counselling services are provided by several entities in different contexts, according to the target group.

Information, career guidance and counselling services are mostly organized under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security.

The purpose of career guidance and counselling services is to enable citizens of all ages to identify their abilities, skills and interests throughout their lives, to make decisions on education, training and employment and to manage their individual learning, work or other paths where these skills and competencies can be acquired and/or used.

 

Basic and secondary education

School and career guidance is developed by the Psychology and Guidance Services (SPO) in order to act in an integrated manner, in full coordination with the different actors of the educational community: teaching and non-teaching staff, parents and other educational responsible (guardians) and students.  

The Psychology and Guidance Services (SPO) must develop mechanisms of articulation between its service network and the network of the Centres for Qualification and Vocational Education in order to coordinate the responses required for youths' school and career guidance.

The General Directorate of Education (DGE) is the competent entity that develops and establishes guidelines and instruments to support the psychologists' activity.

 

Higher education

Higher education institutions have decision-making autonomy in counselling services. They are usually developed by services and students associations, as well as Support Offices for Professional Insertion (GAIP).

These offices assume different denominations according to the respective higher education institutions.

The coordination and administrative management of these services is the responsibility of  higher education institutions.

 

Public employment service

Information, career guidance and counselling services are addressed to unemployed or and employees looking for a new job or a new professional occupation.  The entity responsible for employment services in the mainland is the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP, P.I.). In addition to face-to-face services, there is online support through the portal Via@s-The guidance portal.

 

Vocational education and training institutions

Information, career guidance and counselling services are provided by teachers and counsellors.

The administrative management of these services is the responsibility of the training centres under the supervision of the  National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education, P.I. (ANQEP, P.I.) and IEFP, P.I.

 

Youth Guarantee

In the context of the Youth Guarantee, the development of an Integrated Information and Guidance System for Qualification and Employment is foreseen, which includes information and guidance activities.

There is a network of support partners in the definition of the professional path and active job search, composed of several entities with educational, training, employment, social, security and youth competences that allows the identification, support and referral of young people in a NEET situation.

The reform of the school and professional guidance system, foreseen in the Youth Guarantee, has the purpose of facilitating the articulation between school and professional guidance, and the insertion in education and vocational training courses, through an articulated intervention of the Qualification Centres, the Psychology and Guidance Services (SPO) of the educational establishments, the public employment services and other entities that carry out activities of information and guidance recognised by the State.

The dissemination of the Youth Guarantee programme, in terms of guidance and professional support services at non-higher and higher education establishments is ensured by the involvement of the Directorate-General for Education and the Directorate-General for Higher Education.

The involvement as partner of the Institute for Employment and Vocational Training, P.I. (IEFP, P.I.) and the National Agency for Qualification and Vocational Education, P.I. (ANQEP, P.I.) guarantees its dissemination in the services of guidance and professional counselling services integrated in the services of public employment and vocational training services.

The Youth Guarantee's partners network  is identified in the programme’s online portal.

 

Funding

The Operational Programme for Human Capital (POCH) foresees €176,5M for axis 4- Quality and innovation of the education and training system. Of these amounts, € 175M are financed by the European Social Fund and €26,5M are the national counterpart.

Until 2020, under the tutelage of the Ministry of Education, nearly €30M are planned for Professional Guidance Services in a school context, within the framework of the Development action for Psychology and Guidance Services (SPO) for psychologists and psychology technicians in basic and secondary schools.

These funds are intended for training and the acquisition of support materials, as well as for the recruitment of psychologists, in order to achieve the goal of one psychologist for every 1,140 students, according to the goals set for 2023.

Nationally, in 2016 the State Budget for the Ministry of Education  foresaw an allocation of funds of  €13,786,610 for psychology and guidance services, distributed as follows: €9,676,360 for basic and secondary schools and €4.110.250  for local autarchies - under delegated powers.

 

Quality assurance

Career guidance and counselling services are assessed according to their respective context.

The services within the education system, under the tutelage of the Ministry of Education, are assessed by the assessment system of the preschool education and basic and secondary education establishments, through self and external assessment.

Self-assessment of schools is mandatory, constituting as an instrument in which each school assesses its activities, and presents its financial management.

External assessment is the responsibility of the General Inspection of Education and Science (IGEC) according to the framework documents Schools’ external assessment 2016-2017.

The assessment is made taking into account the analysis of the fundamental documents of the school group: the self-assessment, the students' academic success indicators, the answers to the community satisfaction survey questions and the interviews made with the community.

The reports identify the strongpoints, those that need improvement, and provide indications for the improvement of each school's plans, in coordination with the administration and educational community.

Recently, a Working Group on Schools’ External Assessment was created, whose mission is to analyse the references and methodologies of the current Programme for Schools' External Assessment in order to propose a new model for the external assessment of educational and teaching establishments from the 2017-18 academic year onwards.

In the framework of the funding made by the European Social Fund, the Operational Programme for Human Capital (POCH), axis 4-Quality and innovation of education and training system, in particular, schedules assessments of measures to promote the quality of education and training, including the assessment of interventions to improve the quality of the education and training system and the development of Psychology and Guidance Services (SPO).