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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.4 Career guidance and counselling

Last update: 22 March 2024

Career guidance and counselling services 

As defined in the Strategy for Career Guidance and Counselling in the Republic of Serbia the objective of the career guidance and counselling services is to provide to each individual: 

  • personal development in order to be able to understand themselves and influence their own decisions and initiatives in the field of education and professional development; 
  • to explore opportunities for learning and employment, or for work; 
  • to plan and manage changes in the area of his / her learning and work, or to manage his / her career.

Three ministries are responsible authorities for the career guidance and counselling in Serbia:

Besides the ministries, important role in career guidance has also the National Employment Service (Nacionalna služba za zapošljavanje). The National Employment Service plans and coordinates the work of 34 offices in Serbia. Counsellors working in the National Employment Service also provide services related to professional orientation to school-aged children.

Relevant strategies 

Strategy for Career Guidance and Counselling in the Republic of Serbia (Strategija karijernog vođenja i savetovanja) was adopted in 2010 with Action Plan for the period 2011-2014. The Strategy defines the role of ministries, service providers and stakeholders.

National Youth Strategy (2023-2030) (Nacionalna strategija za mlade) includes as one of the measures support to existing and inovative programmes for development of career management skills of youth. As key actors in this process the following are recognised: Ministry, NES, Agency for Qualification, educational institutions, faculties, youth offices, etc. The goal is to ensure accessibility of services to all and special attention to NEETs.

The Strategy for Education Development (2021-2030) (Strategija razvoja obrazovanja i vaspitanja), recognizes the importance of the career guidance and counselling services in education. One of the recognised measures are promotion of Standards for career guidance and counselling services and development of new training programs for teachers.

The National Employment Strategy (2021-2026) (Nacionalna strategija zapošljavanja) recognizes the importance of career guidance, especially in relation to reducing the mismatch between the skills supply and demand in the labour market. It is complemented by annual Action plans which define the aims and priorities of the employment policies.

Besides the above listed strategies, following policies regulate career guidance and counselling in three sectors:

  1. Educational policies

The Law on the Foundation of Education System (2013) (and the following amendment in 2017) (Zakon o osnovama Sistema obrazovanja i vaspitanja) introduced a provision that special attention should be given to career guidance and education of teachers, students and adults. 

To implement career guidance programme in schools changes in different educational laws were introduced:

The latest Law on dual education (2017) (Zakon o dualnom obrazovanju) also recognizes the importance of career management skills and student employability, as well as the role of schools’ teams in career guidance of students.

   2. Employment policies

The Labour Law (2017) (Zakon o radu) prescribes the rights to education, professional training and development, giving career guidance an important role in its implementation. 

The Law on Employment and Insurance in Case of Unemployment (2017) (Zakon o zapošljavanju i osiguranju za slučaj nezaposlenosti)  specifies the role and the activities of professional orientation and counselling in choosing profession through employment policy, measures of active employment policy, as well as concrete services provided to clients. 

   3. Youth policies

The Law on Youth (2011) (Zakon o mladima) emphasizes the importance of career guidance for young people and defines aims and activities.

Career guidance and counselling services are provided by different institutions in three educational sectors:

  1. primary school level - focused on professional orientation and making choices regarding the secondary school
  2. secondary school level – organized school teams for guidance and developing annual plans. The career guidance and counselling are being implemented by psychologists and pedagogues, within the educational and pedagogic services organized in secondary schools by subject teachers. Their activities include a broad spectrum of activities that include counselling, providing information and guidance. The programme and the activities of the pedagogic-psychological service fall within the competence of the Ministry of Education.
  3. higher education level – university career centres provide career information and organize educational activities related to career management such as workshops, lectures and training courses to university students.

In the employment sector, the key provider of career guidance and counselling services is NES, while in youth sector different Youth offices and NGOs provide career guidance and counselling services to youth.


Funds for financing the activities of the Strategy of Career Guidance and Counselling were secured through the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy 2010-2014 for the ministries and organizations involved in the implementation of this strategy. 

No data about further funding in recent years is available. However, as the career guidance centres are now part of the institutions, they maintain their functioning.

Quality assurance 

Quality assurance system was officially established in June 2019 by adoption of Standards for Career Guidance and Counselling Services (Pravilnik o standardima usluga karijernog vođenja i savetovanja) which defines quality standards in 4 areas:

  • Career Management Skills,
  • Guidance Practitioners Competencies,
  • Organisational Standards,
  • Standards of Career Guidance Programs.

These Standards are aiming to provide guidelines to providers of services in all sectors for improvement of the quality of guidance services.