Guidance Counsellors’ Ethical Guidelines

The aim of educational and vocational guidance is to support those in need of guidance with their wellbeing and personal development, as well as strengthen their self-knowledge and self-governance. The purpose of guidance is to assist with planning one’s studies and education, and identifying further needs for competence. The basic principles of guidance are to respect the other party as well as to enhance equal opportunities in education.

A guidance counsellor is an expert in the field of educational and vocational guidance, and is genuinely present in every encounter.



A guidance counsellor shall respect the dignity of each person to whom guidance services are rendered. A counsellor shall present a wide variety of choices and respect the right of the individual to make independent choices.



A guidance counsellor shall act with integrity and discretion. The information provided by the counsellor shall be current, reliable and versatile. A guidance counsellor shall advise toward critical evaluation of information. The author of the source material must be identified.



Educational and vocational guidance is to be provided confidentially. Confidentiality shall be preserved also in changing contexts. Information may only be disclosed if this is essential to the interests of the client. This normally requires the client’s explicit consent. Applicable laws pertaining to the disclosure of information shall be observed.



A guidance counsellor shall be aware of their own values as well as the values of society and of people originating from other cultures in order to provide ethically sustainable guidance. A counsellor shall be aware of the impact on guidance that expectations of their own, the work community and society have. Educational and vocational guidance is gender sensitive and accessible to all.



A guidance counsellor shall evaluate and develop their work. A counsellor is responsible for updating their qualifications by participating in further training and by acquiring up-to-date information.



Provision of educational and vocational guidance requires cooperative relationships with various actors both within and outside the school. A guidance counsellor is networking not only with actors on their school level, but with actors within non-formal adult education, working life and business as well as non-governmental organisations. A guidance counsellor shall be capable of multidisciplinary cooperation and know how to value others’ professional skills and knowledge.



A guidance counsellor shall take care of their personal health and well-being as well as resources. A counsellor shall recognise their limits and be prepared to seek help, when necessary.