Guidance Counsellors’ Ethical Guidelines

The aim of educational and vocational guidance is to support those in need of guidance in addressing questions related to education, studies, career choices and the future. The purpose of guidance is to assist the client in understanding their own situation and in facing challenges in life.

The basic principles of guidance are to respect the client as well as to enhance the well-being and equality of the client.

The essential tools in the work of a guidance counsellor are their personality and expertise in the field.


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


The guidance counsellor shall act with integrity and discretion. The information provided by the counsellor shall be current and versatile and provide guidance in critical evaluation of information. The author of the source material must be identified.


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


The 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. The counsellor shall be aware of the impact of the expectations of their own, the work community and the rest of society on guidance.


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


The provision of educational and vocational guidance requires cooperative relationships with various players both within and outside the school. The guidance counsellor shall be capable of multidisciplinary cooperation and know how to value professional skills and knowledge of others.


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

Association of Guidance Counsellors in Finland, annual general meeting 30 January, 2009