The European Career Guidance Certificate (ECGC) project co-funded by the Leonardo da Vinci Programme was a 2-year (2007-2009) Austrian led project with partners from Greece, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Norway and the UK.
ECGC transferred the innovation behind 2 previous Leonardo projects; MEVOC (www.mevoc.net) which is an online self-assessment tool for guidance counsellors using 35 competence standards to measure themselves against and ICT Skills a Leonardo project aimed at helping guidance practitioners update their ICT skills and keep up with modern programmes that young people in particular are now often using.
The partners have developed a standardised and internationally transferable certification system (“ECGC-certificate”) to acknowledge formally or non-formally acquired knowledge, skills and competences of career guidance counsellors based on the MEVOC competence standards and the ICT Skills project.
There are 4 superior competence categories:
- Education and Career
- Counselling Practice
- ICT Skills
These are then further subdivided into 12 standards and 35 competencies.
ECGC has a three-tier structure:
- Online-test (Knowledge)
- Assessment Centre (Personality)
- Written Thesis (Theory)
The ECGC is a provision for counsellors who:
- have at least 500 hours of counselling experience in groups or one-to-one sessions
- who – in addition to their practical experience – have completed specific continuing training courses for career guidance counselling
- who have completed training programmes that are either not officially recognised or related to the subject matter (e.g. coaching programmes) and want to be certified as career guidance counsellors.
Main characteristics of the ECGC:
- The ECGC-level corresponds to the level of “Academic expert” and is certified with 60 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) points which is the standard for comparing attainment and performance in higher education across the EU and other participating European countries. 60 ECTS points is equivalent to 120 points in the UK.
- ECGC is compatible with existing training offers.
- Course attendance is not compulsory to obtain the ECGC.
- Against their existing background it is up to ECGC-candidates how they want to prepare for the ECGC-exam.
This does not replace current national certification systems, but is a complementary qualification for professionals wishing to specialise further. It’s particularly useful for countries that don’t have formal career guidance qualifications and also to practitioners who want to include European aspects in their knowledge.