European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network Database, ELGPN Database

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Name of the good/interesting practice/initiative/policy

National Quality System for Guidance Provision - Portugal



I am proposing that this example will be published also in the KSLLL database


1. Background

What makes this an example of good/interesting practice/initiative/policy?
- The motivation of the initiative (What is the history/background of the policy?)
- Linkages with LLG policy priorities (Please add references to other national/EU policies or documents)
- Participants
The present initiative stands as the first articulated attempt to create a fully comprehensive system of quality assurance for guidance activity in Portugal.
Although previous measures existed, providing the quality of instruments and methods used in PES-supplied guidance, as well as basic training for professionals, there was a clear need for a more integrated instrument, with adequate monitoring tools.
Given its institutional mission of assuring the adaptability and adequacy of guidance provision, the national public employment service, IEFP, has taken initiative in establishing a national standard, which will also account for the visions of an advisory network of relevant participants.
Other entities will be enrolled in the project to guarantee diffusion and improvement of standards, namely: the Portuguese Ministry of Education; Universities with research on guidance; professional/scientific associations; inter-national structures.

Aims and targets
- Objectives of the initiative (What did the policy set out to achieve?)
- Target group
- Methods applied to reach the objective (technological and /or pedagogical)
The objectives of the initiative can be resumed in three main points:

- Gaining efficacy and efficiency in guidance provision through implementation and constant check of clear standards, measures and practises
- Increasing autonomy of citizens in establishing critical learning and labour pathways, both by competence building and ease of access
- Sponsoring innovation through systematic research on critical factors in guidance for employability and job stability/success

The end target of the system is the guidance user, although we can also consider both guidance professionals and employment/educational service managers as being targeted by the measures undertaken.
The system is implemented by understanding guidance activity as part of a value chain and acting upon the phases of that chain, considering inputs, process and outputs. Primarily is considered the intervention of the PES and its creation of public value and economic spillovers.
Up-date of instruments, improvement of registry tools, accessibility, competence-assessment and of management information supports and fluxes are part of the methodology, affecting all aspects of guidance provision (materials, contents, technology).

2. Implementation

Strategy and actions (Please describe the approach adopted to make the reform work and any actions taken.)
- Level of implementation (national, regional etc.)
- Implementation (description)
The system has a national scope and is sustained in an incremental and progressive logic. Firstly, its scope is the operation of the PES services with a test run in some of its main job and training centres. Secondly, the initiative should be generalised to the full PES network. A third step should enable the adjusted diffusion of the system to different sectors and networks, namely education and private operators. As early as step two, the standard is to be shared and discussed in a advisory forum of external participants.
Common standards and information tools are already under development.
Some key measures to undertake are:
- Set periodic updates and testing of diagnosis tools, guidance methodologies, information supports, on-line contents/tools
- Improvement of registry and information transitions that allows for interchangibility of user information while guarantying users' rights
- Improvement of accessibility by development of comprehensive e-guidance tools and the improvement of information to disabled people (paper and online) and immigrant users
- Set evaluation and update of guidance professionals' competencies, with strict standards and ethical conduct
- Development of adequate tools for the follow-up of guidance users
- Balanced score-cards for guidance management and multi-level modelling of supervised

Monitoring and evaluation
- What has been put in place for monitoring and evaluation?
- What actors are involved?
Monitoring and evaluation is primarily undertaken by the Guidance Directorate of IEFP in articulation with other network participants.
A monitoring mechanism has been established, measuring the efficacy of the planned measures affecting inputs and process as well as a system of indicators aimed at measuring impact variables.
Input variables are monitored through direct control of measures and by user enquiring.
Process/organisation variables are monitored by tools' assessment, management enquiring and technical staff enquiring.
Outputs are monitored by follow-up of PES users (with and without guidance), defining samples that have as basic statistical unit the job/training centres. Follow-up focus on job stability/success, job mobility, autonomy assessment (labour and education), educational success, labour market queuing, entrepreneurship capacities.
A balanced scorecard has been defined with all the assessment dimensions deemed relevant.
A statistical modelling process is being developed to enable research-based adjustments to guidance policy, using as a methodology multi-level analysis.

3. Outcomes

Achievements (Please describe the main outcomes/results according to the following headings. Each option can be answered - up to 50 words)
- Specific results
- Cost effectiveness
- Budget
- Innovative aspects
Specific results: only planning and tools have been developed
Cost effectiveness: progressive implementation and thigh instrument control should allow for low costs of project and improvement of present cost-result ratio in provision
Innovative aspects: Research-based approach

Success factors (What key success factors have led to or prevented success?)
- Lessons learnt
- Unintended impacts (Have there been any unintended impacts? Positive or negative?)

Strengths and weaknesses
- What areas of the policy can we learn lessons from?
- Are there still challenges ahead?

4. Additional narrative description of the policy/practice/initiative


Additional information

Name of contact
Pedro Moreno da Fonseca

Role (in policy initiative)

Organization name





Website address

Documents and publications

Attached files


This information was provided/updated by:
Pedro Moreno da Fonseca PhD

No comments by users.

ELGPN, good practice, initiative, interesting practice, policy, career management skills, access, quality, evidence-based policy, co-operation, guidance in schools, people at risk, unemployed, employed, disadvantaged groups, career information, qualifications, effectiveness, Portugal