European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network Database, ELGPN Database

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Name of the good/interesting practice/initiative/policy

Greek model system for quality assurance in guidance services



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
This is the first system for quality assurance of guidance services in Greece aiming at the initial and continuous evaluation of public and private guidance services of both the education and employment sector. It was developed by EKEP (National Center for Vocational Orientation), National Euroguidance Center, executive body of System 6 of ESSEEKA “System of Counseling, Vocational Guidance and Connection with the Labour Market” (Law 3191/2003) and member of ELGPN network. The Greek model system for quality assurance in guidance services is a top-down model based on the British matrix standard and consists of 6 groups of benchmarks: 1. Leadership 2. Organizing – planning 3. Guidance practitioners – human resources 4. Client satisfaction 5. Delivery of services 6. Premises and equipment
Leadership group connects with the Policy development level, Organizing – planning, Guidance practitioners- human resources and Premises and Equipment connect with the organizational level, while Client satisfaction and Delivery of Services consist the Practice level. The system coincides fully with the theory of the quality circle of Deming et al.
• The motivation of the initiative
The diversity of guidance services in Greece, both public and private and the absence of a legal framework as far as the requirements that these services should fulfill, made necessary the creation of a system for quality assurance of guidance services in Greece.

• Linkages with LLG policy priorities
The Resolution of the Education Council on “Strengthening Policies, Systems and Practices in the field of Guidance throughout life in Europe” (May 2004) identified 3 priorities among them:
1. Developing high quality, broadly accessible guidance provision
2. Improving quality assurance mechanisms for guidance provision
Also the 2008 EU Council Resolution on better integrating lifelong guidance into lifelong learning strategies invited the Member States within their respective competences to develop the quality assurance of guidance provision.

• Participants
The participants of the initiative were: EKEP, IEKEP (the company that developed the system), the Greek Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning & Religious Affairs – Directorate of Vocational Guidance and Educational Activities (SEPED) and the Greek Manpower Employment Organization (OAED), the official public authority responsible for the provision of Counselling and Vocational Guidance services in the employment sector which operates the Centres for Promotion to Employment (KPAs), that provide vocational guidance services to the unemployed at local level.

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)
• Objectives of the initiative
1. Set common quality standards in guidance provision in both public and private sector in Greece.
2. Develop know-how in quality assurance for guidance services in Greece
3. Create the necessary legal framework for monitoring and evaluation of Guidance services
4. Raise the quality of guidance provision in Greece for the sake of its citizens and protect them from low quality uncertified guidance services

• Target group
1. Public guidance services of
all levels of the education sector (primary –secondary and tertiary)
all types of VET sector (initial and continuous)
Employment sector
2. Private guidance services
3. Local government services

• Methods applied to reach the objective
1. Bibliographical research.
2. Development of benchmarks, quality indicators and documents of proof by a scientific committee of guidance counsellors
3. Pilot application in public guidance services of Greece
4. Gathering feedback from the services themselves
5. Revision of benchmarks and indicators
6. Consultation with ministries and responsible bodies (e.g. national guidance forum) (future action)

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)
Firstly EKEP conducted a study “International systems for quality assurance in Guidance services” which: 1. referred to the most important international quality management systems like ISO 9000etc 2. described the most well known quality assurance systems for career guidance like the Matrix quality standard for information advice and guidance services and the Canadian Blueprint for life/work Designs 3. presented the systems developed for the quality assurance of various public sector services in Greece e.g. the system for the evaluation of the continuous education and training centers of the Ministry of Employment. The fourth part of the study proposed a model system suitable for quality assurance in guidance services of Greece. The system describes the values, the quality indicators and the documents of proof according to the theory of the quality circle. All indicators produce indications for quality development. The values produce indicators, the indicators produce indications and the indications produce Evidence or measuring tools according to the theory.
The next phase was Pilot application in public guidance services e.g. the University of Piraeus Career Office, a Counseling and Guidance Center (KESYP) of Piraeus and a Centre for Promotion to Employment (KPA). The aim of pilot application was to inform the services about the system for quality assurance and to get their feedback concerning the values and quality indicators of the system.

• Level of implementation

• Implementation
The procedure for initial evaluation or continuous monitoring of a guidance service is the following:
1. The service submits a portfolio which contains all the elements that prove the implementation of t he quality system.
2. A team of external evaluators visits the service and conducts the evaluation on the spot following a specific written form
3. The evaluators are asking to see specific evidence and documentation which proves the observance of each criterion
4. A quality certificate of conformity is awarded to each service reaching the desired marking
5. Data of certified services are entered in a special register
6. An electronic platform supports the whole procedure from applications to results of each evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation
- What has been put in place for monitoring and evaluation?
- What actors are involved?
There was a Pilot application phase aiming at gathering feedback from services themselves. Actors involved were public guidance services of the education and employment sector (KESYPs, KPAs and Career Offices). This phase is still continuing. EKEP plans to have further consultations with ministries and responsible bodies (e.g. national guidance forum)

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
The first system for quality assurance of guidance services in Greece

• Cost effectiveness
The cost effectiveness is high since raising the quality of guidance provision in Greece will ultimately result in lower unemployment rates, higher mobility of citizens, better access to information and career opportunities

• Budget
The project was co financed by the Ministry of Education and the European Social Fund program). The overall budget was 40.000 Euros.

• Innovative aspects
The system includes values like: “The Service investigates client satisfaction by the services provided and the staff and makes use of the findings” and uses a mechanism for making use of client feedback. The mechanism which includes client satisfaction surveys, follow up activities, etc. researches citizens’ expectations and the level of their satisfaction by the services and the staff. The description of the mechanism includes the methodology used and the way the Service is making use of clients’ feedback for improving its services.

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?)
• Lessons learnt

Unintended impacts
Evaluation is a delicate matter. Sometimes services were suspicious of the system. They thought that they are being criticized and were afraid that the evaluation will reveal drawbacks and negative points of their functioning.

Strengths and weaknesses
- What areas of the policy can we learn lessons from?
- Are there still challenges ahead?
Receiving feedback from guidance services at the development phase of the quality assurance system is a major strength of the system.

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


Additional information

Name of contact
Dimitrios Gaitanis PhD

Role (in policy initiative)
Member of the scientific committee that developed the system. Author of the English translation and the english revised version.

Organization name

1 Parasiou & 99 Aharnon street

+30 210 8233669

+30 210 8233772


Website address

Documents and publications

Attached files


This information was provided/updated by:
Dimitrios Gaitanis PhD

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