Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe

Publications of the NICE Network

NICE Handbook Full (2012)Download the handbook by clicking on the image


NICE Handbook for the Academic Training of Career Guidance and Counselling Professionals (2012), edited by C. Schiersmann, B.-J. Ertelt, J. Katsarov, R. Mulvey, H. Reid & P. Weber. Heidelberg: Heidelberg University.

The training of highly competent professionals in career guidance and counselling (CGC) is becoming increasingly important in Europe. But what do such CGC professionals need to be able to do, in order to support individuals, organisations and communities in dealing with complex career-related challenges? And how can special degree programmes be set up for the training of such professionals?

With this handbook,the Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe (NICE) offers an academic perspective on the future of higher education for CGC professionals in Europe. In the NICE Handbook, readers will find scientifically based arguments for training such professionals in higher education institutions, a vision of which core competences CGC professionals will need in the future, and a framework for designing and developing degree programmes in career guidance and counselling. These products are offered behind the background of a detailed analysis of academic training in Europe, its structures, contents and approaches, as well as an outlook on innovative themes to be covered in degree programmes. Finally, the handbook describes the network NICE and how its partners from 28 countries worked together in the past years, to develop common ideas for the higher education in career guidance and counselling.

Download the handbook by clicking on the image


European Competence Standards for the Academic Training of Career Practitioners. NICE Handbook Vol. II (2016), edited by C. Schiersmann, S. Einarsdóttir, J. Katsarov, J. Lerkkanen, R. Mulvey, J. Pouyaud, K. Pukelis, & P.C. Weber. Opladen: Barbara Budrich (Open Access).

The citizens of Europe are facing increasingly complex challenges to their career development nowadays. Over the span of their lifetime, they need to manage their careers, and make numerous decisions concerning education, training and employment – decisions, which seriously impact their futures and their wellbeing. To prepare citizens for these challenges, and to support them in the progress, competent career practitioners are needed. But what kinds of career practitioners are we talking about? And what do they need to be able to do? How can the quality of their training be assured?

This handbook introduces common European competence standards for the academic training of career practitioners in Europe, together with some proposals and examples, of how to implement and establish such competence standards in practice. More than 200 experts from all across Europe have contributed to the development of these shared standards of the Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe (NICE). The standards are already being used in many countries for the development of degree programmes.

Social-Emotional Competences. Training Needs of Career PractitionersDownload the book by clicking on the image


Social-Emotional Competences. Training Needs of Career Practitioners (2021), Johannes Katsarov. Aerdenhout: NICE Foundation (Open Access).

The practice of career guidance and counselling supports people in dealing with a wide variety of challenges related to their education and training, their vocational development and employment. Career professionals support their clients in diverse ways, through counselling, education, assessment, and information, but also through interventions in social systems, e.g., through talks with clients’ parents or employers. Little empirical research has focused on the question thus far, which role social and emotional competences like the management of one’s emotions play for career guidance and counselling.

With this study, the STRENGTh project, aimed at gaining some first insights into career professionals’ needs for social-emotional competences in Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, and beyond. Focus-group interviews with practitioners in all project countries demonstrated that career professionals face a wide array of social and emotional challenges in their practice. The international survey with more than 400 participants that followed, showed that the demand for social-emotional competence training is large while training interests and needs differ between countries.

In consideration of the findings, we suggest that initial and further training programs for career professionals should pay more attention to social and emotional competences in the future. Practice-oriented, empirically founded training of competences for diverse social and emotional challenges is needed to equip practitioners adequately. The cases presented in this report can provide educators with a good starting point for the design of teaching materials and self-assessment exercises.