The Role of the Guidance Counsellor

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Institiúid na gComhairleoirí Treorach



The Role of

The Guidance Counsellor

Contents Page

Introduction 3

Definition 3

Membership 4

Adult Guidance 5

The Role of the Guidance Counsellor 7

Vocational, Education & Personal Guidance 8

Labour Market Education & Training 14

Equality & Diversity 15

Managing A Service & Programme Delivery 15

Information & Resource Management 16

Counselling Skills 17

Ethical Principles & Professional Practice 18

A Model of Practice of the Guidance Counsellor 20

Who is entitled to access Guidance & Counselling Service? 21

Locations & Settings 23

Referral Services 24

References 25

Welcome to the IGC

The Institute of Guidance Counsellors established in 1968, is the professional body representing over 1300 practitioners in second level schools, third level colleges, adult guidance services, private practice and in other settings.

On behalf of it's members and their clients the Institute has a liaison and advocacy role with government departments, management and trade union organisations, national parent bodies, higher and further education institutions, employment and training agencies.

Introduction to the Role Document

Members of the Executive of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors have prepared this document. This document seeks to reflect ‘best practice’ for Guidance Counsellors. This document is not prescriptive. Its primary purpose is to provide useful information for those interested in the profession of Guidance Counselling and to assist existing Guidance Counsellors in planning and fulfilling their role and function, in the context of the ethos, culture, and environment in which they work. The Institute of Guidance Counsellors wishes to promote the highest standards of professional practice. This document should be read in conjunction with the current Constitution & Code of Ethics of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.


The role of the Guidance Counsellor is to engage in personal, educational, and vocational counselling with clients throughout the lifespan, in the particular circumstances of their life.


Membership of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors is open to those individuals, who have successfully completed a programme of study, recognised by the Institute, for the purpose of admission to membership.

The Institute recognises two strands, through which individuals can obtain membership.


  1. The first of these strands admits to membership graduates of professional training programmes, constituted to prepare individuals to work as Guidance Counsellors in second level and further and higher education

  1. The second strand admits to membership graduates of programmes constituted to work with adults in a guidance and counselling role.

Both strands admit suitably qualified applicants to full membership of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, upon successful completion of their separate courses. Such membership does not of itself confer any employment rights, in specific Guidance and Counselling roles, given that employers of Guidance and Counselling graduates may lay down a range of other qualification requirements, for employment in their specific sector.


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