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The Euroguidance Network

April 2010

In this edition:

Towards an integrated lifelong guidance system in Spain

In Spain there have traditionally been two guidance subsystems: one for education and the other for employment. In 2002 the Act  5/2002 on Qualifications and Vocational Education and Training (VET) marked the starting point for a number of changes that are taking place now.

The first half of 2010, when Spain holds the EU presidency, is a good time to explain the main changes,  the work that has already been done and what still needs to be done.

In the labour sector, employment offices have guidance counsellors who provide guidance services. Regarding education, guidance is provided at three different levels: at pre-primary and primary schools, at secondary schools and at universities.

Brief description of guidance system in education

Guidance at pre-primary and primary level education

There are teams of educational and psychological counsellors that support primary schools that are located in the same area.

Guidance at secondary level education, including compulsory education, baccalaureate and VET

In secondary schools and vocational schools, there are guidance departments in which different kinds of specialist teachers are involved. They are usually directed by a psychologist or a pedagogue.

Guidance subjects are embedded in the VET curriculum, which is compulsory for all the students. There is a teacher-tutor in every classroom who helps students make decisions about which subjects they can choose, which learning itineraries they could follow, what to study next etc.

Guidance at universities

At universities in Spain there are centres which aim to promote the employability of students and graduates.

spain diagram

Click here to view the diagram in bigger size

Steps towards an integrated lifelong guidance system


Lifelong guidance system, as an integrated system, can be found in all new legislation that is being developed following the Lisbon strategy.

An integrated lifelong guidance system is now a reality in the following areas:
  • Act number 5/2002 established the existence of an integrated VET system, which means that there must also be an integrated guidance system
  • Guidance departments at the Integrated VET schools. These are schools that integrate both education and employment training systems
  • The new validation of working experience and non formal learning process (July 2009) will result in the creation of a portal between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour. It also represents common training for those in charge of the validation process
  • A lifelong guidance working group has been created within the National Board on VET which joins education and labour administrations at national and regional level and social partners
  • A lifelong guidance working group has been established by the Ministry of Education with the autonomous regions
  • A lifelong guidance platform
  • Provision of guidance services for open and distance VET
  • Lifelong guidance tools for guidance counsellors to help them manage the new integrated VET offer.

Cristina Rodriguez Civil, Euroguidance Spain