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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Guidance and counselling in a lifelong learning approach


12.Educational Support and Guidance

12.8Guidance and counselling in a lifelong learning approach

Last update: 15 February 2024

Academic guidance

Within the framework of ifelong learning and training centres (KEDIVIM) operating in the country’s higher education institutions, the existing structures and student support services are also used by adult students of higher education.

As far as the Hellenic Open University (Elliniko Anoichto Panepistimio) is concerned, students receive constant support by the university’s teaching personnel and communicate on a continuous basis with them (one member of the teaching personnel supervises about 30 students).  Students participate in 5 group counselling sessions, or in specific cases more than 5, during the 10-month studies (one academic year).  The member of the teaching personnel communicates with supervised students by phone, through letters or emails, no less than 6 times during the academic year.  Their duty is to counsel, guide and support students.

Adult educational guidance in second chance schools (scholeia defteris efkairias) is carried out by teachers. Teachers are responsible for providing counselling services to adult students of second chance schools by supporting them throughout their progression.  For the design of adult education curricula, the special characteristics of adult students have been taken into account in order to administer flexible programmes that meet individual learning needs. Additionally, counselling services in all second chance schools are provided by a career advisor and a psychologist consultant.

Finally, the database of educational opportunities "ploigos", is the national database of educational opportunities in Greece.  It is a constant source of information on education and training opportunities offered in Greece.  It is interconnected with the databases of European countries through the european database portal of educational opportunities.  It is available to both the Greek public and the citizens of the European Union by giving them information about the whole range of levels and types of education such as, general education, technical-vocational education, initial training, ongoing lifelong training, adult education, open and distance learning etc., according to their knowledge and interests.

Psychological counselling

Student counselling in the corresponding higher education institutions also serves students’ needs of lifelong learning and training centres (KEDIVIM).

In the Hellenic Open University (EAP), there is a Counselling and Psychological Support Centre (KESYPSY).  Its main goal is to offer free of charge services of information, support and psychological counselling to all members of EAP (students, members of the teaching and administrative personnel) who occasionally face difficulties on developmental, personal and/or educational issues. Such issues include experiencing stress, having difficulty in studies or communication problems; facing physical and psychological problems; time management problems or difficulty in decision-making; lack of concentration, absence of interest, and low performance.
Among the main objectives of the Counselling and Psychological Support Centres is to support students with disabilities and special needs, by informing them on psychological health issues, and successfully contribute to improve their quality of life.

At Second Chance Schools, counselling services are provided by a psychologist consultant who offers individual and group counselling to students. psychologist consultants support may support students in cases they find it difficult to function within the specific educational environment, or assist in their personal and social development. More specifically, the psychologist consultant has the following responsibilities:

  1. support the trainees of each department one (1) hour per week,
  2. provide individual and group counselling with the aim of facilitating and supporting the trainees,
  3. intervene in support of individuals or groups who find it difficult to operate in the specific educational context and
  4. cooperate, inform and support teachers/trainers to address arising problems.

Career guidance

The National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications & Vocational Guidance of the Ministry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports is the national executive body of career guidance.  Its website offers a portal of lifelong career development for adults, where they can complete tests on their interests, value tests and professional decisions tests. Moreover, they can develop career planning documentation (the so-called e-Portfolio), and find general information on the labour market and education/training in Greece and Europe.

Lifelong Learning Centres (KDVMs) offer adults services in the context of non-formal learning, inter alia, counselling and vocational guidance. KDBMs may belong to the public or private sectors. Counselling and Vocational Guidance services, which are provided within the KDBMs, constitute supportive actions, which are closely linked to the training services provided. They include individual and/or group sessions, in number and time distribution specified in the relevant call, by specialised advisory staff, with the aim of 

  • formulating an individual skills upgrade plan and selecting a training programme, based on the beneficiaries’ interests and competences, 
  • preparing participants for the traineeship, if provided for in the programme, 
  • approaching the labour market more broadly and 
  • supporting job retention for working participants.

    Second Chance Schools provide counselling services by a career counsellor. In particular, a career counsellor has the following responsibilities:

  1. support the trainees of each department one (1) hour per week,
  2. provide individual and group counselling with the aim of facilitating and supporting trainees for entry or repositioning in the labour market,
  3. seek sources of information, collects, organises and provides information material capable of meeting the trainees’ needs-requests with regard to their professional potential,
  4. communicate with other bodies-services specialised in labour market issues, educational bodies, training bodies and refer trainees to the appropriate services and
  5. establish a record of trainees and organise a system for monitoring their development.

In every public vocational educational institute (IEK), under the responsibility of theMinistry of Education, Religious Affairs and Sports, there is an Office for Professional Development and Career. The responsibilities of these offices include, inter alia, the information and advisory support of IEK trainees and graduates.
Free career counselling, career guidance and information services are provided by various public bodies to anyone who is interested in planning their career, regardless of age.

  • The Greek Manpower Organisation (OAED) provides counselling services for the unemployed to facilitate their entry to the job market.  These services involve Counselling & Career Guidance - Career Management, Job Search Counselling and Entrepreneurial Initiatives Counselling.  Individuals who are interested in looking for employment in a European country can visit the EURES network of OAED.
  • Counselling services and information are also provided at the Information Centre of Workers & Unemployed GSEE, at the Employment Office & Business Staff of ACCI (Athens Chamber Of Commerce and Industry), the Entrepreneurship Support Network for Small Businesses of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (GSVEE).
  • Career guidance is also an essential service in the context of various training and support programmes, targeted at young entrepreneurs, employees, unemployed and socially vulnerable groups.  The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is responsible for the programmes’ implementation.  Last but not least, it is important to note that the programmes are co-funded by the European Social Fund.
  • The Employment and Career Centres (DASTA) in higher education institutions include liaison offices, internship offices and innovation and entrepreneurship units.  They provide counselling support to undergraduate and graduate students in order to bridge the gap between higher education and industry, in order to enhance the employability of graduates.
  • Counselling services by a career advisor is one of the innovations of second chance schools.  The career advisor offers individual or group support aiming at the facilitation of adult learners’ access into the labour market.