According to Sections 22-2 and 22-3 in the regulations to The Education Act all pupils in primary and secondary education have an individual right to receive two kinds of guidance: social pedagogic guidance and educational and vocational guidance.
The guidance service must be announced to pupils and their parents and be accessible for pupils at their own schools.
The right to necessary guidance implies that the pupil has access to information, guidance, follow-up, as well as help to adapt well into the school environment and to make decisions related to future vocational and educational choices.
Educational guidance is intended to help decrease social inequality, prevent dropout and integrate ethnic minorities. The pupil is entitled to receive the help he or she needs to facilitate personal development and to exploit individual resources, unlimited by traditional gender roles.
Guidance counsellors are obliged to be up to date on educational options and labour market needs. In order to secure the quality of the service, guidelines for guidance counsellors’ educational competences have been established.
In lower secondary school the subject Choice of Education is a curriculum-based subject aimed at providing the pupils necessary career competencies.
This is the first organized career guidance that Norwegian pupils face in the education sector. The subject curriculum was legislated in 2015 and consists of various career-learning activities. The subject assessment is without grades.
Educational and psychological counselling service
There is an educational and psychological counselling service in every municipality. The service is responsible for providing pedagogical, psychological and subject-related advice for pupils and their parents, teachers and educational institutions.
The service may be inter-municipal, depending on the size of the municipalities. The service also assists in diagnosing different learning difficulties, takes part in the planning process, and assists in making individual education plans.
The county authorities are legally obliged to provide a Follow-up service for young people who have a statutory right to education, but who are not taking part in training or are unemployed, including those who have dropped out of education before completion.
The objective of the Follow-up service is to provide these young people with opportunities that will lead to formal competence. The Follow-up service co-operates with the various municipal, county-municipal and government institutions with responsibilities for this group.
Career guidance to pupils in lower and upper secondary education is part of the workload for one or more teachers in each school. The teachers are qualified as counselors through local or regional in-service training courses, and through further educational courses in career guidance delivered by universities and university colleges.
The Ministry of Education and Research stimulates the strengthening of competence of the individual school counselor by educational programmes, legislation and guidelines for competency criteria.
Most of the counties have established regional partnerships and career centres. The partnerships consist of the county authorities, the regional Public Employment Services (PES) and other actors.
Career centres are organised in various ways, but are all aimed at strengthening the cooperation between providers of career guidance services and relevant stakeholders. The overall aim is to strengthen the quality of counselling and widen the access to career guidance.
Career guidance is also given by teachers in a subject aimed at vocational learning and training. The subject consists of short time placement and training in local vocational enterprises.