Special and additional training
Vocational and educational counselors, unlike in other countries, do not undergo uniform training in Germany. Therefore, practically everyone can work as a career consultant who wants to. Neither is the corresponding professional title legally protected nor is there any legal guidelines, as a consultation has to look exactly.
But do not worry: in practice, most consultants are specially trained people who have undergone training in psychology, human resources or education, or at least completed a university degree successfully.
In addition, there are often additional trainings. A good consultant should also be on a regular basis, continually update his expertise and develop and improve his methodology and advisory procedures.
Membership in advisory associations
Membership in one of the consultancy associations is also a quality criterion. Associations such as the German Association for Vocational Education and Training (DVB) or the International Association for Vocational Education and Training (IVSBB) require that your members comply with high quality standards, which can be found on the relevant website:
This includes knowledge in the field of education, pedagogy, psychology and business, as well as methodological knowledge eg in conversation or didactics, and finally social skills such as tolerance, empathy or interest in other people.
Evaluated advice and certificates
In addition, for example, the members of DVB must regularly evaluate their advice, ie ask customers about their satisfaction, take part in further training courses for an average of two weeks per year and take at least 20 hours of supervision a year to reflect their consulting experience.
Consultants who meet the relevant quality criteria can also be registered in the DVB's Professional Counseling Register. Here, as a customer, you can find qualified consultants in your region.
By the end of 2009, the European Career Guidance Certificate (ECGC) will also provide a career guidance certification system that ensures international comparability of quality standards. The ECGC is currently being developed as part of an EU project by nine partner organizations from seven countries.
Checklist: Does your consultant meet these criteria?
- Does the consultant know about the industry or the sector?
- Has the consultant completed a university degree? Independent of the subject, the student is then able to process complex problems.
- Does the consultant have an education, eg in aptitude diagnostics, coaching, psychology, pedagogy, human resources or any other relevant area?
- Does the consultant regularly discuss his / her focus and is his / her knowledge up-to-date?
- Is the advisor meeting regularly at trade fairs, does he engage in other, eg volunteer work, or is there regular reports in the press about him?
- If the consultant is a member of a network or an association whose members have to provide certain quality standards (eg BBV, IAEVG, Berufsberatungsregister)
- Does the consultant use computerized knowledge management?
exceptions prove the rule
In addition to many reputable providers, there are also companies that only want to make the quick money: caution is offered, for example, if providers offer only online a career or study choice tests and an evaluation only against a high payment.
Testing should be the basis for a consultation, because only in a personal interview a consultant can really make statements about career planning.
Caution with free offers!
Caution is also advised with free offers - often the costs are just hidden. And the label "Scientific test" does not protect you from dubious offers, this name is not protected and can be "awarded" practically every test.
In addition to dubious offers, however, there are well-founded tests, especially for career and study choice, such as the free BORAKEL the University of Bochum or the EXPLORIX, in which the evaluation is given against a still relatively moderate fee.
If you are unclear about the seriousness of an online offer, you should contact the supplier by phone and inquire exactly according to the scientific basis of his test.
If you find only one 0180 or 0900 number for the call and then hang up for a minute, you can really assume that it is a question of an unreliable offer: consultants who offer good advice are available by telephone and have a decent address.
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