Educational and vocational guidance is given high priority in Denmark.
The overall structure and seven national targets in the field of guidance are defined in the Act on Guidance in Relation to Choice of Education, Training and Career, which was adopted by the Danish Parliament in April 2003. Subsequently, the Act of 2003 has been amended since then: in 2006, 2007 and in 2010.
The Act on guidance is primarily targeted at young people up to the age of 25 but it concerns services for adults wishing to enter a higher education programme too.
Three different types of guidance centres exist:
- Youth guidance centres with responsibility for guidance related to the transition from compulsory school to youth education
- Regional guidance centres with responsibility for guidance related to the transition from youth education to higher education
- eGuidance is for everyone who wants information about education and employment.
The Ministry of Children and Education is responsible for a national guidance portal: www.uddannelsesguiden.dk or simply www.ug.dk.
UddannelsesGuiden means the "Education Guide". It provides information on:
- Education and training opportunities at all levels
- Labour market conditions and statistics
- Study programmes taught in English at Danish colleges and universities
Other features include an electronic career planning tool, as well as a section with an electronic news service, a quarterly journal and various resources, especially aimed at guidance practitioners.
The Minister for Children and Education has established a National Dialogue Forum on Guidance in order to secure a close dialogue between the Minister and relevant organisations, institutions, guidance counsellor associations, end users and individuals, holding a leading position in the field of guidance.
Quality in guidance is a topic that is continuously debated in Denmark. One way of enhancing the quality of guidance provision is to improve the qualifications of the guidance practitioners. Six university colleges in Denmark offer a one-year modular common training programme at diploma level for guidance practitioners across sectors. Furthermore, the Danish University of Education offers a one-year Master of Education programme in guidance counselling. With an amendment in 2007 of the 2003 Act on guidance, it is now a requirement that guidance practitioners, working in the education system, complete the diploma programme or, alternatively that they – through assessment and recognition of prior learning – can document that they hold the required qualifications.
The Division for Guidance in the Danish Ministry of Children and Education is actively involved in international cooperation in the field of guidance, and the main aims and elements of the Danish guidance reform are very much in line with the EU Resolution on Lifelong Guidance and with EU and OECD recommendations on guidance policies and practices.