Becoming a Guidance Counsellor
- I am interested in becoming a school or college guidance counsellor. What is the best way to do this?
The following information is supplied by the National Centre for Guidance in Education - www.ngce.ie
Guidance services in the educational sector are based in post-primary schools, higher and further education colleges and through adult and second chance education programmes.To work in guidance in different educational settings, qualifications and other criteria vary according to the requirements of the role and the employee.
Qualifications available in Guidance
The Department of Education and Skills recognises graduates from initial education programmes in guidance counselling for working in educational institutions under the remit of the Department. This includes School and Further Education (FE) settings (such as Colleges of Further Education, PLCs and the Adult Educational Guidance Services - AEGS)
In 2016 the Department published criteria and guidelines for initial education programme providers.
Programme Recognition Framework (PRF): Guidance Counselling (DES, 2016)
Post Primary Schools
If you are considering working as a Guidance Counsellor in a Department of Education & Skills Post Primary school, you need:
- to be a Qualified Teacher (Degree level + Teaching Qualification)
- to be registered with the Teaching Council
- to have a DES recognised Guidance Counselling Qualification
Colleges of Further Education (CFE) / Post Leaving Certificate Colleges (PLCs)
If you are considering working as a Guidance Counsellor in a Department of Education & Skills CFE or PLC setting you:
- need to have a DES recognised Guidance Counselling Qualification
- may need to be registered with the Teaching Council based on the courses you teach (check with the ETB concerned directly)
Adult Education Guidance Services
Guidance counsellors working in AEGS settings must meet qualification requirements outlined in Circular Letter 70/04 (DES, 2004). A teaching qualification is not required.
Universities currently providing DES recognised guidance courses for working in Schools and Further Education are listed below.
For further information in relation to these courses, please contact the providers directly.
- Dublin City University (DCU)
MSc in Guidance Counselling
2 year part time (contact DCU directly regarding entry criteria)
- University of Limerick (UL)
MA Guidance Counselling & Lifespan Development
2 year part time (contact UL directly regarding entry criteria)
- Maynooth University (MU)
Post Graduate Diploma in School Guidance Counselling
1 year part time - SCHOOL ONLY (contact MU directly for more information and entry criteria)
Master of Education - School Guidance Counselling
1 year part time - SCHOOL ONLY (contact MU directly regarding entry criteria)
Post Graduate Diploma (Arts) in Adult Guidance Counselling
2 year part time - FURTHER EDUCATION ONLY - (contact MU directly regarding entry criteria)
For more information see NGCE Website