International Association

for Educational and

Vocational Guidance

IAEVG Ethical Guidelines

Adopted on 29 November, 2017 by the IAEVG General Assembly, Mexico City, MEXICO.


The International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IAEVG) is committed to the global provision of educational and vocational guidance, provided by competent and recognized professionals. IAEVG members facilitate the dignity, freedom, and integrity of people in making lifelong choices and decisions at all ages, across their life roles, as they anticipate, prepare for, enter into, face and cope with the dynamics of the labour market and the workplace.

IAEVG members recognize that vocational choices and career development have an impact that reaches beyond the individual, including responsibilities to families, communities, and the larger society and environment. National and global economies and the structure of the labour market influence individual’s and families’ opportunities and constraints related to career directions, decisions and sustainable careers. Thus, members have important roles for influencing the social discourses in institutions and networks that shape the nature of policies and services, the theories and tools that are used, and the resources available to clients and the public. In turn, members are engaged in the process of defining and redefining the nature of services and the goals and targets of organizations concerned with educational and vocational guidance. Thus, social justice is a foundation for supporting clients and the public and for shaping the organizational structures where members deliver educational and guidance services.

The IAEVG Ethical Guidelines are dedicated to supporting members in their practices to enhance the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of those persons whom IAEVG members serve. Through joining IAEVG, members agree to the conscious and deliberate application of ethical standards of conduct. The Guidelines provide a reference for (a) making decisions and actions as individual practitioners, (b) planning agency policies and services, (c) informing the public of expected standards of professional practices and behaviour, (d) providing evaluative criteria for self-assessments, peer evaluation, and supervision to ensure quality standards in service provision, and (e) seeking organizational support for professional development.

The Ethical Guidelines are intended to stimulate the professional development of IAEVG members in their ethical behaviour, through identifying minimum essentials and aspirational goals for ethical behaviour. The Guidelines cannot address every possible ethical conflict that IAEVG members experience in their national or cultural contexts. However, the Guidelines can be used to create ethical guidelines in the countries and local regions for which these may be applied and adapted.

Ethical Responsibilities to Clients

1 IAEVG members take into account the holistic needs of clients (educational, vocational, personal and social) as they interact in the planning process, the adjustment to education and training, occupations, and careers, and/or clients’ capacity to fully engage with services, and seek additional resources, including relevant experts, to address clients’ needs.

2 IAEVG members accept the primary obligation to mutually respect the dignity of each person to whom educational and vocational guidance services are rendered. This obligation includes acceptance of the rights of the individual to make independent and socially just choices, to take responsibility for decisions reached, to engage in self-direction and self-development, and to preserve confidentiality. However, in situations where clients hold antisocial values that are of danger to themselves or others, it may be necessary for the practitioner to indicate what his/her professional values are and to what extent he/she supports social conventions. Members are responsible to behave according to laws and policies that pertain to client rights and limits of confidentiality.

3 IAEVG members are aware of their values and attitudes, in order to avoid the unnecessary imposition of their personal values and strive to take into account the worldviews of their clients. Members refrain from consciously dictating or coercing client choices, values, lifestyles, plans, or beliefs (e.g., general views on economic life) that represent the worldview of the practitioner or other people, but not the client’s worldview. In particular, they avoid all forms of stereotyping and discrimination, e.g., racism, sexism, ageism, classism, and pro-actively work to overcome the impact of these forms of oppression on clients’ access to and full participation in meaningful education and employment.

4 IAEVG members inform clients, orally or in writing, of the purposes, goals, techniques, policies and ethical guidelines under which educational and vocational guidance is provided, conditions in which consultation with other professionals might occur, and legal or policy constraints which relate to how services are provided. In doing so, members consider the limits of confidentiality when working with minors and other vulnerable persons. Any limits on confidentiality set by others will be discussed with the client before proceeding, supporting the client to choose personal responses to such limits and involvement. Disclosure of confidential information normally requires the client’s expressed consent and must be considered in light of potential harm to the client or others.

5 IAEVG members avoid conflicts of interests which compromise the best interests of their clients when they engage concurrently in direct roles with clients such as career counselling, serve as representatives of paid employment exchanges or as paid recruiters or intermediaries for education and training institutions/organisations. Where potential conflicts of interests occur, they should be made known to the client as soon as possible, and preferably before commencing service provision.

6 IAEVG members use relevant standards to select and administer assessment and provide interpretation of results, including the cultural specificity and relevancy of assessment protocols. Such practitioners provide explanations of the content, purposes, and results of tests in language that is understandable to clients. Members recognize that emerging techniques and service environments (e.g., technology-assisted assessment or career guidance programs; distance guidance and counseling) require background training and continuing familiarity with the professional literature.

7 IAEVG members promote the benefits, to clients, of new techniques and those that are empirically validated, in supporting their clients to make informed choices about service provision. This includes the use of appropriate technology and/or social media resources when research or evaluation warrants such use. Members ensure that the use of technology and/or social media resources or other techniques are appropriate for the individual needs of the client, that the client understands how to use the technique or process involved, and that follow-up assistance is provided, if needed. Members of IAEVG recognize how technology and distance guidance and counselling have a unique impact on issues such as informed consent, limits of confidentiality, data security, identity verification, cyber-bullying, professional boundaries, and record keeping. Members advocate for equitable access to technology and/or social media resources by members of under-represented groups, and to non-discriminatory, current and accurate information whenever technologies are used.

8 1. IAEVG, members, in representing their professional competencies, training and experience to individual clients as well as to organizations for which consultation is requested, provide information that is clear, accurate, current, and relevant and does not include misleading or deceptive statements or materials.

9 IAEVG members function within the scope of practice relative to their training and experience. IAEVG members make appropriate referral when their professional assistance cannot be provided or continued, or when services requested are beyond the scope of practice for which the IAEVG member is qualified to provide.

10 IAEVG members who work as independent practitioners are transparent about their professional fees and other costs for services, e.g., assessment material. Members structure their fees to provide reasonable access to services and/or provide appropriate referrals. In providing independent services, members respect intellectual property, brands, and patents on the use of material for commercial purposes. Seeking fees for services does not outweigh the responsibilities for practitioners to work within their qualified scope of practice.

11 IAEVG members demonstrate social responsibility for increasing access to vocational and guidance services, and for providing relevant and beneficial professional services. In striving for social justice, members recognize the obligation to advocate for the provision of equitable opportunities in educational and vocational guidance without prejudice to persons, including diversity on dimensions such as social class, educational background, age, gender, race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, abilities, sexual orientation, and their intersections.

12 IAEVG Members avoid all forms of oppressive social practices such as discrimination, and actively work directly with clients and the public, and on their behalf, to address oppressive social and structural inequalities in education and employment systems.

Attitudes to Colleagues and Professional Associates

1 IAEVG members proactively develop and maintain cooperative relationships with professional colleagues and administrators in order to facilitate the provision of optimal educational and vocational guidance.

2 IAEVG members inform colleagues and administrators about aspects of the provision of educational and vocational guidance such as confidentiality and privacy guidelines.

3 IAEVG members provide professional colleagues and administrators with accurate, objective, concise and relevant information about the needs of the clientele they serve and the public, while respecting confidentiality. Members also provide data that may be used in the evaluation and presentation of outcomes related to service provision.

4 IAEVG members cooperate with their professional colleagues in implementing the Ethical Guidelines in the procedures and practices of their work setting. When concerns arise as to the ethical behaviour of professional colleagues, whether IAEVG members or not, the member should discuss such concerns with the colleague or use available institutional channels, such as agency administrators, local or national associations, to address the concerns and remedy potential harm to clients or the public.

5 IAEVG members, in cases where ethical issues are unclear or ambiguous, will consult in a confidential manner with a professional association or colleagues to attempt to clarify the issue or develop strategies to rectify the conditions that caused the problem. Failing that possibility, practitioners should directly contact the Secretary General of IAEVG to seek clarification, advice or to raise a query of professional ethics.

Behaviours Towards Government, Employers, Community Agencies, and Community Members

1 IAEVG members familiarise themselves with current relevant national and regional policies for education, training, employment, social inclusion, which provide the context for their work.

2 IAEVG members are encouraged to liaise proactively with parents, community elders and leaders, and other representatives of local populations who may have a significant influence on career choices and service access.

3 IAEVG members identify the needs of clients and the public to overcome structural and social barriers to accessing relevant, timely, and equitable service provision. Members use their knowledge to advocate for educational and vocational guidance services and policies that are ethically rendered and relevant to client needs in cooperation with policy-makers, legislators, and/or the administrative personnel of publically and privately funded organizations.

4 IAEVG members insist that professional guidance entails more than providing information and/or job placement activities and services. Members take a stand, individually and collectively, on public policies that pose barriers for their clients and the public, and that limit their capacity to deliver high quality services.

5 IAEVG members support their professional associations in efforts to educate and inform administrators, legislators, members of other organizations, and the public, of the accepted qualifications and training expectations of competent practitioners of educational and vocational guidance.

6 IAEVG members engage employers to work collaboratively in the development of workplaces that invest in training, respectful and safe workplace conditions, and opportunities for enhancing the career development of employees. While recognizing employers’ needs for flexibility, employees also need workplace conditions that provide security and meaningful work.

Responsibilities to Theory and Research

1 IAEVG members participate in research and report findings using procedures that are consistent with the accepted ethical and scientific standards of educational and psychological research practices. When client data are used for statistical, evaluative, research or program planning purposes, the IAEVG member ensures the confidentiality of the identity of individual clients, and seeks client permission of such data.

2 IAEVG members use their knowledge to inform theory and its applicability to clients and the public. Such knowledge can also be used to inform relevant research directed at improving conditions in the lives of clients and the public.

3 IAEVG members strive to conduct research in ways that inform individuals, groups, and personnel within organizations who have participated in the research, with the intention of contributing to their understanding of the research results and ways that the results can be applied.

4 IAEVG members share in the improvement of educational and vocational guidance by mobilizing research knowledge and dissemination to colleagues, professional associations, policy-makers, organizations, and society at large.

Responsibilities for Professional Learning and Development

1 IAEVG members obtain the initial educational and vocational guidance training and maintain a process of continuous professional development and learning to be a qualified and competent practitioner.

2 IAEVG members seek opportunities to support their personal professional development and participate in networks that influence the topics and resources made available for professional development.

3 IAEVG members continue to reflect in their practice both the humanistic principles that underlie ethical behaviour as well as attention to the changing social and political contexts that have ethical implications for practice. Reflections may include questions and discussions about the nature of our work; who are our clientele (students, parents, workers, employers, society as a whole); and what are the ethical issues of importance in these relationships? How do different forms of intervention (individual counselling, group work, technology-assisted programs, and consultation with management on behalf of workers) differ in ethical concerns? How should educational and vocational guidance services ethically respond to the global tensions between economic and environmental issues in the working lives and workplaces of clients? How can practitioners actively address issues of equity, social justice, and sustainable careers? What is our role in supporting individuals and families while also supporting the sustainability of systems and economic structures in society?

4 IAEVG members are responsible for monitoring and maintaining their professional competencies and for ensuring that they are able to provide competent services to diverse clientele, taking into account people’s cultural contexts, effectively using contemporary assessment processes, theories, intervention techniques, and technology and social media resources. IAEVG members strive to be current with innovations and trends in the local and global contexts of educational and vocational guidance and counseling and do so with a commitment to addressing social inequities.

5 IAEVG members seek and participate in regular supervision through which to increase the knowledge and skills required to effectively discharge their professional responsibilities and to develop goals for continuous life-long learning. Peer-supervision is encouraged in countries and contexts where formal supervision arrangements are not available. IAEVG members are also encouraged to provide supervisory and consultation expertise to their colleagues.

IAEVG members are also encouraged to refer to the following documents that relate to the content outlined in the Ethical Guidelines:

1. IAEVG Mission Statement
2. IAEVG Ethical Standards, Original Version, 1995
3. The Paris 2001 IAEVG Declaration on Educational and Vocational Guidance, September, 2001
4. Light and Dark Times – The Value of Career Guidance in an Economic Crisis, Jyväskylä, Finland, June 5th 2009
5. IAEVG Communiqué on Social Justice in Educational and Career Guidance and Counselling, Montpellier, France, September 2013
6. IAEVG Communiqué on Educational and Career Guidance for Displaced Migrants Tsukuba, Japan, September 2015
7. Educational and Vocational Guidance Practitioner (EVGP) Competencies

Additional Documents

8. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
9. United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
10. International Labour Organization, Decent Work Agenda


The IAEVG is a  non-profit-making association governed by the provisions of the law of Luxembourg

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