This paper explores the extent to which students on a vocational postgraduate programme identify with characteristics and competences that define a professional career guidance and counselling practitioner. Literature suggests professionalism in careers work is characterised by a focus on the needs of the client with the practitioner in a facilitative role. Competences are often couched in developmental terms, with practitioners moving from inexperienced to experienced. Students identified the most valued characteristics as adherence to professional values and ethical standards with an emphasis on person-centred practice. They recognised that competence was a developmental process, characterising themselves as at an early stage on completion of their course. Supporting the client took precedence over issues such as advocating for the profession, supporting employers and social responsibility. Generally, students saw completing a programme of study either as a beginning to a process of development of professionalism or as part of their professional development.
- career guidance